Bad Days The Podcast

BCM302

Bad Days The Podcast on Spotify

Background

Bad Days the Podcast is a podcast on fashion sustainability. The essence of podcasting is the creation of audio and/or video content for an audience that wants to listen to what they want, when they want, where they want, and how they want. As the host, I explore issues that relate to sustainability within the fashion industry, as well as discuss how I can play a role in fighting this as a small business owner. Bad Days The Podcast was created as an extension of my clothing brand and also previous digital artefact Bad Days The Label. I wanted to make a podcast because I felt the need to take responsibility and advocate for change in a space that has such detrimental effects on the environment. If I want to be a part of the fashion industry, I want to do it in a way that is honest, transparent and helpful for the environment.

Project Utility

My digital artefact was created to address two problems. The first was understanding sustainability within the fashion industry and educating others on these issues. I feel that fast fashion has made us passive consumers. We see, we like, we buy. Most fast fashion pieces are cheap, poor quality, disposable, do not last very long. In Australia alone, people are dumping 15 tonnes of clothing and fabric waste every 10 minutes. Australians also buy an average of 27kg of textiles each year (including leather and homewares) and then discard 23kg into landfills, despite the fact they are mostly non-biodegradable. So the majority of it will not be resold or given to another home, just thrown away. I feel that we need to utilise social media platforms better – for awareness and education on these issues rather than advertisements.

The second was to create transparency within my own brand and to discuss how to do better as a sustainable small business. I believe that this podcast will not only help my brand with it being one of the first to be completely open and honest about their practices, it will also give my customers and followers a sense of community and support within their own sustainability journeys. Developing my project around fashion sustainability will help my users understand the fashion industry a little bit better and will help them make more conscious decisions around purchasing clothing. Additionally, it should inspire other small business owners to follow in my direction as I share my own experiences, give advice and share awareness. My audiences are self-aware, environmentally conscious individuals and business owners who want to learn more about an industry they are also passionate about.

Podcasting can also be a trickly thing to tackle. Like most other audio or video media, podcasts span the continuum from can’t get enough to deadly boring. It’s a highly subjective evaluation of course, since something you consider boring might be positively addictive for others. I was excited to take on this challenge.

I had to create succesful positioning within my brand and it’s niche by following 3 simple steps:

Understand what your consumers want

Understand what your company’s and brand capabilities are

Understand how each competitor is positioning their brand

The Branding Journal

I had a few competitors as fashion sustainability is a popular topic. However, there was a gap in the market for actual businesses who use their platform through podcasting to be as transparent as I was. Do you what materials your favourite brand uses? Do you know if they have a Code of Conduct? Do they source their final stage of production from countries with a high risk of labour abuse? These are things you should know about your favourite brands and my goal is to normalise this.

Production Method

I decided I would develop this project by posting weekly episodes discussing one topic of sustainability within the fashion industry. I wanted to take my time focusing on these issues so that the information I present was not overwhelming to the audience. I would pre-record a script (and sometimes wing-it), record my podcast, edit and post. I would then spend a few days pushing promotional content on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. As the weeks went by, changes were made to the consistent posting and amount of promotional content due to time restraints and other struggles, which you can hear about in my beta video below:

All episodes

“So you’ve got this power, you’ve got this power of sort of emotional connection, right. …it wants emotional honesty. And when you supply it it’s very effective to the audience.  And so… and it can come up in all sorts of different venues.”

Alex Blumburg | Power Your Podcast With Storytelling

Important learning moment 1: Time is everything

In my project pitch, I stated that I wanted to upload an episode every fortnight, however, because of the Covid situation affecting my ability to work, I was able to utilise my free time and upload weekly. It was going extremely well for the first 4 weeks. I felt motivated, ambitious and driven to provide quality episodes and was able to succeed in this week a fortnightly timeframe. However, as identified in my beta, I decided to normalise a fortnightly schedule as I started to feel the pressure in my time restraints. This is because Covid restrictions started to ease and I found myself easing back into my normal, pre-covid lifestyle. In order to align myself with our fast, inexpensive, simple and tiny workframe I knew that resorting back to a fortnightly schedule will be worth it. However, I was a little worried about how my audience would deal with this change and if it would be a positive or negative one.

I ultimately decided to take this risk after hearing feedback from my classmates. “Normalising a new posting schedule is important as it creates a new consistency with the audience”. According to Social Media Today, consistency is your best friend when it comes to social media. Being consistent in your post frequency is really important in order to grow a social media audience. Now if you bring that concept into the type of content you’re creating, you’re giving your audience a reason to come back every week. This new posting schedule also “allows for time and resources to create the best quality of podcasts.” It gave me more time to focus on the quality of the content. I ultimately had more time to prepare, write, practice and edit the podcast after filming.

Pictured above is some constructive student feedback from my BETA.

I posted weekly from Episode 1 (August 12th) through till Episode 4 (September 2nd). It is clear from my podcast stats that my lack of time-management from the strains of life affected my motivation and therefore ultimately affected my audiences actions. However, as I normalised the posting schedule to every fortnight my views actually spiked. Luckily, the change in schedule actually created a positive outcome for me and my podcast. It is clear that in the weeks that an episode is not released there is less downloads e.g. between Octover 18th and October 25th.

Views per week over the last 90 days via Buzzsprout
Views in the first 7 days of the last 8 episodes via Buzzsprout

To fix this issue I prioritise the promotion of the podcast through social media. This can be done via visual soundbites, q&a’s and feed/story posts.

According to Linktree (the link in my Instagram bio), the podcast has been accessed 108 times from this platform

What I learnt from this is that time-management is everything. As I had other aspects of my life affect this change, I managed to be flexible and adapt. “Without this unstructuring, the creation of a new structure cannot proceed—since the bits and pieces are still tied together as meaning within unchallenge domains or concepts” (Boyd, 1976). I took a risk, and it came out successful. I could have kept with a fortnightly schedule as I prepared to in my pitch, however my passion for this project took over and I do not regret attempting a weekly schedule for it. It became an important lesson to the project.

Important learning moment 2: Camera shy

From the feedback from the BCM302 seminar in week 7 and the response from my followers, they insisted that I utilise video footage to promote my podcast. I took an extra week off uploading an episode (and normalise the fortnightly schedule) to sort out how I would be able to create video footage, whether that to be with my camera or my phone. Neither would be able to connect to my microphone which was my first issue. My second issue was that I usually record in my car in my parking garage. The reason I do this is because my voice is not bouncing off the walls like it would in my apartment. It is also more quiet as I live in an apartment complex on the first floor in a busy neighbourhood with construction that my microphone easily picks up.

