4.1 Creating & Crafting
The student explains the technical choices involved in the execution of his/her work.

4.1 Creating & Crafting

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During this semester I have had to make many decisions and choices especially ones regarding my technical choices. Technical choices have in fact been a part of all the projects I had to do during this school year starting with the Living Road Map Project.

For this project, we had the choice of going with several options. We started working with Figma due to its collaborative capabilities, but I found its UI and Toolkit unintuitive, slow and buggy. As I had previously worked with Adobe XD, a simple and easy to learn vector based prototyping app, and the girls having little UI experience I thought that this would be a great place to start prototyping our ideas and sketches. We played around with this software and quickly found its limitations, such as a limited library feature and the absence of a few necessary vector drawing tools. Another example of the XD's limitations is in the way it exports its own native files. Once exported into an animation program, the assets and art-boards would all be flattened into a jpg causing all the objects and layers to become a flat image.

Eventually, I turned to Sketch to create the platforms user interface and  Adobe Illustrator for the icons and illustrations due to its reliability with vector-based shapes and assets. Within Sketch, I also created an entire style guide which I could efficiently edit and change the linked objects and icons. As mentioned in the other parts of this reflection, I made sure that all the assets and guides could be easily found and used by the team who were to take over the project after us. For the transitions of the art-board and the object animations, I started using Principle but found that it was not flexible enough when animating between art-boards and was better suited to single screen or object-based animation. After having read about InVision studio, I decided to play around with this new tool. Although very buggy, InVision studio had a very intuitive way of working with scene transitions which I could quickly and professionally create. By changing objects on various art-board states I could link two states together and animate between them.

Another project that I worked on during this semester, which is still ongoing, was a web design freelance project for a large building and development company based in Toronto, Canada. My first technical decision for this project was which platform to use for creating the website. In this project, this decision came down to choosing between handwritten coding, WordPress, and a new tool I had found called Webflow. As the client needed a CMS based system and my experience with hand-written HTML/CSS files linked with a third party CMS program was non-existent, this was not an option. So I could either find a theme within WordPress that I would then customise or build an entirely new project within Webflow that was flexible for designing but also had its restrictions and complications. I opted for Webflow as I had gained previous experience using it and loved its CMS and clever CSS web animation tools. Working with Webflow I was able to create the structure of the website that was also CMS-able and responsive in a timely manner while having clean code and being able to optimise the pages for SEO. The website design was a success even though I faced a few setbacks and limitations during the project, I was able to fulfil all the client's requirements as well as my own creative criteria.