Sunday, 11 December 2011



  • What problem did you identify?
  • Our group originally got put together because we had the 'food/cooking' topic, after narrowing down our options our problem became 'How to cook an affordable and time saving meal' which then changed to 'how to save time and money at Christmas' but after researching and spending the first week making design sheets and mock ups, we went to the crit and our 'how to...' changed direction.  We combined the Christmas holidays into our project and it eventually became 'How to cook a stress free Christmas dinner.'  After the crit it became clear that we were trying to cover too much, and our focus was too broad, it was also highlighted that the two things we were trying to address in our 'how to...' were contridicting eachother, because to save money you had to waste time, so we decided in the end time was more valued this time of year and thats how are 'how to...' became 'how to make christmas dinner less stressful'

  • What evidence did you find to support your decisions?
  • Originally we researched student recipes, tips on how to budget as a student, tips on how to save time, time saving recipes etc.  However after the crit we changed direction and researched: tips on a stress free christmas dinner, planning a christmas dinner, Christmas recipes, price comparisons of Christmas food, a questionaire about Christmas dinner, blog conversations about christmas dinner and the stress that comes with it.  We also looked at info graphics and found some interesting ones to do with Christmas to help us progress further with our ideas.

  • What methods did you use to gather your evidence and what forms did it take?
  • Throughout the whole project I used various methods to make a body of research in order to create the final designs, I made two questionaires with my original 'How to make a curry' which helped me to discover more about peoples preference on certain cuisine etc.  I made a questionaire about Christmas dinner to try and see what people would find most helpful.  I looked at websites with basic christmas recipes, blogs where people wrote about the stress of Christmas dinner, statistics about the cost of Christmas dinner, websites about tips on making it stress free etc.  Looked at layouts of previous recipe cards to get an idea for our desgins.

  • (categorise your research using terms primary, secondary, quantitative and qualitative)
  • survey, questionaire-Primary
    photographic documentation of me making a curry, ('how to make a curry')- Primary
    research on tips for a stree free christmas dinner, research on lay out, research on basic christmas recipes-Secondary
    facts on Indian cuisine-secondary,quantitative.
    Blog converstaions on The Guardian Christmas Dinner Blog- Qualitative, secondary

  • What methods of research did you find useful and why?
  • The questionaire helped get an insight into the stress of christmas dinner, also looking at secondary quantitative research of peoples opinions on blogs and chat forums helped because it was an insight into real opinions of the situation.  Things that helped to build the foundations of research helped get a better understanding of the topic in hand, so all the secondary research on the interent.  The secondary research of other peoples tips on how to make it less stressful and recipes were the most useful because they ultimatley gave us the inspiration to create the final design.

  • How did these inform your response to your problem?
  • It made the issues of what we needed to address clearer, finding out what was stressful helped us to recognise what we could do to help with the Christmas dinner being less stressful.  I feel as a group we had quite a broad range of research that helped us to make informed decisions about our final design, we could of done more primary and secondary quantitative research, although are 'how to' questions relied more on the results of qualatitive research.

  • What research could you have carried put that would have proved more useful?
  • More quantitative research would of helped, although the nature of our 'how to' relied more on qualitative research.

  • What methods did you encounter as problematic?
  • I think for the first week of the project we weren't quite sure what single idea we were going to stick with, we were generating loads of different ideas that all linked in some way but I feel like we took too long getting all our ideas together and deciding and maybe if we'd discovered what 'how to' we were doing from an earlier stage we could of focused more on the final design of the idea.  Format, I think, was quite a hard thing to address, because we were aware that we didn't want to make something, that when distributed, would just be glanced at and thrown away  We eventually decided to go with an ordered set of recipe cards that told you step by step how to make a traditional Christmas dinner, on one side of the card would be the ordered step and on the reverse the recipe to make the certain dish at the certain time.  We also wanted to incorperate a more comical aspect to the design because, originally, this was the idea but we realised if it was purley comical tips it would serve no real purpose.  Some of the 'joke' tips we included such as 'have a liquid lunch' or 'convert to another religion' were placed on one recipe card at the back of the pack.  If it wasn't for time we would of ideally liked to have the recipe cards ring bound at the top so you could flip through in chronological order and make it stand so it was easier to read whilst cooking.
    Possible design ideas:
    We all made possible designs for the recipe cards, we decided to go with Lizzis in the end.

    For the final designs we decided to go with typical festive colours, red and green, and also a light pink, we also used two quite contrasting typefaces, a bold eye catching one (bebas neue) used with a more classic and feminine font.  The overall design is quite simple, this is because we wanted it to appeal to a wide range of audience and so a simple, yet eye catching, intriguing design would attract a wider range.  Too much information wouldn't appeal at first glance, the illustrations are basic yet festive, which I think works nicely.

  • How did you overcome this?
  • We overcame the format by just having them displayed as recipe cards in order, with a sleeve that keeps them all as a set.  Because we didn't know how to combine the humorous tips with the real tips and recipes we were going to leave the comical aspect out but we decided they could still be used just on a seperate card as a final joke in the pack.

    I feel the final design suited the 'how to...' problem, I think it was appropriate, in terms of visual design, for the Christmas period and suitable for the target audience and the supermarkets where it would of been distributed.  I feel like it effectively solved the problem and communicated well, the end design provided a stylish, compact and informative guide on how to make Christmas dinner less stressful.  I feel as a group we worked well, as an individual I feel I could of given more in terms of mock up designs, because I'm not as advanced on illustrator it takes me longer to design some quick designs.

    List five things that you have learnt about the design process over the last two weeks:
    -That thorough and well constructed research helps to make practical and informed decisions about the brief
    -Research is an important starting point for any brief 
    -A variety of research (quantitative, qualitative, primary, secondary) always helps to broaden ideas and enables you to work more with the body of research
    -The more research you have the more informed you will be
    -It is vital to draw up design sheets and mock ups to get a clearer idea of your final design
    List five things you would do different next time:
    -Spend more time on the final design
    -Collect more quantitative primary research 
    -Decide on a final idea quicker, so we have more time to develop the final design
    -Find other sources, other than the internet, for secondary research
    -Use time more efficiently 

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