Tag Archives: design

Accessibility – it’s for everyone!

 

Disability ramp leading into a building
Image from: Daniel Lobo https://www.flickr.com/photos/daquellamanera/377766377/

I know that so many people do not even consider accessibility when it comes to Digital Citizenship, but really for online environments it is not just about “accessibility” but it is about “good design”.

Let’s look at an accessibility ramp for instance. A ramp is not just for the few. Everyone can benefit from it.

Accessibility is not just about a physical impairment, but also about good media design that ensures everyone benefits regardless of the technology available to them.

Images, video, audio should all have text alternatives. If a button or navigation control is an image, the alternative text should describe where the button will take the user, or what it will do. Where the image is part of the learning material, you must ensure that the same information is given in text form.

Remember this is not just for people who are sight impaired, but for those users  with issues loading the image due to poor connection speed. This  will also help to cover different learning styles.

The only exception is an image that is just there as part of the page design, for example a blue line with dots in it, might appear as part of branding and design on a webpage. The learners are not “disadvantaged” if they do not see that design element. So for the alternative text, it should be given a null value of “”.

With video/audio, your original planning material/script can form the basis for your closed caption file or text document. Be sure to describe what is “happening”, not just what is being said.

Think about it – have you ever seen a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation where you can’t make out the words because they clash with the background image/colour?

Image shows a poorly designed slide from a Microsoft PowerPoint slide deck. The background image is a a poorly lighted shot of lightning, which has patches of dark and white space over the whole background. Words have been added over the top of the image, which is extremly hard to read as it is white font, in a handwritten style over the wide colour spectrum back image.
Demonstrates poor colour and layout choices.

If you are struggling to read your own content, even in part, then others will also have the same issue.

Furthermore colour-blindness, which is common, can affect the visibility of some colours over others. You really need to make sure you use high contrasting colours to support learners.

You can test colour contrast for accessibility using some freely available tools such as this one: http://webaim.org/resources/contrastchecker/

It is important to mention that these checkers only check colours for Accessibility. They will not tell you if it is a good colour choice from a design point of view, so always ask a designer if your colours work together.

As always it is best to check your organisations branding department and ask for the corporate colour palette as this can take some of the guess work out of choosing colours that match your corporate materials.

For video and audio, ensure that the learning material can be clearly heard over any background noise or background music you have added in.

Test your online content and see if you can navigate around it easily and in a predictable fashion using nothing but the keyboard. Most learning management systems take care of this for course navigation, but any content you create yourself in it should also be navigable in this way. Look out for Keyboard traps. Items in a webpage that keep you “trapped” once inside them when using Keyboard only navigation.

Any timed events should have plenty of time for all users to complete and contain controls for the user to pause, step back and step forward.

The pages of your course/site should be navigable through several methods. Again, your organisations Learning Management System will take care of much of this by providing both main navigation links, and also bread crumbs. Make sure you use titles in your pages so that users never feel lost, and ensure that “Home” takes your user to the first page they saw.

For those navigating by Keyboard, there must be a visual indicator as to what area of the site is currently selected. Ensure that where you repeat your navigation links on sub-pages, that they are consistent throughout the site.

You should also use the section heading and heading hierarchy functions in the software that you are creating in, again talk to your organisations deign department or look at your corporate style guide as this should indicate fonts and heading styles to be used.. It is helpful to know how to set section heading and heading hierarchy up in HTML or the CSS.

Text should always be aimed at pre-secondary education reading level. Any complex terms and wording should be explained or an explanation made available via a link to a glossary of terms.

Web pages should never “auto load” new content and links should always jump to the page relevant to a title link. No random links.

Most importantly content should work on ALL devices and not be created for a proprietary device. To ensure this you should test your online course on all web browsers and mobile devices.

Remember that a user must not be disadvantaged because of their personal choice of device nor their access speed.

At the end of the day accessible web design refers to the philosophy and practice of designing web content so that it can be navigated and read by everyone, regardless of location, experience, or the type of computer technology used (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2014).

