Script/Design Document

Reflecting back to the script/design document, it was the biggest report that I have ever worked on. Thankfully, all group members consistently worked on the document and we completed it the best we could with 93 pages.

I was in charge of the following sections:

  • Research Methodology
  • Plan for Data Analysis
  • Ethical Considerations
  • Project Management; Guidelines, Schedule,
  • Social Media; Research, Campaign Plan
  • Audio; Research, Sound for VR, Audio Style,

Research

At this point of our project, i know our research question of by heart; An investigation into unconscious gender bias among students in third level education and its impacts on design graduates.  The research will be conducted using a mixed method approach, quantitative and qualitative. The research will be carried out with an online questionnaire and interviews. I found it hard to write the plan for data analysis because I have never done this before. I feel that I should have said a lot more, however, I wrote the plan the best I could. We had already submitted our ethical approval forms and therefore, that part was easy to write.

Project Management

What I found the most challenging was to create the project schedule in a form of a Gantt Chart. It was difficult to predict how long each part would take. However, now that I have done this project I have a better understanding how long each section can take and how much time I should leave for emergencies and contingencies.

Assigned tasks and meeting notes are recorded after each group meeting and then
uploaded to OneDrive. However, some participants prefer Google Drive. I feel that we are slowly starting to use Google Drive more than OneDrive.

Social Media

I really enjoyed researching previous social media campaigns. It is interesting to see how other companies and organisations have targeted their audiences. Different strategies and techniques have given us a lot of inspiration on how to run our own campaign. I researched the Netflix TV Series ‘Narcos’ Campaign because it’s aim was to raise awareness and that is exactly what we aim to do with our social media campaign. The ‘Narcos’ campaign gained 2 million followers. I also researched the Nike social media campaign which sent out the message ‘Equality has no boundaries’. Another inspirational movement is the #HeForShe campaign  that highlights the potential of social media to attract new audiences. The campaign reached more than 1.2 billion people.

Audio

Another challenging aspect was to take on the responsibility of Audio. Audio is not my strongest skill, however, I have enjoyed the research part of it so far. I researched two popular Netflix shows; The Black Mirror and Stranger Things. These are the two most shows on Netflx that our target audience engage with.

Black mirror aims to create a slightly futuristic techno environment. The show’s sound and ambiance are created from real world inspirations. Sounds from various devices and platforms such as notifications from smartphones and social media; twitter, Facebook, etc., have been deconstructed to understand how the sound was created. The sound team recreates the sound with an original twist.

Stranger Things show features 80’s environment where a group of boys discover the horrors of an alternate reality world called ‘The Upside Down’. The sound throughout the show was manipulated to recreate the 80’s style cars, electronic gadgets, telephone ring, etc. Each sound was carefully sourced or recreated by using audio editing software to adjust reverb and frequencies. The alternate reality world was created by the use of different Foley layers. Sound was recorded or walking on dry or saturated floor.

I have always been fascinated with Virtual Reality. I was excited to learn how to produce a VR sound experience. What I learned is that when creating sound for a virtual reality environment, it is important that the audio is 3D. 3D audio means hearing sound in every direction. A great amount of detail needs to be paid to directionality, distance and immersion. HRTF (Head Related Transfer Function) is used to create the directionality of sound. The process of HRTF consists of placing two sets of earphones on a voluntary person and playing different sounds in every direction around that person.

For our project, the aim of the audio is to match the visuals presented throughout the project. The website willhave a calm anticipating ambiance. On the landing page the viewer will be presented with a video which will be interrupted by a glitch. The glitch will be a distorted electric sound. The video will have an ominous ambience. Electromagnetic waves will be manipulated to create different sounds for the atmosphere. The tools used for sound design will be Pro Tools and Adobe Audition. I have learned how to use both software in my Sound Design module. I will have to learn how to use  Reaper and Ableton Live which will be used for 3D sound design.

Here are some inspirational websites that I have come across for audio.
Ruya Website
https://ruya.digital/
The website uses a vibration type of sound for its ambiance. It gives the website a technology feel. This could be used as a hover sound for the Nexus website.
Love Lost
https://lovelost.jam3.com/h
The ambiance of the website catches the user’s attention and invites the viewer to stay and explore what the website is about. Each sound element matches the visuals. The ambiance sound would suite the Nexus Projects website to build anticipation leading to the opening video.

