Lots of little ideas

I took some time to think of different areas and topics I would be interested in covering for my FYP. We were asked to write twenty single line descriptions for our FYP without mediums. Below are my twenty ideas.

  1. Teaching people how to bake.
  2. How to begin and stay track of a fitness journey that suits your goals
  3. Social media and it’s affect on our generation
  4. How technology helps shape our lives
  5. Awareness of mental health and how to deal with it
  6. The danger of texting while driving and it’s implications
  7. Using the internet and how to be smart and safe online
  8. Helping students with their first year of college
  9. The cruelty of animals in aquariums and marine parks
  10. Smart home technology: changing how we live at home
  11. Introducing positive body image into our generation
  12. Dealing with and relieving stress as a student
  13. One stop place for fashion & beauty
  14. Growing up in a technology centered generation
  15. Bringing meditation and calmness into people’s daily lives
  16. Stereotypes in modern society
  17. Beauty hacks for women
  18. A guide for commuters and students moving away from home
  19. Telling the story of being in a 21st century romance
  20. A tourist’s guide to Ireland

Out of my twenty ideas, these are the three I like the most:

  1. Mental health – I am really interested in the topic of mental health. It is extremely important and I feel it still needs to be emphasised on as it is not spoken about enough. Using this topic, I have the ability to touch on many areas such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and much more. Creating a project that not only raises awareness of mental health but also helps people who are sufferers to deal with it would be very interesting and fulfilling.
  2. Fitness – Over the summer I became intrigued with fitness, exercise and healthy eating. However, I found it hard to figure out what exercises I should be doing to reach my goal & what I should be eating. Doing a project on this will help me learn this for myself and for others who are also stuck.
  3. Technology/social media – I’ve always been interested in technology, as like pretty much everyone else, I spend a lot of time on social networking sites. I’ve always liked the topic about how it affects our lives, from body image, self confidence, to addiction and how technology has become so important to us.

 

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Backwards Process

I am about to begin brainstorming for my FYP. However, I’m having a slight problem: I cannot think of anything I want to do. My process of thinking of an idea is backwards –  (the way we were advised not to think of an idea) I’m thinking of the medium, not the topic. I have spent the last few days thinking/worrying about the project and all I can really think of is the medium – a branding project, an app, a website, something to do with design, etc. But it’s the topic that I am struggling with. What am I really passionate about that I could learn and inform others about through my FYP? I don’t want my FYP to be based on something boring and that I’ll get sick of in months to come.

During our lab last week, I had baking in mind as it is one of my hobbies that I have loved and enjoyed for years. It’s interesting to me, but is it others? It’s not the most exciting topic in the world, and may only appeal to a very small amount of people.

Possible areas of work

The key areas that I will be comfortable working in are:

Web Design / Graphic Design / Branding / App Design & Development

Web Design

From the beginning of the course, I have always enjoyed web design and have been comfortable with coding HTML & CSS. I’m attracted to this area as I feel it’s a good area to get into – everyone these days has a website so it’s a good area to get into. Styles of web design have changed over the years as well so it’s also a changing industry.

Graphic Design / Branding

Web design was always my main area I wanted to work in but as I have progressed in the course, I began to love graphic design and I am starting to enjoy it more than web design. Graphic design covers a wide range of areas, and includes branding, which we only started doing last year. We had to work with a client and create a brand for them, and it was when we did that assignment that I really started to think about doing graphic design after I get my degree. I also loved learning about design – the history, the principles, and other things like colour, typography, etc. Doing my final year project in the area of design will be a great portfolio piece for getting a future job.

App Design & Development

We have only started the App Design & Development module this year, and before we started it I had never really thought about using an App as a medium for my project. However, after some thought, I think it would be a good area to get into – smartphones are more popular than ever now, and all use apps, so it’s a very “current” area to get into. I feel I am comfortable enough with my coding skills (especially in HTML & CSS) to be able to develop an app, and I will be learning how to design and develop one throughout our module this semester. It will be also a new experience for me, as I have already done many web and graphic design projects throughout the last 3 years. It will be good to experience something new and I will learn a lot along the way and it will build my coding skills. The finished app will be a good portfolio piece for me if I wanted to get a job in that area.

Also, if I ever wanted to do a Master in Digital Media or Design after I graduate or in a few years, any of these three areas mentioned would be extremely beneficial.

There is also a possibility that these three areas could be combined into one Final Year Project – a website, an app that goes along with the website, and also branding for the website/app.

What I like about each of these areas is that there are so many possibilities and ideas that can use these as mediums for my project.

