Meneer Goedknegt (Mister Goedknegt)
For years Dutch students prepare themselves on final exam topics by watching You tube video’s. These are made by a few makers, who are docent themselves, and help students by giving them additional explanations, wrap up’s and tips.
This is an interesting development. Special exam training pops up next to the regular teaching materials.
The YouTube channel gives the opportunity to give information on specific questions and preferences, which are not answered or offered at school. So I thought: What happens if you put together a young history teacher , a graphic designer, an art director and a cameraman and develop a real format for the history final exams? We made it and the result is called “Mister Goedknegt”, the last name of the history teacher.
New way of learning
From the summer 2017 the four of us have been busy to produce an online video serie specially for those who do A-level History. At first, I made it my own thesis for the MIC, Media, Information and Communication at the Highschool of Amsterdam. At this very moment we launched a great number of free video’s for students who have to pass their final exams on History in the second week of May. We made it with love and passion for creation and the subject history.
For the design, structure and presentation of ‘Mister Goedknegt’, we thought about the online conventions that students know nowadays. We have tried to make a series that connects as good as possible with the preferences of the students, concerning style, design, length, content and flexibility of the content.
For the research I did for the Highschool of Amsterdam, I was looking for an answer to the question: What new and up-to-date digital online video concept – both for content and form – could help final exam students (havo/vwo) to prepare optimal for their history exam?
With help of Design Thinking I made the first version of ‘Mister Goedkengt’. Before that, I went through three stages: inspiration, ideation and implementation.
In the Inspiration stage I did research on the target group, digital trends and the competition. For this research I used the following research methods: desk research, field research, expert interviews and mind maps. With these results I created personas.
On the basis of a pilot, I conducted a survey with 80 respondents (students of HAVO/VWO). With this survey I was researching, among other things, the attention span and use of social media of the students.
I got a lot of information from the Inspiration and Ideation stage for the final design of ‘Mister Goedknegt’. I graduated with two episodes of ‘Mister Goedknegt’.
The abovementioned research has led to different valuable insights:
- To get optimal involvement, short videos are important for this target group.
- Instagram and YouTube seem to be the most suitable channels for this concept.
- The up-to-date history teaching should offer more overview and more chronology.
- The digital branch of history teaching should focus on simplification.
Conclusion from these insights:
- The length of the videos will be short and the design has to give the feeling of simplicity.
- There is chosen for a clear and simple design, to create uniformity and recognition.
Creating history for the future
(Design principles/ brand identity)
As a result of the abovementioned conclusions, which I’ve obtained using the Design Thinking Method, I continued designing ‘Mister Goedknegt’. In 2018, I developed the style further and I worked on a number of design principles and guidelines.
Highlighting the most important
For the brand identity of ‘Mister Goedknegt’, the dynamic and italic mark is an important form element. This is based on the handwriting of Rens Goedknegt himself, he always writes on the explanation board in his lesson. ‘Mister Goedknegt’ only treats the material the students really need to know for their final exam in history. The marker element symbolizes the simplification of the material.
A logo that suits the Mister himself
For the word mark, I used the font Bree Serif (many credits to this unbelievable font!), to create a playful and fresh character. Because that is the character that suits ‘Mister Goedknegt’. The word mark is separated by a thin and italic line. This arose from the form element ‘the mark’. The comma in the word mark in this logo, is meant the end of the word mark.
A social teacher in 2019 needs an online thumbnail
The logo is a portrait icon of Rens Goedknegt and functions as, for example, the thumbnail on Instagram or YouTube of ‘Mister Goedknegt’.
Thematic colours for different history stories
The color palette is based on different history themes. For example, orange in ‘The Republic’, represents the orange of Willem van Orange-Nassau. The army green at ‘Germany’ was chosen because of the two world wars of that time.
Simplicity as a basis for visualizations
Making history more visual, is a big goal of ‘Mister Goedknegt’. That’s why every main character or country is visualized. The simplicity of the visualizations is in line with the simplification of the history material. As a result, students will be able to imagine great illuminators such as Emmanuel Kant or Jean-Jacues Rousseau.
There is made a conscious decision to not paint face details. This distracts and it would be at the expense of the simplification, which is the basis of the concept. In every video, the icons contain a name, subtitle and a national flag.
The frame of a ‘Meneer Goedknegt’ is always symmetrical, just like the icons. I have chosen this because it sends out calmness.
Creating structure with a timeline
The timeline offers an overview during the video. In this timeline, you will also find the dynamic and italic mark. As time passes, the timeline turns more and more yellow (or another variable color) so the viewer knows where in the storyline they are at. Below the timeline icons appear, to create even more overview.
‘Mister Goedknegt’ does not stop at the 34 published videos. He is also active on Instagram! On Instagram, he gives tips for studying, he answers to questions and he refers to specific episodes, so that students can prepare optimally on the final exam. This target spends a lot of time on social media, so Instagram is the perfect place for students to encourage them to study an hour!