Target Audience

Target Audience

The demographic of my audience is primarily males and females between the ages of 16 to 35, the reason for this is because I believe that many individuals are conscientious of what impact they are having on the environment, but they have come from a traditional family where meat has been a large part of their diet and have become accustomed to eating meat. I think that one of the reasons it is very hard for people to change to a less meat based diet is because it is a part of their cultural upbringing. Because a lot of young people are starting to live independently from their parents they may change their lifestyle habits, where as it might be harder for an older individual to change their lifestyle habits after becoming so accustomed to their lifestyle after 30 plus years. The idea that young people are more likely to change their meat eating habits is backed up by studies that suggest vegetarian diets are on the rise in Britain, especially in young people, where 20% of people aged 16 – 24 have vegetarian diets, according to studies by analysts such as Mintel (Morgan 2014). Also, as my project is a website it makes sense to appeal to a younger audience because they are more likely to use the Internet. The audience doesn’t necessarily have to be within the age range of 16 – 35, other ages could find it interesting as well, but it seems that a younger audience are more likely to come across this type of website and have a positive response to the content.

The target audience is also directed at those who have some scientific awareness and people who recognize that issues such as climate change and deforestation are a problem but may think it is beyond their control to do anything about it. It could also be targeted at individuals who might have considered cutting down on their meat consumption for other reasons, such as the unethical treatment of livestock, which are given no space to roam freely, or perhaps because they want to cut down on eating meat for personal health reasons, or for financial reasons. Some of these individuals may have two values which oppose one another (cognitive dissonance) which means they are fighting with the idea of trying to eat less meat but are finding it hard to change their lifestyle. Perhaps these individuals are aware of some of the negative impacts on a personal and environmental level but may not realise how much of an impact the livestock industry actually has, which may prompt them to try harder to eat less meat.

What my project doesn’t intend to do is convince people who cannot be convinced. Whether that is people who deny the scale of the problem (climate change deniers for example) or individuals who hold a defeatist ideology that changing their habits wouldn’t make a difference anyway, or perhaps even individuals who don’t care. The Project could also be a tool used by activists and other interest groups who want to promote awareness about the impact of the livestock industry on the environment.

Audience Research

To get a better understanding of the intended audience for the project I took a survey of 50 Internet users. The users were Facebook users, the majority of which were between the ages of 18 and 35, as shown below. Although these were people that I know, I don’t believe this had much of an impact on the outcomes of the survey.

age

What I wanted to find out was what amounts of meat individuals ate, I tried to avoid asking vegetarians to fill out the survey as they are not my target audience and the data wouldn’t be very useful.

quantity

I then asked the individuals a question which related to how they felt about their diet.

change

In terms of my target audience I think my project is aimed at those who selected the option “I think I eat too much meat and would like to eat less”. Considering over 50% of those who took the survey stated that they ate meat at least more than 3 times a week and 32% stated that they would like to eat less meat, it is fair to say that a percentage of those who ate meat more than 3 times a week would be the same individuals who said they would like to eat less meat, especially when considering that it’s more likely that vegetarians and those who eat meat less than once a week are probably quite content with their diet.

References

Morgan, T., 2014. Meat is off the menu as more Britons become vegetarian. http://www.express.co.uk, The Daily Express. Available from: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/517246/Vegetarians-are-on-the-increase-in-Britain [Accessed 3 December 2015].

Detailed Outline of Proposed Project

What I propose to do is make a website that allows individuals to see the impact that their personal meat eating habits are having on the environment on a global scale. Because the livestock industry has a number of impacts on the environment it has been said that the current trends of the meat industry is not sustainable. The website is intended to create awareness of this problem and to make individuals consider that they might be eating too much meat and dairy products, and to promote the idea that individuals can make a difference without having to quit eating meat altogether.

The way I intend to challenge this problem is based on a reflection of my own personal journey. It is not to suggest that people should become vegetarians overnight, nor to suggest that they are unethical people by showing them videos of livestock being mistreated. I would like to present them the data in a digestible way, and in a way that they could see what the effects would be if they were to have a burger once a week instead of three times a week (for example). Because I made a decision once I was aware of the true scope of the problem my rationality is that other people may be inclined to do the same if they consider it, I am making the assumption that some people are willing to change if they see enough benefits in doing so and are presented with a logical reason to do so. I also intend to show the user that they do make a contribution to the problem and that they can do something to contribute to solving this problem, however small the contribution may be. I will try to do this by presenting the data to them in a form that reflects their own diet. Below is an extremely simple example of what this might look like.

example

How the website will work

The user will enter in the amount of meat that they eat per week, through selecting items that they eat on a weekly basis, this can be an accurate representation based on their weekly shop or it could be an approximate amount if they are not sure about the exact amount. Once they have submitted that data they will be shown an infographic which compares their eating habits to the global average, if the user is eating more than the average amount they may consider that they are eating too much.

