Sunday, April 21, 2013

week twelve: first draft video

at this point, we're down to the end... this, i suppose, is my final process post about degree project. i present my final on monday! right now, i'm remixing the song to last the correct duration, and making some revisions to my screens and my film. i'm so excited about this project and so pleased with how it is turning out... it's an exciting feeling. i'm also really enjoying working in final cut, and intend to make lots more movies in my life now that i have gotten the hang of it!

an initial draft of the promotional video for my degree project, a social media website for people in long distance relationships.

as a conceptually relevant ldr sidebar, yesterday was david's & my 4.5th anniversary, and we're going to meet for dinner in des moines this evening, because we don't have time for a proper kansas city or galesburg visit. i realized that we've been "distanced" for 44 months... but not very many more! i'm proud of that, and proud of how this project is turning out. onward to the final version!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

spatial: monument concept & location

we began by considering the kinds of monuments we had seen and could think of, and the things they had in common. many seemed to have a large sense of grandeur, be formally abstract, and exist in tribute of something significant and potent.

we decided to see how we might come up with something that functioned a little differently. first, we thought of a monument to 'small things', to the unexpected and underwhelming. this led us to our concept: a monument to underdogs.

naturally, our instincts were to heighten the experience into a lofty structural representation. we thought of how little forms could interact with big forms, and related notions. but we kept thinking. what if our monument itself was an underdog, an unexpected experience? what if it seemed a little lighthearted, a little silly?

we turned to the underdog of humor: puns. our monumental experience is to put the viewer under a dog. 


it is our intention to propose a monument to underdogs in the west bottoms of kansas city, a location whose connotations are already in keeping with the unexpected & plucky idea of the underdog. we're thinking it should be built out of the same raw sorts of industrial materials that are already in the area, which we spent some time touring and examining.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

week eleven: filming & animating

this past weekend i had the pleasure of directing some very dear and agreeable studiomate actors in the footage i needed to get for my video. it was nervewracking all the way around, but i think it all came out pretty nicely and i'm excited to be stitching it artfully together to show to you! 

at the same time, i'm animating the actual website part of my video together in (mostly) keynote, to export and snip together. these processes mean i have a lot of things going at the same time! here's a little survey of all the places apart together is living on my computer right now.

vectors make for happy icons.

photoshop makes for pixelperfection and pretty screens.

keynote makes for dance-y interfaces.

final cut (is about to) bring it all together.

special thanks to ashley, eli, and jumper for the use of their lovely personages.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

week ten: development of screens

as listed on my self-made schedule, this week concludes the "ardent designing of screens." a few class periods ago, i had the most useful conversation with marty: she brought up the fact that i can, when i show this work, include my wireframes and site map to describe all the functionality while having a much shorter, more stylistic, and emotional video, rather than a clinical walkthrough of dozens of moments of interaction. here are examples of each of the kinds of screens i will be using in my video, with the repeats taken out. note: i'm still making changes and refining from the feedback i've been given! they aren't quite there yet, but here's some process.

after skipping the question, the first girl posts about how her boyfriend has just left town.

she receives support from the community through the comments.

here is a screen showing how the search functionality works, for text content and images.

the stream looks something like this.

users get to upload their own background image for their profile, explaining why this screen is the only with this image. the other backgrounds are pulled from a curated collection of softened, comforting, or related imagery, and stays the same while you navigate until you refresh the site.

the way the messaging system works, in this case, to offer mentorship.

this is the mood map, which you drag to find moods based on energy level and positivity.

i've also been talking to 'actors' to start shooting for the video asap. i'm excited about this. i feel like it's one of the most successful things i've worked on so far... i hope i can keep it up and finish strong!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

week eight: promotional video narrative

(i conducted some serious user research yesterday as i goodbyed my gentlemanfriend back up to illinois after slightly less than a day in kansas city.)

here is the narrative i'm going to be working with for my video. it is likely still too ambitious, but i think i have at least decided to make one video with a few different scenarios rather than four separate. i've also gone from four different personas to just two for the sake of shooting simplicity. 

a girl and a boy hold hands through a car window. he kisses her hand and drives away. she stands and watches his car, waving and wiping her eyes.

she opens her macbook and types.

the screen is shown with the together apart page. she skips the daily question and posts to the stream: "he just left. now to get through another six weeks…" and a message comes in. "i just dropped my girlfriend off at the airport. i think we live in the same part of town—wanna get some coffee so we aren't alone this afternoon?" she writes back "yes, please!"


a different boy enters a room with his phone ringing. he doesn't answer it. he sits down to his computer. it is ringing. he ignores it. a text comes through. he doesn't look. he turns the sound off, and it vibrates.

he asks a question: "my girlfriend cheated on me at a party. what do i do now?"
close ups on some answers: "dump her before she cheats again." "people make mistakes." "well, people make the same mistakes again." "maybe talk it out and work on boundaries?" "if it's worth it, you guys can work through it." "good luck with whatever you do!"

he takes a deep breath. the phone rings and he answers it.


the same girl is online. she looks at the feed and smiles a little.

sees, "do high school sweethearts ever really work out?"  she comments back: "so far, so good…" and visits this person's profile. she offers to mentor. "we split for college three years ago, and we're still going strong… i'm here if you ever want to talk."


the boy gets on the home page. he answers the daily question. 

his phone buzzes: a text says "i miss you."

he goes to the mood map. he clicks "hopeful."

apart doesn't have to mean alone.

Monday, March 25, 2013

spatial branding exploration

thanks to mr. kidwell for casually naming the exhibit "all things playful" during a process discussion.
playing with titles and subtitles.


a lockup.