References

Australian Human Rights Commission. (2014). World Wide Web Access: Disability Discrimination Act Advisory Notes ver 4.1 . Retrieved, from http://www.humanrights.gov.au/world-wide-web-access-disability-discrimination-act-advisory-notes-ver-41-2014#whatis

Daniel Lobo. (2007). Ramp [Image]. Flickr. Retrieved, from https://www.flickr.com/photos/daquellamanera/377766377/

WebAIM. (2016). WebAIM: Color Contrast Checker. Retrieved, from http://webaim.org/resources/contrastchecker/

 

 

 

Augment

For anyone who likes to be cutting edge there is always the Augmented Reality tool Augment to get your students using. Yes they will need some skills in creating graphics but there are plenty of free public libraries available that you can tap into for some brilliant free trials.

With Augment you can:

  • Use existing public libraries
  • Upload your own 3D models
  • Create your own markers
  • Link content on the internet to markers

There is a free version that I have used for a number of years, but you can pay for it and get higher end functions.

Plane create by scanning augment marker
Augment Spitfire Plane

 

This example is a custom marker created by a colleague that we both use in  demonstrations. You scan the marker with the Augment App which will load the 3D model of the plane. If you tap on the ‘web link’ option under the model displayed then it takes you through to a wiki page about the Spitfire plane.

We purposefully did this  so that the people we are training can see that you can use existing materials for AR, but to be honest the potential to create custom content is getting easier.

As you can see it is impressive to see the plane hovering in the middle of a classroom. The students (seeing through the device) can move around and continue to view the image at slightly different angles. But the user must keep the markers in sight otherwise the plane will disappear.

 

But the coolest thing is now you can have you students create engineering pieces in Minecraft and view them through Augment via some simple steps.

  1. Create object in Minecraft
  2. Open the Minecraft world file in Mineways on a PC and select a portion of the the Minecraft work (the piece they have worked on) and export as a 3D model.
  3. Import the 3D model into a 3D package like Blender (free) and save or export ready for upload into Augment  OR you can use a 3D printer to print (as long as the object is not huge).
  4. Zip up the model and texture files and upload into your free account at augmentedev.com
Example of 3D view of Minecraft section
Augment Minecraft example

 

You may say that this is for high end students but I had my 12 year old successfully follow the steps and created this image – this is a section of the top of the mountain. 

This is well worth investigating as so many students are getting valuable experience building in Minecraft, now you can get them to actually ‘see’ their designs in the real world.

Games are so very valuable for students to explore and Minecraft is definitely a way that we can engage and use new technologies to meet outcomes required. The added bonus, students will actually have fun while learning and exploring!

Affordances of Moodle – a multiplatform application

Moodle

Moodle HQ home page
Moodle HQ home page

It is always difficult as an educator to locate tools that are both simple to use as well as giving a teacher solid insight into student behaviors. As part of the online learning journey or even as part of a flipped classroom experience a Learning Management System (LMS) such as Moodle ( Moodle.org, 2015) can become a critical piece of technology.

Bowen (2008) discusses the importance of identifying the affordances of a technology to assess its suitability for particular learning situations.

Moodle includes the below affordances with a short explanation as to why.

Functional affordances

Media affordances: read-ability – students have content loaded into html pages, book and lesson modules, write-ability – students can use wiki, forums, blog, journal tools, view-ability – students are able to see and interact with images and content (where applicable), listen and speak ability – students are able to use plugin integrations for voice shat, teachers are able to post up sound bites and podcasts watch-ability – students are able to watch any video content either loaded or hyperlinked into the LMS.

Spatial affordances: resize-ability –using a mobility option within the LMS configuration for theme setup you are able to set a mobile theme which will resize the LMS interface, move-ability – interactive and non-interactive (text) elements can be loaded into a Moodle course and placed according to the learning design.

Moodle page on desktop computer.
Moodle page on desktop computer.
Moodle course on mobile device
Moodle page on mobile device

Temporal affordances: accessibility – as long as the students have access to the internet then they can access the LMS anywhere/anytime, , synchronicity versus asynchronicity – this is predominately an asynchronous software, but also has the ability for some synchronous work such as through live chat or through a virtual conference software plugin.

