GDD730 – Module 2: Week 9: Industry Insight

We had a great team meeting on Saturday. Matt drew sealant points out of the feedback that we had received from the professionals regarding our pitch. Gordon had completed some amazing work on the low fidelity wireframes and customer journey. The introduction of the Trello Board and being action focused has helped me feel more in control.

One thing that I worry about is my constant questioning of what we are doing or our approach. My motivation for this is to get the best out of the team and I think it is helpful to play devils advocate. I worry that it may come across as negative or unsupportive. It was interesting that the feedback from the professionals echoed some of the concerns and suggestions that I had raised with regards to copywrite and getting buy in form the artists and venues.

This week I have been assigned Brand Guidelines

Brand Guidelines are created to form the basis of the visual presentation of a corporate identity. The Brand Guidelines should communicate the product values and the brand story to help brands stand out in a saturated market. (Nguyen, 2020)

The benefit Brand Guidelines is that is creates consistency by delivering messages that are aligned with brand image and brand values. (Stringfellow, 2018)

This is something that I haven’t done before so it will be a good learning experience. I was conscious that the design work and aesthetic created through our pitch should be captured in the Brand Guidelines.

The Logo was challenging to create as I think my ideas were limited by my graphic design knowledge. I hand drew a few ideas but didn’t manage to translate them into digital design. I was drawn to stage lighting to create the logo and colour pallet, I thought it was subtle but evocative of gigs.

I have researched a few different Brand Guidelines which have focused on omni channel communication which feels different to the information that will be used in our platform which I think will largely be instructional and more informal in tone. I struggled to articulate the tone of voice for our brand I think this is down to lack of experience. I used the user research conducted for the platform as a starting point for emotion and creativity. I took the difficult decision to ask for support of the team, which was brilliant as Matt offered to help and evolved the Tone of Voice to truly reflect our brand.

Going forward I intent to create Brand Guidelines for my future projects as the framework will be easy to repeat. The content is more challenging, but I think upfront investment will safe time in subsequent design phases.

How does our Team Relate to how Spry Fox Operates

For the course content this week I was asked to watch videos about a small gaming company and a start-up and reflect on how they relate to my experience so far and what principles I can apply in my day-to-day operations:

Our team is entirely remote and understand the need for regular communication. It was reassuring to hear the Spry Fox use similar collaboration tool sets. We also have one team member based in a different country and another who works shifts so we have all had to adapt to working asynchronously.

Something that was discussed was limiting the time spent on a concept and then simplifying the concept. I think that as a team we spend days working on the concept and refining the concept which has meant there is less time for development of the prototype. I also think that as a team we have tended to expand the concept rather than simplify.

We have split our users’ stories and for most assigned 2 or 3 team members to the ticket. It was interesting to hear that they work in the initial stages as one designer and 1 developer. We did something similar last week as Gordon drew up low fidelity wireframes solo. I think this approach worked as it can be confusing having multiple designers, and I am a visual communicator I find it easier to understand a mock-up rather than an abstract concept.

We have used FigJam and Figma to develop our concept. Although the format is different all of the content and discussion is recorded and regularly accessed by the team.

Another element of the approach was to have simple and short iterations. Because our platform design is relatively complex we have not been able to take this approach instead we have broken the content down by creating a thin slice focused user journey.

User testing is something that we have discussed as a team but we are concerned about have the time and capacity to deliver. Andy advocated strongly for the use of testing in Game Development so I think it is something that would be worthwhile for our team.

Monetisation is something that we have briefly discussed this weeks course content has made me determined that it is something we should include in our development and pitch.

Spry Fox will work on serval projects concurrently, more team members will be added to the team during the production phase. Although we don’t have the luxury of adding more team members in our development stage we are all prepared to take on additional work and support each other.

Wo King, CEO and founder of Hi9:

Creating accessible tech that non experienced technology users could use easily. They are building a product called Decca with AI and conversation experience. Their approach is to concentrate on the user not the institution.

The two things that I will take away from this Wo King’s speech are to keep engaging with family and friends about the development of the Transend platform and make some time for self study of Machine Learning.

Recognise and avoid the consequences of ‘crunch mode’

In 1926 Henry Ford cut the working day from 10 hours to 8 hours and the work week from 6 days to 5 days. As he had conducted a 12-year study that showed shorter working hours increased worker output. (Robinson, 2015).

Which is why it is important as individuals and as a team we don’t stray in to crunch mode as the deadline approaches.

I have a part time job, I am studying for this MA and I am a parent to a 3 year old. I am lucky that I have 1 and a half days that I can dedicate to my university work but evenings and weekends are more difficult due to my family commitments. Also if anything happens, like illness, it throws everything off quickly.

Robinson has found that “One of the biggest productivity sinks created by Crunch Mode is the increase in errors produced. The longer you crunch the more you are at risk of creating big expensive mistakes. (Robinson, 2015)

The thing that I am most concerned about pushing me in to Crunch Mode is getting up to date with my blog posts. My husband has taken childcare responsibilities at weekends to free up this time for me which hopefully will help. As a team I think that we have managed to organise and plan quite well. I need to do this for myself with regards to the blog so I have started a catch up Kanban. I am planning to look back through my draft and published blog posts week by week and see what additional work is required to get them in to a finalised state.

Sources:

Nguyen, M., 2020. Creating Visual Identity and Brand Guidelines to achieve Consistency in Brand Experience–Case Kokonat. [Online]. Available at:www.theseus.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/338898/Thesis_Mai Nguyen_final.pdf (Accessed: 10 August 2021).

(2016). How to Create Effective Brand Tone of Voice Guidelines [Online]. Creative Translation. Available at: creativetranslation.com/how-to-create-effective-brand-tone-of-voice-guidelines/ (Accessed: 10 August 2021).

Robinson, E., 2005. Why crunch mode doesn’t work: 6 lessons. IGDA Retrieved Feb17(2009), p.139.

Brand Guidelines [Online]. Imagery. Available at: brand.ucla.edu/identity/imagery (Accessed: 10 August 2021).

https://99designs.co.uk/blog/logo-brandingZ. Lokmanoglu, (2019). What are logo usage guidelines (and how to set them)? [Online]. 99Designs. Available at: 99designs.co.uk/blog/logo-branding/logo-usage-guidelines/ (Accessed: 10 August 2021).

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