Mace Assignment- The story of Yvonne Plowman

 

 

Journey to mace.

 

My Mace journey starts like every story with a beginning, a once upon a time.

Once upon time there was a girl named Yvonne who lived in the sleepy town of Mitcham. She had just finished her BA in English literature and wondered what her next steps in life would be. There had been so many options but given the state of the economy, most of these were reduced. She knew she wanted to do something more creative, coming from the regimented style of her English literature degree and also she wanted to expand her mind and meet new people.

It was with this is mind, that she consulted her fairy godmother ‘the prospects.com website’. As a well respected website, it helped her by filing in questionnaires, think about what she wanted to. It was during one of these chats, that she stumbled upon the Creative Economy course at Kingston University.

She was curious. What was this creative economy? It sounded interested and somehow like it was connected to want it was she wanted to do. Her curiosity led her to apply, on the off chance that she might then receive some more information about the course. This is how she found herself on the Mace course and met many interesting characters such as the MACE crew, Passport2, dirty prototyping, design thinking, the importance of communication and her future life.

Her is  her story.’

 

The Mace crew

When I first began the mace course I was still unsure about many things, I did not know exactly what the creative economy was or how I would fit into this club.

The first step of my development, was my induction to the web. Prior to this while I was familiar with the internet, having a Facebook account and various emails address for years, I was reluctant to put my life out of the web. As a writer, my words have always been tightly linked to who I am. The idea  of putting them on the web, for free on a blog, was a blockage in my thinking. Pondering over this I came across a blog about writing that had a very clear and unmistakeable message “Hands down, online tools are the fastest and easiest way for unknown writers to begin building an audience, get better at their craft, and network with others who can make a difference in their careers.”[1] This of course makes completely sense and tied in with what we were being told on the course. I was quickly forced to removed, my train of thought that made me unsure of blogging and twitter.

 

A new chapter! September 17, 2009 · Leave a Comment

Hello all,

 Having received my official welcome email from both WordPress and Twitter, I feel like I have reached a new electronic, digital phase  in my world and am ready for it all. Hopefully this will all be as exciting and as fantastic as I would love it all to be!!!!!

For now,

Yvonnie”

 

 

 

 

 

This was a little bit daunting at first yet once I had my self setup and had posted my first blog, I found that I had a sense of accomplishment. Being able to have any work published, for a writer is a dream, and moreover having that control over how and when it its published is a major plus. My blog yvonnie.wordpress.com allowed me to do this.

Being on the mace, given that the set-up was a mixture of international students from around the world and people from the UK, was a unique situation that opened my mind and future opportunities. So many of us were similar, in the sense that we had all converged upon Kingston upon Thames to do this course and find out more about the creative economy, yet different in terms of our age, cultural backgrounds, specialisms, home countries and languages.

Wilson Reyes while talking about diversity in business makes the comment that “Employees from diverse backgrounds bring different talents and experiences that can foster new ideas, address changing markets and customer demands and add some skills that were not there before.”[2] The same principles come into play with the Mace course, by meeting people that are truly diverse and taking their view points, experiences and perceptives away with me, I feel my own perception of the world and myself has been altered.

 

Passport2

The next step within the course was the formation of the business for our projects. While this was the part of the course that had initially grabbed my attention, it was also the part that I was most worried about. Cue flashbacks of team picking within sports and other situations, and ending up with no team. These were all fears that I think everyone had.

Would anyone pick me?

Would I like the people I was with?

A business, what?

Via the speed dating event and self promoting upon twitter, we were all able to find out as much about each other that was possible given the time constraints. From the beginning, there seemed to people that I automatically got on with and others that I believed I would do, given time.

My team passport 2 simply fell together. We started with myself and Gin and soon we were a fully fledged team with Pinar, Seb and Cristina. We spent a lot of time initially getting to know each other via a very informal setting, which often included cupcakes. We wanted to make sure that before  we  enter  into a business fully, we had been developed into a team as opposed to a group. Llya Adler makes this distinction between a group and a team as he see a group as a situation where  Each person performs specific tasks given to them by management, and each person is evaluated according to how well he has done the task at hand. They work as a group, but not as a team. A team is also a collective, but as opposed to a group, decisions are shared, the rules are internally established, and the rewards (or punishments) are shared by all”[3]

I think we achieved this in the beginning and tried to maintain this throughout. Thus all of learnt the value of team work.

