Category Archives: Student Articles

This block is no party

Being a content writer is fun and challenging, so when I was asked to write a blog piece for a class assignment I thought no problem this is right up my ally. I sat down to write the post and for the first time in a while I was faced with the dreaded writer’s block. Now some will argue that there is no such thing as writer’s block but thats the diagnosis I’ve given to the current problem. Every time I would write I would get a few paragraphs into the idea and realise it just wasn’t working. I was stuck. All I had going through my head was the voice of George from Seinfeld saying ‘I got nothing Jerry, nothing’.

So with the clock ticking down to the due date, and the word count 366 words short of the objective I  remembered some wise wisdom. Writer Charles Bukowski said “writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all’. Thanks Chuck, that’s exactly what I’ll do. So strap yourselves in boys and girls because if you’re struggling with writer’s block, here are eight tips to help you break on through to the other side:

  1. Brainstorm – Just start putting pen to paper. Ideas, thoughts, anything that comes to mind without judgement.
  2. Go for a walk or run – By simply moving it can free up your mind for new ideas to develop.
  3. Eliminate distraction – Your phone, people around you or tv can disrupt your creative thinking. Try to remove as many distractions as you can.
  4. Decide on the purpose – Why are you writing? To inform? Entertain? Educate? Or inspire? By deciding on your why it can give you a starting point and sense of direction. Also consider the audience you want to reach.
  5. Change your location – If you’re writing in your room and it’s not working maybe go outside or move to a room with a nice view.
  6. Look online for inspiration or ideas – Check out Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. Images can spark ideas and creativity. Just don’t spend all day looking.
  7. Timing – Some people write best early in the morning, others at night. Find out which one work best for you and plan your writing for that time frame.
  8. Keep practicing – The more you write the easier it will become. Keep a notebook of ideas, quotes and other inspiration you can use in the future.

So next time you’re suffering from writer’s block, don’t throw your hands in the air admitting defeat and reaching for that bottle of red. Ok maybe the wine will help but just remember these tips and you’ll be on your way to writing glory. Stay patient, keep trying and the ideas will come. You’ll surprise yourself with what you will be able to produce.

Good luck.

If you are still reading this then I commend you as I am just trying to get the word count up to 500 and I am 11 words short of the objective and now I’m down. Thank you.

 

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By Glen Holubkovic
Diploma of Digital Media

Digital storytelling at Star Wars Identities

As an avid Star Wars fan myself, I have been known to dress up in character around the campus once before for a past assessment. So, you could have imagined my excitement when I found out that we were heading to the Star Wars Identities Exhibition at the Power House Museum, on Wednesday the 27th March, as a part of our Story and Narrative Class.

And surely enough, I was not disappointed.

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This excursion honestly couldn’t have been more spot-on to the previous class discussions we had around identifying character archetypes within story structures. And whether you are a Star Wars fan or not, you would have just as easily appreciated the technology and the storytelling that was behind the exhibition, along with the amazing movie props and memorabilia that went with it.

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For those of you who don’t know what Star Wars Identities is about, it is an exhibition that allows users to create and explore the forces that shape our own individual identities through a series of digital interactive stations. It is from this that we as a class answered a series of personality questions that related to our own genetic makeup, occupation, friends and choosing whether or not to cross over to the Dark Side (I mean, hey, it wouldn’t have been a true Star Wars exhibition if it didn’t have this choice at the end.)

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Choosing Identities/Forming character archetypes.

The technology used at the exhibition also aligned well our Bachelor of Digital Media course, as we answered questions through digital wristbands (similar to that of a Fitbit) touching the characters, and individual scenes from the movies, to slowly form our character’s identity. Through each characteristic, there was also a story behind it that was told through a headset and would only be heard once we stood in a particular part of the room.

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It is safe to say that this exhibition could not have been more relevant to our learning. We witnessed first-hand how digital technologies enhanced the storytelling experience that was Star Wars Identities.