Navigation affordances: browse-ability – the content, once loaded by the teacher remains constant so can be browsed, search-ability –students are able to search content within the LMS, data-manipulation – the teacher is able to manipulate sort and sequence content and results.

Emphasis affordances: highlight-ability – the teacher can highlight sections of the content using inbuilt tools and course layout tools, focus-ability – similar to highlight-ability the teacher can give a focus on specific tools using the block area to focus students to a new point.

Synthesis affordances: combine-ability – multiple tools can be embedded, uploaded or created in a Moodle course to create a mixed media learning environment, integration-ability – other tools and systems can be integrated into the Moodle course.

Access-control affordances: permission-ability – a Moodle course site has many levels of permissions from the high end Moodle Administrator (effectively the owner of the site, this role can add users, content modify course site and themes) down to guest access where the site is similar to a website and interactivity does not work. Authenticated users on a Moodle site means that all activity can be tracked and reported on about that user on the whole Moodle site, share-ability –within a Moodle space more than one teacher can be added to a course site, also students have the ability to share content through forums, blogs and wiki assignments.

Non-functional affordances

Technical affordances: this software is multi-platform; depending on the level of interactive content or video links it can use relatively low bandwidth and speed required. For organisations that do not have a LAN to be accessed by all students (such as a prison) Moodle can be loaded on a stand-alone computer that does not point to the internet. Backup of a course created can be reloaded into the system by visiting teachers. The course can be backed up upon leaving which can include users, results and coursework. This can then be re-installed on a LAN enabled system for storage.

Usability: Teachers need to learn to create, manage and teach in a Moodle course. It is a fairly simple tool to use with the edit interface being the same for every resource being added. Students will have access to the resources and activities which are intuitive to use, however, it is recommended that a simple step by step screen grab guide is used for students unfamiliar with the system.

Example Moodle site design
Example Moodle site design

Aesthetics: clean and simple user interface and design. Themes within Moodle give the Administrator and possibly teachers (depending on how the system has been setup for teacher permissions) the ability to contextualize and mimic a website look and feel that will make the experience intuitive for end users.

Reliability: The software itself is robust, however, as it is a web tool internet connection via Ethernet cable, 3/4G or WiFi is critical and if dropouts are experienced this could cause issues. Firewalls of organisations could also cause issues on the initial use if ICT has not opened the port to allow this software to be accessed.

Issues and key considerations

Accessibility – the Government of Australian requires that all websites and web material meet at least level A WCAG3 requirements. The Moodle software is currently rated at a level AA. With the accessibility options enabled it also means that support software , such as screen readers can be used by end users on this site

The outlined affordances demonstrate the possibilities of Moodle in a VET or corporate setting. It allows teacher and presenters to push content out, provide avenues for synchronous sessions and enables the teacher to assess students via a wide range of assessment methods. This is then stored within the Moodle course site and can form part of the backup of the course for archival purposes..

Through the use of plugins this too can be a simple ‘vanilla’ out of the box version or a complex system that fully reports against many key performance indicators.

As this is software can be used across multi-platform, it is an ideal option to use within a VET classroom context.

 

References

Bower, M. (2008). Affordance analysis – matching learning tasks with learning technologies. Educational Media International, 45(1), 3-15. doi: 10.1080/09523980701847115

Morgan, M., Butler, M., & Power, M. (2007). Evaluating ICT in education: A comparison of the affordances of the iPod, DS and Wii. Paper presented at the ASCILITE, Singapore.

Moodle.org,. (2015). Moodle – Open-source learning platform | Moodle.org. Retrieved 12 January 2015, from https://moodle.org/

Greg Whitby reflection post

When taken out of context Greg Whitby’s comment that the focus on technology is a ‘waste of time’ and if you focus on the technology you ignore the central problem and the central issue, could easily be seen to be inflammatory. However, Greg merely is saying that as educators it is very easy to jump on the most popular o newest technology band wagon without thought for the teaching. Primarily I believe that teaching and the students are the primary focus and any technology should augment what you do as a teacher, not the other way around.

