Carolyn King

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The sharing economy: a case study

This research report was prepared as part of our Experience Design (XD) course. The project involved selecting a service area to focus on, researching its context, and preparing a case study of a service operating in that area. The area our team focused on was the growing range of services in the ‘sharing economy’.

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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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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Defining the design challenge from a user’s perspective

The second stage of our design thinking project involved defining the problem or problems we were trying to solve. We used insights from the empathy stage to determine ways of looking at the problem from a human perspective, restating it as a design challenge that can be addressed in the ideation stage. In order to do …

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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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Learning about 3D printing

In our second practical class for Enhanced Design Tools we had an introduction to 3D printing. It was fun to see some samples of 3D printed work, as well as learning how to use 3D software and see our designs turned into cute little 3D objects. Here’s a summary of the steps we followed.