Philippa Cassidy - Placement Year Blog #3 turn off the lights.

Philippa Cassidy - Placement Year Blog #3

December 2016 – May 2017

I’m 11 months into my placement now and it’s been an exciting, busy time! Since my last blog post, I’ve been involved in some large projects and have taken part in a lot more design work than development work. Although my official job title is a creative developer, I've really enjoyed being involved in the design team; I'm constantly learning new things and my confidence in my design ability continues to grow as the time goes on.

All Stars Cricket - ECB

One of the main projects that I've been involved with since my last blog post has been All Stars Cricket. This scheme aims to get 5-8 year olds into cricket and Dynamic have created the elearning that will train the Activators who will run the scheme in the summer months. I was the lead designer for this project, which at the start of the project was very daunting because it was such a big client and the project needed completing in a fairly short space of time. For this project, I created a variety of different avatar characters with the clothing that the children and the Activators would be wearing in the All Stars Cricket sessions. By doing this, I created a catalogue of characters that could be used throughout the four modules in different scenarios relating to the content on that frame. These took quite a while to create, as there needed to be lots of different types so that there was diversity in the characters. My confidence in my design ability was a large factor in the timescale of getting these characters done. I wanted to do a good job, so I received some guidance from the design team and the feedback about the avatars once I had completed them was very positive.

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All Stars Cricket Activators

Another large part of the design for this client was the LMS platform that the Activators would access their elearning from. The concept for this was to create an isometric map of the All Stars Cricket town which would have lots of All Stars Cricket activities going on. Using Google Maps code, we were able to create different zoom levels on this map. On the last two zoom levels pins would appear which would represent the four different modules which the Activators could click on to enter the module. This town was such fun to build in Illustrator, and when you look closely you can see the little details I've put in. When the user completes the different modules, the next pin becomes unlocked, and the map changes slightly. For example, when you complete module one, All Stars Cricket branding appears on the sports hall and around the school. You can also see All Stars Cricket vans bringing the equipment the children need to the school.

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Zoom Level 1

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Zoom Level 2

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Zoom Level 3

Canal & River Trust – Dashboard Tour

Over the last few months, I've become quite involved with the launch of the new Canal & River Trust Dashboard LMS, assisting with any design changes that need making to the dashboard itself, as well as creating the dashboard tour video. The concept behind this video was to demonstrate to the user, whether they be a new or returning user, how to use the site and where they can find all of the content in the different areas. This is the first dashboard that Dynamic have deployed and so a tour video had never been created before.

Before creating the tour, the Project Manager and I discussed what was required for the video and he showed me the brief I would be working from. In order to create this tour, I recorded myself navigating around the Canal & River Trust LMS on screen, then brought this into After Effects and animated the video to focus on the different sections of the site. We had recorded audio internally for this as a commentary which guided you through the different sections of the website as you saw the visuals on the screen.

The client loves the final dashboard tour video and I've received a lot of good feedback about the video. Now that we have this video created, we have an After Effects template which will make future dashboard tours a lot quicker, as the main frame of the video has been done.

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Dashboard Tour starting frame.

Filming

Macmillan

I’ve had a lot of involvement with a Macmillan project, which consist of six modules all explaining the different aspects of having cancer. Throughout the modules, there are clips of patients or family and friends of patients who have had cancer, explaining their experiences of how cancer has affected their lives. I was asked to assist with the filming for this, and I was honoured to be involved in a project about such a hard-hitting topic.

Throughout all of the modules, there's a buddy used in each, which explains at the start of each module what the user will learn, as well as providing a conclusion at the end of the module. I'm the buddy for Module 3 – Staging and Investigation. This was the first time I'd been asked to feature in a module as a buddy and hadn’t had much experience using the auto cue, so I wanted do it right, particularly as the subject matter is extremely important. I think I did it justice and I think the buddy clips in Module 3 work well.

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A still from the introduction buddy clip in Module 3.

Bourne Leisure

Having started acting in a mentoring module, it was time to learn some more lines for the new Bourne Leisure module about Health and Safety! This time, I'd been cast as Natalia, who assists Bourne around the different Bourne Leisure locations in the module, helping him to find all of the Health and Safety hazards.

The first clip features Bourne and Natalia talking in a dining room, which I found quite challenging to film, as I found it difficult to remember the lines. The rest of the footage of Natalia were green screen buddy clips, which were so much fun to film, as I could be as loud and animated as possible and I was able to get really stuck in. I seem to be becoming a regular in front of the camera at the moment!

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Raw green screen footage of Natalia.

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Final edit example of one of the Bourne buddy clips.

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Final edit of another buddy clip.

Greater Manchester Cares – UHSM

After being involved with the Macmillan modules, I was then asked to design the LMS platform for Greater Manchester Cares – a new learning management system where all the trusts in Manchester can access all of their elearning, not just the Macmillan modules.
Manchester’s icon is a bee and the client was keen for this to be a feature of their logo and the branding for this site. There were no brand guidelines as such, so I designed most of the branding elements and a colleague designed the logo. During this process, I created a honeycomb texture which is featured throughout the site, including the login screen.

Initially, I found this quite daunting, as there were no set guidelines for the branding, but as a final site, I think it works well. I was amazed with how much trust I was given for this website, which has resulted in me having a lot more confidence in my design ability.

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Greater Manchester Cares Log In.

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Honeycomb texture used throughout the designs.

Tenders

Over the last few months, I've been involved with the design work for two successful tenders, which has been such a great opportunity to be a part of. One of the tenders was for Marylebone Cricket Club, where I designed the dashboard and badges for a proposed Learning Management Platform. They were very impressed with Dynamic as a whole, and with a great presentation, we won the work.

Job Offer

In December, I was so surprised to be offered a full-time role with Dynamic after I graduate in 2018. I'm ecstatic that the team would like me to return once I finish my degree and I'm so excited about my future with Dynamic. It's such a lovely place to work and the whole team have been so supportive throughout my time here, and I’m very much looking forward to returning to the team next summer!

"Having worked closely with Philippa on the All Stars Cricket and the Canal & River Trust projects, I wasn’t surprised when she was offered a permanent role with Dynamic! I’ve been blown away with the quality of her work. She has eased into the role as if she’s being doing it for years and has proven herself to be very talented. She is, without a doubt, now a valued member of the team. I’m looking forward to working together again in 2018.

Philippa - thanks again for your hard work and congratulations on securing a permanent role."

David Pryde, Dynamic Project Manager.

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