 

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Social Media Campaign

According to research, the project demographic engages with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Therefore, we have chosen to use these three social media platforms for our campaign. The social media campaign will be the first interaction with the audience. We will release a trailer for our Nexus project, which will lead the audience to our YouTube Channel. Additionally, we will post Gifs inviting the audience to share their opinions, thoughts and experiences of unconscious gender bias by using #shequalities. To manage our social media campaign, we will use ‘Buffer’.  The tool allows us to create a post, select the social media platforms that we would like to use for sharing content and schedule a specific date and time to publish posts.

I did some research on successful social media campaigns conducted by the brands that our demographic engaged with. I learned that a campaign becomes successful by sharing interactive content and inviting the audience to engage by the use of hashtags. The Nike #equality campaign posted meaningful messages such as: “We step onto the court as equals. Judged only by our performance” and ‘’You can do this’ (Madelena, 2017 & O’Brian, 2017). Additionally, Nike encouraged the audience to take a photograph and write their opinion on how sport can create an equal world (Nike, 2017). This proven to be a great success.

Similarly, we have decided to create #shequalities. We will share a trailer of our project to build anticipation. Each shared social media post will lead the audience to our Nexus website. We will also post our research findings in the form of a GIF and invite the audience to share their views and experiences of unconscious gender bias. At the moment I have created 3 social media pages; Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Content is still yet to be added.

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References:

Buffer (2018) Products [online]. Available from: https://buffer.com/ [accessed 20 February 2018].

Madelene, J (2017). Just Do It- The Nike Way [online]. Available from: https://medium.com/rta902/just-do-it-the-nike-way-cf3f969dddd5 [accessed 23 February 2018].

O’Brian, K. (2017). Nike’s ‘Equality’ campaign takes a stance on diversity and opportunity [online]. Available from: http://uk.businessinsider.com/nikes-equality-campaign-takes-a-stance-on-diversity-and-opportunity-2017-2?r=US&IR=T [accessed 23 February 2018].

Nike (2017) Equality [online]. Available from: http://equality.nike.com/generator [accessed 23 February 2018].

Project Timeline & Communication

I have been working on the project timeline. It has been difficult as I am not sure what the exact deadlines will be for Semester 2. I have set approximate dates and left some extra time for contingencies and emergencies. As a project manager it is my job to make sure that all group members are happy with the project timeline and that all deadlines will be met in time.  We are currently working on the research proposal. The next step is to start working on the Script. Once the script will be completed, we will distribute our surveys and conduct the interviews. It is important to do this as soon as possible, as our story is based on our research findings.

Communication between group members has become a little bit messy. Up to date we have communicated through Facebook messenger, student email and text messaging. We have stored our files on OneDrive and Google Drive. However, one of our group members are not on Facebook and other groups members prefer google drive over OneDrive. From this point onward, we will be using Meister Task as our main platform for communication, project management and file storage. Meister Task will allow us to stay in control of our project and view each other’s progress.

Internal Communications

We have an agenda for each group meeting. Group meetings are conducted twice a week were each group member shares their research and ideas. We present the work that has been completed and discuss what needs to be done for the next group meeting. Assigned tasks and meeting notes are recorded after each group meeting and then uploaded to OneDrive.

Case Study – Esther

Esther was just starting her degree in Game Arts but she was hearing a lot of negative things about working in the industry as a women. For example, her work will be valued less than equivalent to a male. Esther decided to write an email to a Game Developing company to ask about gender equality in the workplace. Her email was forwarded to two female awards winning game developers, Kim McAuliffe & My N. Tran.

There were a lot of interesting points covered in the Q&A’s, however to summarize, I have picked the two questions that I found very interesting: How does gender inequality impact women in the game studios?

  • Financially there is a pay gap. Men earn more that women. Women feel that they can’t negotiate when it comes to salary or promotion.
  • There can be a feeling of isolation if you end up being the only woman at a meeting.
  • If you’re not load or aggressive you get talked over in meetings.

