Sophie Stubbs and Daniel Fletcher
As mentioned when we received the brief, The Sheffield Report generally has a limited audience, and isn’t very accessible to the general public. This means that we need to find a way to get this information about the city, to the people who live there. Also the contents of the report are rather text heavy, and not very appealing to the average resident, therefore we want to condense a lot of the information in order to make it more interesting and easily consumable.
According to Ofcom Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014, we found that over 60% of people aged 16 – 75 use a smart phone; a number that is continually increasing. Smart devises are heavily used for playing games and consuming information. 85% of those who use their smart devise for gaming prefer to use a dedicated application rather than a browser. Therefore we felt it would be appropriate to create an application that communicates the report information in an exciting and interesting way, instead of just a booklet. We also found that gaming was what a large amount of time is spent doing on these devices in recent years across all age groups, a statistic which is seemingly on the increase. This gave us ideas of how we would perhaps re-introduce the information in the report in a more engaging and modern way.
Ofcom Media Report
After deciding we wanted to create some kind of quiz application, we began looking into what makes these kinds of apps successful. For example The SongPop game (below) operates on a simple premise: Users compete against one another to guess the name of a given song or the artist behind it, based on a thirty-second sample. The faster you guess, the more points you’re rewarded, and whoever has the most points a after five-song round wins. This competitive aspect seems to be what gives apps like this the edge, that gets them on the top charts of app stores. By competing against family and friends, people have a reason to play the app rather than to just pass time. According to Forbes’ Eight tips on creating a successful app this is number 2;
2. Built In-Virality
Incorporate some viral mechanism into the core functionality of the app, so each user that enjoys the app can potentially attract a network of new users. It means the app is better or more engaging when users invite friends to use it. Consider Instagram and WhatsApp: Both apps are only fun if users can get their friends to use them, too.
So we wanted a competitive aspect to our app for people throughout the city. We thought by doing this, users would be encouraged to learn more about the report and read further into it, even if this was to just achieve a higher score than their friends, as they would still be informed as they did this.
We was then told to look at Nike Grid, which was a campaign that got people to track their runs in Central London by checking in at different phone boxes, if they was to achieve the fastest time they would obtain this section of the grid. The idea is that you would try to take over as many of these grid positions as you can in order to ‘rule’ as much of the city as possible.
‘A message-based campaign wasn’t going to be enough to get youngsters running. So, our approach was to augment the running experience with a gaming experience. We created The GRID: turning London into a game board, and challenging runners to ‘claim their streets’ by amassing points for runs they completed. Players ran between specially assigned phone boxes and postcodes, and logged their runs by calling a Freephone #, and entering their unique player code. Points, badges and prizes were awarded for speed, attrition, routes and various other ‘Glitch’ games. ‘ - Wieden + Kennedy
We really liked how this created a sense of ownership of the city for these runners, and the competitiveness made people want to run more in order to kind of be the king or queen of their area. This was definitely an aspect we wanted to consider for our app, as we believed that by creating a sense of ownership, people would engage more with the State of Sheffield Report as they would feel it is relevant to them.
After looking at things like Nike GRID, we felt we should incorporate a competitive aspect using leader boards to engage the users, and create an interactive community within the city.
Kasabian – Album Branding
We decided that if we wanted to create an app and marketing that really stood out we should try to achieve this by our use of colour. We was told about Kasabian’s new album branding which uses black and white photography paired with this extremely vibrant pink. We thought about how we could perhaps incorporate something like this to create our visual style for the app, using raw bright colours perhaps using a CMYK theme. This would definitely stand out in the street but would also set it apart from other quiz apps and games that are abundant in the app store.
We decided that a good way to tackle this brief would be to develop a quiz application for use on smart devices, that uses the most interesting statistics from the report in a fun and engaging manner. Depending on the answers the user would then be referred to the relevant section of the report via a link provided within the app. The competitive aspect will encourage users to learn more about the city, in order to achieve higher scores, and higher positions on the leaderboards.
To begin Dan and I worked through a sketchbook looking at ways in which we could lay it out, this process also helped us determine that components that would make it up, such as quiz questions and log ins. We then both began to make mockups using Illustrator. Although we had discussed a visual style, both mine and Dans initial ideas were both very different and after much discussion, we both decided that nothing we created worked great.
Once we had a logo, we had a stronger style. Seen below, it is simply a geometric shape of Sheffield. This is when we started to talk about how we both wanted it visually. We wanted to use a rather limited colour pallet, and so to begin with e worked with using bright blues and pinks.
When doing these we thought that doing the titles with a label maker could really work. It’s makes it more personal!
These weren’t really working so we thought by using desaturated photography, we would be able to incorporate the bright coloured elements that clearly separates sections as this is something that we found to be unclear whilst researching. This contrast also create a visual style that is eye-catching, modern and young. This is important if we want to increase awareness and promote throughout the city, especially when using billboards and posters. We wanted to connote a sense of ownership of the city, so that people feel like the report is relevant to them. This lead us to thinking about labels which are usually on personal possessions, therefore we felt these would be an appropriate way of suggesting this feeling. For the general structure and layout of the application we wanted to keep it relatively similar to most quiz apps in order to avoid any visual confusion, due to the visual style being quite unique in comparison to more quiz applications that are usually visually bright and slightly juvenile.
We decided that creating an application for the use on smart devices would be the best option. The most interesting statistics were selected and developed into questions that have a multiple choice answering system. Depending on the answer provided, the user will then be referred to the relevant section of the State of Sheffield Report via a link within the app. The questions are divided into sections, based on the individual sections of the report, these are colour coded. The questions would mostly be multiple choice,although this would vary. Users would instantly be told if they are correct, and given information from the report regarding the question. There is a navigational menu that can be brought up at any time by tapping the small icon in the top left hand corner. This is to allow easy use of the application.
By adding leaderboards, this adds a competitive aspect to the quiz. Users will be given a score based on their performance on the quiz, but the awarded extra points from viewing sections of the report. This means that the highest scores will be awarded to the users who engages with the information the most. Each month the person who is No.1 will be crowned King or Queen of Sheffield, and have the opportunity to be on a promotional poster that is displayed around the city.