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Dissertation Help needed - Digital Media/Communication/Design

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by SophieGibson, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. SophieGibson

    SophieGibson New Member

    Hello :)

    I'm currently in the middle of writing my final year Graphic Design dissertation, however I have completely lost myself and need some poking in the right direction!
    I have a short draft at the moment based on the title 'The impact of technology on communication' however, I realised I don't actually talk about anything to do with design and I just don't know where I am going with my current focus. I was hoping to come up with another line of inquiry I could explore. I shall give a list of the area's in which I am interested in and have looked at. Hell, maybe even just writing all this out as a question will prod some kind of idea, who knows.

    So, i'm doing Graphic Design, and specialising in motion graphics (however this doesn't have to be a limit on what I write about in my dissertation. however i would rather not go on too much about advertising and brands ect.). I'm just going to go on a general blab, and hopefully someone will be able to pick a direction out of the ensuing mess!

    I'm interested in the role of mobile phones and mobile media in information stuff, and what methods are used to engage a user. I like QR codes and how there are new 'techniques' to get people to information. What makes a QR code successful - is it the technology or the design of it. I want to know the reasons why we now love to use digital technology to communicate with people and things and does design impact on whether we use something or not- are traditional methods being shunned because the stuff we can get is interactive and moving? especially when you think about the fact even newspapers and magazines have an online presence with interaction to get our attention. Do we get disconnected from information now if it is unresponsive?

    I just can't seem to think where any graphic design would fit in, and it's driving me a little bonkers. So mobiles // digital media // interaction // communication are the main themes, but I need to relate them to.. to something!
    Please feel free to post any suggestions, even if it's nothing to do with what i've written about :) maybe someone can apply logic thought to the jumbled up mess my head is!
  2. Katedesign

    Katedesign Well-Known Member

    Regardless of how we get the information (eg websites) they still should be 'designed'. Take a look at the plethora of home-made sites which are truly awful... The QR code is just a device to drive you to the final product. Graphic design is very relevant still.

    With regard to interactive - it is still very necessary that it is easily read and makes people want to read or use it.

    The impact of technology on communication is probably more about the decline of print and printed products (magazines etc), possibly the fact that people talk less and text or email more (or use FB). You need to think about the question - what has changed because of technology?

    Hope this helps a bit.
    Stationery Direct likes this.
  3. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    First of all I think you have got yourself an interesting topic there, infact it's quite similar to my dissertation brief. Technology is such a broad subject, you must narrow it down, which I feel you are starting to do. This will provide a focus point for you. Although it would be nice to link your dissertation with graphic design, I don't think you need to worry about that too much. I think you'll find because of your chosen topic, it will naturally link into graphic design, sometimes without you even realising it. There were a hell of a lot of people on my graphic design course, that wrote a dissertation that had absolutely nothing to do with graphic design and they all got A/A+.
  4. SophieGibson

    SophieGibson New Member

    Thanks for the ideas, I'm really tempted to go back to the drawing board, I have another 3 weeks before the deadline which I think will definitely be enough time to revisit things. I'm finding that the topic of technology and communication is more of a media studies topic, than a graphic design one, and I'm just simply running out of things to say or a running theme to thread things together.

    I read someone saying you should just pick something that you are really fascinated about, something that will be really easy to write 6000 words on.

    I'm looking at: motion design things, possibly film title sequences.
    I really like interaction design too, and I've already done research on QR codes and augmented reality but not sure what I could do with that...

    I just need to think of an investigative title that poses some sort of question that I can answer.
  5. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    How have contemporary title sequences been influenced by the past (Saul Bass, for example, was a real pioneer)? You could also look at how technology has advanced, and how this has affected trends (suck as After Effects tricks).

    Just an idea.
  6. SophieGibson

    SophieGibson New Member

    Eureka! Ok, so I have my dissertation question :D

    "What is the impact of digital media on print?"

    So any input on what I could talk about / themes that I could run throughout the piece would be lovely, thanks to everyone giving me suggestions so far :)
  7. Offelias

    Offelias Member

    My dissertation was on the role of the importance of design in digital platforms, specifically intended for editorial design. This ended up evolving into a general analysis of digital vs print, followed by a deeper analysis of what makes a good user experience. The consumer expectations, and an analysis into the aspect of interactivity that you can't get in print. It looked a lot into the design of user interfaces to determine ease of use. Ie/ good design effectively becomes invisible because it means the user doesn't have to think about it. A well designed UI will require little thought once a user (easily) adapts to it's use. It also looked at things from a business perspective, which wasn't entirely necessary, but was quite interesting. I came to some great conclusions.
    I emailed a lot of print and digital publishers to get opinions on design/workflows/considerations, particularly on editorial publishers who had strong print AND digital versions. Lots of questionnaires emailed out to determine why people like what they like, and what makes them engage with a digital application. Interesting also was the amount of people who subscribe to a print editorial AND digital even though they pay pretty much double.

    (Sorry for the not so coherent sentences, it's been a while. I may have to dig it out)
  8. SophieGibson

    SophieGibson New Member

    Wow, that sounds super interesting! Is there any specific books/websites you found useful with this topic?
  9. SophieGibson

    SophieGibson New Member

    I've found that I'm finding it particularly hard to find stuff about how actually print has changed since the introduction of digital media.
    Tonnes of stuff on how digital media has affected the circulation and popularity of printed stuff like newspapers and magazines, but not if the actual designs have changed or anything. Maybe they haven't?
  10. Offelias

    Offelias Member

    Some editorials are making great use of the scope of digital interactivity, adding new experience for their user, while others simply have a digital PDF on a screen that looks identical to a print copy.
    The difference between print and digital in this age (in my opinion) is the fact that people now interact directly with design rather than just being visual.
    Think of National Geographic in print, and then take a look at the digital version. A lot of visual elements are carried over across the two. The consistency between the digital and print is brilliant. But a lot of the underlying design considerations (eg columns, headers, info tabs, article length, placement etc) being no longer confined by a physical print size, also the direct interaction of the user (swipe, scroll, pinch, zoom etc), means that the experience is very different. The expectations are very different. Hence the design considerations have to be different. The design of the user interface is invisible from a consumers eyes but does in fact directly correspond to the satisfaction and enjoyment the consumer receives from the app, and is in fact noticed.

    I've PM'd a few books over that I found quite helpful.
  11. jads07

    jads07 New Member

    I am doing a very similar subject to your What is the impact of digital media on print, I've only managed to find a few sources and was wondering if you would be able to let me know any good books or anything that you found? Would be very helpful!
    Thanks :)

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