Our business was also a success, while we did not make any money, broke even and we were more importantly, able to get our product to a high standard, one that we all feel will suit the business and our target audience. Working with the business I was forced to do tasks that I hadn’t previously tried doing. But as I learnt “flexibility is required when a crisis occurs as they may need to step outside of the normal daily duties to help the organization in a crisis situation.”[4]  As the advertising and communication manager, I found myself learning skills to do with advertising and marketing- which I previously had no experience of, very quickly and quite easily. Submerging myself in these environments, it was essentially a life or death situation of the business, so I had to perform. Having acquired them now, I know that they will greatly help my post mace life and open new opportunities for me.

 

 

Design thinking in my life

During the course we spoke a lot about design thinking. This was a phrase that I had previously not come across and hence was very interested to see how this would affect me. Design thinking of course led me to falling in love with Tim Brown. Most of what he talks about during the videos on ted and on his blog always strikes a chord with me. It all just seems to make sense but would not be something that I would have out rightly thought. 

Talking about divergence and convergence on his blog, he says “The second difference is that design thinking relies on an interplay between analysis and synthesis, breaking problems apart and putting ideas together. Synthesis is hard because we are trying to put things together which are often in tension.”[5] I completely agree with this quote as I think it explains my process. At the beginning of the course and to some degree throughout it, I have never had any trouble picking things apart. Looking over my own work and creative writing I can often tell when things don’t sound right or fit. Yet the most difficult part of this is to come back and correct it.

Similarly, I have always been an ideas person, happy generate as many as possible and throw them out there into the world, yet taking one idea from the many, is a definite struggle. This was an issues that working in a team, I found most people suffer from. The initial stage of ideation is always so much more interesting and pleasant that the justification that is often needed for the later stage. This change in my thinking, since really pushing myself to converge back to one idea, has meant that I have become more efficient. Things get done, in general life and more appropriately in my creative writing.

Another idea that we discussed in class and I blogged on about later was….

 

Story telling!

October 26, 2009 · Leave a Comment

…..I also particularly identified with the idea that the world was not simply to be used for validation of ideas but also for inspiration and to generate ideas. This is something that we have as a group and a class been very practised in……

 

 

 

 

My perception of the world was as a validation for whatever I had created. It was  a way to make a meaning and use for something, if someone liked what I had written then I gain some joy from that. However, to truly see it as inspiration is a different mindset.

Often I gain ideas for my stories by looking at the people around, watching the news, searching the internet. So I do use the world around me, but mainly for my initial ideation stage. What I thought about after the video and once I had thought over it further at home, was that I don’t use the world to think, what story does the world need. Similar while a product designer might look at the world for materials or to capture how nature does something different, what I understood from the video, was, it was asking you to look at the work and ask what product does it need, rather than come to it with a product in mind.

It all comes down to observation. Something that as time goes on, I find more and more useful, not only for business- to know your customers but also to know the world that your customers and you live in. This is where innovation appears to come from, not simply creating because you can but creating because you should. This not only applies to business but to myself and role as a writer, “Writers also use non-tangible tools like observation and ideas. You need to be aware of your surroundings, recognize and capitalize on ideas, and have the ability to conduct research.”[6] Hence, all the skills I have learnt on the course, in reference to observation, I can use within my writing.

 

The importance of communication.

The business and any relationship with a group people always has its up and downs, most of the life span of passport2 was an up. We all got on and were happy to be putting our energy into the business. However as time did wear on, the business, our baby began to act in that exact way. It was demanding, it was unruling and didn’t understand that we all had other things to do as well. This was the most trying point of my mace journey and I think different people handled it differently. My  reaction, was to be strict, divide my time into chunks of various activities so I could work on the business but not at the loss of any other tasks I had to do.

