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How it started vs. How it’s going: Isabella Atkinson, BA Graphic Design

Have you ever looked at an artist’s work and thought that they must have always been that good and sure of what they’re doing? It’s easy to look at a piece of creative and not understand the development that leads up to the finished product. How it started vs. How it’s going aims to highlight what goes on in the background of each creative project, as well as comparing the artist’s personal growth over time. In this episode we speak to BA (Hons) Graphic Design student Isabella Atkinson, and look at the development of her one-week UX Design project, from initial sketches to an app design.

What was the brief?

This week-long brief asked us to create a concept for a mobile application that engages a specific demographic in a specific activity.

There were a lot of options, but I chose the route of ‘making teens to young adults more engaged with the news’.

I feel that this is a very hot topic at the moment, especially with the way young people consume news being vastly different to that of older generations.

By the end of the one-week project we were expected to have come up with wireframes, user flows and a fully realised design solution.

How it started: The beginning of Isabella’s project

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How did you get your project going?

Research! Good solid research is fundamental with graphics project especially UX. “You should never assume anything” as Lecturer Dave Watson says.

I feel I did quite well on my research, although it could have been more thorough. I found lots of articles and studies which broke down and analysed youth engagement with the news as well as researching current news outlets and apps.

On the aesthetics side, I drew inspiration from a variety of spheres: from existing UX design to editorial design. Lastly, I looked into colour; researching what was trending this year and what appeals best to the Gen Z target market.

This body of research built a strong foundation for my further development.

What was your initial idea?

My initial idea was the concept of having balanced world view. I wanted to create a news app that was not only appealing to my target audience, but that it also made them feel less disillusioned and downtrodden.

My aim was for users to see both positive and negative in the world, rather than the scaremongering articles that we see far too often in the media.

Isabella Atkinson, BA Graphic Design

How did you move your idea on?

At first, I struggled to move this project on from sketches as I didn’t have a clear vision as to what I wanted it to look like.

There was also the added complication of having to learn how to use Adobe XD during the project, so it was slow going at first. But, through constantly trialling layouts and aesthetics I managed to move forward.

How it’s going: Isabella’s final outcome

Isabella Atkinson, BA Graphic Design

Tell us about your final outcome

The final outcome is an app called Equal Eyes, created in Adobe XD. It is entirely designed to appeal to a unisex Gen Z audience, meaning it therefore has some unique features that mean it is more accessible to the younger generations.

My favourite features are:

  • The daily breakdown of the news on the form of a chart, to show the news content and its subject (showing transparency of content).
  • The ability to filter the news you wish to see on your timeline
  • A short and long version of article: for both those who wish to get the gist of an article and those who wish to read in detail
  • A comment section on articles so that you can interact and react to content
  • The ‘submission page’ which would allow users to submit their own stories
  • The ‘favourite’ feature which means you can save and go back to articles you liked
  • The ability to act on what you’ve read with a call-to-action button.

I really enjoyed this project and I think the outcome reflects that.

Although UX design is not my forte, I feel quite happy with the results, especially given that I managed to do it all in only 6 days!

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