Rowan & Bigmum (2012) outlined in Chapter 2 Schools and Computers : Tales of a Digital Romance one critical pattern that schools and institutions alike go through with the adoption of new technologies. With the constant need of upgrades schools and institutions find themselves in a never ending cycle of upgrades to ensure that the students or client base have access to the latest and ergo the best. Often the push can be detrimental and in fact sometimes gets in the way of the students learning.

As Cammy Bean outlined in her article Avoiding the Trap of Clicky-Clicky Bling-Bling there is a seduction factor of using the most sparkly and new technology only to discover that there is not much learning to be found behind the glittery exterior, which is what Greg Whitby was driving at with the above statement. We MUST think of the learning outcomes and not the technology. After all good facilitators have never let textbooks drive lesson planning so why with the advent of digital technologies are we allowing technology to dictate our lessons.

As educators we do need to be aware of technology and how it can be implemented into our classrooms and training, but not to the detriment of the learning. As educators we do need to critically reflect on technologies that we are wanting to use in the classroom and decide if they are they critical to the students achieving standards set out in the curriculum we are teaching or are just glittery ‘extras’ that just add fluff to the teaching.

 

 

Bean, C. (2011). elearn Magazine: Avoiding the Trap of Clicky-Clicky Bling-Bling. eLearn Magazine, an ACM Publication. Retrieved 30 December 2014, from http://elearnmag.acm.org/archive.cfm?aid=1999745

Rowan, L., & Bigum, C. (Eds.). (2012). Transformative Approaches to New Technologies and Student Diversity in Futures Oriented Classrooms : Future Proofing Education. Dordrecht, NLD: Springer. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com

Creative morning breakfast – Theme 22 ‘Colour’

Assessment 5 (2nd post)

Creative morning – Theme 22 ‘Colour’
Colour is ageless – disrupting hierarchies and creating connections

Guest speaker – Jo Pollitt

At 24 Jo Pollitt convinced Qantas (airlines) to lend her a plane at Hobart airport. Since then she continued to follow up insistent ideas, including having 3 children. She is the co-creator of BIG Kids Magazine, featuring the work of artists and children side by side and fronts the dance-writing project co-works. She mentors emerging artists nationally and teaches her response-based improvisation to final-year dance students at WAAPA. Her roles as dramaturge and choreographer are driven by a relentless curiosity to reveal the physicality of imagination.

What happened at #cmper

This particular creative morning had the amazing choreographer and artist Jo Pollitt talking about her journey with colour and its impact on her creative life. She spoke around the challenges of being a creative person in a modern world, and showcased some marvelous works around the theme of colour and how it impacts on the design and feel.

The audience was from all walks of life and all ages, which lead to interesting discussions and very different points of view when design and the use of colour was discussed. It was fantastic to have one of the organisers children introduce Jo, in-particular  as a focal point of the presentation was about the Big Kids initiative. This is a magazine where kids worked as co-collaborators with artists to produce the Big Kids magazines. The kids held crucial roles in the magazine such as senior editor. The senior editor has now become to old so has passed the leadership of the magazine over to the new senior editor (5 years old). Not only were children engaged in the design of the magazine and the layout of the content but were also part of the creative team where many children’s artworks were used as the response art project alongside ‘main stream’ artists such as Stormy Mills.

Cover image for into the dark magazine
Into the dark

One outstanding activity was all about our personal favourite colour (we had identified this on registration as part of our name tag). Jo had us pull out from under our chair a copy of Big Kids magazine http://www.bigkidsmagazine.com/ we opened it to a specific page, which was blank but related to ‘pitch black’ darkness of night. Jo let us know we were going to draw our colour using only the graphite pencil under our chairs and we had to have our eyes closed. After our 47 seconds of drawing time we showed/shared our results.

Thoroughly enjoyable and dynamic morning that held a great deal of inspiration for everyone (see below link for photos).