Our relationships with each other suffered the most at this time, because of a lack of communication. Passport 2 from the beginning was meant to be fun and open company, in google-like manner, where everyone can be heard. So when we reached a  problem in the group that came down to the fact that there was no communication from one member. It felt like we had taken a step back. Why did passport 2 who had always tried to appreciate the voice of everyone, have a communication problem. In a situation such as ours everyone suffers because if one person does not feel comfortable voicing their opinions, while negative, to the group or people in question, not only does it creates a situation of awkwardness and mistrusts, but forces everyone to waste time because of fear. “if the issues that warrant negativity are left unaddressed, … the negativity affects your ability to professionally perform your work.”[7], this was definitely the case and so we all pulled together and attempted to resolve this negativity.

This experience, however negative, prompted us to re-evaluate the way our business worked. We realised we had be too lassiez faire with how things had been run and applied more structure. While we spoke about the issues in our group, it came to my attention just how important confidentially become in business. Often when working in the past I have be asked to sign forms and letters preventing me from disclosing certain information or negatively comment on the business.

Our situation, which was a public display of dissatisfaction of the business and group members, did dent our confidence with other business especially within the class. The power of words, positive or negative has always fascinated me and to see this in motion within our business was interesting. It led me to think about the precision of language and the quote from Edgar Allan Poe “Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.[8] This is a topic which I am exploring within my dissertation, as I think often in communicating and using words, their reality and eventual meaning can sometimes be forgotten.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prototyping!!!

October 26, 2009 · Leave a Comment

What do you get when cross a group of intelligent and creative people with this….

loads of fun and crazy unrestrained prototypes!!!

This week’s task was to creative as many prototypes for our chosen business idea as possible. So we gathered our supplies, raided our recycling boxes and made magic happen. JumpAr, our team, main focus is guide books. specifically for the Kingston area and as we were still trying to think about what this would mean and would need to have in order to compete with what is already out there in the market.

Everyone seemed to have different ideas of what the guide should be like and it was interesting to have physical replicas of these to insure everyone knew what was meant.

 

 

Quick and dirty prototyping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a creative person at heart, the idea  of creating anything sits well with me.  In class one of the things that we continuous were encouraged to do, was to prototype everything and anything, quickly and dirtily. This meant that we had to ignore the voice of negativity, what Edward de bono calls the Black hat. “The single word that best describes the nature of the Black Hat is “caution.” If we are not cautious, we risk damage, danger, and disaster both for ourselves and for others. Black Thinking Hat protects us from harm.”[9] While this is useful in a later stage of ideation, q1uick and dirty prototyping taught me to suspense it in favour of pure creation to get as many ideas out as possible.

This skill is particularly useful for business as we found within Passport 2, by simply working with what you have to create something you are provided with either a physical or visual representation of my idea, only then can you examine it fully and communicate the idea. Taking this to my specialism, it means I can write an idea as quickly and a rough as I like, in order to have it more tangible for my own exploration but also to pitch it to people.

Her future self

Being on the mace course has slightly steered my goals and aims for the future. Before I began, I was happy to do anything job that either allow me enough time to pursue my creative writing until I became a world famous author. Now I feel like I am more focused on determined to combine working and earning a living with my writing- as well as pursuing the hopes of a becoming the next JK Rowling.

I now think of myself as aiming for jobs within the field of publishing, theatre but also a completely new one, as a copywriter. Most of these changes have been sparked up by the things I have been learning. Knowing more  about the creative industries, means I have more of idea of what is out there and therefore can make an informed decisions as to what I want to do.

My current goal to be achieved within the next years is to be working within the theatre industry. This would ideally be a mid level position within the departments of development- working to produce plays from scripts, using my editorial knowledge. Or working within the marketing department, taking particularly interest in the way the theatre gains audiences as well as potential talent.

The reality of the situation is that the theatre industry is very difficult to break into from an entry position. Furthermore, given the economic climate and that it has not fully recovered or exited the recession, there  is a diminished number of such position  available to people who lack real experience. Currently while I do possess some experience, it is not specific enough to these goals.

My main obstacles to reach these goals would be the lack of real, relevant experiences. To gain these I would need to take up internship, which there are very few  within this industry.  Furthermore most of these internships are full time and pay expenses rather than a wage.  It would mean I would need to keep working through, which would not be possible if the internship was for a considerable amount of time.

My options are to keep applying for internship but ones that have a shorter time span or a higher rate of entry into a job not long afterwards.  I also will be looking into finding jobs within the marketing and advertising industry, to gain the skills that I will later translate into the theatre industry.

