Research and working with information

Six Frames

When looking into research and different information we are encouraged think laterally about what we are taking in and how relevant it is to our brief, and how we direct our attention in a conscience manner.

We looked at breaking up the information that we gather into to categories to enable us to achieve clarity in our research to produce a piece of work that is clear and comprehensive. From Wendy’s workshop we delved into ways of research that took into account “six frames” taken off the back of Edward De Bono a brain training pioneer and author of the six thinking hats. A method that helps you to think laterally and outside of the box to achieve more effective results from our research.


Within this workshop instead of using that different hats, we discussed the use of symbols each with a different step to take when research our particular subject area.

  • Purpose – to think about the information that we are investigating. To think about What, Why and Where the information has come from.
  • Accuracy – Is it correct? How truthful is the information?
  • Point of view – Where has the source of the information come from? Balance out the point of view.
  • Interest – Is it broad or specific. How does it answer the need of the brief. Is there an  element of surprise that could be used within our design.
  • Value – Comprehensiveness. What is the value of the information. What has it given me? Does it help me to understand my purpose better, or has it created doubt.
  • Outcome – What are the next steps that can be taken from this research. Is it still relevant or clear?

I found this way of break down my research really helpfully. Better than the six hat way of tackling information that I have researched in the past. I wish that we had been shown this earlier on it the course, as it is a more concise way for myself of helping to myself to research and then carry forward what is relevant in the information that I have researched in the past. This is something that I will be carrying forward when all my briefs that I have in the future.


Me, Myself and I – Portfolio and CV

From a workshop that we took part in with Gareth Strange from design agency John & Jane, I came away with some good tips and guidance

  • Think of yourself as a brand
  • Expose your work better
  • Consider the order of your projects – use three solid project that stand out
  • Think about your values
  • Do something different

I decided to create a visual identify for myself as it is something that I had not done before. My email and university blog is under that name of Lambchops – taken from my last name of Lamb. This is something that Gareth seemed to think I should roll with. I designed a logo which would sit across my portfolio, CV, correspondence and online presence.





WCIA final website design


For the final design of this Website for WCIA I wanted it to look clean and concise, with not too much text, as the currently website if heavily cluttered. Which is something that is over powering in their website at the moment. I decided to use pretty much the same colours that were in their original website as I felt that they worked well as a colour palette, bright and cheerful. All the text was taken from their current website. I split the site up into four sub sections, though more could be added with the same layout as the others created. From the homepage from each subsection I envisioned that by clicking on the read more would take you into a more detailed page for the subjects which are “Get involved”, “Global Learning”, “Peace and Human rights” and “International development”

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The overall design of the website I like. Though could have played around with the layout a lot more. I think I have met the client brief and have worked to develop a design that is informative, clean and clutter free. I have tried to keep the user in mind at all times and remembered the variety of people that may use the site.


App Screens Perspective MockUpComputermockup

Charity Website Research


What strikes me is how similar they all are. Ignore the colours and photos and you’ll see that most of them follow the pattern of having a big ‘hero’ image or slider at the top, and the content conforms to an obvious grid – sections are usually full width or split into two or three columns.

This modular approach makes sense for many charities as it makes it easier to tweak the design and drop new rows of content in.

What they all have in common is the big hero images that dominate the home pages of the websites. Looking into it more, I got to thinking about what makes a good big hero image?

  • It’s got to add something to instantly telling your story, so something ‘metaphorical’ isn’t ideal.
  • Pictures of people, or a single person are more engaging.
  • Unless they’re animal charities, most charities are ultimately about people. Which is why photographing cancer research is likely to be pretty hard/boring, but Cancer Research UK do a great job of bringing their work to life by using photos of people.
  • A bit of eye contact with the subject in the photo is good.
  • The image should complement the words, not compete with them for attention.
  • What most of the charities here tend to do is to use a more hard-hitting ‘need’ photo for their fundraising/emergency appeals, but balance that out by using more positive photos the rest of the time.

Some examples that I found of really good Hero images:


Save the children has a really nice positive image, offset to one side which leaves a good amount of space for the text.


Action for aid has a more sober image that is used, with eye contact from the child in the photo, demonstrating the need for support.


This is an example of where the words and the focal point of the image perhaps compete with each other. They’re both centred in the screen so the words cover up the children’s faces. However it works well for this website, you get a sense of the desperation of the appeal.

