This Second academic year of constellation studies has been a better experience than the first year, it has given us more knowledge and is also very useful in the practice of graphic communication design. During first term I spent my study group learning critical material culture which was very interesting and something I got very interested in. The formative essay I wrote it on Critical design which was first introduced by Dunne and Rabby. The question for the essay was “How do designers get a positive reaction from a negative action”. I found it interesting that in Critical design designers design in a negative manor but the audience will be persuaded to do a positive reaction. This is seen in charity campaigns and smoking packaging but I wanted to focus deeper into this to see if there is two sides of this strategy. In the conclusion I agreed that Critical design was effective but only when used correctly and used for a certain brief. The feedback was positive but I did feel that I could of done a lot better because I was very interested in the topics I choose.
Second term in our study groups we started to prepare ourselves for our dissertation proposal. Before we started the group sessions we met individually with our tutor to discuss our choice of topic for our dissertation. I decided after learning so much on critical design in the formative essay that Persuasion would be a nice topic to focus on. Eventually I decided on the question for my dissertation which was “how can graphic designers persuade us?.” The reason for this question was that when learning about critical design I found it fascinating how designers can change peoples outcomes and make up their minds by their persuasive techniques on their work. In the preparation sessions we had the chance to share our ideas with the group and our tutor, doing so gave me some good feedback and other options to focus on. Closer to the Easter holiday we were given literature suggestions by the tutor to add on top of our own reading list which was very helpful in my case because as I started researching into persuasion I realised how big the field is and the numerous things I needed to research. Fortunately by the end of the second term I was ready to write my dissertation proposal.
Unlike my other essays I wrote my dissertation proposal differently because of all the information and knowledge I have on the topic. I started similar to any essay wrote everything that came to mind from introduction to conclusion. My research has been a long process and I have learnt countless things from the psychological aspect of persuasion, the designers techniques in designing to manipulate to the ways of categorising persuasion which is known as the three C’s, Control, Convince and Convert. Following my research I added a literature review on the books I have read to date. I wrote about the most helpful in certain aspects of persuasion and discussed what I needed to read next. After finishing the conclusion with 5000 words I looked back over the work and added more to it. When reading over the research I realised that I could propose the structure plan for the essay. This meant that I could propose which likely topic would be in certain chapters of the dissertation.
Looking back over the dissertation proposal I am very amazed on how much I have discovered while researching and it shows in the dissertation that I have discovered various facts on different views on Persuasion which is very helpful when it comes to answering the proposed question. The gathered information has the views from each side from the graphic designers point of view, the psychological side and also the effects on the audience of the work which is crucial in writing a successful dissertation. But also after reading over the dissertation proposal I can see what I need to improve on and what I need to focus my research on to in the next few weeks. From looking at the proposal it seems that I have got a healthy view on the psychology side but for the designer and the effects on the audience I suggest that there is a lot more needed because in the critical design formative essay, I found that not everyone agrees with certain techniques and this would be similar with certain strategies found for this dissertation. Another thing that I need to keep thinking about is the amount of research I have done and is it enough to support different aspects of persuasion and is there enough of it to fill a 10,000 word essay.
To develop myself ready to write the dissertation I will need to make sure that I have read the proposed books that I wrote in the dissertation and advanced my knowledge further to make sure that I can support different views on persuasion. Another way I can develop myself ready for the dissertation is to look over any books that I have already read to make sure I don’t miss any crucial information or explanations. On a whole I know what I need to focus on next for my dissertation and luckily I have the time to do so.
Second year has been a lot more challenging looking back especially preparing for the dissertation because the research involved is greater and different to any other essay I have written. But it has been a very interesting year because although it has been challenging I have learnt many new things and also found a topic that I have come to really enjoy. By doing this dissertation it will hopefully make me understand the science and the skills needed to be successful in manipulating the audiences with my graphic design work. By the end of the dissertation in a years time I will be able to use what I have learnt while doing this into my own work in University and also the future in the practice of graphic design.