My Fresh Food Saver App
My Fresh Food Saver App is the result of my 10-week BA research project in which I investigated how digital design and technology can help reduce household food waste in Denmark. I designed and conducted qualitative research including interviews with experts and consumers, analysed and synthesised the results, designed the solution, wrote a 20-page report and made a working digital prototype.
My Fresh Food Saver helps consumers track the expiry dates of fresh foods to help them get better at wasting less food and money. By scanning barcodes and entering expiry dates, “food waste avoiders” can track their progress, identify frequently wasted foods and better understand their food consumption habits.
My qualitative research included interviews with seven participants from the target group. To develop insights into how food consumption habits and behaviours lead to food waste, I wrote my observations from the interviews on Post-its and grouped them into themes, and then identified opportunities for solutions.
Based on participant interviews and secondary research I identified two types of grocery shoppers, Strategic Planners and Inspired Shoppers, and then developed a persona for each type. Strategic Shoppers use planning and goal setting to avoid wasting food and money.
The research resulted in the development of the expiry date tracker concept, which was realised to a hi-fidelity prototype. Additionally, I wrote a 25-page report explaining my research question, methodology and analysis, ideation and solution process. The report can be read here: Lindsay_Simmonds_BA_Project_Report
And finally, I made a narrated video of my BA exam presentation slides. Coincidentally, my exam invigilator was the Digital Manager at the Danish Food & Agriculture Council and made some very interesting comments about my work. I got top marks for my project.
My Fresh Food Saver AppDigital Design
Case Study: Archintorno Website
Archintorno’s website is the result of a 10-week internship for my BA degree in e-Concept Development. Archintorno is an Italian non-profit that works in community and social architecture. I initiated an internship project to design and develop their first website to help them to boost project funding and expand their EU client base.
PROJECT OVERVIEWThis was a challenging project because my attention and skills were split in many directions, but rewarding because I learned and accomplished alot in an intense 10-weeks. I initially approached the project as a web design and development excercise. However, as I got deeper into the project it became clear that I wouldn’t be provided web-ready content by the client. As a result, much of my time was spent on content development – translating, writing and finessing text – thereby helping to clarify Archintorno’s service offering to users. I was also directly responsible for design, web development and project management.
I conducted usability testing (using Steve Krug’s methodology), the first round of which indicated users were confused by what it was Archintorno actually did. In response, I tightened up labelling and menu items, clarified messaging on the home page, and added the tagline Action Through Architecture to the logo to reinforce Archintorno’s mission. On the technical side, I developed the site in Wordpress, customising a responsive theme and setting up SEO and multi-language functionality (for future use) in the process.
The common language between myself and the client was Spanish, which gave the project management an added layer of complexity. Another challenge was that much of the provided text was in Italian and written by various authors. I used google to translate the text into English and then interpreted and rewrote it in natural language to match the site’s friendly tone of voice. Pulling together all of the text in different languages and writing styles and making it clear and concise was quite rewarding, but took a big chunk of my time away from customising the visual and UX to the level I had aspired to. Here’s a look at how I approached visual design, content development and project management for the site:
MoodboardIn the early phase of the site design, I presented a mood board to Archintorno to convey my thoughts on how the site could look and feel. I use mood boards as a collaboration tool because they help to create a common vision for the site’s visual design. I proposed friendly graphics, sketches, bright colours, images of people and clean typography to express Archintorno’s connection to community and social architecture.
I further defined the design direction by creating a set of style tiles that described three distinct design directions for the site (style tiles are a design deliverable consisting of fonts, colours and interface elements that communicates the evolution of a visual brand for the web). Drawing from comments and feedback on the style tiles, I re-iterated the style tiles (shown below) to more closely reflect the site’s design direction.
CONTENT DEVELOPMENTOne of the challenges of the project was to define Archintorno’s eclectic services into a core service offering that could be expressed in a user-friendly way on the web. To tackle this, I conducted discussions and surveys with the client and then reviewed their projects and pulled out themes and patterns in services. I proposed that Archintorno offer their services under three dominant practise areas and elaborated on the client’s suggestion that we categorise their projects by theme. These categories were then used in a sort function in the portfolio section and I designed theme icons (shown on the homepage slide, below) for use in project descriptions.
Our collaborative workspaceIn addition to the design and development of the site, I was responsible for project management. From the get-go, I set up a collaborative workspace on Podio and a file-sharing folder on Dropbox. I chose to do this for the following reasons:
- with the goal to minimise (if not eliminate) the need for one-way email communication between multiple team members;
- to centralise all activities by the group, including task assignments, design proofing and sharing comments;
- to allow access to all files at all times, and track file versions;
- to encourage involvement between team members.
