Posting my final in-class presentation below:
I received a lot of really helpful feedback during class, from professors and peers on how to improve my project. I knew going into the presentation that I had not had enough time to practice and I think I left out a few key messages concerning my presentation. That said, I was pleased with the feedback I received.
From the professors:
- ‘Seems very complete, as a project.’
- I was pleased with this remark, as one of my main aims was to finish something that I could hand over as an outreach tool to an organisation. I did not want it to be a proposal for future work, which is why I really limited the scope of the work. However, I do acknowledge that there is a lot that can still be worked on on the images.
- ‘Is “generic” design ever generic? I think this is friendly-looking, the colors and cartoonish style helps that’
- Agree they are not really ‘generic’! I was not sure whether the cartoonish style was a good/bad thing initially, but I started out trying to make them accessible and felt that the simpler lines and colors would do that. I also think the ‘friendly’ nature of the images creates that ‘double-take’ effect we spoke about in class, that the harmful icons require the reader to take a second look, because they follow the same ‘friendly’ style as the non-toxic lawn icons.
- ‘You pinpoint the tension between the dominant pristine lawn aesthetic, and the poisons it produces. So while I appreciate you minimizing their visual difference in your diagram, I wonder if you need a second diagram where you heighten a new aesthetic, and really target the lawn-fetishists (are these still men?)’
- Would have to discuss this a bit further as to what a ‘heightened new aesthetic’ would be – but I think that it would be a good next step to really develop a ‘non-toxic’ image, with a more detailed aesthetic and more icons/information, which could stand alone.
- ‘These stats are horrifying – making the invisible visible. Your iconography is really strong. I think you’ve achieved what you’ve wanted in terms of making things relatable. In particular the icons toe a good line between accessibility without being cartoons. One critique would be to swap the bad and good images – bad on left and good on right to create a call & response. Also, have you looked at rock lawns in places like Jacksonville?’
- Glad to hear they liked the icons – I agree with the bad/good, left/right is the most common way of presenting them, I wonder though on the flip-side, if that is too obvious?
- Have seen rock lawn examples on line – would need to give more thought about this side of it, but agree that on a national level having full green lawns (even though non-toxic lawns generally require less water and upkeep) is not advisable, particularly in drought ridden areas, and I would need to create new images for areas like this.
- ‘I think it would be good to explain why people might want bees in their garden particularly with families – scared of stinging children’
- Good critique – it is something I struggled with, which is why I did not put in much about bees as I did not want people to be put off by this. But agree – would need to think more about this messaging so as not to discourage people.
- ‘I would try to have more distinct levels of information in the first infographic – specifically numbers so they stand out more.’
- Good idea – I think there would be a balance to strike between not making it look too much like a standard computer generated infographic. But agree numbers and arrangement of information would help the messages stand out more.
- ‘Maybe it could be a good idea to replace brand names with the images of containers (or both) or maybe the logo. This would help if people do not know the name’.
- Great idea – really like this! I struggled with the second image being too text heavy when I was creating it.
- ‘Going from bees to lawns to homeowners was a very nice touch. I find it seamless and not depressing unlike most environment projects’.
- Great 🙂
Next steps/ reflection:
The critique and feedback from the class was really really helpful. I was pleased by the positive comments – as you never know if an image or set of images is going to bomb, so it was good to get positive and constructive comments.
There is definitely a lot more scope for developing the images, and making new ones. Here are the main areas which I think need more work:
- Creating a more detailed version, or a new image, showing all the good aspects of a non-toxic lawn. For those people whose gardens and lawns are important to them.
- Developing the main comparison image further – possibly breaking up the text comments and adding more numbers to make it easier to read.
- I had an idea to do a cross-section image, of the good/bad lawn to show ‘what lies beneath’ and to play on the visible/invisible notion. This could be built on the main image, or a new one.
- Creating more icons for the side effects – there are a lot more e.g. endocrine disruption, which are important but I did not have time to make. I like the idea of the icons being able to be slotted into other outreach materials and used as a resource for organisations.
- Updating the pesticide list to include brand logos or packaging – really good suggestion to reduce the amount of text and make it more recognizable.
- Changing the format of the wildflower list – to include more information about the positive contributions pollinators make in gardens.
I plan on send these images to Edwina @ Perfect Earth for her critique/feedback, as I would like them to actually be usable rather than sitting on my computer!