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My own identity: A Female Ewok

Star Wars Identities is on show at the Sydney Powerhouse Museum until June 10 2019. http://www.starwarsidentities.com
#StarWarsIDSydney

 

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By Gemma Healey
Bachelor of Digital Media

Nice UX: The Rubadub App

Congratulations to Digital Media student Michael Loader for his recent publication on Medium. This piece was written for the ‘Analysing Effective Experience’ Assessment as apart of User Experience at Macleay College, Melbourne.

A quick background

Rubadub Records is a Glasgow-based record store & label that opened its doors in 1992. To music enthusiasts, collectors and DJs, Rubadub is iconic — particularly in the spaces of electronic music.

The store is widely known for its ability to introduce quality & undiscovered techno, house, disco, reggae, hip-hop (and everything in between) to the wider community.

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Credit: Wesley Gibbs

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Resident Adviser — Rubadub: 25 years later feature

 

These days, the store’s output is easily reachable beyond Europe with its online store that sells both records & music equipment such as turntables, modular synths & drum machines.

This means people like me (I am a bit of a fan) who live 16,000 km away, can easily access the goods.

Earlier this year, Rubadub increased their digital presence with the help of the team at Green Hill Digital, by creating the Rubadub App.

 

The purpose

As Green Hill highlight in their case study, there was no point simply recreating the online store in app-form when the mobile-site was already perfectly functional.

The mobile application had to have its own purpose. It needed to be a space where music-heads can discover fresh releases in a organic and random way.

“We tried to recreate the shop experience where you get fed tunes you wouldn’t normally listen to.”

Rubadub’s co-owner Wilba Sandieson mentions over email.

The app is available on IOS & android.

Music for heads and feet

The apps intention is to deliver an experience that mirrors the way one would flick through vinyl, select a pile and then listen to those records in a physical brick & motor store.

While this is a ecommerce app in which one user-journey ends with a purchase , I personally feel the success of the app comes down to the listening, discovering and the overall ‘digging’ experience, rather than the quantity of sales.

So, let’s have a look…

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Initially I (the user) am greeted with two clear options, Sign in or Sign up.

The apps ecommerce system was purposely integrated with the existing site meaning account holders of Rubadub.co.uk already have an account.

Additionally, this means all payments through the app go through the same system as the website. Meaning no further stock work on the backend for the Rubadub team!

Anyway, as a new user, I select Sign up.

I fill four form fills, tap the boxes, enter the information. Done.

Already in, no email confirmation needed ✓

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‘Killer vinyl recommendations tailored and fed directly to you’.

 

Next appears a four slide series that introduces the app and its features.

  • Intro: Logo and clear copy that delivers the purpose of the app.
  • Listen: Recognisable ‘sound icon’ and copy informing me of the ‘swipe’ function as well as the exclusive value I should expect in the app (ie: staff favs).
  • Save: introduces ‘❤’ icon— a bookmark style feature that allows you put aside your favourites. This also feeds the algorithm data about your personal music tastes, allowing it to cater for you more accurately as time goes on.
  • Buy: Informing you of the store function and ability to purchase records for delivery.

A nice trustworthy and contrasting blue button then leads me to get started, LET’S GO.

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Left: Music playing (great album) | Middle: Info pop-up | Right: Track pauses when cover-art is tapped

Interface

For me, the UI works nicely. The minimalistic layout keeps things simple and obvious. It roles with the model of a typical music player so things straight away feel familiar.

Additionally, the small use of colour provides the cover-art with the spotlight. The music playing is the most important factor here so this makes total sense.

The detailed description (INFO) is a nice touch that sits discretely as a pop-up that you can quickly exit back to the track (The 2 minute music previews are never interrupted).

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Left: Saved Items | Middle: Items in shopping cart | Right: Sign Out page

 

The nav-bar sits nicely as the footer making it in thumbs-reach no matter what sized device you own 👍

Any call-to-action buttons relating to purchases are green — this makes the action you are taking very obvious throughout. The ‘listen again’ is a great addition as most people may not remember every saved record by name or visual alone.