Unfortunately I had to come to the conclusion that filming at this stage of my digital artefact would not align with the F.I.S.T method as it was much more time consuming and not as simple as I would have hoped. So instead, I utilised the “Visual Soundbite” mode on my podcast account to create audio snippets to promote my work on my stories, my Instagram posts and on twitter.

In my beta video I said that I felt defeated. After taking another week to think about my options, I decided that feeling defeated wasn’t one.

The first issue to combat was connecting my camera to my microphone. This is was not going to be possible, but there needed to be another way. I am a perfectionist and believe that if something is not perfect then it isn’t worth sharing to the world. I decided that this was not a good way of thinking. I had to choose between good camera quality and good sound. As the main focus of this project is the podcast itself, I decided that good sound was my priority. If I were to create video content again, I would use zoom as it is free, easily accessible and could be a new potential for including other small businesses and sustainable fashion activists into the conversation.

Feedback from Instagram
Feedback from BETA project
Testing on Zoom

My second issue was to combat the anxiety I felt surrounding being filmed. One of the issues I had with the camera in my face was my immediate shyness towards being filmed which made it hard to focus on what I was talking about. Especially as a solo creator, I knew that all eyes would be on me and I felt almost awkward about it. As I said, I’m a perfectionist.

With all of this in mind, I decided to reach out to one of my best friends and small business owner Monique, who is the owner of Brows By Mon. We spoke briefly at the beginning of this project about collaborating in an episode but I had not thought it was the right time, until now. It was like the stars aligned perfectly. My final episode (Episode 8) is my favourite episode to date. We used Zoom so I could screen record the conversation. I was able to use my microphone and she used her Air Pods. Although the sound isn’t as perfect as usual and the camera quality is average, I think that this has been my most successful episode so far. It is the fasted downloaded episode with 33 downloads in the last 36 hours (uploaded 28/10). It has been shared through both our social media platforms. I plan to have the video version up by early next week, but in the meantime have created little 1 minute video snippets that I have uploaded to Instagram, TikTok and Twitter. On top of this, I will still be able to create the audio Visual Soundbites as I did for previous episodes to have some audio sneakpeaks of the episode.

@baddaysthelabel

From living in London at 18 to being small business owners at 22 🍒Bad Days The Podcast🍒 on Spotify and Apple Podcasts #smallbusiness #smallbiz

♬ original sound – Bad Days

On top of this already successful episode, I had a friend from high school reach out to me and offer to create some music for the introduction of the episodes. It was so nice, and now I have an amazing introductory song that the audiences will soon be familiar with as I insert it into every episode.

What I learnt from this is that time, patient and trial-and-error is absolutely everything. If you work hard enough for something, you will succeed even if it is not in the way you imagined.

Important learning moment 3: Feedback is vital

Feedback was so important for my project to gain the success that it did. It pushed me to create more even when I felt defeated. Despite failing early and failing often, I had so much support around me and was so appreciative of this.

Although the majority of the feedback was positive, I always strived to take into consideration the constructive criticism as I knew that this information would help me rather than harm. For example, in episode 5 I spoke about greenwashing and other marketing tactics that fast fashion brands use to grab the attention of the younger eco-conscious generation. I recieved this private message (below) and realised that she was right. In order to avoid any defamation lawsuit (thinking worst case scenario here) I have made a note to not use words such as “allegedly,” “apparently,” and “in my opinion.” Based on the tips to avoiding defamation by Inforrn.org, I had vowed to be aware of what I am saying, control the meaning, only say what I can prove, use the language of opinion and make sure that opinion is based on true facts. This was an important learning moment for me and brought me back to BCM113.

On the 28th of September I introduced an exciting new development to the project. Originally, my podcast was only available on Spotify and the RSS feed. However, I wanted to expand and therefore uploaded my episodes to the Apple Podcast streaming service. This may not have been a necessary development as according to my Instagram poll, 83% of listeners choose Spotify. Despite this, I still believed that it was important an important choice. Switchboard, a public third-party streaming service says that streaming to multiple platforms is important because it helps you extend your reach. Using a third party service (I use Buzzsprout) makes it easy as this allows you to send one live feed and transmit it to any number of platforms you choose – simultaneously! It is also automatic once you have subscribed.

According to my statistics via Buzzsprout, Spotify reigned as the top app used to download by podcast, sitting at 101 downloads.

Despite Apple Podcasts sitting at 5th place, I still received positive feedback for my iteration, and take this as a positive development rather than a useless one. One more thing that I like about Apple Podcasts is that I can see when someone has given my podcast a rating, which is not possible through Spotify.

Some positive feedback
3 five star reviews!!

The Future of Bad Days The Podcast

I have fallen in love with this project, and am so appreciative of the positive feedback from my friends, my classmates and my followers. I am able to add this project to my portfolio for any future career opportunities in the social media and content creation field. I now have a huge amount of background knowledge that will help me in my sustainability journey as a small business owner. I have successfuly created a transparent brand and I know that I have inspired other small businesses and fashion enthusiasts to think differently and buy differently. I hope to continue this project for a long time and hope you can continue to follow me!

BAD DAYS THE PODCAST

Other references:

BCM 302 Peer Reviews Part II

BCM302

Peer Review 2: Chelsea-Lee Bastable & Emma Jenkins

Project: Chàe Media

I really loved keeping up with Chae Media on Instagram, where they post day in the life reels and tips for editorial design. Their projects utility is two-fold, benefiting the girls and their careers as well as guiding their audiences in their visual content and branding journeys. Their brand is aesthetically pleasing and they utilise this in so many methods, from Instagram stories to reels; all media that is presented to their audience is succinct and beautifully crafted. Their new iteration of utilising Instagram reels is a perfect addition to the promotion of the brand as it gives the brand a personal twist, giving their audience a chance to know who they are engaging with and connecting them to the brand. Also, Instagram’s algorithm is favouring accounts that are regularly publishing and engaging with Reels as it is still considered a new feature. 

For Chàe Media, “day in the life” reels have been a fantastic idea, utilising their mission by “continually keeping our audiences best interest in mind” and being able to “create helpful content that will produce healthy habits for our student-based audience.” I believe day in the life videos are actually vital for this. Reiterating simple but motivational day in the life content that is visually appealing will help those that have been struggling to move during this lockdown period and I admire the girls perseverance to continue creating this type of content regularly.

I do know that a mission for their brand is to advocate for passionate small businesses, and I think that they should utilise their “day in the life” videos to promote their favourite businesses. For example, pouring coffee from a local coffee company they admire or putting on an outfit that was purchased from a small business. Instagram reels not only should be used to promote your brand, but also for education, showing personality and your ethos (Social Media Today). This content will not only be located on your feed, but will be shared by the businesses you collaborate with and expanding your audience.

