A&A’s P&Ps (Process and Progress)

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A&A’s all about tea is a blog made up of myself and my friend Amandine. Together with our appreciation of tea and our combined skills we’re making an Instagram, Facebook and WordPress looking specifically at tea making.

However the beginnings of my DA (Digital Artefact) was very different to what I am doing now. I began with a quest to make the most professional and utile project I could. First coming up with the idea of creating a database website for local beauticians. I started a Wix account but quickly realised this would become unmanageable. I was not following the F.I.S.T ideology.

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My last option was my last DA for BCM112 but while it was successful in finding followers and likes, I didn’t find enjoyable or fulfilling. This left me lost for ideas which brought me to my conversation with Amandine where a discussion of a tea blog arose. The best tip I came across when deciding on the idea came from Jade Mariana who talked about how important it was to make a DA revolving around what you found interesting so while I had big aspirations finding something I loved was more important. So, we started by coming up with the simple ideology: “Creating a tea platform consisting of content about tea that we love“. From there we starting making our social platforms and creating content. Elements like making polls, adding photography and writing pieces were the building blocks of our project. However we did this while keeping in mind Dan Ward’s Simplicity Cycle to retain the optimal performance that he discusses.

I learnt from my last DA that pushing out early content and following analytics closely is a good way to learn and keep up with your audience. So we started prototyping quickly. We also decided that we wouldn’t buy artificial followers as it not only didn’t help me with my last project but it also made it difficult to define your audience data.

Using the Design Thinking Process Guide by the Institute of Design at Stanford we began our process. As we were both tea drinkers and read tea related blogs empathising was an easy process. What we found from was that tea blog video quality is very poor and those that appeared highest in Google Search tended to be difficult to navigate, especially for beginners and the website appearance was old fashioned. We started asking the community about their opinions through twitter blogs.

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Recently though, the Design thinking mode of empathising has led to finding more independent tea blogs. Both have a homely community feel and write tea reviews.
Tea is a wish your heart makes specifically looks at cruelty free and eco friendly brands while The Tea Library uses blog spot to review popular brands (including T2).

Continuing with the Design Process, ideating called for both a wide range of ideas and to start building on those thoughts. We came up with this list of content ideas. This blog helped a lot when narrowing down these ideas.

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From the ideating phase we started to define our project more. We decided on our platform. Facebook, Instagram and WordPress and allocated ideas for each platform. Instagram’s platform is niched towards aesthetic photographs and I already owned a DSLR Camera so equipment for our own picture were covered. We began producing and posting images, these were a combination of reblogged from the internet, infographics drawn by Amandine, and photographs we took together and individually.

 

 

Facebook we agreed would be a platform for combining all our content and for work that fitted neither in the Instagram or WordPress constraints. We have been sharing links to our Instagram and WordPress posts and have begun sharing tea related memes.

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WordPress is geared towards longer and more detailed writing so we are posting content like tea reviews and more detailed brewing guides. I have designed a logo for WordPress we are hoping to stretch to our other platforms.

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Our progress so far has been slow, especially for Facebook but the rapid prototyping has allowed for quick growth and an aesthetic to develop between us. Not only that but as designated camera woman I’ve been able to FEFO with our videos. This is an example of some of my beginning camera work. It’s also made a foundation for our platforms analytics which gives us a good guide on what to continue. I’ve started reaching out to reddit sub’s linking our platforms and watching our analytics for an idea of post timings and our audience.

 

 

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In regards to our DA organisation, we are commonly asked this question: “how we balance the work the do and who does what?” As we both enjoy different sides of the production (I enjoy research while Amandine enjoys making) we naturally divide work well. We have begun a posting schedule to keep our content constant.

I’ve really taken advantage of the Google programs and sharing docs, slides, sheets and photos through this has helped a lot in our group work. This has really allowed us to combine our work while not needing to make a time to meet.
Using Google sheets we’ve created a calendar that is made collaboratively with both our everyday lives kept in mind.

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Our platform hopes to reach out to not only everyday tea drinkers but the well-being community. This is filled with not only a huge audience but is a giant industry. Becoming a promoter for this has huge opportunities as an influencer but also as a prospective business.

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Together we have managed to combine our resources and knowledge well over the last couple of weeks and so far this has been the most exciting and enjoyable project I have developed and I’m looking forward to continuing to produce content and watch our platform grow.

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References:

Crossan, M (2016) THE PROBLEM WITH UNDERAGE DRAG FANS

FHIL (2016) Stages of Design Thinking | ALL STAGES

Plattner, H. (2010) An Introduction to Design Thinking: Process Guide

Ward, D. (2005) ‘The Simplicity Cycle: simplicity and complexity in design’

 

 

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. yanks says:

    What a fantastic idea! I am a fellow tea lover. I am interested in the history of different tea combinations, who created them, what they are created of, how it is sourced. You could categorise the teas into mood / health benefits. So looking forward to seeing you grow 🙂

    Like

  2. Chris Gwynne says:

    I really connect with the fact that you are using something you know so well and are obviously passionate about, I don’t see many blogs like these so I think you’re onto something here. Everyone gets up in the morning and has a coffee or tea (I personally am a tea enthusiast), so this is a very broad and all-encompassing topic that everyone can relate to, which is awesome when you’re trying to reach out to an audience. It may be difficult now, but give it time and let it breathe well and it will sprout into a popular, topical idea!

    Like

  3. In love with this idea! I really feel like it can grow into something amazing. This post really shows the effects FEFO working for the better and as annoying as it is sometimes, It actually really can help a project develop further. The fact that your DA has something to do with something you are passionate about really helps with the development. This was something I learnt the hard way in BCM112. The written list of ideas also will help significantly, especially coming toward the end of the semester where people usually run out of content. Keep up the awesome work!

    Like

  4. John Cosgrove says:

    Given that in some territories they are predicting the popularity and sales to increase is very timely.
    Being passionate about a subject is great and that passion and enthusiasm will rub off on others.
    Keep up the great work.

    Like

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