What went well during this project
Celine, Ultan and I had never worked together before. In the first introductions, we discussed our backgrounds. Ultans is research, Celines is marketing, recently stepping into a user experience role. Our class is largely visual communication graduates, so I was looking forward to the diverse team and how this would contribute to our project. My anxiety about joining a new team dissipated, I looked forward to working with my new team.
In our first brainstorming session in an online collaborative tool (we used Miro), it became apparent quickly that the three of our group members had similar interest areas. We researched future trends individually, then grouped our ideas by themes, dot voting on the topic we had the most interest in. It felt very fair, I believe each of us was satisfied with the decision to go with it our chosen signal of emerging technology in augmented reality (AR) and wearable realm.
We all showed great interest in dystopian universes and empathetic computing and the technologies around these. I had done some work mocking up dashboards measuring sensorial ques for simulation training, and concept mocks ups for future technology. So it felt appropriate to use these for our reference, I felt I could contribute a lot from my experience.
We adopted a very agile approach early on, our chosen topic slightly morphed from one thing to another quite seamlessly through discussions and further research. This morphing heightened the quality of our idea as we didn’t need to retrofit the rest of our project to suit what we had first chosen. Unfortunately, it also meant that a lot of work we had produced did not make it into our project.
What did not go so well
Other commitments meant we put a lot of work on the long finger, with each of us being polite and agreeable meant we were stuck for time towards the end. We never made a schedule or timeline and were perhaps a little too vague with our next steps. We made a team charter together and agreed we would rotate it weekly. That was the first and last time the team charter was mentioned.
When it came to the prototype we decided as a group to use stock footage and compile it in After Effects (AE). None of us had much video experience but I had done a number of AE projects and albeit my skills are basic, I knew I could deliver a video to match our storyboard.
This meant that my time was largely taken up with the creation of our concept video, which was both a strength and a weakness for me as I really enjoyed this and upskilled but my After Effects skills are quite basic so the outputted video took a long time and the quality was not what I had ambitioned. Other parts of my work suffered and I regret not managing my time better to accommodate this, however, my naivety in video production meant I did not.
We brushed over the ForthWall branding in the beginning. Being a highly visual person I knew it was missing and came back to this later in the project to create a logotype and some brand identity elements to use. This should have been addressed earlier in the project and perhaps a group brainstorming session to identify a branding mood board would have been highly valuable.
What I have learnt
I have learnt some valuable teamwork basics:
- Always keep an individual backup of files, sharing files can be easily edited or lost between all of our tools used
- Always agree on where and how to store and share files from the beginning
- Estimations of tasks benefit greatly
- Check-in regularly with your team to ensure alignment
- Create an in-depth storyboard and stick to it, changes to be discussed and agreed by all in an appropriate timeline
- Ensure the time of tasks are estimated and then documented
- Separate these tasks by components, the quality is in the attention to detail
- Test software, exports and iterations
- Test presenting everything from start to finish
- The importance of research to solve a problem efficiently, rather than retrofitting to a cool idea
- The importance of research to solve a problem efficiently, rather than retrofitting to a cool ideaForthWall Branding
Overall, our presentation went smoothly and our personalities worked well together throughout the project, I really enjoyed working with Celine and Ultan, I learnt a lot from them and now we have a really interesting project together to take away from this experience. My team were continuously praising throughout the project, which boosted morale and we were generally positive throughout the process, I hope I produced a video they are happy to put their name to.