Assignment 5: Designing a Dynamic Social Media Page

Students will pick an organization, preferably one that is lesser known and is not very present in the social media world, and they will create a social media site for that organization through an outlet of their choosing (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

Students should design the page in accordance with the personality of the organization as well as inserting some of their personal flare to the design.

Specific Requirements:

15 image minimum

Good full bio that tells the whole story of the organization concisely

Any materials posted that are relevant to organization and would be interesting to public

Logo used in appropriate places

Image of the organization needs to be put in a positive light

Points will be given for emotionally provocative designs

This is a 3 star level assignment seeing as it takes some expertise with branding and the deep knowledge of how to use a specific social tool \

Originally posted at Spenser Hicks's Blog

Last post for the course

Well its been a great semester and I couldn’t have asked for a better hands on learning experience than this. I love the lab intensive set up and I can see myself using many of the tools I learned in the course throughout my career. Going into this class I really didn’t know very much about design at all but that has changed completely now. I learned that design allows us to make deep and lasting connections with our public and if done right can form lifelong mutually beneficial relationships. I really would like to see more classes done like this. The hands on aspect of this course made the environment so much better for learning and I think I retained so much more this way.

Throughout this course I got to implement everything I learned about designing. I learned more about segmenting publics and the importance of designing for your public in a way that will connect with them. I got a good grasp on InDesign and am able to design stylish and emotional proactive pieces now. I will take what I learned in this course and implement it the rest of my life.

Originally posted at Spenser Hicks's Blog

The whole Donald Sterling thing


I have always had an interest in sports and have followed most of the popular ones pretty closely. When the whole Donald Sterling fiasco happened earlier this week it caught my eye. On the one hand it shocked me how someone so privileged and hard working could be so ignorant. On the other hand it got me thinking from a PR stand point. The fact that I think about things from a public relations stand point means that I am putting my education to good use and I am grateful for that. Looking at this situation from a public relations standpoint there doesn’t seem to be a good way out for Mr. Sterling. It will be very hard to save face and he is most likely going to be known for not all of his abundant accomplishments but for the racist comments that went public that one year. If I was his public relations representative I would make sure the public knows that he really doesn’t think that way. Mr. Sterling has to be put back into a good light for people to start looking favorably about him again. The goal should be for him to make the public aware of all the good he actually does for the community in hopes they believe his remarks were a mistake.

Originally posted at Spenser Hicks's Blog

Designing for Emotion Chapter 7

This chapter summed everything up perfectly for me. It got the overall message that was book is trying to convey summarized down into a couple pages to reiterate the main points. Like anything else in life there are risks when people design things. Some people won’t accept it and some won’t even give it the time of day. I have always thought of this as a bad thing as I think many people would. This may even lead some people to have reservations about designing something that a lot of people will see.

The chapter made me look at some people nor understanding or rejecting your design in a positive light. It makes sense really.The people that reject the design are not the people you want looking at it in the first place. A good design helps narrow the public down and helps you find out who is really interested. This book has taught me that we have to put our own personalities in the design for it to be effective. This helps the designer develop a connection with the public and accomplishes whatever it is that needs accomplishing.

Originally posted at Spenser Hicks's Blog

Designing for Emotion Chapter 6

This chapter really interested me because I am very intrigued by crisis management and that is pretty much what this chapter goes over. It is a short chapter but it is very concise and easy to read. Reading the first couple pages I asked myself: This seems to be about apologizing after problems happen how does design tie into this concept?

It went on the explain that the best way to handle a problem is to communicate swiftly and honestly about what is going on. That is something we have always learned as future PR practitioners and it is good to reiterate it from time to time. I knew they would eventually bring design into the equation somehow and it gave the example of Flickr. The company had a small crisis when the uploading system got backed up and people couldn’t upload photos they wanted. Well in short Flickr made the problem into a contest where members could win a free year membership of Flickr Pro. It got peoples minds of the website being partially down and it was communicated within a timely manner. This was a very interesting and pretty much brilliant way of handling things the way I see it. It is like a clever distraction while the problem gets solved in the background.

What I took away from the chapter is that things need to be communicated clearly and in a timely manner when there is a crisis. Emotional design is what keeps the customers hooked. A company can have small hick ups but as long as they have engaging design to keep its loyal customers and they respond to the problem appropriately everything will be fine. flikr

Originally posted at Spenser Hicks's Blog

Direct Mailers

This was a very interesting and helpful project when it comes to distinguishing publics and targeting the material toward each specific one.

I thought the front of the mailer should be simple and simply show a large high quality image of the university. Each has the logo on the from so that the recipient is sure of where the mail is coming from. I tried to show contrast where I could by applying gradients where possible and highlighting information by placing it inside a box outlined with a border. For the mailer that was directed toward children of alumni I wanted to come up with a clever phrase that would show that yes they are going to the same school as their parents but they are making their own path. I came up with “Continue the tradition, but make your own memories”

I liked the idea of student profiles so I used this on both and think it gives the prospective student a student face to put on the university.  Finding backgrounds that worked and fit well was challenging but I ended on just a simple background for the alumni one with a notebook one as well to create some contrast. I like the background for the Gaylord College one being an old newspaper. I made sure to create as much repetition as possible by putting the OU logo in as many places as possible and using fonts consistently throughout both.