It was the first time both the client and I had used Podio. Evidently we took to the platform quickly, within an hour or two I designed a couple of custom apps for file proofing and approvals and we were posting comments on our work.
One of the great Podio features for international, multi-lingual teams is the user interface language customisaion settings. While correspondence between me and the client was in Spanish, my interface was set to English, and Archintorno’s to Italian, meaning we could each comfortably navigate the platform in our native language.
I found Podio was missing two crucial tools for project management: a time-tracker for my personal time management and a project planning chart for breaking the entire project into weekly tasks and targets. I looked elsewhere and found a time tracking tool in FreshBooks, and created a Google Doc spreadsheet that I shared with the client. It would have been very useful to have these tools integrated into the tasks app on the Podio platform.
In the schedule I staggered the client’s content deliveries into part-deliveries starting with small sets of project descriptions and team profiles. This helped the client pace their tasks into manageable chunks while giving me a continuous flow of content to work with as I built the site.
Handing over the websiteWith the site was launched, my final project management duty was to write a website user’s guide to help the client get up and running on their own. I chose the WordPress platform partly because I am familiar with it, but also because it is quick to learn with basic training. In the “Next Steps” section of the guide I recommended that the client take an online beginner’s training course and start practising with blog posts. I also recommended that they translate the site into Italian first (based on google analytics traffic stats) and hire a developer familiar with the Wordpress Multilingual plugin (WPML) to insert the Italian text.
Case Study: Archintorno WebsiteWeb Design
Right2Respect (R2R) asked me to design a logo and and website, and to roll out graphics for social media sites and marketing. The client wanted an clean, flexible, bilingual site that would be easy to use and manage. I proposed a WordPress theme with minor customisations and visuals tailored to R2R.
Throughout the project I provided guidance on domain registration, content development, language translation tools, search-engine optimization (SEO) and site analytics.
I also performed:
- template research and installation
- theme modification and visual content design
- icon and logotype design
- photo research and editing
- an html email announcement on site launch
The challenge was to find royalty free images that convey hope and dignity in the context of the theme of human rights in a non-literal, or politicized, manner. People in the images should look natural, with a preference for Latin American, Caribbean and Indigenous cultures. Match the images to key homepage text, on a limited budget.
I targeted royalty free stock agencies, corporate and NGO image banks and online photo pools on Flickr to find likely images. Hundreds of images were collected and rated while maintaining a keen eye for the heart of R2R’s work: respect for human rights and corporate social responsibility in the extractive industry. Photos were narrowed down to a handful of images that fit the message and budget, and shown to the client in website mock-ups to demonstrate the images in context.
I brings a background in editorial design and visual storytelling to the website design process. To find out more about my approach and experience, please get in touch, I'd be happy to chat.
Right2Respect websitePhoto Research / Web Design
Blindes Arbejde Website
Blindes Arbejde, a Danish social venture that works with the Blind, tasked my e-Design class to make proposals for a thorough redesign of their retail website. In collaboration with my four team mates I directly contributed to the design research, synthesis, visual design, UX and content development. I was responsible for producing prototypes, research and concept reports, and client presentations.
The site was designed to high fidelity jpegs and a clickable prototype. I started with lots of design sketches – thinking in stackable modules of content for responsive layoutes – and user flows that included ordering customisable products.
Following the sketches, I drew flowcharts of the navigation strategy and brush purchase user flows in Illustrator. This process helped me identify any potential problems and fine tune the site architecture. I referenced Dan M. Brown’s excellent book on web documentation, Communicating Design, to help me better understand the purpose, methodology and visual language of these deliverables.
A major consideration for the design was accessibility to the blind and visually impaired, for both users and and the site manager. Throughout the design process contrast levels and text sizes were checked against WCAG/web accessibilty standards.
Blindes Arbejde WebsiteWeb Design
Memoirs & Corporate Books
PNE: 100 Years of Fun | Senior Designer, lead photo researcher and picture editor.* 276 pages +fold-outs, full colour, hard cover.
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The McLeod Luck: Don McLeod’s Hard Rock Story | Senior Designer and photo selection.* 210 pages, full colour, hard cover.
>>Flip through select pages of thein a pop-up window.
Letters Home | Designer, Photoshop montages and re-touching. 40 pages, full colour, hard cover, limited edition.
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*Produced while employed as Senior Designer at Echo Memoirs. All books on this page ©Echo Memoirs.
