After meeting Vicky Hiscocks, the Head of Active Ageing at Derwen, I now feel that I understand a lot more about who I am designing for and what they want.
Our client is a dedicated older persons housing association called Derwen. Overall, they provide affordable homes to older people on low incomes. They currently already provide over 158,000 homes in Wales, which is about 10% of the Welsh population. They provide over 800 apartments, bungalows and houses, across Newport, Monmouthshire and Caerphilly.
Derwen are currently in the middle of developing a brand new development at the Gaer, in Newport – it’s situated right inside the existing bungalow development at the Gaer. Due to be finished at the end of Autumn this year, the Gaer will include 39 apartments, a communal hub, an outside terrace and landscaped gardens.
Derwen’s key ethos is Active Ageing.
What is Active Ageing?
No, it’s not older people doing zumba classes and yoga.
The most simple definition that Vicky used during her presentation is that:
“Active Ageing is extending healthy life expectancy and quality of life.”
It can also be described as being:
- the process of optimising opportunities for health, participation and security, in order to enhance quality of life as people age; or
- continuing participation in social, economic, cultural, spiritual and civic affair, not just the ability to be physically active.
Vicky also gave us an idea on who are client group is so that we can better understand who our target audience is. Some points on the resident living at Derwen, include:
- Age range: 55-98 years old (32% are aged 80+)
- Span 2-3 generations
- Generally on low incomes
- Some are still working
- Both couples and single people (75% of residents live alone)
- 68% have mobility problems or a long term illness
- A range of different interests, life experiences and skills
The last bullet point in the list above stands out to me most. I think it’s important to keep in mind that these older people are just like the rest of us, in the way that they are all different and individual, each with their own unique personality and traits. I intend to keep this in mind when it comes to the next few stages of this project.
What the target audience want:
- To be seen as a resource
- To have meaningful activities, where skills can be shared
- To get out and about to see their friends and family (25% of the residents say they only see family, friends or carers, once a week or less)
- To have companions and happy relationships
- To have good health, both physical and mental
- To feel secure and safe
- To have warm, friendly and well-suited living arrangements
- Not to be patronised or treated as passive recipients
Active Ageing priorities:
- Understanding residents (as individuals)
- Increasing health and wellbeing, reducing loneliness and isolation
- Embedding active ageing principles across all of their services
- Evidencing our impact on quality of life
- Learning, testing, innovating, leading
Derwen’s vision for the new development:
- A place which maximises independence for the residents.
- Real opportunities to engage with other residents and the wider community.
- A development which enhances the existing community at the Gaer.
- Lots of good quality outdoor space to help avoid isolation and promote good health.
- A flexible and high standard communal space which will provide a welcoming, central, vibrant focal point for residents and the wider Gaer community.
Yes, I’m writing about take-aways, but no not the food kind of take-aways… unfortunately.
Today, the key take-away that has stuck in my head is the idea of point of view.
Neil did a workshop with us in which we were split into small groups to discuss the question:
“Is it better to kill a cat or a dog?”
In our group, it was obvious that the majority of the group were on the dogs’ side which was unsurprising as dogs are generally the preferred pet by most. According to a poll carried out by The Telegraph, 56% of people said that they were a dog person rather than a cat person – surprise, surprise. Of course, I was on the cats’ side.
Personally I feel that the answer to the question completely depends on a load of different circumstances. I would say that it depends on:
- the individual cat’s/dog’s temperament or nature – for example, if the dog was aggressive, vicious or dangerous, then it would be to better to kill the dog.
- the individual cat’s/dog’s wellness – for example, if the cat was very ill and close to death already, then maybe it’s better to put the cat out of it’s misery.
- the ‘killer’s’ personal opinion – whether they are a cat lover or a dog lover.
Of course, the other way of looking at the question is finding another option entirely, like, killing neither the cat or the dog.
This workshop has made me realise that I can use this cats vs. dogs question when doing my designing. When I am designing, rather than thinking about only my own point of view, I need to think about the audience’s point of view and how they would perceive the design.
For example, for this Design for Real project, our audience will be older people, so rather than seeing my design work from my own point of view, a younger person’s, I need to try and look at it from the older persons’ point of view instead. I can ask myself: how would it make them feel? what will they understand from it? etc.