Overall it was a very good learning experience and I believe I have improved from the first project by being able to create repetition but also have the right amount of contrast in certain places. Stakeholder Matrix

Direct Mailer #1 front Direct mailor #1 back Direct Mailer #2 Front Direct Mailer #2 back

Originally posted at Spenser Hicks's Blog

Assignment 1 Reflection

Letterhead sooner housing

Back of card: Business Card back side


Front of card:  Business Card front

This first assignment was much more challenging than I would have ever imagined. The software was actually surprisingly easy to get the hang of but I have so much more respect for web designers now that I see how difficult it is. I made a business card and letterhead for the Sooner Housing and Food department here at the university. I believe I reflected the brand of the university well enough by using the correct crimson color that students here value as well as using graphics that students here would recognize such as the pictures of the dorms. The target recipient of the card is freshmen who are new to the dorms. These freshmen may need assistance whether it be questions about upcoming events or just genera questions about the university. The card gives them contact information of someone that can help them with those problems and even provides them with a map just incase they are living in the student apartments farther away. It was designed for super new students to the university to be as simple as possible in order for freshmen to get their questions answered in a timely and efficient manner. I tried to use the correct repetition of the color as well as images of the dorms to remind freshmen that this is the person to contact with any questions regarding dorm or university questions. To start I just started messing around with different alignments until I found one that was aesthetically pleasing. It was rather difficult to get good quality images. I contacted student housing for the Housing and Food logo that is on the card as well as the letterhead. They said the image was the highest quality one they had but it is severally lacking in quality and in turn makes the final product look tainted. Overall it was a great learning experience and a good first step in my design practice.

Originally posted at Spenser Hicks's Blog

Designing for Emotion Chapter 4

This was a very informative chapter overall and really got me thinking of different ways to get in touch with people’s emotions. Given that people’s attention is very hard to keep in this day and age, designers have a very small amount of time to catch the viewer’s eye.

The chapter broke down emotion very well into several components that were then explained. I found this a very good way of explaining everything. Surprise was the first aspect gone over and then anticipation was discussed. It was also a very interesting way to present things and made it very understandable.

I wouldn’t change anything about the chapter. It was written in a clear concise manner that was also interesting. The examples that were given were so unique and perfect for what he was talking about that it made the read very engaging. It was good to keep a consistent theme as well like when the author talked about Mailchimp again.

I really liked the way he talked about surprise and anticipation and how we as human beings have emotion rush to us when we are surprised or build up when we feel anticipation. As designers we have to find a way to key on that. I also enjoy how the chapter finishes by basically saying there is no for sure formula to captivate emotion. We have to figure out specifics about our audience and tailor the specific messages toward that.


Originally posted at Spenser Hicks's Blog

Designing For Emotion Chapter 3

This was the most interesting chapter yet and I have a feeling they will keep getting better and better. To me this chapter seems like it could be the backbone of the entire book. It discusses personality and persona as they relate to web design.

Something that I had really never thought about and that this chapter did a great job at explaining was that the designer needs to see the computer as a medium for human interaction. This can be difficult at times. It seems that a great web designer understands at a deep level how to use the tools that computers offer in order to evoke emotion in others. The key here is understanding others. The other people looking at the computer screen are the ones that matter not necessarily the computer as much.

As designers we need to understand personality as a whole and how different personalities can often relate in some way. The author talks about creating your own persona. That persona needs to relate as much as possible to the viewer’s personality in order to captivate them.

Walter does a good job at explaining brand persona or brand personality and how to build that up. I don’t think I would change anything about this chapter as it seems simply put and well laid out. We need to get in other people’s heads in order to better understand how to design with emotion for others.

Originally posted at Spenser Hicks's Blog

Designing For Emotion Chapter 2

This chapter explained concepts I had never really thought of before. Most of them are simple concepts that are right in front of our face but they lead to some fascinating and more complex questions about design and even human nature in general. One major concept that stood out to me and one that really never crossed my mind was that all humans “emote”.

Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 12.27.53 PM

Charles Darwin postulated that we were all born predisposed and ready to express emotions such as fear, sadness, and anger. It is who we are and we as humans can express emotions better than any other species on the planet. It’s what makes us complex and so hard to figure out at times. We can hide emotions, repress them, and even change them on a whim. How does one design for a human race that constantly changes the way they think, feel and therefore act? I had never thought about how truly difficult it could be to make something that pleases a large number of people seeing as those people have had different experiences throughout their entire lives and have learned to handle their emotions in dramatically different fashions.

I am not sure I agree 100 percent with the “baby-face bias” or that we has humans evolved to think baby faces were cute so we wouldn’t kill them. It is however interesting to think about and discuss.

The main point at least that I got from this reading is that we are all born with a set of guidelines for our emotions that is predisposed. We use these emotions everyday; to convey how we are feel in and even what we are thinking. Design seems to be born from emotion. Its how we communicate and a good designer, whether it be web design or any design really has the complex task of conveying his/her emotion in an understandable and creative way so that it will be receptive to others and their specific emotions at the time.


Originally posted at Spenser Hicks's Blog