Memoirs & Corporate BooksBook Design
Alberni Valley Heritage Brochure
Building on the AVH slogan "make our past your present" LSdesign, working with photographer David Niddrie, created a modern day version of the 1910 archival photo, “First Train to Alberni” for AVH brochure cover and advertising campaign.
Back in the studio, the old and new images were retouched and composed in Photoshop, and a photographic meeting of the past and present was created. For a closer look at the image click here.
On the inside of the brochure, contemporary photos were paired with relevant archival images for each attraction. Juxtaposing photographs from the past and present aimed to reinforce the historical component of Alberni's cultural attractions and responded to a growing interest in educational tourism.
LSdesign also created an infographic map outlining travel routes to encourage visitors to all four heritage attractions during their stay, maybe staying an extra day to do so. The infographic connected content to stories on the inside of the brochure and included a story about Alberni’s tourist attractions. LSdesign art directed the photography for the campaign.
For more information about the services LSdesign offers, please get in touch.
Alberni Valley Heritage BrochurePrint Design
McLean Mill Exhibit
LSdesign worked with the Alberni Valley Museum and Parks Canada on a series of seven porcelain enamel interpretive signs for the McLean Mill National Historic Site exhibit.
A set of three signs explained the process of milling logs into lumber by showing a technical illustration that sequentially explained the milling process as visitors moved along side the mill. Stories and archival photos further elaborated on the history of the mill, and the lives of the families that lived and worked there during the timber boom in the early 1900s.
The Steam Power panel explained how steam the steam engine at the McLean mill works by featuring a technical illustration and archival photos to enliven the written story. All signs were bilingual.
Porcelain enamel signs are created by screen-printing spot-colour glazes onto a ceramic surface. Technical limitations on size, colour accuracy and detail make working with this material a challenge, but the results are always stunning.
LSdesign art-directed the illustrations, retouched archival photos, designed the panels and managed production of the signs. To find out more about the signage and exhibit design process or to discuss your project, please get in touch.
McLean Mill ExhibitSignage Design
Alberni Heritage Network Identity
LSdesign worked with the Alberni Valley Museum on a logo design for the museum that would also begin to define a visual identity system for three emerging heritage attractions in the Alberni Valley Heritage Network.
The community museum holds an eclectic collection of artifacts including First Nations´ art, logging trucks, and domestic curiosities such as hairpins and milk bottles. There are also travelling exhibits and a busy school program. To reflect the diversity of the museum's collection and programs, a logomark that was suggestive of variety and discovery and culture was proposed.
The resulting logo sees each of the letters A, V, M, as a unique letterform, with playful colouring, exhibited in a square container. Letters and shapes interact and create a dynamic inviting space. The title text is stacked to give the logo modular flexibility: move the text to the right side of the mark, and the logo becomes horizontal.
Marine blue and deep red were proposed for symbolic, as well as practical purposes. Blue represents the sea and tradition, and red as an energizing colour often seen in marine and industrial settings. The colours reproduce in solids, text and tints, making the colours practical for a wide variety of applications from stationery, to t-shirts and signage.
Once the AVM logo was established, work began on designing logos for three partners in the Alberni Heritage network. Built on the double block structure of graphic and title, a unique graphic illustration was developed for each attraction. Attention was paid to reflect the unique character of each site in the typography, while ensuring the mark cooperated with evolving AHN visual identity.
The devlopment of the AVH identity system was developed over a period of years and included community consultation, collaboration, experimentation and visioning in the process. If you've got a visual identity project and would like to work with a designer that works collaboratively and strategically, please get in touch.
Alberni Heritage Network IdentityIdentity Design
Take Out Undies Logo
Take Out Undies makes merino wool basics for the fly-fishing crowd and for outdoor adventurers. TOU's niche is the fly-fishing market, particularly women who buy online both for themselves and their male partners.
TOU came to LSdesign with the idea to use a dragonfly as a symbol principally because of it's importance to fly-fisher folk, but and also for it's universal association with wetlands and the perceived lightness and freedom with which it moves. It seemed a good visual so we set to explore and research how an image of a dragonfly might relate to a logo for wool undies.
As designs were developed, literal representations of the dragonfly were eliminated (for aesthetic and practical reasons) and through a focussed process of simplification, a symbol of simplified dragonfly wings was refined. The wings express lightness and movement, and suggest a fishing fly. The abstracted imagery and unexpected colour combination had a unisex appeal for the sophisticated online shopper TOU was targeting. Minor adjustments were made so that the logo worked on the web, in black and white ads, and on embroidered clothing labels, where the logo would be seen most.
If you´ve got a logo design project and would like more information on fees and the design process, please get in touch.