Is the Industry aware of gender inequality issue?

  • It all comes down to what percentage of the employees both male and female actually care about the gender equality issue. Some men and women are aware, some don’t care and only a small percentage are trying to make a difference by inviting more women into meetings, speeches, etc.

It is clear that many students have encountered these issues and are worried about their future. Learning more about other people’s experiences I realised that there are many people that have similar stories. It would be interesting to interview men and women who are working in the creative industry in Ireland to discover their experiences in relation to gender inequality. For me, the most significant issue is that women are talked over and their work and ideas are not valued equally to men. Previously, I did not realise the impact of these issues. Having read this interview, I feel that this is very discouraging for students entering the industry.

Reference:

Bay, J. (2016). Gender Equality in the Video Game Industry [online]. Available from http://www.gameindustrycareerguide.com/gender-equality-in-the-video-game-industry/ (Accessed 28/10/2017).

Unconscious Gender Bias

Digging deeper into current issues of gender equality, we started to think… why do these things happen?

We came across an interesting article based on two co workers, male and female. Male employee Martin R. Schneider accidentally signed all of his emails with his female colleague’s automated signature as they shared the same inbox. Schneider realised what had happened after his female colleague received criticism by her employer stating that she was very slow at doing her tasks and communicating with clients. Schneider took it upon himself to resolve the situation and introduce himself as Martin Schneider to the clients and all the problems had disappeared. The client’s reaction changed and Schneider received positive feedback. Although Schneider stated: ‘’my techniques and advice never changed. The only difference was that I had a man’s name now’’. This made Schneider realise that women were not treated equally compared to men in the workplace. Schneider and his female colleague decided to conduct an experiment for two weeks and they swapped their email accounts. The results were shocking, Schneider had the worst two weeks of his life. Everything he said or suggested was questioned and criticised and he had wasted a lot of time trying to prove himself, whereas, his female colleague had experienced very rewarding two weeks and her work was actually valued because she had used Schneiders signature. Schneider tweeted this story on twitter and it went viral straight away with 7,000 likes and 5,400 shares (Rodionova, 2017).

This article has proven that people consider men more suited for certain positions than  women. We came across many more articles proving the same thing. Then we started to ask ourselves, why do people have these perceptions of male and female roles? Why do people consider men more suited for certain positions than women? Then we realised, maybe these perceptions are not deliberate. Maybe people do not realise that these judgements and perceptions of women not being suited for higher positions are not justified. So then, we decided to research into unconscious gender bias.

Unconscious gender bias has been imprinted in each individual from the day we learned how to speak. Reflecting back to the fairy tales our  parents told us before bed. Reflecting back to the colour scheme of our bedroom. Reflecting back to our parents as role models. All aspects of our childhood had been gender biased. In fairy tales princesses always had to be rescued by princess. Boys’s bedrooms would always have a darker colour scheme than girls. Mothers would always cook and clean while fathers would be working. These gender roles have been passed on though generations. Each generation has become less gender biased, however the problem still exists and affects us nowadays.

References:

ShEqualities

ShEqualities was formed due to the common concern of gender inequalities in the male dominated workplace. According to the Smashing Magazine’s article (Mindiola, 2010), 82% of Web Designers are Male and 18 % are female, however, 66% of the employees stated that there is no gender bias in the industry. Similarly, Swah blog (2011) argues that female graphic designers in college are 50% of the class, whereas in the industry the numbers drop significantly. Only 3% of females reach a position of influence (Swah, 2011).

Digging deeper into gender issues in the creative industries, we came across shocking statistics and facts that started to scare us. One example we came across was ‘Witchsey’ a company co founded by two women, Kate and Penelope. After a few months of starting the company they realised that they were not taken seriously. They were called unprofessional and overly emotional. Most email responses they received were rude and condescending. Kate and Penelope had to think of a quick solution, so they hired Keith who was more assertive and professional. Suddenly, the company kicked off and started to become successful. The truth is, Keith was a fake male partner created to represent the company so that Kate and Penelope could start off their business without the condescending and sexist emails (Psaltis, 2017). Another example of sexism is of the British novelist Joanne Kathleen Rowling. When publishing her first book ‘Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone’ in 1997, Rowling was advised by her publisher to use her Initials instead of her full name so that the book would attract a larger male audience (Lewis, 2016).

