Sunday, 27 February 2011

Finger painting developed

I found this video from the constant posterous emails Shaun sends us but it could be a turning point in exploration of my research project. The stylus cap is everything in terms of functionality that artists I have interviewed are looking for. It mimics real life drawing through the attaching a cap to an every day pen. It allows concepts to be drawn out quickly and altered quickly. It can also be a key tool to a design agency as the concepts can be send on quickly for effective, instantaneous communication.

The design of the cap gives the user control for a more precise drawing than using your finger tip as it can be too chunky to create detail.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Google app inventor

Google app inventor makes it easily accessible to create app for the android phone. So far I don't think it is possible to make an art app however it seems like a good tool to experiment with for the interface. It is highly based on functionality that leads the user through the stages of basic-component- defining properties.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

What do the audience want from User Interfaces?

The link above describes steps to creating a IOS app, of which I think can be transfered to android UI design as well. So far it has guided me in getting started with what the audience need/want from a UI. I have also been referring back to my previous artefacts for information that young artists need to create artwork through apps.

Tasks/ protential features that users might be interested in:
  • Creating line, tone, texture etc (formal elements)
  • Range of colours
  • Range of brushes
  • rubber
  • Different backgrounds that replicate different paper textures
  • Using layers
  • Importing photos as backgrounds
  • being able to sketch
  • simple interactions to create the artwork
  • create range of graphics
  • easy to find/use navigation
Who are the users?

Young artists in education between 18-21years

What features are they looking for?
  • Play game apps as they find them more enjoyable
  • Used to social networks
  • Used to traditional tools
  • Used to photoshop
Streamlined or thematic style?

Generally games have a thematic style and art apps are more streamlined so I think it would be more beneficial to have a streamlined interface because it won't distract the target audience from the purpose of the art app.

What do they want to accomplish? Serious or entertainment? Most art apps don't have an entertainment factor so the audience gets bored and frustrated quickly as they are trying to purely work with the functions of the app. I think young artists would benefit form an art app merged with game as they could learn different skills at each level therefore getting a sense of achievement.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Final Mock!!!

This morning I had a meeting with Wish upon a star to get opinions about what mock-up they want as their final website and the image above was their final choice! Their was response was very good. They felt that it represents their charity as through the illustrations the audience automatically know what the website is about. The sky also stick with the colours of their branding (dark blue and white). The balloon was one of the main features that everyone loved as they felt that it represents the giving of wishes. However I am going to experiment with the text and colour of the balloon to see what stands out. At the moment everyone at the charity prefers the stripes to the red balloon, although it may be a bit difficult to read.

My plan of action to move the project along is to:
  • Produce a site map of pages we know about so far including 'parent' and 'child' pages and assess the design requirements of those pages. We don't have to design every page but we have to make provision for certain page designs such as the event map(s) (which we didn't talk about) and layout for 'standard' pages.
  • Produce HTML / CSS for home page and alternative page(s)
  • install modx and link it to the database, upload your HTML, CSS and design elements.

Sunday, 20 February 2011


On feedback from ibrow media (wish upon a stars current web developer) I have made a few alterations so that the website can be up-dateable easily by Wish upon a star.
  1. Made the banner smaller so there more room for content
  2. made the balloon smaller so more room for animation
  3. added a plane with a banner so there's more space for navigation to advertise links when needed.
  4. Only put one picture in the banner so that it doesn't have a 'wide screen' affect. Taken away the blue so it doesn't separate the information from the picture.
I intend to draw my own plane and banner to make it fit in with the rest of the design but for the moment I have placed this image in to see what the clients response is in order to save time.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Final Mock-up???

After a meeting with both Wish upon a star and their current web developer I have come up with this final mock-up made from feedback from both of them. The balloon was an essential that wish upon a star wanted to keep, whilst Chris Fickling at ibrow media (Nottingham) suggested blending the background with the banner by creating some sort of 'sheet' with a news ticker that was tied between two trees.

