This semester I developed a brand name, logo, word mark, visual system and branding system for my thesis project: OctoEd-Middle School Virtual Learning Platform. I created user flows and task flows for my UX design and developed wire frames and working prototypes for my platform, which were also user tested by individuals in my focus group. From there I began to apply my visual system to my wire frames and started developing a user friendly and intuitive learning platform. I also designed and applied my visual system to the student materials kit packaging, planner, laptop cover, pens, and mouse. It was a challenging semester. I got a slower start than anticipated but I think I got a lot accomplished in designing my visual system and brand as well as getting user feedback. Applying the visual system is slow moving, but each iteration shows improvement in the visual system and the usability of the deliverables.
Overall I am extremely happy with my progress so far this semester, however I can see how very far I still have to go. I am only at the beginning still and have a lot of iterating, rethinking, and user testing to go. I plan to re-think my direction with the learning platform and make sure that I am really addressing the most important challenges for middle school learners while providing an engaging and age appropriate solution. I also still need to narrow down the focus of the platform to something a little more manageable. I have simplified some of my goals with the learning platform this semester. My number one focus is to provide students with an inclusive space where they can feel connected to teachers and peers as well as easily navigate and have minimal distractions so that their primary focus can be on learning and being part of a classroom environment. I originally planned on designing the teacher side of the platform, but I removed that from my goals.
This summer I plan on taking a Strategies for branding course so that I can increase my user experience and design a platform that appeals to my audience of middle school learners. I want to continue refine and developing the learning platform to reduce extraneous pages and elements and really focus on my main goal for middle school students. In the fall I will be taking a packaging course so that I can improve my presentation and packaging skills. I will be working on the UX for my thesis throughout the summer.
MFA Graphic Design Student at Academy of Art University of San Francisco (on-line)