Secondly, I think that adding a call to action after every Instagram reel could be a positive development to the project and persuading others to like, follow, share and partake in the brands journey. Adding a call to action is important to promote your page before the release day of your editorial magazine. An article by Sister Act Media explores ways to promote your page before the launch which can be located here. Whether it be a call to invite people to view the Instagram page or the magazine itself, having both platforms will allow for easy accessibility and not only be a space for education, but also be a community for like-minded individuals who are in need of their own safe space online. I love their page and will continue following it after this semester is over!

Peer Review 2: Laura Wilson

Project: Soul Socials

Laura’s moderation of her digital artefact was a smart choice in response to the F.I.S.T method, and allowing herself to fail early encouraged the development of her new project Soul Socials. Soul Socials was created in response to the need for personal marketing tips as a one-stop source for information. Choosing Instagram was a great idea as its multiple features can be utilised to expand her audience; including stories, live videos, and ads. Social platforms help you connect with your customers, increase awareness about your brand, and boost your leads and sales (Marketing Insider Group). Her project is also twofold as she hopes to gain future full-time employment in social media management and social media marketing.

In her beta she talks about collaborating with other brands and agencies on future campaigns which is an exciting development. Upon reflection on her Instagram, there appears to be a lack of content which may affect her ability to collaborate with others who do not know who Soul Socials is yet. I believe that creating consistent content aligning with your brands aesthetics and ethos is vital towards a successful brand. Business 2 Community talks about curating your Instagram aesthetic and creating a brand identity. They touch on first impressions, trust, recognisability, differentiation and identity. Focusing on curated content and including a consistent call to action (as she mentioned she does in her beta), as well as incorporating hashtags and engaging with similar pages will get Soul Socials out into the community as a strong established brand despite being a fresh face. Secondly, spending one day a week focusing on accumulating this content will help align her project with the F.I.S.T method. This article by Canva shares how to create 50+ pieces of content weekly. Additionally, consistently adding a call to action on your posts, reels and stories will regulate customer engagement. Laura mentioned that she already utilised a call to action to market her brand on her Instagram posts. I found this article by the Social Media Examiner which will help create strong, impressionable call to actions which will drive new clients towards her page.

In another response to failing early and failing often, Laura explored other social media platforms to market herself on and considered using Facebook as a secondary platform to Instagram. According to this article by SEJ, Facebook can help reach a wider audience, create B2B and B2C campaigns, use full-funnel targeting and create audience transparency. I believe that once Soul Socials has created enough curated content, then Facebook would become the immediate next step to having a successful marketing brand and portfolio. I would suggest creating content that is set out into four methods: educational, personal, inspiring and call to action. This will help gain a passionate audience as well as create a reach to valuable new clients and collaborative opportunities. Ask yourself, what has never been done before? How can I connect with my audience? What do THEY need from me and what can I do for THEM. I’m excited to see where this project leads!

Bad Days The Podcast: Project Beta

BCM302

This digital artefact has been my favourite one to date! Not only was creating the podcast fun, but it was so simple in the beginning as it was something I was extremely passionate about and so was easy to fulfil every week. I still feel a strong passion towards it, but as I stated in the video, uploading once a week became too much as life got in the way. However, I take this on as a learning experience and believe that posting each fortnight will be a positive change for my podcast, my brand and my time.

My favourite part about this whole experience has been interacting with my followers on my Instagram stories and getting them involved, whether that be through polls, questions and feedback:

This interactive portion of my digital artefact not only helped promote my podcast, but strengthened my brand as a whole. As I said in my pitch, I wanted my brand to feel like an open space to create conversation and also create a community to talk about sustainability in an open and honest way. I believe that I have successfully achieved this! All the feedback has been positive which is something I did not expect! I always love to hear what my listeners would like me to talk about and was happy to take in any feedback and suggestions to use for my next upcoming episodes.

I had little to no expectations for the “Video Soundbite” as I am aware that video content would have really pushed my digital artefact to the next level. However, I did receive some positive feedback regarding it which is something I didn’t expect! As well as audio, I included some written sneak peaks of the episodes in some of my Instagram posts which I think gives an element of curiosity that will make the audience want to know more.

Overall I am super proud of this project. I have learnt so much and have a clear direction that I would like to take this project in the future. The end of this semester will not mean the end of Bad Days The Podcast. Over the next coming weeks I will be pushing more video soundbites and continue engaging with my audience on my social media platforms (particularly Instagram) through story media such as polls, questions and countdowns towards each episode. Pushing the social media element of my podcast will increase the number of downloads I receive. It is incredibly obvious through my analytics that more social media engagement means more listeners. As I upload more, I tend to receive more feedback. Now that I have more time between each episode, I will be able to promote them much more as I believed I would in my pitch.

As for the episodes themselves, I believe that adding Apple Podcasts as a streaming service last week was definitely a good idea. Unfortunately I cannot locate any analytics which tells me how many people are viewing on Spotify or Apply Podcasts. However, I have already received a 5-star rating via Apple Podcasts. After I upload my next podcast episode I will create a poll on my Instagram to ask which platform they listen to and reveal my findings in week 13. The next step would be trying out a video element again, which will allow me to promote my content on Youtube and TikTok. I believe this will be a huge and vital step if I want my podcast to really gain popularity, but for the time being it is just not possible. My final step would be monetisation through either sponsorships, affiliate marketing or a support link such as Patreon.

I cannot wait to continue this podcast and am so excited to see where it takes me in the future. If you want to listen check out these links below!

BCM302 Peer Reviews Part 1

BCM302

Peer Review 1: Laura Wilson

Project: Sainted Souls

Laura’s project is something that I felt extremely connected to as I have my own embroidery machine and have experienced the process of starting my own embroidery business. I feel proud being a peer reviewer for her project. In saying that, I do know a lot about the behind the scenes work and have my own experience starting an embroidery business from scratch.

As inspiring as this is, immediately I recognised that it does not align with the F.I.S.T method. This is a HUGE project and I want to share as many tips as I can so that it is as inexpensive and simple as possible. Because in all honestly, I spent around $5000 to get started. Laura has not yet purchased an embroidery machine, and these machines range from $1500 to 13,000 for a decent one. I recommend the Brother nv800e embroidery machine as it is one of the most affordable but so easy to use: Echidna Sewing Also, if she purchases it in a bundle she will be able to save money on stabiliser, embroidery hoops and embroidery thread. If this is out of budget, hand embroidery is also an option but it is not as ‘clean’ and takes a bit more time but is a much cheaper option.