Take Out Undies LogoLogo Design
Celebrate! Street Banners
LSdesign worked with Jean McIntosh at the Alberni Valley Museum to produce a set of street banners for the City of Port Alberni. The goal was to enliven the city’s streets, grab the attention of visitors and residents alike, and expose aspects of Alberni’s cultural heritage to both groups.
To start concept development, a short-list of potential topics with local relevance was drafted through consultation. Those with both emotional and visual appeal were narrowed down to three finalists: the Martin-Mars water bombers, the Alberni Pacific Railway, and the Tall Ships Festival, three attractions with historical significance and an ongoing presence in the community. The elements of steam, wind and water connected to the attractions held further potential.
There are technical curiosities inherent to the banner printing process that make the design process a kind of refreshing analogue challenge in the age of digital design and instant gratification. Printed silkscreen dyes bleed as they absorb into the fibres of nylon, so fine detail and exact registration aren’t an option. The colour palette for light-fast dyes is limited to about 24 colours, and dyes are generally best printed as solids because colour tints are unpredictable and often look washed-out. Consequently, this means aiming for a design that works in high contrast, isn’t too detailed, and reproduces in 2-3 colours (unless there’s a big budget for printing 5+ screens). Most viewers are driving by at 60 kms an hour, so this also informs design decisions around legibility of text.
LSdesign proposed illustrating the attractions as bold black and white photos, enhanced by enlarged grainy halftone dots to give the images an historical patina, and minimal use of text for maximum image exposure. Sourced photos were converted to high contrast graphics with enlarged half-tone dots and bold washes of solid colour brought in impact (and glow when backlit by the sun), a pewter accent gave depth to the main images and subtlety to the “Celebrate” script.
After a summer animating Port Alberni’s streets, the banners were auctioned off as a fundraiser. The bombers banner was the favourite, and completely sold out. It has since been re-printed.
LSdesign has designed and managed the printing of over 20 banner programs. please get in touch if you´d like more information on this unique form of printing.
Celebrate! Street BannersBanner Design
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Crane Dance: a Journey in Words and Pictures by Rosemary Kelly and Kate Collie, is a 40-page soft cover limited edition book designed in collaboration with artist Kate Collie.
The text treatment was a response to Kate’s paintings and “crane language” drawings, as well as animated movements of cranes and the poems by Rosemary. The text design creates a dialogue where the poems converse with the artwork, the typography mingles in the grasslands and flight paths of the cranes, whispers and shouts, plays and informs, mirroring the crane’s intuitive dance.
Crane Dance is a limited edition book of 250. To achieve modest production costs LSdesign seeked out alternatives to printing the entire text block in full-colour. However, the low production quantity afforded the use of artisanal production processes and luxurious papers, which gave the book a premium hand-crafted feel and added character.
Some of the techniques used in the book:
- Cover image and title are stamped with white opaque foil on black, premium uncoated stock.
- Text block is printed with black ink on uncoated paper.
- Only paintings were printed in full colour on gloss stock. The colour plates were “tipped-in” (manually taped to the page on one side) and could be lifted from the page to reveal text underneath.
- Vellum sheets printed with poetry add a precious quality, the transparent vellum reveals the painting on the adjacent pages.
- A three-page fold-out reveals a diptych of Cranes in flight.
- A set of origami paper was “tipped-in” to accompany crane folding instructions.
Lindsay has designed and managed production of over twenty full colour books. To find out more about out the book design process, please get in touch.
Crane DanceBook Design
LSdesign had the pleasure to design a trio of logos for The Greenseed Foundation, Greenhouse Retreat Centre and Seed Society.
The three associated grass roots organizations are dedicated to promoting and supporting sustainable development by connecting the arts, community and education with economic development. A design that expressed growth, creativity and discovery was desired. All three logos were to visually relate to each other but also to be meaningful independently.
Design exploration began by looking at images and shapes common to each organization. Amongst those identified, the leaf, branch, blossom and spiral were the most meaningful and appealing. By then combining these shapes in various styles and patterns, a simplified leaf shape and a stylized spiral was developed as the core visual element.
To balance the free-form illustrations, a contemporary typeface with hints of the classical, and set in unicase for a touch of casual, was employed for the titling.
Often, visual identity programs evolve over time, beginning with a principal logo for a company. As the company grows, their visual identity is expanded with a new logo or graphic as services or products launch, the previous design perhaps complimenting the next. What made this project unique was that the identity was developed holistically, enabling universal adjustments and refinements across the trio of logos, making for a stronger cohesive identity for the association.
If you´ve got a logo design project and would like more information on fees and the design process, please get in touch.