Dissertation PDP

PDP Constellation Section

Within this dissertation I have experienced change, through the course of my ideas, and development in my work and outcomes. The dissertation itself has developed from the proposal, creating a more in depth creative piece of writing. After having discussions about the chosen dissertation, I have been able to develop my research, giving me the ability to create a good piece of design for the artefact. The artefact itself is another development for my design future. It has been a good development stage, given the opportunity to undergo a graphic design influential piece of work. It links back to my practice, helping me to create further work for my portfolio, developing my design knowledge experience.

My dissertation has come a long way from my original ideas. It has developed through the period of time on the creative piece of work. From the outset, I intended to create of piece of design work that was majorly based around the use of typography, showing how influential this element can be within design, and how it can be used in a persuasive manor. I had chosen this as it is seen by everybody, in everyday life across the world in all cultures and is known to be the most common way of communicating. This is what drew me into to be working with typography. I saw it as an opportunity to use this design in a way that could have the ability to change people’s behaviour, showing how it could be used more frequently throughout the design community. This was the biggest element to my dissertation that changed from the proposal to the outcome. I wanted to continue with the use of typography, but communicate more effectively through other design techniques, such as photography, layouts and balance. This enabled myself to have a development stages, both for the artefact and the creative piece of writing. For the artefact, I was able to get further research into persuasive design and what can become the biggest influences if used effectively and in the correct way. I was able to communicate better to people individually rather than targeting everybody as a whole. By doing this, it enabled me to create a visual experience for the user of the artefact. By connecting with people personally, I was able to have a greater impact on the people I was communicating to. By choosing to focus on this in the artefact, I was able to take my creative writing forward. It created a platform for me to develop my research into the persuasion and communication towards people, gather a better knowledge of how it can change their behaviour.


As I wanted to create something to go along my portfolio, I wanted to give an insight into what graphic design I have taken an interest in. By creating the book experience, I wanted to show off what I have learnt from previous subject and field topics. I have brought in knowledge from a former project I underwent with Ray in field, which was the Publish project. This had helped me to visualise blank space throughout a page and use it to communicate with the audience. It causes the reader to have more time to look at the important statement being made, allowing them to focus of what is being said from the images and typography. I underwent a similar project at level 4, using typography and layouts to communicate in a visual aesthetic way, which is easy to read and understand without any causes of confusion. With these two projects, using layouts and communicate images with text on a page is a regular occurrence in design. It is something I have worked with for a long period of time and I was able to show this off through some of the layouts I provided for the artefact, and for the development stages for the artefact. It was very important to me to try and show this throughout the artefact, as it hasn’t enabled me to develop my work further and learn more from the outcomes. I have gained knowledge from this, but also in creating a design book with the intention of changing people’s behaviour whilst viewing it has given me additional experience in creating for a user. This is the most important element in design to consider as these will be the people who are using the end product. It must communicate and work effectively with the user in order for the work to have an impact and change the users behaviour about the design work.


Development Stages

Creating these logos led me into communicating them through using this mapping system. I placed them over the lines indicating the path towards a journey, in this case from the new community hub to the Gaer stores. They were spread across the map accordingly to where they were in the area. This was able to tell the residents where about on their journey these points of interest would be. By doing this, I am trying to a sense of belonging within the community. It is giving them security of where they are and a reminder of what the community has to offer.first journey map


I went on to create a simple and more detailing map of the surrounding area. Chessy, my mentor, gave me guidance that I needed to elaborate and focus on giving the residents a sense of belonging. This would make them feel more included when outside out their homes and in the community. It would also give them a better knowledge of the area that surrounds them. Adding more points of interest in the wayfinding system will have the ability to give a better sense of belonging. It can help the elderly residents who don’t not have the best memory and also people who do, but want to find something that is not directly indicated on the map. I had to educate myself of the surrounding area knowing what the residents might want to know and where they could find them. These could be anything from the pub to a particular area of Derwen properties.

From doing this development it become clear to me that to create this sort of style way finding system for the Gaer community,  I needed to proceed with the development of the portrait map would communicate in the most effective way. I decided to develop this further and refine this to work for the community.


For this map to contain more of a message I create some icons to be included. This would be showing the points of interest that these residents and visitors want to have a knowledge of before committing to a journey. I tried to keep these as simple as possible and use the map to highlight where they would be. I choose four icons to start form, choosing a bench, a bus stop, a parking sign and a zebra crossing. These are what I thought might be of interest to the people who use the Gaer community. To start, I kept the symbols black and very simple with experimentation to come. From making these I wanted to get a better knowledge of how these icons would sit within the map I created, and what impact they would have on the viewer.

Initial Development

After taking my initial drawings forward, I started to illustrate them. I wanted to keep the users of my work in mind and think through the development stages ‘will this be assessable for the residents?’. It needed to be kept simple and easily understandable so these residents will be happy to use the wayfinding system. I kept my initial idea of using simple traffic light colours to represent the gradients of the surrounding area. I felt that this was easily understandable and relatable to the users of the wayfinding system. When researching people with dementia, I found that using recognisable objects within design can help communicate a message easier. I tried to relate this system to what research I found on dementia.

Untitled-3Simple scale journey

At this point in the project I was still experimenting with what layout I should be using to communicate this kind of message. I had drawn 2 different styles the map indicating gradient of the surrounding area. One was portrait which is a more realistic view on a map, and the other spread out across landscape paper. I wanted to keep using both to see how communicating the message of the gradients of hills in the Gaer community would compare against each other.