Some images from the event:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/66165146@N06/sets/72157647642905591

Twitter chat

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23cmper&src=typd

Event takeaway thoughts:

  • Location, location, location. It was an interesting choice of a venue as it is not open to public (in the BankWest Place) but it was close to public transport and easy to find and access. This made it very easy for all attendees to make the 8:00 AM start time.
  • Good food. It always helps to ensure that food is filling and tasty, which was met in abundance. As this was a breakfast event egg and bacon muffins and vegetarian options were available as well as fresh fruit.
  • Creative name badges: The name badges not only had a place for you to write your name but a place for your favourite colour, which then created a starting point for your first conversation with new people.
  • Last point – colour matters, it shapes our lives and everything we do.

My comments on other blogs

Comment 1 – Matt

http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/mattives/2014/09/16/creative-coffee-and-croissant-morning/#comment-45

Comment 2 – Monique

http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2014/09/15/creative-coffee-morning-blog-task-4/#comment-30

Comment 3 – Heather

http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/jesoods5/2014/09/13/task-5-coffee-chat/#comment-25

Creative Coffee Morning Tea – Creating and designing online effective PLN spaces for VET training

Assessment 5

Focus of the morning: Design of online spaces to improve Personal Learning Networks to support training in the VET sector

I held my Creative Coffee Morning Tuesday 16/09. I was lucky enough to have a wide group of online facilitators, managers and administrators from the WA Vocational Education Training (VET) sector in Perth for another event so piggy backed my Creative Coffee morning with it.

I had members from the DTWD elearning team host the event and participate in small breakout group work around ‘Design of online spaces to improve Personal Learning Networks that can support training’ in the VET sector.

I kicked off with a quick look at how students are already building personal networks, then straight into morning tea where it was great to hear enthusiastic discussion from attendees around the topic. 

Creative Coffee Morning tea opening slide
Creative Coffee Morning tea opening slide

After tea and coffee were drunk and the sumptuous morning tea eaten we broke into small groups to discuss and reflect on how the attendees could use this idea in someway in their training. It was good to see ‘heated’ debate around the subject as it made people consider and think about the topic. Each of the small groups were encouraged to brainstorm on butchers paper to share back, which you can see an example of in the flicker album.

From speaking with everyone who attended they went away afterward with some inspiration as to how to either trial this idea or to open discussion with their teaching cohort and management to move the idea forward, which is fantastic.

Not only that but because of the networking everyone came away with contact details of like minded participants who can become part of their own Personal Learning Network.

Some images from the event

https://www.flickr.com/photos/66165146@N06/sets/72157647646262952/

Event takeaway thoughts

  • Timing is everything! This group were able to come together very quickly as we had them for another event, which meant that they were more than happy to join in on an added mini-event
  • Location, location, location. The choice of a venue was driven by our other event and was in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Perth. This was close to public transport and parking, which made it so much easier for delegates.
  • Good food. It always helps to ensure that food is filling and tasty, which was met in abundance we had outside catering which provided amazing food and a very small cost..
  • Last point – WiFi DOES matter (no matter what people say). Unfortunately CCI had told us we had access to WiFi for the event, but this was not forth coming. As a result we did not push twitter.

The final fantastic outcome was that my boss see’s the power of this type of event for engaging people and as a result we are going to continue with ‘pop up’ events throughout the year as a tag-on to our large events.

My comments on other blogs

Comment 1 – Matt

http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/mattives/2014/09/16/creative-coffee-and-croissant-morning/#comment-45

Comment 2 – Monique

http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2014/09/15/creative-coffee-morning-blog-task-4/#comment-30

Comment 3 – Heather

http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/jesoods5/2014/09/13/task-5-coffee-chat/#comment-25

INF536 Assessment 3 – Design brief

Background

As outlined in my initial immersion activity, Giuseppe Corica Pastries is in a converted corner shop in Northbridge, Perth, Western Australia. The bakery is in the heart of Northbridge near the nightclub district and is opposite a very large tavern. There is very limited street parking in the area but is located near two parks. There is a large amount of high density housing near the bakery and some very old small houses. The clients for this bakery range in age from the very young to the young at heart (80+). It is a dynamic and multicultural area that has seen much done to improve the streetscape and general feel of the Northbridge zone by the municipal local government.

