#12: Final Project Documentation

You have been {conducting a research investigation} / {developing a final project} for the past few weeks. You’re asked to document your process and product(s). This documentation is due at noon on December 8th, 2021. 

0. What does good documentation look like?

What does good project documentation look like? It depends a lot on the nature of one’s project, and there’s no single answer to this. But here are a some project documentation blog posts that I think do a good job; take a quick look. What do you think, not about the projects, but about how these artists have described what, how, and why they made what they did?

1. Final Project: Documentation Deliverables

Create a blog post, titled Nickname-FinalProject, and categorized 12-FinalProjectDocumentation. In this blog post, your overall job is to explain:

  • what you made,
  • why you made it,
  • how you made it,
  • and what you learned from making it.

Please include the following:

  • “Hero” media. Draw us in: begin your post with a high-quality, high-resolution image of your finished work. If appropriate, additionally include an embedded video. If your project is some kind of interactive software tool or system, show a single image that explains the project*. If we’re intrigued by what we see, we’ll want to read on to learn more. (*Most people cannot do this.)
  • A Simple Statement. In brief, plain language, clearly state what your project is. (If it is a software tool, tell us what it does). Is it a plotter artwork? An interactive app? An installation? A code library? A system for making sculptures? Just keep it simple. If your project has a conceptual “hook”, great: say it. But don’t tell us what you think the project “means” (gag) or how a viewer is intended to interpret it.
  • Some inspirations. What led you to make this? What external sources fed your imagination or curiosity? (For example: An artwork by someone else, a beautiful natural phenomenon, a toy you played with as a child, a news clipping you found, etc.) Share your inspiration with us—help us share your own sense of wonder. Include a picture of the inspiring thing, and a link where we can find out more about it. If the inspiration is a project by someone else, include their name, the project title, and year.
  • Your process. How did you make it? What problem(s) did you have to solve? Narrate your process. Explain how you attempted to solve your problem—even (or especially) if your attempts failed. Include images of your project at various intermediate stages. Include a diagram that explains the technical problem you solved. What are some things you learned through the process? Show your struggle, share your story.
  • More documentation. If appropriate, include a magnified detail image of your project, so that we can appreciate its texture at an intimate scale. If your project is generative, show a few different runs of the software, so that we can appreciate its expressive range.
  • Takeaways. How have you grown by making the project? How do you feel about the process or your product? Do you have any future plans for this work?