The current way forward for me is to apply for more internships not only with theatre companies but also with small media companies and form  links with local smaller theatre  companies. This idea of gaining work experiences is confirmed within an interview from a careers website with a current marketing assistant

Got any wise words for someone who wants to be where you are now?

  • Gain work experience in the field you want to enter “[10]

These links will be in terms of putting some of my own work on within the theatre and volunteering in order to get know people and establish myself. This plan of volunteering is also more flexible therefore something that I can do alongside work.

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

Friedman, Jane. ‘Writer’s digest, There  Are No Rules.’ http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/2009/08/17/5QuestionsForThoseWhoDontHaveTimeToMarketPromote.aspx  (Accessed 10.05.10)

 

Reeves, Wilson.  ‘Embracing Diversity: Bringing Advantages of Different Cultures to the Workplace’ on Indiana Business Magazine. September 1 2008 . http://www.allbusiness.com/labor-employment/human-resources-personnel-management/11602855-1.html (Accessed 10.05.10)

 

Adler, Lyla.The importance of team building: how to achieve innovation and competitive advantage through focus groups.’ In Business Mexico.  April 1 2003. http://www.allbusiness.com/human-resources/employee-development-team-building/525073-1.html (accessed 10.05.10)

 

Block-Stewart, Laura. ‘Company Roles and Responsibilities: Defining Roles and Responsibilities in a Small Business’ http://business-financial-planning.suite101.com/article.cfm/roles_and_responsibilities#ixzz0ncIy5GUps  (accessed 10.05.10)

 

Brown, Tim. ‘What Does Design Thinking Feel Like.’ (7/09/2008) In Design Thinking, Thoughts by Tim Brown. http://designthinking.ideo.com/?cat=21 (accessed 10.05.10)

 
Dupie,  Linda S.
 Beyond the Basics:  Ideas, Observation, and Research’ http://www.writingcorner.com/young/thebasics.htm (accessed 10.05.10)

 

 Heathfield, Susan M.  How to Deal With a Negative Coworker: Negativity Matters’

 http://humanresources.about.com/od/conflictresolution/a/negative_worker.htm (accessed 10.05.10)

 

Allan Poe, Edgar.  http://en.thinkexist.com/quotation/words_have_no_power_to_impress_the_mind_with_the/193315.html (accessed 10.05.10)

 

‘Black Hat Thinking from Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats’ http://www.debonoonline.com/black-hat-thinking.asp (accessed 10.05.10)

 

Myall, Rachel. ‘Meet the Professionsals.’ http://www.getintotheatre.org/case_studies/rachel-myall-press-marketing-assistant (accessed 10.05.10)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Panda bags and too much food.

 

 Creativity!

This week we began the first of the longly awaited apprentice  challenges. the brief was sent to us in advance to prepare a ideas  which we then talked about in our business groups and came up with a pitch.

when i had initially read the brief  for the challenging, i was slightly lost by what i thought the client wanted. this was in a way addressed when they spoke to us in class.

My team came up with a lot of ideas and plans for the business but we did not win. our feedback mainly suggested that while we had m,any ideas, we should have formed a strategy with them.  The whole task was interested but the day  was really long, i felt that many people were faded by the end of the day. Hold the Front Pages won!, well done guys. i was really impressed  with their very very  organised plan.

I am looking forward to next week challenge, and while i did enjoy this marketing based one, i am looking forward to something that is more within my  realm of knowledge and gentle expertise.

Passport2guides  this week, meet on Tuesday. I had spent most of monday running round Kingston speaking to shops and trying to take pictures. one of the problems that i came up against, was that no one really wanted pictures  of their products taken for fear of piracy. still i left some details and showed them the website and luckily two stores contacted me back.

I was then able to take pictures as well as make new friends at Octopus, they were very friendly and after talking to them about what i had done in my previous shopping page article, they agreed to sponsor one of our competitions with the gorgeous panda bag. Six visits in two days later of course.

This when we meet up on tuesday provided a well needed boost for the team. we  spent the day  shooting the advert that Corinne has  asked for that week, got some interviews  done, spoke about the format of the competition and its marketing campaign.