If a record is out-of-stock, the user will be notified well before they can purchase, avoiding any frustration.

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Killer recommendations

As for the actual discovering of music, it does well.

Shown in the image above, tapping the white arrows pans through the different tracks in a particular EP (in this case Krikor’s Pacific Alley In Dub).

Swiping left takes you to the next (random) record awaiting, while swiping right simply takes you back to the previous piece of music.

This allows you to effortlessly find new music, save it and then continue discovering all in one, uninterrupted flow.

Overall

The app has done an amazing job at expanding the Rubadub record searching experience beyond the walls of the Scottish shop.

While it clearly cannot replace the feeling of physically flicking through records, talking-music with staff or whatever moment of serendipity real-life throws at you, it certainly delivers as an awesome digital alternative.

I am personally excited to see where they take the application next with more features planned to be added.

I also look forward to what the future brings as other stores and businesses in the vinyl community embrace new technologies.

 

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By Michael Loader
Diploma of Digital Media

Guest Lecture by Simon Blangiardo: Digital Strategist at Straight Out Digital

The Advertising & Digital Media students at Macleay College Melbourne were given another great opportunity to hear from someone who has started up their own agency – something that scares a lot of us.

Simon “SIMO/BALD EAGLE” Blangiardo is the Digital Strategist of Straight Out Digital.

Straight Out Digital describe themselves as a ‘kick-ass digital agency that believes design doesn’t need to be compromised when adding in digital strategy and goals.’

Simon told us all about how he got to where he is today; from early students days, to his first job being an Account Director, to now working in the digital world.

It was really cool to learn about how things work in the digital industry and how it’s important to stay on top of everything because of how fast technology and social media is moving.

He delved deep into the services Straight Out Digital offer, especially focusing on SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

The digital world seems like a pretty scary (but also extremely awesome) place to live in.

Definitely check out their awesome website to see what they’re all about and all the crazy stuff they get to do on a daily basis!

 

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By Jasmine Tambouras
Bachelor of Advertising & Media

Guest Lecture by Ben Fettes: Co-Founder & Head of Strategy at The Lumery

The Advertising & Digital Media students at Macleay College Melbourne were lucky enough to be visited by Co-founder and Head of Strategy at The Lumery, Ben Fettes. The Lumery is a full-service customer experience agency that specialises in marketing and advertising technology. They make the connections between people, process, data and technology.

Ben spoke about how he started out creating his own agency and how The Lumery works. He mentioned that he first studied  Marketing & Advertising but left university early and took an extra 6 months gap until he landed a job at Clemenger BBDO Advertising Agency in Melbourne.

He and a friend often joked about starting up their own agency and working by their own rules. One night after a few too many drinks, they decided to turn their jokes into a reality. They knew everything was on the line, but they were willing to take that chance.

It took a bunch of sleepless work nights to get to where they are today – a year and a half later from their original idea at the beginning.

Ben gave us a sneak peek at what The Lumery can do for their clients. It was quite interesting to see all the website data that can actually be seen from the client end. It was also a little bit creepy to know that all that data is kept forever and that someone can see exactly what we are doing and what we are looking for.

It was interesting that they can also personalise sites for the consumer that is online at any given moment.

It was super cool to see what goes on behind the scenes and all the strategy that goes into it. Being able to find out all the different aspects of an agency really made us all excited to see what is in our own futures in regards to working in agency after graduation.

We’re all super thankful for this opportunity to witness first-hand the ins and outs of the advertising industry.

 

 

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By Jasmine Tambouras
Bachelor of Advertising & Media

Positive Psychology workshop with Louise Tidmand

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I previously studied at Macleay College and have come back after 3 years to finish my degree in Advertising. There are a lot of things that have changed but one of the things that I looked forward to was the subject on Positive Psychology.

