Levels

As Amber worked on developing characters, I decided to give the background elements a go. I worked on developing a background for the setting of the jungle, beach, farm and space. I started by watching some tutorials before viewing images and illustrating the elements required. I worked on sticking to the flat-vector illustrative style as I intended for the user to focus on the character and the activity it was involved with.

Beach

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Farm

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Jungle

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Space

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Character Customisation

This week we focused on how children could be rewarded and/or customise their characters. We developed a boy and girl version of the original, and worked on implementing features such as hair colour, eye colour, skin colour as well as hair styles. These are demonstrated below:

Eye Colour

With the original character having brown eyes, we decided to prototype and worked at adding blue and green variations. Below is the best solution we had to this. However, our concern for the darker coloured eyes is whether or not children will be able to identify which direction the character is looking on an iOS device.

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Hair Colour

After our client Holly stated that her daughter would only play if her character had red her, because she does. This is when we decided to implement different hair colour choices whilst remaining the the flat-vector graphic style of illustration. There is endless possibility to add more colours, however we believe that this would be suitable. We also worked on matching the eyebrow colour to the hair colour at this stage.

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Hair Styles

From different hair colours developed the idea of different hairstyles, as Holly referred to her daughter as having curly hair. By experimenting with many different hair styles, we implemented 3 to the final project submission – the straight, the wavy and the styles for both the boy and girl versions of the characters.

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Skin Colours

JumpStart provides an inclusive, diverse environment for all children. The 3 main colours are demonstrated below, however this range has the potential to be expanded upon in the future if required.

 

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Client Meeting

At the start of our class, Amber and I met with Holly and Grant to show them our progress. In this meeting we discussed ideas of navigation, and obtained feedback from Holly on the character sets we had begun developing.

As we clarified the project consisted mainly of developing characters for the application before we are able to move onto the navigational elements, we struggled determining what we were going to be assessed on. We then discussed that characters were the way to go, but we should think about developing some backgrounds to implement these.

After giving Holly a run down on what we presented for our interim presentation it was clear that she was impressed with the work we had achieved at this stage, and like the idea of the animal onesies. .

Interim Presentation

Week 9 this week meant that it was the week of our interim presentations. Amber and I both worked extremely hard over the past few weeks to be able to show the work we had done so far for the characters, in order to obtain both feedback from our tutors, clients and peers. We based most of this presentation off the define, research and ideate stages of the Ambrose & Harris (2010) model. We focused heavily on the graphic style, and the visual appeal to children that we intend to implement.

JumpStart Interim Presentation

From the presentation we gained a lot of what we believe is beneficial feedback. This included:

  • the flat vector style is easy for children to understand and may be more easily implemented when we get to the stage of animation
  • monsters may still appear scary to the target audience
  • the children character set appeared to target more of an adolescent market rather than 3-5 year olds (visuals appear a bit too old)
  • adding human characteristics to the animal onesie characters (which we originally intended to do) – however, the appear cute and a lot more like children

We intend to work over the next few weeks before our final submission on the feedback we have received.

Character Set Development

Over the past two weeks our focus for the application has been placed on the development of characters. In this time I have focus on development a set of characters that appear as a child dressed in an animal costume. This involved developing the characters face, and the costume it will appear in. I developed this idea off what I had carried out for my major project in CAGD390. At this stage of the project the characters I have developed are as shown below:

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However, at this point in time they lack features such as arms which is a trait required to undertake tasks presented across the different levels.

The first set Amber had developed were monsters:

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This idea developed off that of the previous years, however attempting to create visuals that are more appealing to the target audience by making them bright and colourful, and cute and friendly that are less ‘scary’ appearing.

The third set was developed by Amber and has so far consisted of two children.

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Research Project Development

In the previous post, I introduced my research task proposal which explores the present status of books and their growing irrelevance in the university environment. I have often questioned the reasons why students choose to purchase and view books digitally rather than physically or vice-versa. From my research, I hope to gain insight into the behaviours, attitudes and trends of students present within the university students environment, and the agents that contribute to this by focusing on the sample of current University of Wollongong students.

Over the past few weeks, I have refined the project and its accompanying research method by integrating feedback from students, academics and researchers. To accumulate qualitative primary research data I intend to distribute surveys and conduct interviews over the next two weeks. The use of surveys will enable me to obtain information from current University of Wollongong students on knowledge, attitudes, behaviours and behaviour intentions providing overall generalised and anonymous results using fixed questions. These will be conducted through Google Forms and distributed through social media, and educational platforms. Interviews on the other hand, will allow me to work directly with the respondent in an unstructured approach to gather present perspectives and attitudes towards technological advances as society begins to move away from books in their traditional written form and the impacts and/or benefits this has on individuals in their new form. Where available these will be conducted in person, or if unavailable over email.