Because the livestock industry effects the environment in a series of ways, there will be a number of different infographics to represent each environmental problem which the livestock industry contributes to. These are water usage, greenhouse gas emissions, land use, and forest destruction. Below is the site map which illustrates the different sections of the website.

site map

The website will be as minimalistic as possible and will have two main pages, the first page (index.php) will be the page that the user enters their data into. As the second prototype shows the user will choose the meat items they consume by clicking on sections of a ‘meat counter’, which will resemble the section of a supermarket that people buy meat from. Once the user has finished entering the items they buy during the week they will click on a submit button which will take them to the second page (process.php) which returns the data in the form of four animated infographics, each representing the categories mentioned previously. The infographics will be based on images which are relatable to each problem (such as a running tap to illustrate water usage for example).

References

Chalabi, M., 2013. Comparing carnivores: UK meat consumption. http://www.theguardian.com, The Guardian. Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/jun/05/meat-consumption-uk-global-trends#data [Accessed 2 December 2015].

Walsh, B., 2013. The Triple Whopper Environmental Impact of Global Meat Production. Time.com, Time. Available from: http://science.time.com/2013/12/16/the-triple-whopper-environmental-impact-of-global-meat-production/ [Accessed 30 November 2015].

 

 

 

Project Title and Subject Matter

Name: Luke Monet

Project Title: The Meat Counter

Subject Matter: A website designed to show individuals the impact their meat consumption has on the environment.

Summery: The project is based around creating awareness and helping people understand the true impact the livestock industry has on the environment. A lot of people are aware that the farming of livestock has a negative impact on climate change, but some may not be aware of the full impact it has on other issues related to the environment, such as deforestation to create land for crops to feed animals, land use to rear animals, and water use to maintain livestock. This project intends to show people what impact their personal meat consumption has on the environment and attempts to get individuals to reflect on the idea that their personal habits do make a difference and consider the benefits it would have on the environment if they were to consume less meat and dairy products.

 

A Retrospective Look at my Iterative Process

In a previous post on the poster project that we did at the beginning of this unit I discussed conveying meaning in design. I also wrote about semiotics and the significance of the image of the hand which we used in our posters. I think this relates to my final project for this unit because the buildings are the ‘signs’ which are conveying the meaning of our society, the image of a skyscraper can hold many signs, such as advanced technology, innovation, engineering, architecture but also of humans. Because skyscrapers are a product of humans we can relate and identify with them because they reflect the habitat that we live in and are created by our society.

Because skyscrapers are considered amazing structures of human ingenuity (well I consider them that) I felt like using the image of mountains is sort of the opposite of skyscrapers because they are powerful natural structures and symbolise the power of nature, and are also very large structurally. So the two compliment one another but also convey different meanings, one being the creations of people and the other the creations of nature.

Like how we used the image of the hand in the posters to represent the ability to affect change being “in our hands”, this project uses the image of buildings to represent our impact on the earth and how large societies can affect the landscape i.e. the more individuals there are in a society the more advanced a society becomes. I find it similar to how when the space station passes the Earth at night you can see the lights from all the cities, which is a great way to visually see the impact of people.

What I like about the project as I discussed earlier is that the audience doesn’t have to actually do anything to interact with the project. Just them being there is the interaction so it’s more of a conceptual artwork than something which people can have fun interacting with, I think this reflects my own taste in design and art as I’m not really someone who really enjoys having to ‘perform’ as part of the audience (although I find those sort of interactive installations impressive), I prefer interacting in a way which makes me think about something in a way that I haven’t previously. And this is what I have attempted to do with this project.

The problem with this however is I’m not sure if the audience would actually know that they are interacting and if their movement is what determines the height of the buildings, so in a way it’s quite hard to understand the concepts I am trying to put across. I think that if there was an explanation of what the idea is supposed to convey then it would be more understandable, or if I had put an image of the camera in the corner people might see that and be able to make the association. However this sort of defeats the object of the project, as what I wanted to do was have people to formulate a meaning in a short period of time, as they’re walking past, such as Banksy’s works, which I discussed in this post. However I think that the audience could understand the ideas my project is trying to convey just maybe not as efficiently as I would have liked.