The building has recently gone through a major refurbishment; including the exterior being painted lime green, which the bakery more noticeable. Inside there are new counters and the walls have been painted a deep aubergine and there is a bulkhead over the counters, from which the suspended lighting is attached, that is also painted lime green. The colours work well with the new wood fixtures overhead lighting is designed to highlight the display cabinets and to give a warm feeling to the clients.

Immerson blog post http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2014/08/01/assessment-2/

Immersion notes floor plan https://www.flickr.com/photos/66165146@N06/14775615376/in/photostream/

Image of building https://www.flickr.com/photos/66165146@N06/14612012539/

Design problem

Knowing that this building was originally a corner shop both the interior design and the frontage of the building means that there are a number of potential issues, some of which are outlined below:

  • no seating

  • no coffee or beverage area

  • two sets of curved stairs that are slippery in the wet weather

  • no adequate signage

  • security grid giving imposing frontage to building.

Design brief

Objective

To make the shop floor design and shop front setting for Corica Bakerybe better utilized by customers.

Constraints

Known unknown

  • Permissions needed to change building structure

  • Building codes for entrance doors and stairs for coffee shops

  • Building and health code permission to change to an eating place

  • Actual number of ‘accidents, spills or injuries’ resulting from clients using stairs

  • Outcome of risk assessment conducted by workplace (OHS access and egress).

Knowns knowns

  • Twin staircases are slippery when wet

  • Limited signage means clients unaware of accessibility ramp.

  • Entrance door allows wheelchair access.

  • Only one entrance door allows wheelchairs as the other door leads only to a staircase

Considerations

Primary considerations:

  • The shop front needs to be aesthetically pleasing and inviting to clients as well as being functional. Pehaps even the consideration of sidewalk cafe seating to exapnd on the original foot print of the bakery (Lawrence, 2014).

  • Shop interior needs seating for people, either waiting for orders or consuming baked goods, which would include the consideration for expanding the business to include hot beverages.

In light of the “How might we” questions document (D.School, Stanford) some alternative questions related to this project come to mind:

How might we…

  • make the bakery more like a cafe?

  • make the shop front more inviting?

  • redesign the stairs to make more accessible to people in all seasons?

  • create the auditory environment to be something that will add to the ambience?

Ideation – Ideas for Redesign of Bakery

  • Change shape of staircase

    • Modification to the existing staircase. It is recommended that the staircase is built to follow the curve of the structure already in place. this will assist with the entering and exiting of the building (Idea.ap.buffalo.edu, 2014)

  • Change location of signage for access and egress,

    • Redesign the signage to make it clear the location of the  accessibility ramp and and entrance. (Idea.ap.buffalo.edu, 2014)

  • Change layout to include cafe seating

    • Move counters further back into the shop freeing up floor space towards the front of the shop creating a space for cafe tables

    • Close off completely and convert that door to a window space for light. Once this door is closed off it will assist in freeing up further floor space

  • Implement music to improve environment stimulation

    • Human Environment relations is a very crucial factor in the interior design process of a successful eatery. Environmental stimulation within the bakery is lacking with no consideration given to either visual or auditory stimulation. Music is often a create the ‘mood’ of a space (Clark, 104). As the interior design has just been updated a sound track in the background could augment the environment and make the clients experience within the bakery even more pleasurable.

Brain trust members

Shannon Campbell

Liz Crowder

Yvette Drager

Other blogs commented on

Wollies gets a make over

Hurtsville station design brief

Beachside cafe

References

Idea.ap.buffalo.edu, (2014). Entering and Exiting. [online] Available at: http://idea.ap.buffalo.edu/udny/section4-1b.htm [Accessed 12 Aug. 2014].