It was a pleasant surprise to know that Macleay had introduced this new subject and I wasted no time in signing up for it. I had no clue about what it would entail, but from the title itself I knew that it would be a fundamental class that would shape me to be a better person and innovator.

And I wasn’t wrong.

Positive Psychology is defined as the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. It is founded on the belief that people want to lead more meaningful and fulfilling lives.

Through our classes, we have been learning unconventional ways of thinking in order to reduce the stresses accumulated from everyday life and to open our minds and be more creative. In my opinion it is a revolutionary movement that tackles the alarming growth of anxiety, depression and lack of self-fulfilment in people.

Louise Tidmand generously volunteered her time to the students of Macleay College, specifically those who were studying Positive Psychology. She shared her insight and research on the idea of teaching life coping skills to students and adults. She described it as the process of learning how to deal with stress which greatly varies from how you react to it.

When Louise presented her findings on the growing rate of depression and anxiety in adults and teens it resonated within myself as I have experienced the severity of these mental illnesses through close encounters. She highlighted that the traditional ways of addressing these illnesses, which often focus on negatives, are not enough to build a resilient foundation in our society. She showcased the tools she had created to get someone into the positives on the scale of happiness. It was very inspiring to see that there are people who are taking action to make a better change in the world.

In her presentation, Louise engaged with the audience with fun clapping routines and asking us simple but thoughtful questions to promote altruism. For e.g. What can you do to make someone happy? And what can you say to make someone happy?

I am so grateful for the chance to gain new wisdoms from Louise. It is so motivating to see that the studies of positive psychology are spreading to affect the lives of the people around us in a life-changing way.

 

 

 

 

By Patricia Tamayo
Bachelor of Advertising & Media

Welcome To The World Of The Individual

Demographics Are Dead: Welcome To The World Of The Individual 

Since the mid 20th Century, consumer targeting meant broadcasting out to a specific group of people based on gender, age, and location. Yet in 2017, data collection is far more intricate, and those brackets that we use to define and group people are now far too broad. Is it time for communicators to stop generalising markets, and shift our focus to the individual?

People no longer define themselves within one set of beliefs in the way we did 30 years ago. We have evolved to accept every facet of our personalities, and have multiple defining characteristics beyond our ethnic background, location, religious beliefs or even age. The only way to successfully market to the people of the future, is to get to know them beyond basic demographics and look further into their personality type, habits, and opinions.

Only a few years ago, people began to grow extremely uncomfortable with the amount of data that platforms, such as a Facebook, had on them. Yet it seems more and more widely accepted now that we all carry a complex digital footprint, and in that footprint is everything any brand needs to know about us. Many successful brands follow people on their daily interactions with digital media – from the minute they wake up to the minute they go to sleep. Marketing to the individual based on their digital data is a guaranteed way to increase brand awareness, whether your audience likes it or not. This retargeting model and its breach on privacy is another conversation, but we need acknowledge that when it comes to brand awareness, this method of individual marketing is a stepping stone in getting to know your consumer.

You’re probably thinking that this method of individual consumer targeting can’t possibly work for every brand – and you’re right. Keep in mind that data is power. Not all brands need social media and retargeting to reach their consumer, but all brands do need that vital information on their audience. Think about it in terms of the friends you have on Facebook; you may have never met someone, but based on their daily Facebook activity clogging your newsfeed, you can probably tell exactly what, why, and when they’d buy. Yet from a marketing perspective, this person is probably defined as ’50-65, woman, Eastern Suburbs’.

Let’s get personal. Look beyond classic defining characteristics and get to know your consumer on a deeper level. Consumers are getting smarter, so if we can respect our consumer as an individual with distinctive opinions and beliefs, then we can build a trusting relationship between brand and audience. (Even if achieving that personal relationship means digging deep in data).

By Keira Scurry (Bachelor of Advertising and Media student)