Required Blog Post #30: Parting Thoughts



1- Keep up with the blogs! Once it is posted, do it now so you won’t save for later.

2- Write down every single idea, screen shot every inspirational piece.

3- Take pictures of everything you think you want to include toward your project.

4- Keep a clean neat track record of all your interviews, bibliography, dates, etc.

5- Attend events that may or may not help you with your project, you never know what will persuade and inspire you to sway a different direction.

6- Do more than what is expected. If the presentation requires 1-2 slides for one topic, it is not literal. Do what you think works best for the way you are presenting it.

7- QUIT YOUR JOB! Just kidding, but this is definitely a time to cut back on hours or quit that second job. I had to quit my second job, luckily saved up enough money to last me through senior project. But understand your priorities. Degree > Paycheck


1- Don’t wait to do the blog until the night of because you think you will do it and then in the end will forget because you have something more important to do.

2- Don’t only do what is required. Do more to help push your senior project to help the audience better understand what you are trying to accomplish.

3- Don’t abandon your senior project. Don’t make this something that you will work on once or twice a week. You are working on this for an ENTIRE YEAR. Make it something you are passionate about and will not bore you for the whole year.

4- Don’t be a class loner! Communicate with your classmates and shoot out ideas. Ideas spark more ideas, even if it’s a stupid idea! You never know what can come from the help of your classmates.

5- Don’t only make this your senior project. Make this more. ENTER THE DARE COMPETITION! Enter Grant competitions! You never know how far you may come. This is something so simple to enter into, along with putting into your resume.

6- Don’t lose touch! These are your classmates that you have worked so hard with this entire year. You will all struggle, succeed, cry, and laugh. But you are in this together and it is important that you all have each others support!


Ongoing Research #27:

After doing research for my Senior Exhibition, I realized I did not want my 4×4 space to be just a plain dull area for viewers to walk past. I wanted to leave the audience with something to remember. In my research I came across a project called, “The Future Beneath Us,” a 2009 New York Transit Museum exhibition. The installation seemed interesting and inviting. Not only does the installation include pictures and captions, but it holds its branding across the board.

What I thought was extremely interesting was the four pipes displayed on the wall to show what the commuters don’t know or see what’s beneath them while in transit. “The Madison Avenue and 34th Street windows of the exhibition were covered in one-way view digital adhesive mesh graphic that remained transparent inside the installation.”

This was considered some of the largest underground engineering projects ever. In relation, the exhibition also worked well with its pairing brochure and poster to advertise. I thought it was success in that its branding was so cohesive within the print work while relating back to its exhibit. I need to make sure that I will be including my branding within my exhibit and not abandon specific aspects of it. Across the board I want to be cohesive.


Required Blog Post #27: Final Pitch Prep: Demo Day Update


1Q- How will GPS know where your stop is if it is not based off of the LIRR train schedule?

1A- My app is designed for GPS tracking through location services within the Apple Watch so that it is not based off of just the LIRR or MTA system.

2Q- Why is this different from a phone alarm?

2A- A phone is not attached to your wrist at all times, therefore it does not have that ‘technology to skin’ contact in order to feel the vibration of the alarm. It differentiates itself with the unique alarm settings.

3Q- Will subways be able to use this if they lose GPS?

3A- I have researched into the subway system and I am aware that not all subway lines have GPS. So this will not work for all subway systems. My first intentions are above ground transit, and with further traction, research and technology, perhaps subway systems can be developed within the app in the near future.

4Q- Will the app have sound as well?

4A- As of right now there is no sound on the app’s alarm. This is to make the point that not everyone wakes up to the sound of an alarm, but perhaps the vibrating notion on the skin will be more effective.

5Q- Is the ‘miles before’ option necessary?

5A- No it is optional to choose this. This is for users who would like a little more ample time to gather their belongings before they need to get off at their stop.

6Q- There seems to be quite some competition, what is so much better about Doze than these other apps?

6A- For one, Doze is only for the Apple Watch, making the point again for the technology to skin contact ensuring the user will wake up. Second, other apps lack in areas such as basing their alarm off of the actual train schedule, or very few options to an alarm melody, and making the app itself complex while offering too many features. Doze is simple for the on-the-go commuter using only two features, and a favorites to refer back to easily.

7Q- Will you feel the vibration strength before the alarm goes off to test it?

7A- As your finger scrolls up and down the strength bar, you will feel the intensity on the wrist as the Apple Watch uses its Taptic Engine to do so.

8Q- Is the 30 second max snooze option necessary?

8A- I found amongst the commuters I have researched that ‘snooze’ was a big issue for waking up. I thought that if there was only a 30 second max rather than a few minutes, leading to missing the stop, that would play a conscious role in the user to think ‘uh-oh I can’t snooze again.’