I would not recommend opening a Shopify website straight away as based on my own experience. Shopify is roughly $40 a month to keep open, and on months where sales are not strong you may find yourself at a loss. Instead, I would definitely start with something as an Etsy account, which is a website perfect to promote personalised gifts. It’s super easy to promote on there and your engagement, sales and reviews on the site mean it’s easier for other buyers to find you when they are looking for personalised gifts. It also takes a small commission when you make a sale, but it is much less compared to Spotify’s monthly fee.

A lot of time is also going to have to go into finding a wholesale company that aligns with her values. I absolutely appreciate how she wants to take sustainability into consideration as that is essentially what my DA artefact is about! I will be talking about my fashion sustainability journey with my own business (and will talk about my embroidery) which you can find here; Bad Days The Podcast I also found a website that lists a number of amazing sustainable manufacturers for wholesale if which you can check out here; Sustainable wholesalers and manufacturers I would also we weary of the packaging materials to use and determine if it is in your budget to find sustainable packaging. I personally use Hero Packaging, which you can access here; Hero Packaging.

As for drawing the designs, I would recommend hiring someone from Fiverr. It will cut down production time and they will be able to convert your JPEG to a PES file (or a stitch file) rather then you doing it yourself and purchasing PES software which not only is expensive but takes so long to create. Not to share all my small business owner secrets but I trust this digitizer with my life; Fiverr Digitizer.

I think her methodology suggests a focus on social media for engagement, and in turn utilising this to create a successful brand. TikTok definitely is the place to promote a small business as I also found I got the most feedback from both TikTok and Instagram Reels. It is important to post regularly and update your followers so having the embroidery machine really helps with creating interesting content that explores your design to finish process. In all honestly, if you were to cut down your DA to align with the F.I.S.T method, I would focus all your energy into small business promotion rather than the business as a whole. Either way it will be a fascinating topic!

I love the research Laura has put into this niche trend of personalised gifts and I can tell she is  extremely passionate about this. I can tell with her research she already understands that her methodology has a lot of components to it. Her pitch was well articulated, passionate and easy to read/understand. I hope that my advice helps minimise the costs and allows Laura to align herself with the F.I.S.T methods better! I’m so excited to see where she takes this.

Peer Review 2: Chelsea-Lee Bastable & Emma Jenkins

Project: Chàe Media

I wish I had Chàe media when I was creating my own brand design for my own business! Their pitch was aesthetically pleasing and their goals for the project were very well articulated. I specifically resonated with their point about young entrepreneurs straying from the old paradigm as I have personally found that I have taken design for my own business into my own hands, uninterested in collaborating with larger-named businesses. Without any guidance I managed to create my own brand design but would have had a quicker turnaround if I knew about Chàe Media and their work. There was clearly an identified problem that was addressed, and combined with their relevant interests, the solution is an amazing tool that students can use for directed brand and editorial design.  

The slogan “for students, by students” is the first thing I see when I pop on their social media page, and it brought me an immediate feeling of comfort and community as a digital media student. I think that the digital magazine is an amazing piece of curated content that isn’t regularly done with DA projects, so it would be interesting to see how they can engage their audience and persuade them into ready their magazine. I know I am particularly excited for it! I wish that there was a timeline to observe how they are planning to feed out their content to the public and how they will utilise their time efficiently, just so that I could understand their process a little bit better and know WHO was creating WHAT.  

I think that boosting their social media presence through video media could be a vital next step into engaging their young audience (students) through Instagram reels and Tiktok. Having followed them on Instagram for a while, I believe they already utilise their Instagram stories efficiently and the content is always so aesthetically please, kind and informative. Another one of my recommendations would be to find ways to monetise their work. Because they put so much into this as a team it would be a shame if they didn’t take this opportunity. I believe if they utilised sponsors and found brands that aligned with their values and created collaborations – I think that this might be a fun opportunity.

I also think that content that can take students minds away from the Covid situation and onto focusing on their creative works could be a valuable experience for their audience as I think for these times we need a distraction more than anything. Their projects utility is two-fold, benefiting the girls and their careers as well as guiding their audiences in their visual content and branding journeys. Can’t wait to see all the content they create and to apply their tips into my own DA and small business!

BAD DAYS THE PODCAST – Project Pitch

BCM302

My digital artefact addresses the issues regarding sustainability in the fashion industry. I am incredibly aware and am passionate about the human and environmental impacts of the fashion industry, particularly fast fashion. I believe that it is important for brands to be transparent about how their clothes are made.

I believe this podcast will not only help my brand with it being one of the first to be completely open and honest about their practices, it will also give my customers and followers a sense of community and support within their own sustainability journeys. Developing my project around fashion sustainability will help my users understand the fashion industry a little bit better and will help them make more conscious decisions around purchasing clothing.

I will be releasing a new podcast episode every fortnight. This will give me time to do my research, write a script, record and then also more time to promote my episode after its release. My podcast will be available on Spotify and Apple Music. I will promote it on my social media platforms but particularly Instagram as this is where the majority of my engagement comes from. I will ask for feedback on my stories and through reviews on these podcast platforms.

Fast: Content is readily available and accessible on multiple platforms, podcasts are fairly short (20-30 minutes in length) and creating small snippets of my audio to post on social media is an easy and fast way to promote.

Inexpensive: Microphone has already been purchased under my brand, and no additional costs are needed for this project.

Simple and Tiny: The main task is creating the podcast and editing. All promotional platforms are already set up and content just needs to be uploaded. This is also only an extension of my brand rather then creating a digital artefact on ALL aspects of the brand as I have done before.

I have already thought of the concepts that I will be talking about each episode and have created a timeline to add structure to my content creation:

Creating smaller steps will not overwhelm the audience as much and may influence them to change their perspectives faster. They will then be able to immediately apply these changes in their own home.

I think that this is going to be an incredible experience because I have always found it so nice when brands are engaging with their audience about things they care about. It is always important to shop small and sustainable and I cannot wait to talk more about it.

Here is the link to the podcast, first episode is already live!! CLICK HERE

Initial Research and References:

Ecocult. 2021. Greenwashing Alert: What is Bamboo Fabric, and is it Sustainable?. [ONLINE] Available at: https://ecocult.com/bamboo-fabric-sustainable-eco-friendly-greenwashing/. [Accessed 7 August 2021].

Good On You. 2021. How We Rate. [ONLINE] Available at: https://goodonyou.eco/how-we-rate/. [Accessed 7 August 2021].

Independent. 2021. How expensive should fashion really be?. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/sustainable-living/fashion-sustainable-expensive-how-much-b1855956.html. [Accessed 7 August 2021].

Kristen Leo. (2021). Fast Fashion Explained In Under 5 Minutes. [Online Video]. 27 September 2018. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fR7bXsoNwwE. [Accessed: 8 August 2021].

