For this series of entries, I will be explaining the steps I take in developing my startup during my placement year at the Northumbria Business Startup Hatchery. Hopefully, these monthly report-style blogs can be useful to someone in a similar position, who is looking to get started with developing their business idea.
There are less varied activities this month as each one required more time to complete. However, each activity had me exercising my skills and knowledge to build my professional presence and gain insight into which services/products I should focus on and which direction would be the most worthwhile pursuing.
ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN FOR November 2016
- Over the month I commit around two working weeks to redesigning, iterating, producing and testing a new version of my website that would best reflect my business and services in a professional capacity; this included paying attention to detail in making sure that the site compiled with modern standards, meaning it is:
- compatible – displays correctly with popular modern browsers
- responsive – adapts to different size displays across a range of devices
- efficient – optimised code and assets, scoring well on performance metrics
- accessible – interactive elements such as navigation buttons are intuitive and appropriately sized
- readable – the colours, fonts and images that are used are clearly legible, with colour blindness also taken into account
- minimalist – utilising a one-page design which includes only the information that is important and concise
- user-friendly – the design is consistent and there are no excessive elements
- user experience – following guidelines on best practices to retain visitors
- Researched, produced and rehearsed a presentation on VR and games, which gave me a chance to use my existing research techniques, as well as learn methods use for lecturing a class and coordinating group activities.
- Conducted two hour-long sessions providing VR and games career advice to students on the Level 2 Games Essentials course at Gateshead College; an opportunity to practice and improve my public speaking.
- Analysed the value proposition and costs of supplying this type of service (‘VR for Education‘) to educational institutions by looking at how the work benefits the students, in the form of supporting their learning outcomes.
- Obtained feedback and testimonies from both Gateshead College and Grainger Games on the services I had trialled with them, which I used on my website as evidence to support the legitimacy and value of my services.
- Created a list of potential clients that I could target with the services I had trailed so far (i.e. VR for Retail and VR for Education), and started to form a proposal template which will be used to support my bid for further work.
- Maintained my professional presence by taking time to critically reflect on my achievements so far, in the form of blog entries which looked at the work I had completed over the previous period.
- Began negotiations to provide further services for Gateshead College, with a view to secure regular paid work that would involve periodic sessions of feedback with their higher education level (HND Games Production) students.