From my research, I wanted to continue with the idea of using a mapping system that will be assessable for the Gaer community. I wanted to create a mapping system that would be useful for the residents and communicate in a simple and easy way. This led me to thinking about directions and how I could help communicate the area to residents and visitors. I initial started to draw out my own journey to university, taking 3 different journeys off Google maps – walking, cycling and driving. This gave me 3 different shapes and 3 different journeys. From doing these quick and simple designs, I was able to give myself a better understanding of how simple directional design could look to a viewer.

(insert journeys maps to uni)

My next stages were to communicate more detail within the map and apply it to the Gaer community area. From this point onwards, I had to investigate what would communicate the best to these residents, and what would be the most appropriate source of information. I had many ideas that I could incorporate into these maps, ranging from distances that residents and visitors might need, gradients of hills in the areas and possible points of interests that residents/visitors would want to know about.

I took my drawings into more detail and started to show how I might possibly use them. I experimented with different colours representing gradient, giving the residents a better sense of the environment that is around them. They would be able to get a better knowledge of a particular journey that they were keen it travel. This could also be helpful with people who have dementia. It can be shown as a reminder about the journey and what preference of travel this person may want to take. Another element I wanted to include within this map was using icons to represent areas. This would be to show the residents, and also visitors to the area, an understanding of the area and how they are assess areas within the community. I decided thatI wanted to communicate the most important values to these residents. Some being bus stops, benches, parking areas and any point of interest in the near by area.

From client briefing, I was very interested in the use of something interactive. The clients mentioned to us that they were very keen to create something that could be used by the residents. This made me think about what I had been already creating with the journey maps. I started to think how I could incorporate my work into something that the residents could interact with. I thought about using Arduino and how that could be used within the new community hub. This made me think about how I could possibly change the initial still image maps into moving image. This could then be taken forward and used with Arduino to make something interactive with the residents.




Initial Research

When conducting my research, I wanted to give myself a better understanding of what I was going to do. I started to think about mapping, and how this can be used in a way that these residents of the Gaer community could use it adequately. I had a lot to consider, from sensitively from glare of screens too people with dementia will avoid pattered work as is it too confusing for their brain to process the information. These factors made research hard to conduct and a proper investigation into this subject area was needed. I started off by giving myself a better understanding of the people I was going to creating a wayfinding system for. This enabled me to widen my knowledge of design for elderly and with people who have visual impairments.


After reading more into the subject, I was able to give myself a better sense of what was already out there in the design world. I say with my initial idea of using maps, and how I can use them for directing the people of the Gaer community. I started to look at Bristol wayfinding system around their city. These are supposed to be directional, giving everyone who lives in the city access to quick and easy directions. It was good to see how they underwent this project as they were designing for the whole community, which includes people with dementia, and also elderly people as well as all other ages. After giving myself a better understanding of my brief and who I was designing for, I was able to be critical with these design work. I do not think that this wayfinding system will be appropriate for the Gaer community. My reading informed me that people with dementia have trouble with patterns and cluttered areas, and they will easily ignore wat they have seen. Also, the wayfinding system in Bristol is covered in many dark areas. This would not be ideal to use as people who have dementia see dark areas, such as shadows or blocked colours as holes in the ground (or on a board in this case) and will easily lose interest or avoid what they have seen. This gave me a good understanding of what I can try and avoid when starting to tackle the brief of a wayfinding system.

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I also looked at other wayfinding systems such as London underground and Norway’s national park Snohetta. These were 2 very good examples to look at before designing my initial ideas. I looked at London underground as it is a beautiful piece of design done by Harry Beck that has been applied across the world. It is great to look at how he has used colourways to give the reader a much easier read and give them a better understanding of a very confusing piece of design. Harry Beck had taken something with great complication and stripped it down to its simplistic form. I thought that this could relate to who I was design for, as I do not want to over confuse these people and give them the best experience I could. The Snohetta wayfinding system is a lot more playful. I included it in my research as I think is a very good ay of attracting people to a particular area and getting them interested in what is in front of them. It shows interest and gives people a point of interest to go to and see what is being offered. This could potentially be applied to the Gaer community.1.moodboard pres_Page_04.jpg

Research Pres2_Page_2Research Pres2_Page_3




Creating an inclusive wayfinding system.

“How could creating an inclusive wayfinding system look, and how could it engage and encourage participation amongst residents and visitors?”


The challenge for this project is to create a wayfinding system for Gaer Community. The primary focus of this brief is to promote active ageing and independent living. The target audience is residents aged at 55 and over. The challenge for this project is to create a wayfinding system for Gaer Community.

Within our group we decided to tackle this brief in 4 different ways, all working together collaboratively making the final outcomes have some similarity. However, we each worked on our individual outcomes creating a piece of work worthy of portfolio use. These 4 outcomes all have the ability to work together which creates one big wayfinding system for the new community hub and the Gaer community area.

When having a talk early on in the project with Amanda, we were informed about what to consider when designing for elderly people. Initially I didn’t think there would be many difficult factors that apply to designing for elderly people, however I was informed with information that we had to consider when tackling this brief. I was able to gather a much better understanding of what was needed through this talk as I learnt that 64% of elderly people have a visual impairment, 20% of people over the age of 75 have dementia and that housing is designed for people who are aged between 18-40 which is not ideal for elderly people. There were many factors, like these, that we needed to be considered which challenged me early on in the project. I was forced to think differently about the design process and my initial ideas would need refining to meet their requirements.

The client briefing gave me a much better understanding of who we were going to be designing for. We were able to gather a better sense of who these people were, what kind of people will be using the new facilities and most all, what the client, Derwen, wanted from the active aging programme they were indulging in. From this active aging programme, I took from the client briefing a better understanding of the residents – who they were, what the age boundaries were and what they wanted from the area; a better understanding of the increase of health and wellbeing; more information on how Derwen are benefitting the residents and better sense of the evidence that will impact the quality of life for these residents.