Moving Forward

What I like abut the project is that it can be added to more which means that I could carry on the iterative process. In a previous post I discussed how I would like to add houses and maybe cars and do an number of different things to make it more lively, which would better represent a city and maybe make the idea more understandable. I didn’t get around to achieving everything I wanted to do mostly due to my lack of understanding of programming in general, but I think it would benefit me to add more to this project because it will give me some tasks to attempt in processing and I want to carry on practising so I get better at programming, because it’s a lot of fun and very satisfying when problems are resolved.

This project also made me realise the importance of discussing my ideas with other people who are more experienced with programming and it’s something which I like about the computing community in that people are very enthusiastic and passionate about coding and programming. I find this is a very important thing for me to acknowledge because sometimes I am reluctant to ask for help from others when I am stuck because I feel that it’s either cheating or I want to work out problems by myself (because I generally enjoy solving problems and the satisfaction that comes from working them out by myself), but sometimes people’s knowledge of the programming language is helpful because they can point you in the right direction and also suggest more efficient ways to structure the code (such as using object orientated programming).

I would also like to learn maths in my spare time as I think this is the area in programming that I am having trouble in as understanding the mathematical side of it is something that doesn’t come naturally to me, so I feel if I had a better understanding of math in general I would have a better understanding of programming languages in general and it would improve my coding and ability to solve problems.

I find that this project has also made me understand my style a bit more and the type of art and design which I like and how that is reflected in my designs. This project has made me think about the things I want to achieve personally as a designer and an artist not just in this project but in future projects and some good ideas have formulated which I wish to pursue, such as creating a backdrop in processing for my band and projecting it behind us when we play live, using the sound of the drums etc to affect what happens on the screen.

This project has also helped me to understand that sometimes when if I am creating a design for other people (or working towards a brief) I have to negotiate with what others want and not focus as much on what I actually want to do. For example, early on in this project I had a totally different idea and I wanted to make it fit in with the brief when there wasn’t really a way to make it fit to the brief, but I found it hard to not pursue that original idea because I had become attached to it and liked it a lot, but in order to relate to what the brief required a new idea spawned out of the original idea which was totally different, but I wouldn’t have ended up with this project if I hadn’t have thought about the idea which didn’t work originally, and this shows how important the iterative process is and also how beneficial it is to come up with multiple ideas instead of just sticking with the first idea, even it’s a good idea.

Mountains Design

Today I continued working on my mountain background image. Although I’m not 100% happy with the outcome I think they look better than previously, I have tried a series of different strategies and if I had more time I would probably start them again and try more. I tried to use a series of different brushes in Photoshop to get the snow look realistic but it was quite tedious. What I would have liked to have done in retrospect is make them look a bit more 3 dimensional, maybe have two sides and try shading one of the sides. However I think the outcome is sufficient.

mountains

Testing Project

Today I tested my project in the foyer for the first time.

I think that this testing was quite important because it showed me how the project worked with people walking passed the camera naturally which made me change some parameters in the code to make it more efficient, it also gave me some insight into the audiences interaction with the project. I find that because the pixels that pick up the changed in brightness which affects the towers’ movement are in a straight line, from left to right, the towers move upwards from right to left as someone walks past the screen, this isn’t really what I want so I will randomise the pixels which are comparing brightness with on another so different towers move upwards at different spaces on the camera, so that the rising of the buildings is less linear.

In this video I put the video the camera is capturing as the background so the movement which affects the images can be seen. The white line shows the section of the camera where the pixels which are comparing the changes in brightness are assigned.

What I originally wanted to do was to have every pixel of the camera effect the movement on the camera depending in the changes in brightness but after discussing this with Paul in a workshop he suggested that he didn’t think that it would be neccessary as he felt that it worked well enough already with just one pixel affecting the movement of the towers. I think for the foyer of Weymouth house it is enough to pick up peoples movement but if the camera was in a different position, such as the corner of the room it would be nice to have every pixel which the camera captures effecting the movement of the skyscrapers as I think the idea of collectivism would be more apparent. As only 24 pixels are being used this doesn’t really reflect the significance of large amounts of people, in my opinion.

However, saying this I think that the project works really well although I would like to test it in a busier environment because when I was filming these videos there weren’t that many people occupying the space so I would like to see what happens when the foyer is busier. Below is a video from my smart phone of the actual project with a blue background and no visibility of what the camera is capturing, how I intended the project to actually look.