Second Assignment – Digital Fire Safety Campaign

Our second assignment set required us to present ideas on how digital media could be incorporated into a new campaign regarding fire safety, and engage the audience with good fire safety and evacuation practice.

Working in a different group of 4 people this time, we discussed our initial thoughts and ideas similarly to the previous assignment and found some difficulty in both conveying a serious message regarding fire safety to our audience while also allowing the media and campaign to reach as wide an audience as possibleĀ  – people would likely not voluntarily download an app-based advertisement for fire safety from the app store, for example, but if we went too far in making the media entertaining or comical the message might get lost. An example of a campaign striking this balance quite well is Metro Trains Melbourne’s Dumb Ways to Die video:

This video initially appears to simply be a long comedy song but at the end carries a striking message regarding train safety. This element of black comedy was well-received and the video has since gone viral to over 67 million views.

This is what we took into consideration when developing our ideas.

Reference: Metro Trains Melbourne, 2012. Dumb Ways to Die [online]. Youtube. Available from: [Accessed 24 Nov 2013].

Typography and Meaning

In a recent workshop we covered Typography, and the use of it to visually enhance text. As shown in this post on 1stwebdesigner, some examples of typography can be extremely visually striking works of art constructed almost entirely out of the use of words.

After the workshop in my own review of the session I considered the uses of typography, and began considering the effect typography has on meaning that the viewer constructs. Through semiotics one can construct meaning out of symbols, patterns and features in an image or piece of media that is not necessarily word-based, and this is also true for typography – however typography is used with words which also carry their own linguistic meaning.

As such I find typography interesting as there can be different layers to the meaning that the viewer interprets from a piece of typography, assuming they have understanding of both the words and the artistic typography. The design and typography can be used to enhance the meaning of the words that are there through attempting to match this stylistically – a simple example of this below:


However, beyond this typography can also be used to contradict the linguistic meaning of the words used, which can creatively conflict the viewer’s opinions and feelings from a particular piece of typography. A common example is with the use of color as such:


The color on the left contradicts the word, whereas the right side matches color with the correct word. The viewer is to be subconsciously confused by this as their mind interprets both the meaning of blue and red when reading one of the words that is in the incorrect color. I find this to be a more interesting use of typography, where the semiotic meaning the user derives from the typography actually contradicts what the text says.

contradiction2I think use of typography like this is well worth using to achieve a striking or memorable marketing or advertisement campaign due to the contradictions that one can pose by using typography like such.

Reference: Torbjonsen, H. 50 Great Examples of Extremely Awesome Typography [online]. 1stwebdesigner. Available from [Accessed 19 November 2013].

Bristol Zoo Digital Experience – Presentation & Review

After developing the ideas previously detailed here, we delivered our presentation to our peers on our ideas for development of Bristol Zoo’s digital experiences.

Bristol Zoo Complete Presentation

Overall I believe the presentation went successfully, with most of our ideas being developed and conveyed well enough that they could likely be produced from our concepts in future. In retrospect it would have been more effective to focus our attention on developing fewer ideas more fully, so that our presentation felt like the ideation of one unified digital experience. Rather, each member of our group chose to develop our own ideas individually before bringing them together for our presentation. This drew our focus away from one unified app and more towards presenting our individual concepts all together.

Our ideas, while original and varied, did not necessarily fit in too well together and possibly came across as disjointed ideas in parts. Still, our concepts were well presented and received by our peer assessors, so in hindsight we would likely not need to change our concepts and designs too much but instead focus on how we delivered our presentation and put some more work into integrating the digital experiences together.

Bristol Zoo Digital Experience – Developing the ideas

After our initial planning phase in the assignment our group set out to further develop our own ideas for use in the overall digital experience, while conferring to keep our designs visually similar for brand synergy and recognition – one way to work on our aim of inciting visitors to return to the zoo. It is likely that if they can identify our digital designs with Bristol Zoo just by looking they may be more enticed to visit again.

The idea that I developed was the design and presentation of the interactive map feature for visitors to navigate the zoo and plan their visit on the fly. My interface design for this took inspiration from similar apps (such as Google Maps) to make navigation around the zoo easier – the interface was designed using the existing map on Bristol Zoo Gardens’ website, to keep with the visual consistency of the existing digital content the zoo has on offer. My design took the online map the zoo already provided and enhanced its interactivity as well as providing users access to it throughout their visit by adapting it for mobile devices.

Nav example

Another concept I put forward for our presentation was fixed green-screen cameras, which would allow the user to look at the animals in the enclosure with the background being an animated overlay of their natural habitat. This was more difficult to conceptualise due to limitations with the idea. For example, the fixed cameras could only be used by one person at a time in order to make the chroma key effect work appropriately, the application for mobile devices to use such an effect on the fly while keeping a steady frame rate would be challenging as such technology likely isn’t that efficient yet.

Furthermore, tying it in to the rest of the digital experience could prove challenging due to its limited degree of actual interactivity – the concept was more an idea for developing the zoo’s technology rather than interactivity. Despite this, itĀ  could still be a possible future development for the zoo.

As such, our group decided to mainly focus on the other digital developments we had proposed, such as my interactive map over the cameras, so that we would have a focused brand and application to present going forward.

First Assignment – Bristol Zoo Digital Experience

The first brief we were set was the design of a new digital experience for the Bristol Zoo Gardens, utilising technology and the Zoo’s archive of facts and photos to keep visitors engaged and make coming back more worthwhile. In a group of 4 we initially outlined our different ideas for integrating digital technology with the zoo experience and considered how to integrate our various ideas together.

After discussing several ideas including an interactive GPS-based map and zoo-oriented phone games, we decided to bring this together through the development of a phone/tablet app to be used in conjunction with visiting the zoo. This would include a variety of features aimed at a family audience, including our aforementioned ideas for a digital experience as well as other developments – such as on-site QR scanning to integrate the visit with the app seamlessly.

Through these ideas we believed we could fit the criteria of making the digital experience appeal to a variety of visitors, such as the interactive map for use by adults compared to the pets and games for younger audiences.

Our completed presentation for our ideas is attached to this post.

Bristol Zoo Complete Presentation