My research project is effectively progressing as significant secondary research has been conducted surrounding the topic itself, and in relation to the university environment. With the survey ready to distribute over the next week I am looking forward to the responses that will be generated whilst taking into consideration all ethical guidelines. My project plan, communication plan and risk matrix have been completed to keep me on track with my progress and prevent and eliminate any potential risks.

I will be updating this site regularly so those who participate or express interest in the project can follow its progress, there will also be updates posted on twitter @katee_scott.

Research

After deciding to further develop ‘JumpStart’ we decided to have a look at children’s applications/shows etc. that are already available in the market today, particularly in the Apple App Store. This included educational apps already available to children, applications that portrayed specific graphic styles and contained elements we believe could be suitable to ‘JumpStart’, navigational elements and characters. At this stage we are looking at the flat vector graphic style of illustration, and determining ways we could apply this to appeal to the target audience.

Below is the competitive set, including exisiting children’s applications and shows that we looked at.

  • Yo Gabba Gabba
  • Fosters Home
  • Adventure Time
  • Hey Duggee
  • Peppa Pig
  • Toca Boca
  • Dumb Ways To Die
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  • rED Writing
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  • Endless Reader
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Here we also looked at different colour palettes, but we identified that colour palette gigantic which Amber found would be the most appealing to children due to it’s bright, fun and adventurous colours.
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It was within this week that we also identified other elements of the application that we would need to consider. These included: a rewards system, and character customisation.

Deciding On A Project/Defining The Selected

In order to begin researching and defining our project, Amber and I had to make a decision on which project we wanted to develop further for our final submission. Unsure which one to take on, we decided to take on the project ‘JumpStart’ which Grant briefed to the class. This involved working with clients on a previous project that had been developed by other students in CAOS206 2015.

After deciding we were going to work together in order to develop the ‘JumpStart’ project we outlined what is involved.

The project basically consists of character development for an immersive iPad application that would help children aged 3-5 years old learn about cognitive tasks and develop their skills.

Amber and I had both previously developed projects that heavily relied on illustration so we believed that this would provide great potential for us to further develop our design skills whilst applying them to a specified restrictions demonstrated through screen size etc.

Here we met with Grant and the client where we received a document that outlined the skills and levels that would be required to develop the app. We also had a look at the previous work, with the client outlining the goals of the application placing particular emphasis on the character development and how children in the target market would relate and interact with these.

Below is the clients outline of the application.

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Overview Of Previous Assessment

I entered the major project component of CAOS206 in a group with Amber. We thought we would work well together due to the fact that we has previously completed CAGD390 in the same class, both competent with illustration and design.

So here is an overview of my previous assessment task ‘Oust’ which worked as cleaning tool for Facebook users who aspired to improve their online presence. The intention behind the project being to increase employability and decrease regret. Below are some of the screens I developed as part of this:

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Research Proposal

Research Question: Is technology influencing university students to transition from physical books to digital books?

My research project is based on the present status of books in the university environment and their growing irrelevance. This is an investigation into the changing technology of books and reading, and the impact it is having now and may have in the future. My hypothesis suggests that “books are a dying phenomena”, and I am curious as to why students choose to purchase and view books digitally rather than physically.  This concept was formed as textbooks are becoming easily accessible in digital versions, with the idea first surfacing when the Department of Education began distributing laptops to year 9 students in 2009 with School’s Choice reflecting on how “the laptops are moving the classroom environment into the future.”

I hope to investigate the agents that contribute to this and reflect on how it has changed from past generations to now, and if the evolution of technology has played a major role in this.

For my primary research, I intend to use a variety of quantitative and qualitative methodologies including personal reflection, questionnaires (conducted through an online site used to determine preferences and reasons behind the choices of participants) and observation (consisting primarily of viewing actions in the university environment) which will be supplemented by extensive secondary research consisting of, but not limited to, newspaper and journal articles that I find relevant to the progression of the changing physicality of books. I intend to focus my primary research on university students, but will draw on secondary research outside of this.

While undertaking this research, I intend to integrate ­­all ethical considerations surrounding the data I plan to collect, as well as being conscious of the potential of any personal bias. I aim to respect the privacy of all participants ensuring I have their consent to share information and responses which they supply.

Through this research project, I hope to learn, understand and discover the debated role of books and technology in the university environment. Through both my primary and secondary research, I aim to broaden my understanding of the topic by reflecting upon it at a macro scale. I hope that this reveals the future of books and the impacts this will have on the lives and education of university students.