All in all, this was a very good week for Passport2guides.

Welcome Back?

 I am back after a ‘brief’ hiatus from the blogging world and happy to be back again. Why was I gone for so long? No particularly good reason other than the frenzy of christmas, the panic of returning to class with no sold product etc.

The real issues is I am a writer. I love writing and as a person enrolled on the creative writing course it is something I do a lot. Writing a blog, thats very different and something I do struggle with given that I like to think I can write about anything but myself. Pages and pages of the word I, make me feel slightly uneasy and self centred but this is what I must do. I had previously thought that I would be fine without having to meticulously plot every second I spent thinking and breathing passport 2, yet I was wrong.

So summary… I am happy with the way our business has progressed and feel like everyone has their parts to play and does. I think we initially set deadlines which now seem a little too ambitious but once we had missed that hurdle we simply re-grouped and made new plans. This I feel is a good team.

December was a trying month, as it approached Christmas and hence a break from nearly everything. We had to hand in our business plan and feasibility report. Of course this was alongside various other pieces of work we had to hand in individually, so a very tense moment. Still in typical passport2guides, Pinar and myself spent the better part of the day in a beautiful cafe in brick lane, frantically begging for more internet tokens from the shop owner, while eating good food. Stressful? Yes. Fun? Yes as well. This we handed in and I was very pleased with the marks we got back on both pieces. As much as it was simply two pieces of work, it was nice to know taking time of other assignments for a group project was appreciated in some way.

Our last session was on branding and while I had never really thought about how much it meant to company, it made a lot of sense to me. It also came at time when Passport2 was thinking about issues such as that. Having just won two (although technically three) of the dragons in the dragon’s den session, we were on a high. The guide and presentation looked amazing, but we were also moving more towards a cyber magazine, given that we had missed our printers deadlines.

We all, I gathered, felt pleased with the new output but I especially was slightly apprehensive as to how everything would work. Still we went away for Christmas.

January, new year and new feelings about our project. I felt as Corinne mentioned one Friday, that during Christmas I had taken a holiday from the business as I had uni and work and coming back I felt guilty that I had imagined I could place it on hold. In my defence though, most people I spoke to, from other teams had done a similar thing. I think its because you get so used to school holidays, everything waiting in the classroom, just as you left you, no real time passing. But this was so much different.

My team pulled ourselves back together, I felt at the time and we were all clear on what happening . yet everything suffered a blow, I personally felt. Months of meetings, emails, phone calls and sweet talking to get us into the international student welcome fair, came to nothing. Being that I had found this lead and personally chased it up, I was disappointed.

We began classes again yet not having our usual Friday afternoons with Corinne, again meant that although we met on Tuesdays for group meetings, momentum was lost ever so slightly. My team following this regrouped and we decided that the previous method of one person content finder, wasn’t working. So we split it up. I got shopping.

The idea of being in charge of a shopping page excited me but made some my friends laugh. Still I felt that because I had never really liked that way shopping pages in magazines or online were done, I would be the perfect person to change them. And I was right. I spent various hours, in Kingston running from shop to shop asking questions and attempting to find the most unique thing about each shop, it was sometimes difficult but at other times I was genuinely excited by what they were offering. Pictures were taken, etc etc.

 It was a good week and the novelty of the shopping page propelled me on. Yet it was only after I had written most of my pages that I disaster stuck. An emergency group meeting was called and I was very worried about where passport 2 would be going. We were calm and civilised and paved over the issue- for the sake of our business.

Being in that situation, with my fellow team mates, made me really think about how our team had worked. It made me question the work that each of us had done. At first I thought it might have been best to have a time sheet that everyone used stupid idea. Because I think a team cannot work if you do not trust people to do what they have to do. I think everyone is doing their bit ad while it may not always seem like , not everyone can be doing everything at once. The nature of business such as our means that different people have roles that run in canon with each other. I could be wrong.

Anyway, the meeting did bring up some really good forward runners.

  1. A new website! I, as beginner web designer, was pleased to be moving to wordpress as I had more familiarity with it.
  2. An editor to overlook and unify all content so it was less ‘patchworky’.
  3. A deadline to send all information to the editor.
  4.  And a return the personal. Something we had all been really passionate about in the beginning but had possibility los focus of.