Observer. 2017. In Defense of Fashion as a True Art Form. [ONLINE] Available at: https://observer.com/2017/06/fashion-true-art-form/. [Accessed 6 August 2021].

Shelbizleee. (2021). ranking sustainable brands from BEST to WORST (everlane, seventh generation, organic basics & MORE). [Online Video]. 20 January 2020. Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X68WTP-6r7c. [Accessed: 8 August 2021].

TedX Talks. (2019). I Broke Up With Fast Fashion and You Should Too | Gabriella Smith | TEDxWynwoodWomen. [Online Video]. 11 April 2019. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKPB0uW4cto. [Accessed: 8 August 2021].

The Stitchess. (2021). The ACTUAL Risks of Thrifting Clothes. [Online Video]. 22 November 2020. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8oS8jDMooQ. [Accessed: 8 August 2021].

TikTok For Brand Awareness: Contextual Report

BCM325

PDF REPORT HERE:

My Digital Artefact consisted of two blog posts on the utilisation of TikTok to raise brand awareness, accompanied by my own brands TikTok profile. Check it all out here:

Pitch

Beta

Blog Post 1: TikTok is the Future

Blog Post 2: Let’s be real; raising your brand awareness on TikTok is hard

TikTok: @freckled.clothingco

Concept and Methodology

My DA project was a series of blogs exploring the utilisation of TikTok for marketing small businesses. This project made me really understand how brands should respond to new emerging platforms with some tips and tricks on how to utilise these platforms in the future. I was considering the future of my own brand by promoting my brand awareness online while also using my blog as a guide for other businesses who need this for their own social media marketing strategies. This is a relevant topic to me because I study digital and social media and it is vital for me to understand the importance of social media marketing for businesses such as my own to succeed.

This project allowed me to explore the #BCM325 challenge of questioning the short to medium future by understanding how we can utilise this technology to raise brand awareness and to utilise video content for the public. Although platforms such as TikTok can come and go as easy as any trend, my guide will still be available for those who want to achieve any sort of brand awareness on any social media platform. My DA is already impacting the future of my brand by helping me create brand awareness on my own platform as well as helping others do the same.

I looked at multiple websites such as Forbes, ARI and Social Media Examiner and looked into a survey by Wyzowl on the state of video marketing which was incredibly fascinating!

One of the main pieces of information that I took from our subject lecture material was inspired by this quote by Brice Sterling taken from our lecture material on cyberspace;

“Although it is not exactly “real,” “cyberspace” is a genuine place. Things happen there that have very genuine consequences. This “place” is not “real,” but it is serious. Tens of thousands of people have dedicated their lives to it, to the public service of public communication by wire and electronics. (Bruce Sterling, 1992).”

Social media isn’t “real,” yet we spend half our days on there curating versions of ourselves that sell. These genuine consequences affect how your brand is known on the online platform. On TikTok, you can present this version of you and the public to evoke an emotional response, leading individuals to follow your brand online. I talk about this in my second blog post for my DA.

Public Audience and Social Utility

In my first pitch, most of my feedback was surrounding the need for more of a future focus, as well as addressing a public utility within my niche. I realised I was thinking too big for this project and had to narrow down the public utility to small businesses who are raising brand awareness specifically, rather than small businesses who want sales. Ultimately, I decided to split my guide into two parts. Putting both posts together would have made the article too big and too wordy which took away from the F.I.S.T method.

The value of my blog posts is that it offers my audience insight into raising your brand awareness on one of the biggest social media platforms of this year, and it is still growing (this is where the future comes in). Most of the research was looking into articles and posts by actual marketers and digital media-based websites who immediately analyse growing trends that impact the use of these media platforms in the future. My DA can be used as a guide for all up and coming small businesses who are looking into utilising the platform for marketing that is free.

My DA also does not need to stop here, I could continue creating content on social media marketing for small businesses after our DA project is complete for other platforms that pop up in the future. The online space is constantly changing so content won’t be difficult to find.

Overall Trajectory

Because a lot of my work was based on research, I was not able to upload a blog post until the second half of the semester. In saying that, a lot of my feedback came from the engagement that my TikToks had received so I was able to utilise that in order to change the progression of my DA. When I uploaded the first post, I took to Reddit and Twitter but did not receive much feedback. I did however receive insight through Instagram from other brands by asking them for their opinions on TikTok, which made me think about the way I should write my blog posts for the DA. Additionally, I took on a lot of feedback from my pitch and beta comments from students who gave me some really helpful articles, contributing to the progression of my DA.

I wish that I had more time to write about another social media platform. Initially, I was also going to talk about Instagram Reels and compare, but I did not have enough time to make content for it. In saying that, the DA I created has a future component to it because I still have the opportunity to create content for other platforms and write my experiences on it.

Conclusion

The process of my DA took a lot of reiteration throughout the semester but I am happy to have learnt something about my brand and about the platform TikTok. I was limited to time as a lot of the process to create this DA involved making content in order to write about it. Additionally, finding feedback on what I wrote was more difficult than I thought, but peer comments saved me a little bit and I appreciated any advice!

I hope that my DA helps brands design the outcome of their future by listening to these tips, looking at my experiences and utilising the platforms to its highest potential. Thank you for coming on this journey with me!

BCM325 | Live Tweeting Evaluation

BCM325

This blog post is a critical self reflection on the live tweeting process that I have been testing in the last couple of weeks and how I have improved from the last tweeting evaluation. Every Thursday I have sat down to watch a classic science-fiction film while also live tweeting my though processes in relation to how the past perceived the future cultures. I wanted to discover what their perspectives were and how they compare to the present now. Below I will be exploring how my tweeting was during these seminars, and how the critical thinking of the films resonated with the other students.

Reflection from the last tweet evaluation; (to check our blog 1 click here)

From my last blog I said that I wanted to improve by being more engaging with my peers. These were my goals:

  • Utilising the lecture material more and connecting it to my DA
  • Providing more light and happy content (memes)
  • Create my own polls to increase engagement and discover new perspectives.

I still would outsource information from articles and blogs, however this was not my priority for the past few weeks, instead I focused on improving those three points to see how I can improve in the things I once lacked.

I definitely took it upon myself to make more polls to create discussions within my peers. This was something that I really focused on.

Below is a really good example for how I successfully utilised the twitter poll to create engagement and have a further discussion with my peers. This was one of the best polls I created for that week. There were 9 votes, 4 comments and 1 retweet. I was able to see the different perspectives that my peers had on living in a simulation. This allowed for some critical thinking because I got to look at this idea in a different way then what I had in mind.