This research has given me plenty to think about when it comes to design my own charity website. It seems that the image is important part of the initial look of the website and something that needs to be considered carefully.

ADZ5888 Reflective Writing – Field Review


I found this part of our course really enjoyable this year as apposed to last year as I feel that I’ve gained more new experiences, techniques and skills. Both of the field projects that I was able to use my skills that I have learnt whilst studying and have learnt skills that I would not have been able to if this was not part of the course.


Disobedient Objects

For my first field project I worked collaboratively with a Product Design student. The content of the project brief I found really interesting, I was able to explore and experiment with skills that are beyond my own discipline within Graphic design, such as the 3D printer, and laser cutting. We were asked to make a Disobedient Object which has a conceptual or material response to a political, social, or domestic situation. After ideation with my colleague we came up with an idea to make a robotic remote control finder, mainly because I have spent too much time wasted trying to find the remote control after the kids have had it.

To be honest it was a little ambitious of us as it involved, arduino programming, electronics, motors, laser cutting, all of which I had never done before and in a short period of time. with support and expertise from our lectures we managed to make a robot dog that moved, even though it had many teething problems but as a conceptual idea I feel that we produced a good piece of work for this project. The outcome its self was somewhat disobedient, I found it challenging trying to programme the legs of the robot to work harmoniously together, and was somewhat comical to watch it trying to walk across the studio floor.

Overall I really engaged in this project and have come away with skills that I would like to use in my own graphic design work. The coding and arduino programming is something that I feel would enhance some of my future work, with the possibility to creating interactive pieces.

Information is Power

This was a pie chart free zone!

We were encourages to think about data in a boarder sense and consider different visual systems and how they could be displayed. Working on a short project collaboratively and then individual with personally driven data used for our final outcome.

I could have pushed myself further in this project, and my time management was not the best. Even so I enjoyed the brief and acquired some new skills along the way. From my the pervious field project I took a interest in arduino programming and felt that I could incorporate this into my data project to make something which was interactive for the audience. I had undertaken some research into conductive paint and touch boards, which when you touch it would produce sound or light which  is something that I wanted to explore and this project gave me the capability to do so. After some research into viable data to choose I chose to collate data from the creative industries, which has been the biggest growing industry in the UK since 2010. Which made me think that as a nation we are becoming more creative as a whole and wanted to create something that celebrated this.

During the construction process I came across a few hurdles, the interactive paint and connections to the arduino and the touch board were temperamental and when it came to demonstrating the finished project it was not as receptive as it had been the day before. Learning from this in the future I will be taking a video of the finished result for presentation purposes. However there is so much potential with the use of conductive paint and can see myself using it in future projects with the possibility of using it for making screen prints.





Digital Me

Graphic Design is the last thing the world needs!


The final project for my second year is all about us as junior designers. How we perceive ourselves and our ethics. To get us think about what kind of designer we want to be. We undertook mini projects and workshops to help us to discover what we really care about and why? What is good design to ourselves.


From the workshop with Neil, we were able to see an insight to each others ethics as well as our own. The whole basis of this project was to help us create and develop our own creative brief, CV, website and portfolio, and getting us thinking about how we see our selves and the wider world was a good starting point.

For myself it will give me a chance to really think about what kind of designer I want to be when I graduate. There lots of talk around future facing design. Were designers are conscious of issues reflecting the rest of world, and are aware of their role within that. They initiate information inspire and create awareness. To be honest its is one of the reasons why I wanted to become a graphic designer in the first place. Im aware of the powerful impact that design has to influence and inform audiences, and I want to be able to use it for good!

With a shift that has been in transition within the design profession for some years now surrounding environmental and social issues, having an option on what we feel is good design is important. With designers considering how their designs influence and effect the world its is apparent that within the graphic design profession it is clear that this ethical position is important to many designers in the field and in the business and political world. But does taking the ethical route give you less employability, as you are likely to turn down jobs offers on ethical grounds. For myself I feel that maybe there is someway that you can have an influence on these companies or business and bring something new to the table. Its about challenging views and to influence for the better good. To be better served by being part of a community and helping each other.

I’ve alway thought that if you want to live a good life and do good in the world, you’ve got to be good to yourself first. This is something that I want to evolve into my work.  So good design will please my client, it will maybe help a product sell better, but most importantly it also improves life for everyone because it can be something that’s lovely in its own right. I hope to achieve this sentiment in my CV and creative brief.