All this of course motivated me and after reading through magazines and using a guidebook myself in a real situation, made me what to delete the cold hard informative voice that I had used in my first article draft and replace it with what I loved doing, telling stories.

While it sounds obvious to me now, I almost forgot that the course was about combining the creativity with the business. Silly. Yes it took much more time and thought but I like it much more and will be sticking to it. So that is where we are now.

 New website is up with content including my Links of London article. And the business is steaming forwards.

Doors opening!

This week in true creative styles- we  all got dressed up for Halloween and as a treat we were given beautiful cupcakes from Alice. Still we didn’t let our beautiful outfits cloud our creative brains.

We started the day by thinking about our chosen products- Kingston Guide, and to reduce it down to its basic component. So for us this was,  essentially a collections of information. Through a series of reductions stages I ended up comparing our product to more natural elements such as wind- the method of carrying. The end results- a substitute for a guide book, a drink which would provide you with valuable information about Kingston, where to eat, what shows are on and how you get from one side of Kingston to another.

This, as was always the aim, allowed us to think about what we really needed our Kingston guide to do and got me thinking about all different mediums, not as extreme as the drink, we could use to help to spread the message of our guide.

Next we were asked to design a lift, specifically the buttons for the lifts. This was at first a little difficult at first, what more can be done to a lift? Answer- a lot. I thought of a swivel, wheel of fortune-esque panel, that spins round to pick your floor. Other members of my team had different yet interesting ideas that involved feet and Michael Jackson music.

Taking all our ideas and in true MACE style we, without words, communicated an idea which was a close amalgamation of all our ideas and created an ingenious new lift system. Watch this space for more details.

Yvonne

Story telling!

This week was all about design and storytelling, which is  definately something I can get behind. We were shown various videos which demonstrated the various ways you can tell a story to an audience. These included film, text, documentary and data visualisation. The examples that we saw were amazing and found myself being completely drawn in, especially to the video about the bear.  

We also watched a video from Tim Brown and about ‘Innovation through Design Thinking’. I really liked this video and it expressed design in terms that I felt I, as a creative writer and mainly literary thinking, could get involved with. The idea that design was not simply how to make thing aesthetically pleasing but much more and actually concerned with how to better things was one that I got the sense everyone agreed with.

I also particularly identified with the idea that the world was not simply to be used for validation of ideas but also for inspiration and to generate ideas. This is something that we have as a group and a class been very practised in.

Another amazing thing happened with week….. JumpAr won an award!!!!!!!!! It was for best prototyping which was  very nice as it provided us with validation for the hard work we have been putting in as team but also because the actually prototyping tasks was so much fun- great! Hopefully this will be the start of many more awards to come- next stop Nobel Prize!!!!!

Our task for this week was to create personas and produce a film about them. This should be very interested as our team has been exploring the idea of our users and trying to pin down who they are, by asking ourselves questions which this task will demand but also constructing a questionaire which should make things more clear.

Yvonnie

Prototyping!!!

What do you get when cross a group of intelligent and creative people with this….

SDC14412

 

loads of fun and crazy unrestrained prototypes!!!

This week’s task was to creative as many prototypes for our chosen business idea as possible. So we gathered our supplies, raided our recycling boxes and made magic happen. JumpAr, our team, main focus is guide books. specifically for the Kingston area and as we were still trying to think about what this would mean and would need to have in order to compete with what is already out there in the market.

Everyone seemed to have different ideas of what the guide should be like and it was interesting to have physical replicas of these to insure everyone knew what was meant.

Gin’s idea…

SDC14417

was a pure representation of what i had imagined her original idea to be and so it was good to have this confirmation. She worked very well within her cool chic personality and produced something that I felt would definitely appeal to people who wanted to be in the know and feel like that were living a trendy yet inexpensive lifestyle. She also designed it to have Tabs, which I thought were a small but very effective design to add to something an extra selling point and obviously came from her thinking from the user’s perspective.

Pinar’s ideas…

SDC14422

I particularly really like Pinar’s idea of the oyster card type pouch with a band to carry around. It seemed like she had really though about the idea of it being portable and broken ‘ a tourist guide’ back to what it actually was, a collection of information. What better way to present this than as that-0 information available in one place but stripped of it book bound constraint. She also had though of badges and such promotional items which would be perfect for advertising.