The only other change I might make is to put the widgets amongst the trees to complete the animated balloon. However so far wish upon a star have liked the widget being at the bottom of the page.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Artefact Two Evaluation

The aim of artefact two was to find out what applications on either the android or IOS system that artists are attracted to, to create artwork. I have chosen to observe a focus group of artists using drawing apps and completing a questionnaire to gain an understanding of what factors that they connect to whilst using the device in order to create artwork. As well as how they create the artwork I was focusing on each devices functionality and usability as components towards the application and devices successful.

A prominent factor throughout the course of the study was that artists choose the android phone first and that sketcher was the most popular app. This is was because the application was self explanatorily therefore the user assumed that it was easy to use. Also the artists that choose IOS applications first preferred the android art applications (just draw, sketcher) overall as they felt that they provided a wider range of tools. However I find this surprising that they find android tools easier to use due to their functionality systems, as they are both used to IOS.

Throughout artefact two it has become evident that artists are looking for tools that are quick and easy to use with out the ‘clearing up’ factor. Yet they want the detail of using traditional tools. Personally I think that the user interface and how the tools are presented are a major contributing factor to this because artists are initially drawn into the application because of its appearance and user interface. If tools weren’t clearly laid out they would disregard the application, moving onto the next one. Throughout both artefacts it is clear that people want the tool set to be less sensitive and the drawing board to be more sensitive to touch so that fine detail can be created.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Artefact two results

Preference of device

The the pie charts above are only a small part of my second artefact so aren't what I'm judging the next move on in terms of my personal research project. They are just a good visual basis, for them to be more substantial evidence I would have had to have tested more people. Generally people who haven't used android or IOS before are more attracted to using android as a platform to create artwork but overall people find IOS easier to use because of its clear layout.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Focus group responses to art apps

What I want to find out-
  • If the IOS/android apps can be used to created art work successfully by artists.
  • If android or IOS functions better as an art tool
  • How does using android or IOS affect the creation and display of artwork.
  • Which platform work better in terms of functionality and usability
The results-
Artist one-
Choose IOS and the app artist touch first as felt more comfortable with apple products and was attracted to the user interface of the app. She trusts apple as a brand and uses a MAC to create her artwork normally. Didn't like the style of the instructions at teh start of suing the app, put her off using it as just wanted to draw. Quit using that app and used JUST DRAW to create artwork as it has a simple interface and easy to navigate.
Confused by the black background of the user interface, wanted something that replicates paper. Liked exploring the different brushes but doesn't think it compares to the traditional tools. Finds using fingers too chunky.

Artist two-
First choice was IOS app adobe ideas as he is used to abode creative suite so finds it a reliable choice. Doesn't find it a useful tool as finds it hard to use. Can't judge where the marker is so can't make accurate marks. Doesn't like the user interface as was expecting something to challenge teh adobe suite. UI easy to figure out but no diversity in the tool set (very basic). Took a while to work out zooming in, still didn't make it easy to create detail. Can't create exactly what you want.
First time using android phone. Thought the app (Sketcher) was easier to use than IOS but found it hard to navigate as there wasn't a menu. The markings where too small to tell where he was marking them on the page. Not easy to control as it makes marks for you. The overall outcome is so undefined that the observer will add in detail with their imagination to construct the object.

Artist three
Brushes appeals for its easy to use, arty looking interface. Unclear what certain function were e.g spacing. IOS has more gadgets so she experimented with more affects. Colour was hard to find, she thought you could only create artwork in black and white. Also hard to control enlargement function.
Liked the variety of brushes but couldn't find the rubber. Also found it easy to find the colour. She chose just draw for its simplicity of name. Also not used to touch screen technology so found it difficult to control the lines of the drawings. Found the app challenging to use so wanted to try again.

Artist four
Used just draw, again the artist chose it for its simplicity in name. Found the brushes hard to control as it was a very small line that was produced from his finger. Couldn't tell where the line was going to fall. Easier to use than android app.
Choose android first using the app Andrawing pro. Found the interface childish and the sound effect when you touched the screen off putting. Also didn't feel like he was in control of the drawing because the app would change the colour for you with each new mark made. Couldn't find rubber to add/remove any detail.