9Q- What if commuters cannot afford the Apple Watch?

9A- I understand that the Apple Watch is going to be expensive. I have also taken into consideration that the iPhone sells itself, so I thought, could Apple Watch be the next best thing? Will Apple Watches be as important to have as the iPhones are? Although taking another route, if this is such a universal problem, perhaps the advertising of the app itself will encourage users to purchase.

10Q- Will it be necessary for this app to be downloaded on the iPhone too?

10A- No this app is solely based for the Apple Watch, again using its technology to skin contact will only ensure users they will wake up. Using this app on a regular phone will only see this app as another alarm.

11Q- Can this app work outside of just transit systems?

11A- Yes this app is based off of GPS tracking, not transit systems. If I were to have my friend drive me home at night, I can set my alarm to wake me when I am almost home. If I were taking a road trip and was a passenger in the backseat, I could set my alarm to wake me for when we arrive into another state. This of course is the secondary use for the app.

12Q- Your target market has a wide range of ages of the users, why is this?

12A- I based my target market around the people I have interviewed which were city school commuters, city work commuters, and simple Long Island train commute. It seemed that the problem was apparent amongst late-night studying students, hardworking city workers, as well as sleepy commuters who simply fall asleep to the notion of the train or bus.

13Q- It seems that this app is based mainly off of the train although you say it is used outside of the train, why are you pushing so much for the train?

13A- Due to my primary target audience of city commuters whether they are commuting to and from school or work, I wanted the primary use of this app to be geared toward them. For future development I want to also point out the secondary uses which would be if a user falls asleep during a  long road trip and wants to be awake during a certain state that is reached. Another example could be on a bus and wanting to wake up before they reach their final destination in order to collect their bags or luggage before getting off. Thank you for pointing that out!


I would like to try a few more runs without the computer in front of me because I felt I was more distracted by the way I looked or was moving rather than what I was saying. I know that movement is just as important while presenting, but I believe my main concern lies within the core and making sure I get to the point fast enough to not lose the audience’s attention.



With revisions to come I need to be quicker and to the point with my explanations of the competition and why Doze is better, along with what really differentiates my three target audiences. The business portion I was having trouble with. After speaking with Professor Lee I thought it was time consuming to list and name each cost, and to just point out important factors in this slide.



I want my exhibition to relay the message of identifying and solving the problem. My idea was to interact with the viewers to discover where potential victims have fallen asleep while in transit on a map of Long Island, using my branding. This is to gain more traction and to show that it is a universal issue.

The next step is to display how the watch works, whether it be a flip book of the screens on a mockup watch on the podium for the view to expose themselves to.

I need some sort of example ‘vibrating’ object to show the intensity of the alarm that will be set off. I am still researching further examples as to what this example might be.

My poster will simply be one of the marketing ads that I have made toward the campaign, with a call to action ‘Never Miss Your Stop.’ I am still working on what else is important to go into the poster for the viewer to walk away with a complete understanding as to what Doze will do.

My progress this past week has pretty good. Between the practice final pitch and today’s FSAG pitch, I feel I am getting a lot of practice pitching my Senior Project. I feel as if I do need to synthesize some areas so I do not keep going over my time. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!

Required Blog Post #25: Editorial Design Research


Book: Wall Street

Designer: Hirooki Aoki/Getty Images

Inspiration: Although this may look like a modern book with just text over an image, the perspective says a lot. I see this photo working with the title because Wall Street is intimidating, strong, and fierce, as is being one person looking up into the skyscrapers of Manhattan. It is one photo that says a lot.



Book: Even Silence Has An End

Designer: Carol Devine Carson | Photographer: Christine Rodin

Inspiration: This book cover keeps me in wonder as to what the image is behind the black bars. It creates suspicion to make the reader want to read into the book.



Book: The Science of the Bottom Line

Designer: Oliver Munday

Inspiration: The book is split in half of what the human mind consists of, and what it could be capable of. It shows a split of what people know and do not know in a visual.



Book: Ugly Man

Designer: Milan Bozic | Photographer: Amana Productions Inc.

Inspiration: I thought the first look of this book was funny because it is just a pickle and nothing more. But the title intrigues me to want to know who the Ugly Man is. The title and the photo do not match nor make sense. But curiosity arises.



Book: Adland

Designer: Matt Dorfman

Inspiration: The combination of the blocky pixelated text and two fighting chickens are both very different but working together. It balances itself with the idea of two letters ‘AD’ and two chickens below them.



Book: Triangular Road

Designer: Nicole Caputo | Paule Marshall

Inspiration: It is successful that the three photos on the cover work with the title in that they are creating triangles. It already shows that the story goes in depth with history and heritage.