My most successful poll
my peers responses

Here is some more examples of polls I created throughout the weeks;

Below my poll had 4 votes and 1 like. I should have asked for further comments in this tweet and ask why do we try to be in a simulation such as the OASIS. It would have been interesting to find out if this is a choice or if we are just following the technological advances of our time. I also found that tweeting earlier in the film rather than later gave me a better chance of having better engagement.

Tweet on Ready Player One

Below is another example on where I think that having a follow up question would have really helped me with engaging with my peers. Only one person voted on this poll which makes me wonder if I was more specific or gave an example then I could have done better with this tweet.

Tweet on Ready Player One

This is another great example of an engaging poll. I got 12 votes, 1 quote tweet, 4 comments and 3 likes! I believe this tweet did well because it nicely fit in with our lecture of the week on futurists and our future relationships with transhumanist and A.I. One of the goals of the transhumanist movement is to navigate the ethical dilemma of creating intelligent artificial life. This question really addressed this. My goals was to see different perspectives of the A.I and human dating dilemma and I did just that with the responses I got (see below)

Blade Runner 2049
Blade Runner 2049

It was an interesting discussion because I did not consider the benefits for people who are alone and have no one. This definitely changed my perspectives a little. I wish that I had commented back to create further discussions. However, I did comment back on the movie Her because I had watched this film before and it backed my initial belief that these inter-relationships would end badly if humans allowed themselves to have feelings for mad-made androids.

My second goal to improve my tweeting was to create more lighthearted content to seperate from the heavy lecture material that I was focusing on the weeks before. I can admit that I did not do this as much as I would have liked to, but either way the engagement on these posts were incredibly slim so I decided not to focus on them as much anyway and give more attention to more engaging tweets such as polls and responding to comments.

Meme tweet example (maybe i’m just not funny)

As my goal was for maximum engagement, I would regularly ask questions to my peers rather then overflow them with information as I use to. This seemed to be successful and I got some really interesting perspectives from my peers. I tried my best to interact and respond with each comment by liking and commenting on each tweet where I could;

1
Replying to my responses

My third goal for my tweets was to refer back to my DA and connect it to our lecture material and screenings. I was really interested in the lecture on cyberspace as my DA is based on the social media cyberspace and it’s interesting to understand why individuals act as though the cyberspace is genuine and valid when it isn’t actually ‘real’. I was really happy with the feedback I got from this tweet as Emma responded that this perspective would also help with her DA a lot. I’m really happy that my tweets were able to help my peers with their tasks.

Engaging in my peers tweets:

I did my best to comment, retweet and quote tweet on the posts that my peers were creating. I do think I lacked in responding in helpful or insightful ways such as further readings and rather agreed on their opinions instead or said something light-hearted instead. This is something that I will definitely work on in the future.

There were moments where I did ask further questions although the responses to these tweet were not very high, especially if they were quote tweets rather then comments.

In the last blog, my aim was for a mix of self-reflection, critical thinking and the use of sources on film analysis which I think I achieved.

In this blog I improved by taking more from the lectures, providing light and happy content (memes) and by creating my own polls to increase engagement and discover new perspectives. I found this a very different but enjoyable experience.

BCM325 | Peer Commentary & Evaluation

BCM325

Here is my feedback for my peers beta presentations. My goal was to focus on the ideas, concepts and practicality of the proposed Digital Artefact, and I did my best to contribute to further research via web links, academic, scholarly and news media sources and other materials. Here is my critical self evaluation:

Comment 1: Steph Jory

Click here

I was very fascinated with Steph’s Digital Artefact on the future of retail. In my comments I mentioned that her beta presentation was clear, easy to understand and I believed that she was right on task and heading in the right direction. Her digital artefact itself was very informative and she had really good information regarding the future of retail. Instead of giving her more information, since she had already completed two of her blog posts, I wanted to give guidance on ways she could share her information to the public. In her presentation she explained that she struggled to find feedback on her blogs. I did some research on some niche subreddits that she would be able to post in. The r/onlinebusiness one will definitely be of use to her as in my research I found that this space was used to discuss trends and give tips on utilising the online space. This will be helpful to her as these individuals are looking into the future of ecommerce marketing for businesses and may have some good feedback regarding her first two blog posts. In my research I also found an interesting trend report on future retail ecommerce trends. I unfortunately forgot to put this in my comment but made a second comment apologising with the link! Here it is for reference: click here. I failed in providing additional information to her based on the lecture materials but as I said, she was already finished her blog posts and giving her more information would not be useful to her in my opinion. I thought she did a really good job and I hope my advice on utilising reddit helped her for feedback.

Comment 2: Hussein Hijazi

Click here

Unlike Steph, Hussein has not yet posted his blog posts for his digital artefact and was still looking into research for his project. I really liked his DA idea and thought that this would be a really nice guide for students who are struggling with the thought of their future post graduation. I recommended that he reaches out to students and past students to gains insight and second opinions which would nicely back up his research. I suggested that he uses reddit and twitter because these two platforms are great for creating discussions. Finding past UOW students as well would help keep his research to the Australian demographic. Amazingly, I found the single-greatest article that would back up his primary research so nicely. It was done by the Australian Council for Education Research who studied graduates education and employment outcomes 5 years after completing a bachelor degree at an Australian University. This ties into the future aspect of his digital artefact and I thought that he would be able to use this to then question why x amount of people start work straight away and how that ties in with the opinions and perspectives he finds from his primary research. I really hope this helps because I am quite excited for it! Again I could have also tied into our future cultures lecture material (I think I got too excited with the journal I found) and so in my third comment I made sure to mention it.

Comment 3: Elise Hallinan

Click here

I really enjoyed watching Elise’s beta presentation. She had already created multiple blog posts which were all equally fascinating to read. I thought she was really good at implementing her feedback by adding photos and making her posts more engaging. Because she was creating so many blog posts, I thought it could be helpful to give her another topic that I believe is important for the art-world that also ties in nicely with our lecture materials and the future of technology. I wanted to mention our cyberspace topic by tying her project in with the use of virtual reality for the art world. I believe that it is just as important to discuss how we view art in the future and what that means for creators and artists themselves. I hope that this gave her a different perspective and also a different topic for one of her blogs making it tie in nicely with our lecture subjects. One thing I wish I added into my comment was a more detailed explanation on utilising social media websites to find feedback. I mentioned to use Pinterest, Reddit and Twitter but I should have explained how to use them to gain the best engagement. I hope that my comment helped her gain a new perspective!

Let’s be real; raising your brand awareness on TikTok is hard

BCM325

A guide to creating content on TikTok – tips by a small business owner

The past couple of weeks I have been researching and compiling some tips and tricks that I have found in order to raise my brand awareness on TikTok. If you read my first article (click here) I talked about how I own a small Australian retail business called Freckled Clothing Co. I am focusing on building my exposure on TikTok in order to have more awareness on my brand which will have a large impact on the future of my business for the long term.