Art created by art apps

Selection of Images created using the android or IOS art apps.
(Android-Andrawing pro)
(Android-Just draw)
(IOS- Brushes)
(IOS- adobe ideas)

Friday, 11 February 2011

Artefact Two: IOS vs Android

For my second artefact I intend to test the most popular art apps on android and IOS to see how artists respond to the usability and functionality factors of each device. I am trying to find out out whether a group of young artists that have never used the apps before find it easy to use as a medium. Also I want to find out if using either android or IOS affects the display and creation of art work.

The Most popular Android drawing apps are: Doodledroid, Draw!, draw and share and paint joy. Most of the apps are advertised for the fact that they can be used on the go however paint joy is the only app that is advertised for its range of artistic tools (brushes, paint buckets etc).

The most popular IOS drawing apps are: Line art, sketchbook pro, art studio, artist touch, adobe ideas (popular with professional artists), paint-book.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Art apps vs game apps

As a result of my 1st artefact I discovered that Alevel art students don't see apps, such as brushes as a platform to create artwork. They spoke about gaming apps more passionately, even though a lot of the students I spoke to are considering art as a career pathway. I want to explore combining art and game in apps to lure students into using art apps as a creative platform. I think that if art was introduced in a game format then students would find it more natural as in their every day lives the play games such as angry birds. So far I haven't seen many apps that combine both art and game.

I began my research at and have only found one app that combines art and game. Trace is an app that allows the player to draw their own pathways through a range of obstacles to reach your goal at the end of each level.

I have also found many games in this genre that are based on path creating (see A variation of this idea would be to create a game that is based on path finding, however to get the points you would have to not only make a successful pathway but create a drawing.

Another app that explored game and art is Gartic. A drawing game that you you have to guess what the other player has drawn, based on a theme. Could be good to get the creative juices flowing?

Doodle jump is another popular gaming app that has a creative edge with its hand drawn character that you use to get through the levels. This has inspired me to maybe look into creating a game that allows you to draw you own character that can get you through a game? It would be something for everyone, addictive because you want to get through the levels quickly to earn the points and appealing to the more creative people because you can make the game your own through the characters. To develop this I though that certain shapes that make up the physics of the character would allow you to get through the game quicker therefore earn more points.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Spot the difference

I have created these 3 mock-ups to experiment with the navigation and placement of the logo as I think they are both vital factors that could interfere with how the website works visually. I have aligned the logo with the header so it doesn't draw peoples attention away from the content and also made it slightly smaller.

Centre aligned- suggested by ibrow ltd (who designed/developed) their current website. Personally I think this makes it look like a brochure but can work visually well.

Also suggested by ibrow ltd is the search menu so that the audience can find anything on the website easily.
The next stage is to see what design the client likes to take forward to the next stage and try to see how the mock-up would work with the content management system that they want me to use (modx).

Friday, 4 February 2011

Slight changes

I have had another meeting with Wish upon a star and their current web provide/developer. The design I produced last time were both popular among the staff, which has caused a few problems as they all want different things. The background was the most in debate. Some wanted it more faded, some want it bolder so I have produced a few mock-ups that toy around with those factors. Also I have made the logo smaller (on feedback from ibrow design-web provider).

The main issue that has arisen from the meetings in terms of design is saving space on the browser (that I was already thinking about from the mock-ups) and the background and how it impacts on the content. So I have experimented with different colours etc.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Ipad observation and interview

You've guessed it..another mock-up

I think I'm almost there with the mock-up stage. I have created this from feedback from Wish upon a star and my tutor (David Downes). I have saved a bit of time by using the same illustration for the background as the illustration process is going to be a very time consuming process throughout the course of creating the website. I have taken down the opacity of the background to give it a watercolour effect (as the charity asked for). This will also let the content remain the focus of the design. Also to make the navigation clearer I have given it more spacing and underlined, in blue what page it is on so that the audience will find it easy to navigate. Also I think that the background unites the content with the charities purpose and doesn't look to formal because it is drawn in a fun, bright way. Another factor that makes it work is that it hasn't got a stark contrast between the content and background as the other mock up did with the white square highlighting the background of the content.