Collaboration Partner: Jess Wood
As we had decided to focus on botany and the identification of plats Jess and myself decided to look at one of the other ways that people can get the information that we are looking to provide and how we can provide it differently and prefferably better.
We choose to start with wild flower identification book and I brought in a few of my own to look at. The function mostly as a type of field guide. When you spot a flower or plant that you don't know you look it up. We choose a few of the most stereotypical pages to pick apart.
One of the spreads I got was the one shown above on the figwort family of plants. Instantly, the major trend we founf=d was the shear amount of information that you have to deal with all in one go. No matter which page you open the book at you are assulted with it in dense inpenitrable text and overcrowded pages of images. We can avoid this simply by limiting content. We also looked at the information that displays next to each plant and talked about how we could display this clearly and basically more effectively. For example, hieght is something that comes into play a lot and we talked about the option of having a meassuring guide down the side of each page.
With the other book I brought in, again the density of the information prooved problematic. However, this example gave us hope that we could really change this in our work. Because of the photographic format of the plant images fitting them on the pages clearly caused a lot of problems and ensuring that the important identification aspects are visable meant more photographic aspects had to be added to the page. We talked about the fact that illustration allowed a greater degree of flexability and how we could work by creating a typographic layout first and then Jess could illustrate over it making sure the relivent aspects of the plant are next to the relivent text. This will inherently make bettwr use of the text and use the subject matter as a way to create more plant like a beautiful layouts.
Jess also analysed two extracts from the two books. we talked about the iconograhy used in places to conote things like habitat in a concise way. we could see the merrit in this but almost felt that this could be done in words just as effectively in words. Perhaps setting asside one area of the page layouts for this information so it is consistant throughout.
We agreed that we wanted to have an anatomical break down in the front of the publication and as part of the app. So, we looked at how one of the books does this. Again we talked about how illustration could provide a clearer form of the information possibly as an exploded diagram which is not set to squares like photos are allowing a more fluid approach to layout.
Actions for nect meeting:
Both: continue pinteresting and researching possible plants for content.
Beth: create basic layout for wysteria in transitional font (Baskerville).
Jess: Illustrate on to of layout to test this approach to design.