 

 

A self analysis of my course related strengths and weaknesses

1. What are my strengths as a digital media student?

I feel like my main strengths lie in design – web design and graphic design. It’s what I love most and are my favourite parts of the course. Out of the two, I prefer graphic design & branding. Another strength I would have is coding, especially HTML & CSS. I am not completely comfortable with JavaScript & PHP, but I know a small bit about each from previous modules. Also I feel like after completing the Digital Marketing module last year, marketing is a strength of mine and it was something I really enjoyed.

2. What am I not strong on and why do I think that is the case?

I am not strong on film. I believe this is because I don’t really like it. If I enjoyed it more, I feel like I would work harder on it and in turn, would be better at it. I feel with film, it’s extremely technical – there are a lot of things you must get right – shots, framing, sound, etc. Also, it’s all about opinions with film, someone may think your film is great while others may think it isn’t. There is a lot that goes into film and if you do one or two things wrong, it can easily change how good the final film is. Not saying that I’m not going to do a film because it’s the easy way out, I just feel the technicalities and all the things that go into making a good film wouldn’t seem to be so bad if I actually enjoyed shooting and editing films. I came into this course being iffy about films and I hoped that it would change, and I have made some good video pieces but I’m still not mad about film.

Another area that I feel I’m not strong on is making games. I did enjoy making them but the process and the difficulty of it put me off making them again, and also lead to my choice of choosing Digital Marketing over 3D Environments in 3rd year.

3. Are there any weaknesses that I could / should address through my project?

I feel like I could use my weakness/dislike of creating games and address it in my project by using it as the medium for my project. I did enjoy it previously but it was a lot of hard and difficult work, however it could be a good way to improve my skill dramatically and also give myself another area that I could have a career in. Also, I could include small videos in my project that will help improve my filming skills but also won’t be just about film so it would be a good balance.

I could improve my coding skills in JavaScript & PHP by incorporating these into my project, depending on the medium I decide to use.

4. Are my skills leading towards an area that I want to work in?

Yes, my web & graphic design, branding and marketing skills definitely lead towards the area I want to work in. Design has always been the number one area I want to work in when I get my degree, but as the years have progressed I learned about branding and marketing and I really enjoyed them, so they are other areas I would like to work in also.

Project Idea Exercise

Yesterday, we had a 2 hour lab for our Final Year Project. We broke up into groups of 3 or 4 people, and were given a set of tasks to help us generate project ideas based on certain topics or circumstances.

The first task was to think of the “greatest creative project that involves cows” – yes, cows. We all looked at each other and thought, what is creative about a cow?  We had 10 minutes to think of one idea. We began to rack our brains for anything at all that would involve cows, and by the end of the ten minutes, we only had one idea and it wasn’t great. Instead of telling everyone our idea(s), Daniel asked each group how many ideas we each had. A few had only one, and others had 5+. He then gave us two minutes to think of 30 ideas – so we tried to think of anything at all, no matter how stupid it was, just to have 30 ideas. When time was up, we only had 11 – most were rubbish, but we came up with a few decent ones. Each group shared their ideas and it was safe to say that ours wasn’t the greatest – but the task of trying to think of 30 ideas in a short amount of time was very helpful, it made us get the stupid ideas out of our heads first and then finally start thinking of good ones. It’ll be a really good way to try to think of ideas for our project.

The next task was to think of a project you want to do before you die, where time, resources and money are no issue. Each member of the group has to explain their idea, and then we all chip in and help add to the idea. My idea was to create a baking app with a brand & website. We all shared our ideas, and afterwards, Daniel questioned a few of us why we chose that medium and why it would be the best one to use. Next, we had to create a statement for the project without stating the medium, and then share it with the class. Again, Daniel helped us out & told us how to make the statement stand out more, how to make it shorter, etc. Finally, we had to talk in our groups about what mediums would be best for our idea and then share them again. It was also a very helpful task and will be of great help when we’re thinking of FYP ideas.

Overall, it was a really great session and I learned a few things about brainstorming ideas for the project and project statements. Now for next week I have to have an idea, so no doubt it’ll be a busy week trying to rack my brain for worthy ideas!

 

 

First day back and I’m scared already.

Monday was our last “first day” back of college. It’s crazy to believe I am in fourth year – the years have just flown by. As per usual, we were given a lecture about what to expect this year. Our final year project is a major part of the year, and from the past projects we were shown, the standard is quite high.

Now it’s time to begin scrambling my mind for ideas. I’m definitely set on going down the graphic/web route, but it’s finding a really good idea that I think will be the most difficult.

Although it’s only the first week, I really need to get my head stuck in as I don’t want to be behind in my work.. It’s final year so I have to work hard. Safe to say, I’m a little frightened but excited to see what this year brings!