Book: Mother California

Designers: Jason Booher & Helen Yentus

Inspiration: The cover makes an impact of stress and fear. It looks as if the words were scratched vigorously. The colors black and red are fearful and dark which the story may reflect.



Book: Mr. Peanut

Designer: Peter Mendelsund

Inspiration: I like that the small circles of different shades of a few colors can make up a picture as a whole, especially because the picture is a skull.



Book: Mandela

Designer: Pete Garceau | Getty Images

Inspiration: The photo is a cropped close up of a woman’s face. It is impactful because it shows emotion.



Book: Contemporary Athletics and Ancient Greek Ideals

Designer: Isaac Tobin

Inspiration: I like that the designer took a history piece and contemporary together and put humor into the cover.


I have learned that with these book covers, the designers had the intention of wanting the reader or viewer to not only want to pick up the book, but to pick it up with suspicion, concern, and wonder. The designer wanted to play with the title along with the photograph in a specific way. I want my book cover to cause the same wonder as well as being playful. I have only a few ideas for my cover and only using the logo. I haven’t explored other options for my cover because I was restricting myself to just my brand and logo. I see that it can be so much more or so much less, by thinking outside of the box. I will think of what more can my cover offer rather than just the simplicity of a logo.

This past week I feel was a big turn around along with a boost of confidence. After making it to the regional round in the DARE competition, I started to think about how many opportunities I must have missed because I never tried to compete nor did I ever think ‘you never know.’ After receiving my merit I then thought maybe not think what have I missed, but what is yet to come. Perhaps now is the time that things will start to look up, and I will start pushing my ideas forward rather than abandoning them.

Required Blog Post #26: Event Recaps

This past semester was rough attempting to attend events that did not interfere with work. Now that I had quit one of my two jobs I intend to go to more events, especially ones that can help me clearly express what my installation may be.

Event 1: Entrepreneurial Design

This event was extremely interesting because it related to our Senior Project class. It was compelling to see how similar other students had planned out their idea of a project. I had related to one student’s project in particular who had a personal problem of coming up with an idea for what to draw. She has such a passion for drawing but could never think of something to draw, or anything that would spark enough interest to encourage her to draw. She came up with the idea to create a ‘Mad Libs’ for what to draw. The idea was brilliant! She gave out a couple ‘Mad Libs’ cards for her friends and other students to fill out, and progressed with those cards as her suggestions for drawings. This was one of a few projects that truly related to me because when I first entered the program to SUNY Farmingdale, my passion for drawing slowly disintegrated and I only drew when it was required. When I wanted to draw, I didn’t know what to draw, and therefore never did unless it was required. I enjoyed that her project in specific was so personal that perhaps not everyone could relate to, but yet captured the audience with the solution she came to that almost everyone could relate to, Mad Libs. This sparked my thought process and made me realize that with my Senior Project, maybe not everyone has experienced the frustration of falling asleep on the train and missing their stop, but what can they relate to that will help me to help them see my solution as well. When the student left off with her thank you slide, she invited the audience to create a fun Mad Libs card as well and email her with those suggestions of what to draw next. This also helped me understand that my final pitch ‘thank you’ slide needs to be inviting as well as captivating to leave the audience with something of my own in order for them to participate as well in my solution.


Event 2: Sappi-Ideas That Matter

The Sappi Ideas That Matter program funds designers working to create positive social change in order to impact communities through their design work. The presentation was enlightening to see how many student projects held ideas that launched a process. It felt as if Cheryl had a universal voice for us as designers stating that the program as a whole helps “develop our own voices,” and how “design is a means to a greater end, not an end in itself.” This made me think of the job I had recently quit. The graphic design job I had, I did not consider graphic design. Everything I did every week in fact came to an end and nothing was understood as design just something that needed to look decent with no reason or thinking behind it. I needed out and needed more. I felt relieved to hear Cheryl speak about design being more than what it looks like, but as a seed of an idea. Everything starts with an idea. One of the last slides stated, “Not everyone needs to invent something new. But everyone does need to invent themselves as someone they are fulfilled by and proud of.” I believe this can relate to everyone, especially our Senior Project class. Our project is not just a project, it was an idea we chose because it fulfilled us. As we learn to struggle, entertain, lose, and gain aspects in our projects, we will in turn be proud of it. And lastly, “most boundaries are arbitrary,” us as designers are not restricted. We must take our ideas outside of the box and not continue by what we may think are ‘the rules of design,’ because whatever our idea, if breaking the rule works, go with it. Although this may relate with all design work in its own, it can also be directed particularly toward our thinking behind our Senior Project installations, and to understand that there are no restrictions or boundaries (aside from the 5×5 ft of space).

