Author Archives: James Chambers

Summit – Employment Compatibility


A preview image of the full Summit research poster
Nobody enjoys looking for work. Whether by pounding the pavement with a stack of resumes in hand or the ambiguity of sending off an email and hoping for a reply. It’s also a large time commitment and causes all kinds of stress to an individual, but as it turns out, the process can be just as grueling for a company looking for an employee. Enter the Summit Employment Compatibility Assessment System, a theoretical system that is designed to provide the maximum amount of relevant information about a candidate to an employer as well as minimizing the financial and time commitment for both parties.

This poster is summarizes months of research and development that included interviews with local employers and job search professionals, literature reviews, several rounds of user testing, and prototyping in order to deliver a solution employers in the Kingston area would want to use. Specifically, it needed to be a low-cost solution that could provide reliable test results that could be easily understood and utilized by an individual who is neither skilled in performing interviews nor have any skill in assessing personality traits.

The finished product is a branded folder containing a set of instructions and guiding points for an interview process on the inside flaps, a printed summary of a candidate’s application results, a comparison of those results to the position they’ve applied for, question suggestions based on the application results, and the application results themselves for further questioning.

Minotaur Restaurant Branding


Mino Sidebar
This project began simply as development of a logo and trifold menu but quickly spiraled into a complete refresh for Minotaur, a Greek restaurant’s, current branding.

We began by developing a brandmark that would be simple and memorable, appropriate to the Greek theme of the restaurant, and versatile enough for the variety of applications the restaurant intended in order to reach mass appeal. We based our solution on the needs of not only the restaurant, but also the needs to two target audiences in the downtown Kingston area. We then extended the brand and created a suite of extensions including business cards, store signage, a website, labels for the house wines, food packaging, staff uniforms, and a multi-page brand guide booklet.

Building Community Poster


A preview image of the full Building Community poster
Lack of engagement with the student body is not a new problem for student unions across the country. The nature of a constantly changing population in schools requires that student governments constantly change and adapt to the new needs of the students.

So it does not come as a surprise that this is an ever-present issue for the Student Association of St. Lawrence College, and this poster is the culmination of a long research process that included several rounds of interviews, literature reviews, user testing, surveys, prototyping, and teamwork in order to deliver the best possible solution to the students of St. Lawrence College.

The final solution is an all-in-one mobile application that enables students to prioritize and access the information they feel is most valuable and easy access to important systems like their school email accounts, while also promoting and providing motivation for students to engage with activities and events promoted by the Student Association through the use of gamification systems.

Tesla Powerwall Brochure


The Tesla Motors logo and logotype featured on the front of the brochure
This piece was developed as promotional material to help inform potential consumers about the benefits to installing a Tesla Powerwall home battery in their homes.

The result is a brochure designed to take readers on a step-by-step journey (which is also illustrated to simulate the path that electricity follows through a Powerwall or Powerwall-like system) through all of the most important information they’ll need to know before deciding if a Powerwall system is right for them.

The brochure is a journey which the reader takes by following the red path through the brochure. The gate fold first opens to provide a view of the primary message, Your Home Meets Nature, and opens again to the main content. This includes information about how the system works, what is required to set it up, and even includes some figures on average hydro costs in Ontario and relevant data showing average output for a small roof system for comparison.

Once unfolded, the journey begins at your home travels through the information contained within the brochure, and ends at nature, representing a move to a more sustainable way of living.

Island Puppet Party App


A close-up shot of the Island Puppet Party logo.
Island Puppet Party was designed based on the needs of early childhood educators in the Limestone District School board. As technology has evolved, so to have the ways in which children learn. The L.D.S.B. has taken a position of learning through discovery and exploration. To this end, the applications they allow on their digital devices must incorporate both play and learning into a single, integrated experience.

The app was designed to be both fun and educational for children of age 5. To accomplish this, colours were kept bright and cheery, and the interface was kept simple enough so that even children who might be experiencing difficulty in subjects like reading and mathematics could navigate it without issue.