Desai, A. (2011, May 1). Function and design of cafe’s throughout time. Retrieved from https://courses.cit.cornell.edu/dea150/files/2011%20files/Project%202.pdf

Oldenburg, R. (1989). The great good place: Cafes, coffee shops, community centers, beauty parlors, general stores, bars, hangouts, and how they get you through the day. New York: Paragon House

Clark, T. (2007). Starbucked: A double tall tale of caffeine, commerce, and culture. New York:Little, Brown

KU Work Group for Community Health and Development. (2014). Chapter 26, Section 8: Creating Good Places for Interaction. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas. Retrieved 12 August, 2014, from the Community Tool Box: http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/implement/phsyical-social-environment/places-for-interaction/main

 D.School, Stanford University, How might we? Method Card: [online] Available at: http://dschool.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/HMW-METHODCARD.pdf [Accessed 10 August, 2014]

INF536 Assessment 2 – immersion task

30 minute immersion task – Design for a purpose

It is interesting task to observe a place that I have frequented often over the past 9 years to buy the famous Corica Strudel for our team’s morning tea. Giuseppe Corica Pastries is located in Northbridge, Perth. It is in a converted corner shop with family dwelling at the rear.

The building has recently gone through a major refurbishment; including the exterior being painted lime green, which the bakery more noticeable. Inside there are new counters and the walls have been painted a deep aubergine and there is a bulkhead over the counters, from which the suspended lighting is attached, that is also painted lime green. The colours work well with the new wood fixtures overhead lighting is designed to highlight the display cabinets and to give a warm feeling to the clients.

On the outside Corica’s is very imposing (flickr image) because of the security fencing around the outside of the building. Though this is functional it does give you the feeling of entering a jail.

I observed many patrons coming and going over the 30 minutes. It was interesting to note that there is an access ramp to the left hand side of the building; however, none of the elderly patrons used it to access the shop. The patrons chose instead to climb the stairs, which were slick due to the rain and concrete surface.

The layout of the shops refit has really streamlined the space and everything was fit for purpose. There is no designated in or out door, as there are two front doors people did seem a little confused by this entering and exiting the building. Children took delight in running through the opposite door to their parents.

There is no seating area or designated ‘waiting zone’ for pickups of larger orders, which added to the confusion of the mid-morning rush that I watched. Also it is purely a bakery and does not offer coffee or any cold beverages.

Floor plan
Floor plan sketch of Corica bakery

Link to Floor plan on Flickr

Very interesting experience, I look forward to any comments.

 

Comments on other’s blogs

Comment 1

Comment 2

Comment 3

INF536 Assessment 1 – WiFi roll out

Response

A. I work for a Government Department in WA, so have little ability to modify the physical space without a large amount of committee meetings. We have many problem spaces, which we can do very little about. The physical computer lab is a training area is functional to a point, but very restrictive in its configuration. The key issue was the lack of internet connectivity for more than 12 people in the room as it is an Ethernet connection (hard cable) to our LAN (local area network). The problem with the use of LAN is that the external clients could not plug in and use their own devices as they were not authenticated against our Departments security protocols. Many of our clients bring in their own computers so they can work ‘live’ in their own online environments, as we only had the LAN available they wither could not use their own computers or had to provide their own 3/4 G connection to the internet. Though it is a technology issue it is one that impacts on the space as we can’t change the physical configuration of the room nor have more than 12 participants.

B. In the fast paced world we live in the design of spaces, especially learning spaces, must be forced to become flexible to keep up with the world we live in, such as in my example of the problem space of internet ‘dead zone’ for external clients. However as Brown said in his Ted talk, design is too important just to be left to a designer, because small design is the result. Small design came about because of consumerism and if you consider now the design thinking approach design become a two way street with participants rather than consumers. It is extremely important to bring in the human and cultural element in the design thinking process. The design thinking process is important as it gives us new ways of tackling problems. It allows us to explore multiple and new options that have not been open to us before. Linking that back again to my example internally the key stakeholders were not ‘seeing’ what the external clients needs were. To bridge that lack of awareness we canvassed as part of our session evaluation process if they would like access to Wi-Fi. This data provided a supporting case for the phased approach outlined later in this posting.

