Friday, 21 December 2007

Semester 1: Performance Evaluation

Now that the first semester is over, I look back upon the 3 assignments that are now completed and handed in and smile with pride. It has, by no means, been an easy ride; however, I never expected my return to education to be anything other than a challenge.

A2 – That’s the Plan!
The commencement of the first assignment saw the introduction to my first formal web plan. Whilst I have created a handful of websites in the past, the process in which I undertook during the design and creation has been completely different.

I have found it very interesting to see how we are supposed to approach design tasks such as this.

As can be expected, the referral of this assignment came as a complete shock. The marking scheme was like nothing I had ever seen before and posed quite an obstacle between a pass and me.

However, following the comprehensive feedback from Steve [the course leader], I was soon back on track. The alterations were minimal and seemingly painless; before I knew it, the resubmission was in and the other assignments were well on their way.

As ever, there is much room for improvement with the A2 resubmission; the thing to remember is that we are students and that the educational journey we are on is exactly that.

A3 – Back to Basics / A4 – Image Rights

With A2 now a distant memory, it was time to concentrate my efforts into the two active assignments, the very similar A3 and the much more creative A4. Advancements in my experience and design techniques give the dual running assignments much more of a professional feel than A2.

My creativity and ability to work under pressure has been explored in quite some depth during the last few months with timed assignments and imaginative web banners.

With every day that has passed since I started the course in September, my desire to be a designer has increased significantly. I consider myself to be a well-motivated individual who has a passion to succeed.

Whist I aim for perfection, there is still much room for improvement; in particular with my time management, or at least the planning / recording of it.

I feel that the quality of my work has and will continue to improve significantly as I progress through the course.


Short Term [Semester 2]
Improvement of my time management skills during this next semester is going to be essential. Over the Christmas period, I am going to become very familiar with the upcoming assignments, featured on the HND Interactive Media Website.

Additionally, during the upcoming semester, I am looking to ‘raise my game’ and achieve at least a merit in the next assignments.

My design and creativity skills will naturally progress over the next semester; I am willing to put in as much work as is required to further this.

Mid-Term [End of the course]
By the end of the course, I foresee myself being in a very employable position. This is based upon the position that many of the second years and previous students now find themselves.

Before the completion of the course, I predict that I will have completed some ‘outside’ work either as an individual or as part of a small team from the class.

Long-Term [Employment]
I think that everyone is of very similar disposition in that freelance / self employment is the ideal with regards employment; however, being much more realistic, I think that working for a company may be a much more practical approach as much experience is to be obtained by those who have walked the path before you.

In closing, “Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life.” – Unknown Source.

Word Count: 645

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Happy Holidays...

Following the advice of a wise man, I have altered my approach and rolls in many things since I started this course; much to my benifit.

In spite of the turbulent times I have experienced during the first few months of the course, both personally and academically, I honestly feel as though everything is beginning to make sense.

If everyone is being honest with themselves, I do not think that there is anyone who hasn't at some point questioned their position on the course; this is only furthered by the people who have left. However, four and a half months in and I really feel as though I belong.

As I reminisce about my first [and only] week off work since starting this course, I look back upon a very productive week; however, there much work to be done and every second counts.

Steve has very kindly given the class the opportunity of working from home on Monday the 17th of December [the day before the submission of A3 and A4]; an opportunity that I do not intend to miss [for clarity I will be working from home on the 17th].

During Monday [in particular the afternoon] the atmosphere in the class, for some, was surprisingly relaxed considering the impending submission[s] in a weeks time. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it shows that students have been making good use of their time planning and are either in front or on schedule.

I am now looking forward to the actual build of the A3 - Back to basics assignment in the New Year; the work that has gone into the A3 project, it would be a great shame not to see the site created and uploaded.

Quote of the week

"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance."- Derek Bok (1930-), Harvard University President

Friday, 7 December 2007

Image Restoration



Feedback please everyone... [be nice :-) ]

Thank you in advance

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

The Sky's the Limit

Hi there everyone,

This is the first of my two banners. I would like to thank everyone who has commented on the banner so far.

However, as this is an evidence based course, I would be very grateful if you could post additional feedback here.

All feedback greatly appreciated.


Once I have a good enough draft of the other banner, I will
upload that one for feedback also.


This week has been a very productive one. Aside from the many self-study hours fuelling my attempt to regain the time lost during my referral work, I feel that the ‘college time’ part of this week has gone really well.


The resubmission feedback was delivered well. It showed us how simple errors can [and do] have a very large impact on our grades. I personally know that the feedback time on Monday has already had an influence on the direction of both the A3 and A4 assignments.

The remainder of Monday was spent working on the content of A3. I feel that for this particular section of the task, it worked well that this was done in class as many of the students were sharing references; strengthening both the groups bond and giving clarity to areas of the assignment.


With the ‘heads up’ before we left on Monday night regarding coloured pencils, we knew we were in for a bit of ‘studio time’ come Tuesday morning.

Sure enough we were welcomed with an other timed challenge [bring it on :-) ]. Today’s challenge was directly related to a one of the sections in A4; the planning and production of two static banner adverts which conform to IAB [Internet Advertising Bureau] standards [26.4].

Not such a problem? We have done this kind of thing before [with the business cards]. Think again. Although this task was similar in that, we had a strict time restriction and a limited amount of canvas in which to produce our designs.

However, working on 5 different images we had to create 2 different sized [sizes were given] static banners to be used on the web. With the motivational encouragement of Steve, we managed to produce 40 rough sketched banners within a very short period. How short? At one point we had to create 4 banner ideas within 1 minute! I was amazed how much can be done in such a short period with the correct coaching.

My sketchbook is beginning to look more like how I would have imagined a designers sketchbook to look! :-)

I do feel however, that this kind of pressure based production would be somewhat difficult to reproduce at home / without the encouragement of someone else.

Although my design skills are not fantastic [and my drawing skills are even worse], I am overall very pleased with the results [see above for an example].

From looking around the class, it was apparent that the majority of the group really enjoyed the task and as a result produced some good quality work.

The support [as mentioned in previous entries] was as apparent as ever again today. Many people took full advantage of other people opinions and altered their designs accordingly.

This week is set to be my most productive yet. Motivation and self esteem is high and for the first time since I started this course I HAVE A WEEK OFF WORK!

I will [as I am sure many others will] be posting my draft banner ideas on DasForum so please please please if you are not already an active member, sign up, log on and lets get some creative feedback and support given to each other.

Great work everyone


Thank you

Shaun Bellis

Quote of the week
“Know your limits, but never accept them.” – unknown source