The app was designed with three games in mind, each with multiple levels within, and increasing levels of complexity as players progress through the game. The games consist of reading and writing exercises in which the player uses their finger to draw letterforms. A counting game with cards, success in which provides the player an opportunity to create bigger and bigger houses of cards. And a rhythm and music game to develop hand-eye coordination, some basic numeracy skills, and an interest in music.

Rough Cuts Poster


A preview image of the full Rough Cuts poster
Using the supplied metaphor of “diamond in the rough”, the Rough Cuts poster was designed to represent both the 2nd year students of St. Lawrence College’s graphic design program, the program itself, as well as act as a colourful invitation to those outside of the program to see the progress being made by the 2nd year students.

Using the lens of the vaporwave musical movement, as well as aesthetic cues from early digital graphic design work, this piece speaks to the discovery and progressive refinement of the student’s talent. In order to visualize this, legibility issues and other imperfections were introduced into the piece. Scan lines and other CRT display distortions have been added to give the piece an almost kinetic energy as well as a retro aesthetic, and a diamond has been partially obscured in the background as a direct tie to the supplied metaphor. A clean, geometric sans serif was chosen both for clear legibility as well as stylistic contrast from the supporting elements.

The message here, is that like a diamond, a student’s value isn’t initially derived from their humble beginnings, but is determined at the end of a process that shapes them into something valuable.

Pile of Shame App


The Pile of Shame Logo, App icon, and iPhone demonstration.
Developed to pull double-duty as both a time tracker and budget management system, Pile of Shame helps you mitigate flagrant spending by showing you just how much or how little you’re getting in return for your hard-earned cash.

Items are added to the user’s list by tapping the plus button at the bottom of the interface. From here, users are asked to either browse the database of pre-existing items or to conduct a search. Once an item has either been found or added to the list manually, the item shows up on the user’s home screen categorized under tabs. From here, users need only tap the hourglass button to engage the timer once they begin using and item, and tap it again once they’ve finished. The time spent and $/h values update automatically based on the new usage.

Spending limits and other thresholds like dollar-per-hour settings and monthly budget can be changed in the profile screen, accessed by tapping the profile picture at the top of the interface. The profile screen also tracks a user’s average spending and warns them once they’ve surpassed their monthly budget.

Zero Sum Web Design


ZS Sidebar

Starting with a mobile first method of design, we made sure to focus on important headings and features first for ease of navigation. For mobile users, who are on the go, the homepage needed to prioritize primary navigation content to the top right such as a hamburger menu and a shopping cart. We also prioritized a search bar so that mobile users could easily search the site’s inventory for a specific book or author. The navigation options that follow further down the page are then prioritized based on mobile needs first.

Since desktops are fixed in position and tablets are less mobile than phones, we then prioritized more advertisement type features such as the New Arrivals and Upcoming Events sections. Here we also expanded the primary nav bar and relocated the shopping cart for a more browsing style of shopping.

Navigation of content is done initially by selecting an option from the primary nav, and then by means of a left rail nav which filters first by publisher and then by series. Product pages are then navigated by buttons located below the content. Social media buttons are less important to desktop and tablet users, so they have been relocated underneath the footer nav.

This was all coded in HTML and CSS with Bootstrap for responsive design purposes.

Check out live responsive demos of the homepage and forms pages here (works on mobile):

www.studiosteamhammer.com/ecommercedemo/index.html

www.studiosteamhammer.com/ecommercedemo/form.html

Inktober 2014 Illustration Collection


A preview image for the Inktober 2014 collage
These various ink sketches were developed during the Inktober event of 2014. The event asks that artists of all stripes produce and publicly post one inked drawing every day for the entirety of the month.

As a personal challenge, no pencil was ever laid to paper. The result being that the earliest drawings came out as the weakest of the batch, and the later drawings becoming more and more accurate and elaborate as the days passed.

These drawings were almost all based on a theme of Norse mythology. The only exception being the final drawing, which in celebration of Halloween, is a portrait of the Crypt Keeper from Tales from the Crypt.