So let’s have a quick look at my personal thoughts on the characteristics that anyone needs to become a good designer, to see a project from conception through to completion:

  • Creative thinking – The ability to think outside the boundaries or the ordinary.
  • Project management – A good understanding of project management and the fundamentals of seeing a project through to fruition.
  • Curiosity – The ability to explore which leads to understanding. This separates the wheat from the chaff
  • Networking – Have a wide professional network across the globe that will help keep them informed of trends.
  • Context – the ability to bring idea’s to the table that is relevant to the client, local culture and trends
  • Global awareness – Understanding how the global market impacts on clients and their market places
  • Talent – It has to be said that there is a need for talent in a designer. However a less talented designer but one with a good solid background in the above points will be a better choice as they will look at the wider picture.

Design in learning spaces I feel can lean on the prototyping phase or play phase (Kuratko, Goldsworthy & Hornsby 2012). This could simply be that a pilot test group in involved to evaluate and inform bigger design choices on your space.

C. Phased approach to implementation (based on client requirement surveys).

Phase 1

Firstly we trialed ‘4G hotspots’ to prove a proof of concept, which of course demonstrated that the flexibility of the space meant that we were not tied to a ‘chalk’ and talk sage on the stage presentation style computer lab sessions. This meant that finally I was able to:

  • use the large round table at the back of the room for brainstorming design sessions (see flicker image);
  • have more than 12 participants in the room for training;
  • participants could use own devices for training (as they were familiar with them; and
  • class space could be reconfigured from a formal classroom style to café style seating when required.

Once the test pilot phase was over (lasted 6 weeks) we had enough data and participant feedback to take a formal business case to the Senior Leadership Team for approval to implement Wi-Fi across our site.

Phase 2

Implementation of site wide Wi-Fi access for external clients and corporate devices. This roll out has meant that I am able to have technology enhances sessions, while not having to book the computer lab (which is not always available). It has achieve a greater site wide flexibility of teaching and training spaces with 100% approval from our client base.

The next big trial of this will be a major training event later this year where we will be combining both online and face to face sessions. This event is now only possible because of the small modification to the training environment – the implementation of Wi-Fi. Further expansion will be to general staff for personal BYOD, but that is still a way off due to policies having to be created.

D. – Comments on other people’s blogs (links) – please note not all these comments are on the Assessment 1 blog post purely because not everyone has released their Assessment 1 posting.

Comment 1

Comment 2

Comment 3

Bibliography

Kuratko, D., M. Goldsworthy, et al. (2012). “The design-thinking process in Innovation acceleration: transforming organizational thinking.” pp.103-123

TEDGlobal – David Kelley. (2012). How to build your creative confidence. [Online Video]. Mar 2012. Available from: http://www.ted.com/talks/david_kelley_how_to_build_your_creative_confidence. [Accessed: 21 July 2014].

TEDGlobal – Tim Brown (2009). Designers – think big!. [Online Video]. Jul 2009. Available from: http://www.ted.com/talks/tim_brown_urges_designers_to_think_big. [Accessed: 21 July 2014].

Essa Academy – a triumph of design for learning

It is a very interesting thought on how if given the possibility that we could have the repurpose our spaces to interact more effectively and learning spaces for our students.

This thought that education could benefit from a redesign of its building spaces is not new. The Essa Academy, Bolton, UK is one example of how opportunities in elearning actually became the design change agent for their whole school space.

At this school in 2009 they saw 70% of their students failing their subjects. The teaching space was dingy and teachers were doing their best.

By some radical changes to the structure of the school, firstly becoming an academy which enabled them to access different funding. However, the power of technology was understood by the new administration and they committed to turning Essa into a hub of technology-assisted learning.

This truly is a wonderful success story of a school which rose phoenix like from the ashes and achieve a 100% pass rate in 2011/12. However for me the key feature is that their success as a school enabled them to design a whole new building that was built around and designed for learning and complete integration with the technology.

No longer did they see classrooms in a traditional sense but have built what they call a complete learning ecosystem.

More information here