BUT, I want to make this post a little different. Trying to sell your online business is hard. VERY hard, especially if you are low on funds, just starting out or you’re just struggling hard to reach your audience on TikTok. TikTok is a strange place. When I first started out I did pretty well on the platform with my most viewed video sitting on 613,100 views. This was before I owned a business, and my biggest regret was not monetising on that opportunity sooner. After starting a business – I was lucky to get 1000 views per video!

I still recommend using this article as a guide, but I also want to be honest and share my experiences with you on the platform so that you learn from what I didn’t do and try out the things that I wish I did sooner. Let’s get into it!

I first jumped on Instagram to ask other businesses that followed me what type on content works best for them and their business on TikTok. @brisc_wear responded with “using models/trying to connect with viewers on why THEY would benefit from products.” I took this into consideration when creating the right content for my business.

I found 6 ways to raise brand awareness on the app and took them all into consideration when creating my own content which you can find here for reference: @freckled.clothingco

1. Keep your content light, short and fun

One of the biggest tips I found online was to keep your content bright and happy, showing an entertaining side to your brand. I followed the 4-1-1 rule. “This rule says that for every six posts you create on your social media channels, four posts should entertain or educate, one post should be a ‘soft sell’ and one post should be a ‘hard sell’ (ARI, 2020).” I made sure to include 2 posts (out of the 4) which were short, simple and funny to keep content light.

In all honesty, I found this content hard to make. How can I make my SERIOUS business light and fun? I took a lot of inspiration from vine-type videos and incorporated trends to create content that wouldn’t bore my audience. I can admit the majority of my content isn’t like this, and I think that this is where a failed the most. But what I did notice is that the videos I DID make like this had more likes then any other videos I highly recommend creating at least 2 fun videos like this a week, it doesn’t harm anyone and it shows that you have personality!

2. Use music

Music makes content incredibly engaging. Unlike some other platforms such as YouTube, music is available to use on the platform legally because royalties are being paid. Unfortunately, TikTok has recently changed the law so that business pages are not legally allowed to use copyrighted music. My brand is not currently a business page so I still do not have the business option turned on, but as my engagement increases I intend to turn it on to understand performance metrics and look at Instagram insights.

On a standard profile music can strategically be used and should be used to encourage emotional responses and create interesting content. It also is important for trends, which I talk about in the next tip.

3. Follow trends

Curating and creating trending content is vital to raise your brand awareness on the TikTok platform. TikTok has publicly stated that your content has a shelf life of 90 days. You can have videos on the For You page (the main feed on TikTok) that are months old and still get comments, engagement, and followers from them (Social Media Examiner, 2021). This shows your audience that you are fun, relevant and have an entertaining personality for viewers to continue watching. You can also use this for behind the scenes content and showing where/how you create your work. The popularity of trends can get old rather quickly (7 days max) so make sure you are regularly making content that is relevant to when you post it.

An amazing tip to keeping up with trends is to create a second TikTok that you do not engage with to see what the most popular videos are that aren’t connected to your niche. This is so you can see different content that you would not see on your main account as what you post/engage with is what you tend to see on your fyp! Also remember, following trends doesn’t always mean dance videos! With reference to tip 1, you can always copy a fun vine-like video format that is trending and relate it back to your business!

4. Influencers are key!

This is the best way to boost engagement and raise brand awareness, driving customers to your store fast! I know this might be hard for small businesses to give away stock just for engagement but this is definitely an investment you want to think about! I am still in the process of messaging influencers, so I don’t have a lot of content yet relevant to this tip. However, in a poll I created on my Instagram I asked my followers on what platforms do they discover new brands at. This was their results;

Especially if their engagement rate is higher then yours, it helps your brand become established in the community that you want and that it incredibly important when it comes to raising your brand awareness.

5. Be subtle when you sell

Something that I found difficult with was drawing the line between creating an ad to promote my products and not making it obvious at the same time. Avoid making hard-sell ads. You want people to buy from you because it created an emotional response within them to buy. The most successful way I found to soft-sell your products was to introduce yourself and what you do. Don’t make it about the product itself, but about you and what your brand is about.

Let’s take @lulunadesign for example. She was struggling with gaining traction in her videos, gaining around 200-400 views per videos. This was, until she posted an introductory video to herself and her brand with a clear message and the process. This video reached 26,000 views!

6. Find where you fit!

What is your niche? What makes you stand out from the rest? What do you know more then anyone and what will make people want to follow you? This is such an important step when it comes to promoting brand awareness on TikTok. There are billions of people on this platform, so what are you going to do to make sure your content is being shared to the right people.

Let’s refer back to the 4-1-1 rule. Your branding must be consistent, but their should be a circle of content that you create to reach the audiences that you want. TikTok is for entertainment. You need to make sure there is light-hearted content, but also content that is educational and inspiring. This is something that I am still learning to do, and despite the views I get, I do think that I am getting better (or at least smarter) with the content I post. Understand who your competitors are and study what they do, and constantly analyse your feedback!

For my business (fashion retail), a couple of videos that I found to be the most liked on TikTok was try on hauls, styling videos and sharing your closet (or the clothes you sell) with your audience. Pairing this with trending music and following trends is vital to being successful on the platform.

Conclusion; What this means for the future of your brand!

TikTok is still growing. It has over 1 billion users and is available in more than 150 countries. It connects you with people based on the type of content you post, which differs from other user platforms such as Instagram and Youtube. However, we have to stop looking at it as a place that will give you instant success. You might have 1 video that blows up overnight, but how are you monetising this ‘overnight success’ and what content are you posting to maintain it. The only thing that will help your business succeed is YOU.

To influence your own future and the future of your brand is to;

  • Post regularly
  • Sell, but softly
  • Keep your eye out on future trends
  • Follow in the footsteps of your competitors
  • Stay relevant – what is the next best thing – is TikTok the future or just the now?

TikTok can be the reason your business blows up overnight. But my main piece of advice is just to stay ahead, and keep working now so that your future is big and bright! Thank you for reading!

Instagram: @freckled.clothingco

TikTok: @freckled.clothingco

References:

ARI. 2020. The 4-1-1 Rule: A Guide for Social Posting. [ONLINE] Available at: https://arinet.com/resources/blog-posts/4-1-1-rule-guide-social-posting/#:~:text=This%20rule%20says%20that%20for,4%2D1%2D1%20rule.. [Accessed 18 May 2021].

Foot Wear News. 2021. The Great Debate: Instagram vs. TikTok & the Future of Social Media Marketing. [ONLINE] Available at: https://footwearnews.com/2021/business/marketing/instagram-vs-tiktok-social-media-marketing-1203126936/. [Accessed 18 May 2021].