Our final deadline for the Digital Me project is on Tuesday so I am just adding the final finishing touches to all of my submissions before then.
I am feeling confident with the way I am heading and I have not got a lot to do before handing in my finished work for the deadline on Tuesday. I have completed my Research and Development PDF for Persuasion and am currently finishing off the one for Penguin. I have already got a Research and Development PDF for branding that I created last year after completing the Brandworld project, so I have just got to add and change this one accordingly to my further development since then and my newer final outcomes.
For the finishing touches of my CV, online portfolio, PDF portfolio, I have edited some details to add to the overall final look of the finished pieces. After a tutorial with Neil, we spoke about how underlining titles, historically, was not considered needed after ‘bold‘ was invented. Although I have decided against using the bold version of Playfair Display as I think it ruins the beauty of the contrast between the thick and thin lines in the lettering of the typeface, I have removed the underlines of the titles and the overall look of the CV is much cleaner without them. I have done the same thing on my PDF portfolio by removing the underlines of the titles. Removing these underlines have actually added to the consistency of my overall project, because I noticed that the website does not have underlined titles. There is enough definition between the title and the body text because they are different typefaces – the title is serif and the body text is sans serif, the title is in orange and the body text is black, and there is also a big size difference between the two.
To match the removal of all my title underlines, I have edited my ‘I’m Amber‘ logo slightly as well. I have removed the underline below the text, but kept the line above as the image of me is sat, resting on it. I have adjusted the weight of the upper line to make up for it’s staying though.
Since last week, I have made small developments to all three of my main pieces: the CV, the online portfolio and the PDF portfolio.
In the PDF portfolio, I have added in the text and the images to each of the project pages, although one or two are still missing that I want to add in. I have made sure that they are the same images used in my online portfolio and that the brief and solution are the same too. I have added in navigation buttons on every project so that you can flick through the projects using arrow buttons and also return back to the home page. After a tutorial, I have increased the text size by 1 or 2 points because it was suggested that it was perhaps just a little too small. At the the end of my portfolio, I have added an extra page which is a ‘Contact’ page and also has an ‘About Me’ paragraph, similar to the CV.
For the CV, I have added in work experience and also written the ‘About Me’ section. Like the PDF portfolio, I have developed my CV so that it is now interactive too. It has icons which link to my social media profiles: Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. I decided to exclude Facebook because my account is a personal one and I think it is important to keep my CV purely professional and not mix up my personal life with work. I have also added a link to my online portfolio so that employers looking at my CV can get to my work with one easy click.
On my online portfolio, I have gone ahead and removed the ‘Home’ page as I decided that it was not needed – my online portfolio now opens simply with the text saying, “Hello and Welcome!…“. After originally arranging the images on each of the project pages one after each other in a straight line as individual images down the page. I have now arranged them in a more designed layout (image below: I have taken a screenshot from one of the project pages as an example). I have also spread ‘The Solution’ paragraph between these images because I felt that there was too much text to begin with at the top of each project.
My next steps are to move on to beginning the Research and Development PDFs for my Subject projects: Persuasion, Penguin and Branding.
The last main piece I have to make for Digital me is the PDF portfolio, so that has been my next step to take.
I wanted to make the PDF consistent with both the CV and the online portfolio, so I created it in a similar way. I ensured that all the smaller details matched, for example the underlining of titles and the chosen fonts.
Wanting the PDF to be interactive, I created a home page with thumbnails of the six projects that I had chosen to include in my portfolio. From this home page, the user can click a project thumbnail to be taken directly to that project. Also, on hovering over a thumbnail, the image changes (as I have added a rollover image the same but with a white layer over the top with an opacity of only 50%) and the name of the project appears. The image below is a screenshot taken of the PDF portfolio home page – the ‘A Blank Space’ thumbnail shows what the hover over looks like.
I have inserted in all the needed pages for each of the projects and given them titles accordingly. I have then created the links so that each of the thumbnails on the homepage takes the user to the correct project. I have created a rough layout for each of the pages and my next step is to start inserting my design work. I want to have a column of text down the left side, which will include the title of the project and then the brief and my solution, and then the images of the outcomes will be positioned on the right.