My progress again is coming along slowly. I’ve constantly had set backs this past year that I’ve let interfere with my progress. I believe that the more I talk about my Senior Project as well as attending events, helps boost my confidence and encourages me as a designer. I hope to make a huge impact at my exhibit and leave people with an experience rather than just a memory.


Blog Post #22: Spring Break Planning

1: My To Do List:

Blog Posts: I need to keep up on all my blog posts and explain in detail all the sites and videos I have saved in my bookmarks to show what has helped me conquer my tasks thus far. If possible I need to post the blogs before the actual due date so it will help me manage my time and use my free time more wisely toward more important work.

Branding: I need to truly define my logo and definite colors that will help illustrate my brand. After using the technique from our last class listing the ’emotion’ our logo gives off, I went back to thinking if the logo exactly gives this off. I will work with a clean slate and list the colors I have chosen, the tool kit, my other options and why they have not worked, etc.

Wireframes: I will refine my wireframes using the colors I choose within my brand so it will relate back to my brand. I want to further test my user interface on more users and get more feedback. I believe the more feedback from different ages of people would be interesting to see as well how they react and interact with the watch app.

Marketing: I have been in contact with a marketer for specific deliverables I feel comfortable that will help explain my brand that I can use toward my give-aways. I need to follow up with more information as to cost and quantity.

Photoshoot: I will create a complete written out director’s edition to how exactly the photoshoot will be constructed. I must conduct a short and quick to the point video concept that I’ve had in mind. I must also further research how exactly I will use photographs such as what angles, who is in the shot, where will they be, etc. I want for the pictures to be understanding in what I am trying to portray rather than just a product shot of the Apple Watch.

Pitch Book: My biggest concern for the book is to have a simple look and feel to it that will relate back to my brand. My senior project is simple and to the point in the problem that I am trying to solve, as should my book will be. I will revise the content so that it is also understanding and to the point.

2: Detailed Schedule:


I plan to stick to my calendar day by day and if I find extra free time before the photoshoot I want to better refine my UX and brand. If I find more free time after the photoshoot I want to be executing my ads for how I will be marketing my app!

3: Final Pitch Inventory: 

Introduction- Hello everybody and thank you for joining us this evening! My name is Michelle Gannon and I am very proud to be sharing with you my senior project. Has anyone here ever fallen asleep on the train and woken up at the wrong stop? And then forced to take an expensive cab to drive you back home? It sucks doesn’t it?! Being that I am a twenty-four year old working two jobs and attend school, I am notorious for unintentionally falling asleep. To help this problem that I share with many others, I designed an app for the Apple Watch. I introduce to you, Doze.

Demo Day Inventory- Presentation, video clip on Youtube (commercial-based, or on website) business cards, inflatable neck pillow give-aways, brochure, poster, travel coffee mug

Work Process- I have a lot of work ahead of me. I need to be working on something every single day up until the day we come back to class. I need to follow my calendar of what needs to be done and respect my timeline and deadlines. I think reaching out to other students in the class and other class to give feedback is a big help to see where everyone else’s thoughts are at in regards to what I do and don’t need to help me move forward.

My progress has been slow but I think for this next week coming up I will learn a lot more about my brand after doing the photoshoot and understanding the connection between the user, the emotion of my brand, and the experience throughout Doze as a whole.

Required Blog Post #19: Branding Moodboard

After exploring my brand using the Discovery Map exercise, I synthesized my findings into three key words; trust, alert, and relief. I felt that these three specific words help express what I want the user to feel about my brand. As I was going through the discovery map, it was hard at first to narrow down to just three words that would describe my brand because I felt that I wanted the user to feel so many things from my brand. After grouping words together and examining the similarities, it then became easier to analyze the three main concepts.


Trust is an important aspect and the most important key takeaway I want my brand/app to have. I want the users to be able to have trust and reliability toward believing my app will help wake them up when necessary. My main focus is to make sure I will be able to have their trust by simplifying the main feature screens so the user can experience, test, and understand.



My app’s main feature and function is the alert system. It needs to stand out that it is different from just any alarm clock because it works with the GPS tracking system as well. The important part about my alert feature is that the user will be able to customize how they would like to wake up in the ‘settings’ button.



Relief is the second most important aspect of my app. I want the users to have a feeling of relief and be worry free. Their well-being is kept in mind and being as less stressed or worried about waking up on time is what I have come to understand. Something as small as being late to work, school, or missing the train or bus stop, can throw off someone’s entire day. I want my users to start and end their days right. My app can aid this process!


After researching my three main key points in several websites such as Google and Pinterest, I have discovered the imagery meaning behind these words which played a role in my mood board process. This has been a rough week once again for me but every time I catch back up on my branding, wire framing, and researching, the work seems to be coming together finally.