Project Update – May 2019


Welcome to almost halfway through the year – eeek

Yesterday I got to spend the morning with the 2019 Cohort of students working on the Visualising Mental Health topic. I was joined by one of the other psychologists working on the project, Richard Oborn.

At this stage of the year, the students have focused in on a single idea and typically have their visual imagery and style well underway.

I caught up with most groups to discuss their progress. I did this in parallel with their design/communication lecturers, so I focused on providing feedback on the psychology component of their project, whilst the design/communication lecturers focused on visual style, colour and font choice, layout, and overall strategy.

I left the morning session feeling excited about the projects that are being created.

We have a nice mix of projects this year: apps, books, journals/diaries, magazines, games, clinical tools, social media campaigns.

These projects also address an interesting range of target audiences: uni students, recent mothers, recent retirees, residents of old-age homes, young children, young adults, practicing psychologists.

The projects are fairly evenly distributed across 4 topics: empathy, courtesy, mental fitness and emotions.

Students now have basically a month to get their idea to an early prototype stage. Once this is done, they present their projects to an audience of their lecturers and participating psychologists. Their lecturers grade them on their project, but also the quality of their presentation. I tried to give students some tips on the kinds of things it would be really good to see in their presentations, but I could tell they were still wrapping their heads around their projects, let alone thinking ahead to the presentation.

How well developed their project needs to be by presentation date depends on the nature of their project.

For those designing an app, they don’t need to have built the actual app, but they need to clearly show their wireframe and visual mockups so we can understand how the app works and looks.

Those developing kids books usually manage to get the book written and formatted closely to their final design.

For students designing longer magazines or journals, we need to be able to see some content creation (showing they have understood the psychological concept) and clear layout and visual style.

Projects from previous years have managed to produce physical toys, pampering gift packs, websites and lootcrates. The closer the students can get to the final product, the easier it is to mark them because we can easily comprehend their vision.

So in this final month, I wish all the students good luck and productive days/nights as they finish this project (as well as all their other assignments).

I’ll see you all again in June.