Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Emily Toma 

BA [Hons] Visual Communication Design

Hello! I'm Emily Toma, an American-German national with a heart for new adventures. As a visual communicator and problem solver, I enjoy distilling conceptual thinking and complex issues into simple human-centred solutions, an attempt to bring more order and beauty into the world. Storytelling and image-making also fascinate me, as I am just as passionate and curious about the journey as I am about the final outcome.

Nudge: Reimagine your digital workflow

Digital hoarding can be traced to a tiny action, to the first point of saving or downloading a file. Using the thinking behind BJ Fogg's Tiny Habits and nudge theory in behavioural design, Nudge seeks to change digital hygiene habits through small interventions, or nudges.

Nudge is not a revolutionary system. Instead, it improves your current operating system by setting a new standard for digital file organisation. As a desktop assistant application, Nudge recognises different workflows through rudimentary machine learning and makes suggestions accordingly. In doing so, Nudge reimagines your digital workflow and keeps you in control of your data and files.

How to Design in a Polarised World: Design as a Conversation and Active Listening as the Key to Successful Communication

The state of polarisation in the world is indisputable, due to the universal unwillingness to engage in respectful conversations and find common ground. This is captured especially through social media, where disagreement is reduced to insensitivity and hatred. Consequently, there is a need for clear and considerate communication, which can be channelled through the skills of a designer. However, because of increased disagreement towards societal issues, reaching the public is becoming more and more difficult.

As a response to this dilemma, my thesis investigates and redefines what it means to design in a polarised world. Through the semiotic deconstruction and visual communication design analysis of the abortion referendum campaigns in Ireland and Gibraltar, the role of design in addressing a controversial issue to the wants and needs of the respective audience is examined. Framed through the context of the conversation and evidenced by the “Together for Yes” campaign, the thesis links the powerful act of active listening to successful design.