Project 1: Grids
Holding it all together: Structure, System, Form
In collaboration with Julianna Bolivar and Jiyeon Chun.
Our group was introduced to Project 1: Grids; we were assigned to analyze the magazine Harvard Business Review. My role was to identify the consistencies and differences between the print and web mediums of the magazine.
As a group, we did a brief scan over the print issue we were given and places sticky notes on the wall, categorizing them into print, web, or both. Additionally, I took some notes regarding the different categories or elements our group noticed or wanted to pay attention to.
With these thoughts to guide our thinking, we chose some spreads and pages on the magazine and website to analyze the column structure. We also did some discussion on the presentation structure, color, and form. As a group, we found 3 main adjectives that described the purpose and appearance of the Harvard Business Review—sophisticated, informative, and practical. Each adjective represents an aspect of the magazine. The magazine feels sophisticated with its dense columns of text, simple yet elegant color scheme, and beautiful graphics and photographs. It is informative with its large collection of different topics and ideas that it provides the reader with. It is practical with these ideas being applicable in any manager’s daily life.
We came up with a simple color scheme that allowed us to keep our own creative voice but also create the sophisticated and formal appearance of the magazine. We used a neutral beige color as the background and subtle baby blue highlights.
I also did some analysis of the website to see how it would compare to the printed version of the magazine. I experimented with the columns of the website and noticed that there was a solid structure that the website took. It seemed to be separated into containers of different sizes.
I also looked at the CSS code of the website to identify the different parameters the website was following and noticed that there was an array of different containers present.
We had the dry run of our presentation today and received quite a bit of constructive criticism. The main takeaways were:
- Section headers, tying things back to the thesis.
- Making the hypothesis more clear.
- Talk more about the features.
- Pacing, and grid structure, explore more with the details and icons etc.
- Making things more readable* focus on this
- Mobile vs. web, the importance of mobile and whitespace etc. Most people reading on mobile.
- Changing the blue highlight.
- Spacing between images and type.
- Less on grids, more on hierarchy, features to help with engagement.
We needed to take more steps to bring out content together, especially focusing on the macro and features of our magazine. Our current version was too spread out and incohesive. There wasn’t a clear direction, leading to a very long-winded and unengaging presentation.
After taking into account the criticisms we received from the critique on Sunday, we directed our focus to refine our presentation and direction.
I worked on making the feature spreads, by creating animations, writing the script, and reorganizing the flow/structure of the presentation.
As a group, we wanted to shift our focus from the 3 adjectives that described HBR to the evolution of the brand through its organization and presentation of its content. We did this by focusing on the feature spreads.
These images are some quick screenshots of the animations I created for the presentation. I wanted to bring attention to some micro details within these large image spreads by increasing and decreasing opacity.
Our next steps are to further refine our script, finish the conclusion, cite sources, rehearse the presentation.
For preparation for today’s presentation, our group did a dozen dry runs of the presentation. We got down the transitions, animations, and pacing of the presentation. We also did some re-ordering of the slides to cut down the amount of time we were presenting for.
Though the presentation as a whole went pretty well, there were many things I wish I could do differently. First off, some of our presentation animations were not done correctly today, either too fast or too slow. Secondly, we were talking way too fast, mainly due to being nervous. Finally, I wish I had did even more practice reciting my script and being more familiar with what I was going to say because I was still stumbling over words.