Cristina’s ideas….

Picture 2

Cristina’s idea were similarly unrestrained by the idea of a ‘guide book’. I particularly loved the idea of the pouch with maps and corresponding information. It was basically what people would want as they travelled around Kingston. Images showing them where they are going and information telling them about the place. I felt that she did and has for some time occupied a practical role within the group, this is not to say that she is not idealistic, she is but also manages to pull it back to the right level.

My idea…

SDC14418

I found that as a creative writer, the idea of shedding the book part of the guide book came a little hard to me. I chose to keep it and transform its role as a book. I wanted to create something fun, guide books as sources of information can sometimes be dull, in my opinion, and I wanted to make it stand out from the crowd and express the ease and fun of exploring a new place.

Through the use of funky lettering and a bow I wanted to make it something that despite its size people would be happy to carry around with them, something that they would be happy to refer to. I also thought from my own personal experience of using maps and guide books- I know you usually have to use them when you have an appointment somewhere new. Y0u usually end up rushing around, no matter how much time you leave and end up looking flustered and slighty messy- resolution- add a mirror surface to the back of the book. It was only a small addition but I felt it would definitely be a selling point. 

I also tried to think practically and came up with a pouch on the back to put information such as business cards ands and addresses within- this way you never lost a thing.

We then with our reservations began the next task, which was to within speaking to each other, a pick a prototype and improve it as a group. This turned out to be  surpringly simple as through the use of non verbal communications which at time resembled military signals, we were able to combine the best aspects of the individual prototypes and came up with this…..

SDC14439

A super prototype which had a pouch, a handy carry strap, a badge for advertising, a mirrored back and a sheets of maps with corresponding information. 

In my personal opinion it was amazing!!! Well done JumpAr

Yvonne

Activity Theory model

This week – 16th of October, we looked at Corinne’s model for analysing a business ”The Activity Theory Model’. We were given the question-  In order to have a succesful business what do i need to know or have?

In the beginning it was the basic things that I thought about for example- a good idea. But once the obviously ideas had come pouring out I began to focus on the really key things such as a number of useful contacts.

After thinking about this for a few minutes we were shown the activity model and asked to place these needs into the following diagram…

activitytheory

 in order to see how balanced we were.

This was a very useful exercise in my opinion as it helped me to see what aspects of the business I naturally focused on and which ones where completely eclipsed from my consciousness and as you can see from my results…

Tangible objects and stimuli- 1

User Needs- 2

Provider needs-  1

Rules, Traditions and Constraints- 3

Community or network- 3

Tasks, responsiblity and roles- 0

Total- 10

certain aspects- Tasks, responsibilities and roles were not high on my list. However this is not all bad, as my lack of consideration of Task responsibilities and roles was balanced by other teams members who had a heavy weighting on that particular point and less so on Rules, traditions and constraints were I scored quite highly.

Seeing this only confirmed the importance of team work particular for this task of making a business. The idea of having five, in our cases, people from different backgrounds and speciality means that I don’t have to be a jack of all trades but rather have a little knowledge of various things coupled with a vast knowledge of one speciality to bring to my group.  The idea of the triangle worked well to demonstrate this as when we put all our results on one triangle we saw that it was completely balanced as different people brought different ways of thinking.

All in all this is looking very promising for my Team.

We then went on to apply this model to an example- I was an ice cream seller and was asked to map out the relationship between myself and a particular customer. This is where Margaret, a senior citizen who wanted to buy ice cream for her grandchildren who were coming to visit later in the day, was born.

By thinking about how Margaret go to me, I was able to see that the tangible objects include the money that we would exchange, the bus that she would take to reach me, the bag she would put her ice cream in as well as my ice cream cart/ store.

Everything on the triangle became more concrete as I applied examples to them. Through the use of  of  Magaret I was also able to enviable how things might change and the way my business was connected and depended upon other people- the driver of the bus that Margaret would take to get to me.

I enjoyed this exercise and it definitely opened up my mind to the idea that no man is an island- in the same way it seems no business is an island.

Yvonnie