Forbes. 2020. Using TikTok To Build Your Business. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/marciaturner/2020/03/31/using-tiktok-to-build-your-business/?sh=25dc03358462. [Accessed 18 May 2021].

Iconosquare. 2020. 10 TikTok Branding Strategies to Grow Your Business. [ONLINE] Available at: https://blog.iconosquare.com/10-tiktok-branding-strategies-to-grow-your-business/. [Accessed 18 May 2021].

Social Media Examiner. 2021. TikTok Trends: How to Leverage Trending Content for Business. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/tiktok-trends-how-to-leverage-trending-content-for-business/. [Accessed 18 May 2021].

Androids vs Mutants: My Individual Contribution

Bcm300

In the last couple of weeks Ben, Sean, Leo and I have prototyped a tabletop war-game for our class BCM300; Game Experience Design. Each of us contributed to the assessment by formulating ideas, presenting background research and experiencing playtesting.

Here is our video:

Designing:

The design process was a tricky one to get around in my opinion. I missed out on the first week where the class was put into groups. When I came back, the boys had an idea of creating a war-based game starring America vs Japan. There were no characters in mind just yet, but there was the idea of a tabletop war-game that involved two sides. Upon further reflection I felt that the America vs Japan idea may not be the best route as we thought of the complications that came with this which may include lack of cultural understanding, cultural appropriation and bias character traits.

Initial Ideas in Week 5

With the help of our tutor, we as a group came up with the idea of incorporating some futuristic elements that will deter us away from making any politically incorrect decisions. Initial character inspiration by the boys was the total warfare videos games franchise. I had no idea what they were talking about initially as I do not regularly play video games, so I thought of the sci-fi films that we have been watching in another class, and took inspiration from The Matrix, Blade Runner and Westworld. I thought of the idea of a futuristic setting, so we eventually agreed Androids vs Mutants; with a futuristic dystopian society where the two battle against each other to win. I am a very visual person who loves to be aesthetically creative. I found it was a lot easier for me to draw everything out as we discussed the potential for our game. All the drawing and prototypes were (messily) created by me and it really helped to feed out any ideas I had.

Character development was always in the forefront of our minds but I think that made us struggle a bit when it came to figuring out how the game was actually played. We paid this price when designing the board.

We first started with the idea that the board would be split into two sections, and within the two there would be multiple bases that would have an effect on how the game was played. I thought of the idea to have 3 players on each side of the board with the goal to dismantle their side and remove players from the board, kind of like chess. Our game, despite being on teams, is individualist – and the players are able to move their characters to wherever they please. This would make the player feel in control of his character and his side of the board.

America vs Japan idea that we ended up changing. The board placement however was still inspiration with some adjustments.

Background Research:

My main contribution to the groups video was to explore background research and argue our games potential in the marketplace. I thoroughly investigated our lectures and reading materials that we were given to give our game proper depth with an understanding on what our game is and why people would choose to play it.

I mentioned the idea that our game was a gateway game. I thought that this would be an interesting perspective to introduce as we knew we wanted this game to be simple to set up, appealing enough to hold the attention of the players and brief enough not to feel as if they have dragged on (Small, M. 2018). I should have elaborated on this by saying that we could look at it not as a general gateway game; but a gateway game to other warfare games. That’s because this project has technical character elements that people can invest in yet the game itself is not complex.

Another point that I took from our lectures was the idea of the magic circle first theorised by Johan Huizinga. Because our world was based in a science fiction fantasy, I knew that theme, setting and characters were so important. When someone plays a game they are “surrendering to a system that has no effect on anything which lies beyond the circle.” (Simon Egenfeldt-Nielson et. al. 2008) and when “Earth’s cultures dominate, the game will be over; the fantasy will be punctured; the illusion will be ended for good” (Simon Egenfeldt-Nielson et. al. 2008). This however defeats the idea of our project being a gateway game, as it allows for a lot more complex character growth and the ability for the players to be immersed in the new world that we created.  

Prototyping

When creating a prototype for our game our biggest struggle was to figure out how the characters would move and how they would attack. I suggested to the group that our characters should have different traits and abilities represented through item cards. I was initially thinking of Pokémon cards and how each character has their own unique capabilities and wanted to incorporate that somehow into our project. The picture below shows our initial basic model of the strengths and weaknesses our characters have. Our components included the use of paper, cards and character pieces (we use poker chips).

Android Characters and Abilities

Playtesting:

Our initial idea before we play tested was to move freely on the board where each character, just like in chess, had their own special way of moving. For example, Nok could only move forwards and backwards but the Exterminator could move one stop only in any direction. Upon playtesting we decided to simplify this by only allowing the characters to move one spot each round anywhere. Before playtesting, I gave each character a star rating in defence, attack and movement. Post-playtesting we had to adjust this in order for it to be more fair for some characters that were at a disadvantage. Additionally, the item cards that were used for specific characters in the beginning were now randomised as to allow for a different gameplay experience each time. After all these changes we were quite satisfied with the final product and am happy to say that we all made an amazing collaborative effort.

Play testing with notes for revisions

I also made this pretty cool logo design, hope you like it!

Ben’s Blog – Click Here

Leo’s Blog – Click Here

Sean’s Blog – Click Here

References:

Barbara, J., 2015. Measuring User Experience in Multiplayer Board Games. Games and Culture. Volume: 12 issue: 7-8, 623-649. Available at: https://journals-sagepub-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/10.1177/1555412015593419 [Accessed 12 May 2021].

Big Boss Battles. 2018. HomeLatestTabletopTabletop FeaturesIntroducing your friends to tabletop — Which games are best for new players? TABLETOP FEATURES Introducing Your Friends To Tabletop — Which Games Are Best For New Players?. Available at: https://bigbossbattle.com/introducing-your-friends-to-tabletop-which-games-are-best-for-new-players/. [Accessed 6 May 2021].

Peterson, J., 2016. A Game Out Of All Proportions. Zones Of Control Perspectives On Wargaming. 1, 1-29. Available at: https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/2643927/course/section/389574/Peterson%20Zones%20Of%20Control%20Perspectives%20On%20Wargaming%20by%20Pat%20Harrigan%2C%20Matthew%20G.%20Kirschenbaum%20%28z-lib.org%29.pdf?time=1614678155523 [Accessed 12 May 2021].

Simon Egenfeldt-Nielson, Jonas Heide Smith, Susana Pajarest Tosca 2008. Chapter 3 “What is a Game?” Taylor and Francis. 22-40. Available at: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8o6njz7xzbpnrkj/What%20is%20a%20game.pdf?dl=0 . [Accessed 10 May 2021].