This is the second installment of a 3-part series which is a retrospective account of a multimedia creator of the ten most memorable highlights over the past three decades.
2000 – Major Design Project at the Westport Technology High School (Port Macquarie, NSW)
My year 12 major design project for Design & Technology was a lot of fun. It was, of course, a multimedia project. An audio CD accompanied by an interactive booklet was designed, documented and produced with the groundskeeper/kitchen to make life easier for native German speakers in Australia. Colour-coded, tabbed browsing of the booklet content was aimed to provide quick access to all kinds of useful phrases which were intended to improve communication for foreigners. To my surprise I received a Design Tech Merit Award from the Board of Studies NSW and my design was exhibited at the Powerhouse Museum (Sydney) alongside other outstanding Major Design Projects of HSC students.
2001 – Re-Design of Care Documentation at the Nursing Home & Care Facility Alfeld (Germany)
As part of my national service, I worked at a nursing home and care facility as a groundskeeper / kitchen hand / delivery conceptualizing for 13 months which was very different to anything I had done before. The job was very demanding and an unlikely fit for a multimedia creator but creative design skills were very welcome at the nursing home as it turned out. The nurses and medical staff were using an outdated and impractical system for the care documentation, and I was given the opportunity to re-design all the concerned forms and documents. Colour coding and design principles such as balance, proximity, grouping & alignment were applied, and over a few months the entire documentation process was pulled apart, re-structured and put back together as a coherent system which enabled staff to focus more on the actual care they were providing rather than the legally required documentation process.
2003 – 3D Animation as Part of Bachelor of Multimedia Studies
Through the unit Digital Media 3 which was taught at Southern Cross University in Coffs Harbour, I was introduced to an aspect of a multimedia creator’s work that I had not worked with before: 3D design and animation. It was very interesting and I enjoyed working with wireframe models and 3D rendering engines. The unit tasks entailed creating various 3D models of objects as well as the very challenging and in producing these kind of movies intensive creation of a humanoid character and producing a short animated movie featuring this character. I was happy with the outcome and also a bit proud. My appreciation for computer animated movies has increased a lot now that I know how much work and how many people are involved to produce this kind of movies.
2004 – Creating my First Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Website
I had created many personal static HTML websites just for fun and entertainment during my teenage years. Through learning by doing and a lot of trial and error, I had taught myself how to write basic HTML code and how to use various web design tools such as Microsoft FrontPage and Macromedia Dreamweaver (this was before Adobe incorporated the Macromedia suite of applications). In 2004 as part of the university unit Interactive Multimedia Development, I was introduced to industry standards such as writing code which was valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional. I remember hand-coding a few simple websites and finally creating a personal portfolio website as our major assignment. It was a lot of fun conceptualising with pen & paper, editing images in Photoshop and Fireworks, creating animations in Flash and then putting it all together as a website. Technical considerations such as browser compatibility and various screen sizes (back then the target resolution was 600 x 800!) were relatively new to me but made a lot of sense. In fact, I am still using some of the concepts I learned back then in my everyday work life as a web designer today.