Discovering that women have to disguise their gender in order to be successful shocked us. Will this happen to us ? Will our work be valued less because of our gender? Will we ever reach a higher position? We started to brainstorm on how we could address these issues. Firstly, we decided to gather statistics on gender inequality in Ireland. Once we came to the conclusion that it is an issue in Ireland we started to think of what exactly we want to find out. We decided that we want to discover all the factors that contribute to gender inequalities in the work place and how that impacts women. We are hoping that we can raise awareness of these issues to both male and female students that are entering the industry.

References:

Mindiola, J. (2010) ‘Gender Disparities in the designed field’ [Online]. Available at https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/11/gender-disparities-in-the-design-field/ (Accessed 16/10/2017)

Swah (2011) ‘ SOME THOUGHTS ON THE GENDER INEQUALITY IN GRAPHIC DESIGN’ [Online]. Available at http://loveswah.com/2011/07/some-thoughts-on-the-gender-inequality-in-graphic-design/ (Accessed 16/10/2017)

Psaltis, E. (2017). ‘How a fake man helped two women get their start-up off the ground, and prove a point about tech misogyny’ [Online]. Available at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-31/female-entrepreneurs-create-a-fake-male-co-founder/8859282 (Accessed 16/10/2017).

Lews, A. (2016). ‘Here’s why JK Rowling uses her initials instead of her name’ [Online]. Available at http://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/entertainment/a10287947/jk-rowling-initials-instead-real-name/ (Accessed 16/10/2017).

Pecha Kucha

I had to prepare my Pecha Kucha presentation (15 slides x 20 seconds) on my interpretation of inclusive, my key skills and some examples of my past work.

Inclusive is an adjective with several meanings. It can be interpreted in many different ways depending on the context, such as an inclusive group of people, inclusive date, inclusive society and so on.

Inclusive can also mean that specified services or offers are all inclusive, for example, all inclusive holiday package deals that include accommodation, drinks, meals, hotel transfers, etc. It can also refer to all inclusive breakfast, lunch or dinner, meaning you will have a set menu with a drink.

My Interpretation of Inclusive is ”all together”. An inclusive group of people or inclusive society where everyone is treated fairly and equally. After conducting research, this still seems to be an issue nowadays, such as racism, inequality, gender issues, etc.

My main skills are:

  • Project Management – I was a project manager for my group project last year and I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot from it which helped me further develop my managerial skills.
  • Cinematography – I am very confident with cameras and I enjoy filming and being creative.
  • Photography – Over the summer I developed a passion for photography. I have been taking photos for 5 months now and I am learning more about photography as I go along.
  • Graphic Design – I enjoy being creative and I am very confident in using the Adobe Suite.
  • Video Editing – I have a good command of Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects.

 

Interpretation of Inclusive

When I hear the word inclusive, the first thing that I think of is ‘all inclusive’ hotel deals, spa packages,  breakfast, etc. My first interpretation of ‘inclusive’ is including everything expected. After brainstorming and conducting research I realized that there are many interpretation’s of inclusive:

Inclusive Education: All students attend and are welcome to learn and participate in all aspects of the school curriculum together.

Inclusive of Tax: All prices are inclusive of VAT.

Inclusive Business: Sustainable business that benefits low income community.

Inclusive Date: Including the first and last date stated. 

Inclusive Numbers: Include the first and last numbers and all numbers in between.

Inclusive Society: All adolescence can become all that they can be. Inclusive society is against child poverty, inequality, racism, etc.

Social Inclusion: Making all groups of people within a society feel valued and important.

Inclusive Language: A language that does not reflect prejudice, stereotype or discrimination and does not exclude anyone being seen as part of the group.

Synonyms: All around, all together, full, global, without exception, overall, all the options, all embracing, comprehensive, etc.

Although, ‘inclusive’ can be interpreted in many different ways, It’s generic meaning is the same but it’s specific meaning entirely depends on the context. The generic meaning of ‘inclusive’ is ‘all-in’.

 

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