Carolyn King

Microcontrollers and design – what’s the connection?

How are microcontrollers being used, and do they impact what visual designers do? Microcontrollers are used in all sorts of electronic devices, home appliances, medical equipment, vehicles, phones and countless other physical products. These are not what you may first think of in terms of graphic design and visual communication. However, the user interface, accessibility …

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brainstorm-sketch

Ideas, ideas and more ideas

After empathising with users and defining the problem for our Design Thinking project, the next step was to start finding possible ways of solving the problem! This is called the ‘ideation’ phase. Ideas can be generated through means such as brainstorming, brainwriting, mindmaps, storyboards, challenging assumptions, sketching or many other methods.

Can speculative design save the world?

Traditionally, design is about creating effective solutions to existing problems and human needs. Designers aim to generate creative, usable ideas for new or better designed products, services, structures, interfaces or pieces of communication. Sometimes in the process of doing this, they help make the world a better place. Speculative design is the opposite of designing …

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BBC microbit

Embedded microcontrollers – the BBC Micro:bit

A microcontroller is a small, programmable computer on a single integrated circuit. They are called embedded microcontrollers because they are usually embedded into a device in order to run a program to do a specific task. “A microcontroller takes input from the device it is controlling and controls the device by sending signals to different …

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Uses of 3D printing in graphic design and visual communication

3D printing involves making things – 3 dimensional objects – which is generally not what most people think graphic designers do. However, graphic designers have actually been designing 3D objects since the early days of visual communication – from books and brochures through to signs, packaging, merchandise, folders, cards and advertising hoardings. The question is, …

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User empathy – personal experiences with wallets

The first stage of design thinking relates to empathising with users – understanding their needs, motivations, thoughts and feelings. For our project we interviewed volunteers from the university as well as observing or interviewing people in external environments and researching friends and family connections. For the in-depth interview I chatted with Mike, a 38 year …

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