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2023 | Buch

Perspectives on Design and Digital Communication III

Research, Innovations and Best Practices


Über dieses Buch

This book gathers new empirical findings fostering advances in the areas of digital and communication design, web, multimedia and motion design, graphic design, branding, and related ones. It includes original contributions by authoritative authors based on the best papers presented at the 5th International Conference on Digital Design and Communication, Digicom 2021, together with some invited chapters written by leading international researchers. They report on innovative design strategies supporting communication in a global, digital world, and addressing, at the same time, key individual and societal needs. This book is intended to offer a timely snapshot of technologies, trends and challenges in the area of design, communication and branding, and a bridge connecting researchers and professionals of different disciplines, such as graphic design, digital communication, corporate, UI Design and UX design.



User-Centered Digital Design

Interfaces, Data and Plural Languages to Develop CoDE: A Collaborative Platform for Multidisciplinary Teams
The essay aims to investigate the contemporary communicative languages introduced by the design culture for the development of digital platforms and interfaces. The research starts by analysing the state of the art regarding the creation of digital networks and the increasing diffusion of alternative means of communication, which is facilitated by the use of digital media and online tools able to amplify the geographical limits of relationships. Nowadays, collaborative digital tools and platforms are assuming an essential role in the dissemination of knowledge and information, through the creation of digital archives and databases; as facilitators of relationships for remote collaboration, through the definition of workspaces, to be used asynchronously and synchronously, with the consequent reduction of spatial and temporal boundaries. This diffusion has led visual communication design to explore and define alternative languages, made up of codes and visual synthesis, to design complex visualisations and facilitate communication within digital spaces. Starting from these considerations, the research defines a collaborative platform denominated CoDE that aims to facilitate interaction within multidisciplinary groups. The final part of the paper illustrates the GUI and UX elements of the platform and identifies their potential and future developments.
Michela Carlomagno
Scratch-Based Game Development Resource Set for a Toolkit to Game Design
Games are engaging activities for students that can be applied in classes worldwide. Simultaneously, toolkit’s potential has been rising over the years due to its ability to encompass relevant tools on specific subjects. Moreover, toolkits can be applied as authoring tools transforming students into game designers, motivating the creation of digital and/or mobile games, and knowledge acquisition and engagement. The Gamers4Nature (G4N) project has been researching on environmental-themed games’ development, involving students in game development sessions. Aiming to support the whole game design process for upper-secondary and undergraduate education, the G4N project conceived a Toolkit to Game Design that has been used in formal and informal contexts of education fostering the creation of digital games on environmental themes. The G4N Toolkit, addressing both experienced and novice students, was design in a User-Centered approach with iterative sessions for validating aesthetics and contents. As it was understood that students sometimes lacked the skills to develop their games, preventing them to accomplish a finished product, a complement to the already produced resources (Game Construction cards, Rapid Game Design Document, environmental-themed cards, and Mobile Game Design Guidelines), was developed: the Development Cards Set. This chapter introduces the Development Cards Set creation process, to be validated through expert review (by experts in the game development field) and by end-users who will test and validate the development cards along dedicated workshops and game creation sessions.
Pedro Beça, Sofia Ribeiro, Mónica Aresta, Rita Santos, Ana Isabel Veloso
Preventing Wildfires from Our Phones: A Communitarian Participation Mobile App to the Portuguese Context
Forest fires have caused devastating social and economic damage in the forest-dependent regions of Portugal. This phenomenon can accentuate in the following years due to many factors that can aggravate conditions like extreme drought, lousy forest management, or interior depopulation. On digital platforms, forest fires are a target of investigation and analysis. The results point to a few varieties of mobile applications, most of them focused on the combat phase. The ones about prevention are limited and with little interaction. This work summarizes the Portuguese situation respecting forest fires and presents a study of the country’s existing apps and prevention campaigns. Based on the analysis of interviews conducted by the orientation team, a mobile application oriented to the active participation of the community in the prevention of forest fires was conceptualized, prototyped, and tested. This app lets users add alert points and/or public actions on a map and give them space for discussion and helpful information.
Manuel Gil, Liliana Gonçalves, Lídia Oliveira
Design and Development of an Online Sales Platform for the Brand: Engenharia Do Brigadeiro
The research here presented consisted in the Design and development of an online store proposal for Engenharia do Brigadeiro (EB). This company only had a Facebook and Instagram page and, with the Covid-19 pandemic, it felt the need to reinforce its online presence, in order to reach more customers. Thus, we developed a Design prototype for the mentioned online store that should answer to both the company’s needs and to its customer’s needs. Methodology wise this research was divided into three stages: in the first stage we undergone a literature review about the currently undergoing consumers’ buying habits migration into the digital context, and about User Experience Design. In the second stage we proceeded into understanding and modelling our user and its main needs and goals. And in a third stage, from all the data we collected from the previous research stages, we designed an online store prototype, which we further submitted to Usability tests. The conclusions drawn from these tests are presented at the end of this chapter.
Viviana Maia, Leonardo Pereira, Daniel Brandão
Protecting Users’ Information and Dignity Through Privacy-Enhancing Design
The research presented in this paper discusses the risks that users of messaging services may face due to other user’s misuse of the formers’ personal information. While existing literature about privacy often focuses on the misbehavior of “Big-Tech” and governments, careless users can be as (or even more) dangerous to privacy as these institutions. Through a couple of examples where personal information is compromised in user-to-user conversations on two major messaging services (i.e., WhatsApp and Telegram) this paper analyses the phenomenon and how each platform’s design matches against it. The research here presented shows that both services have in place features that allow users to protect themselves from other users’ carelessness. However, it also shows there are existing loopholes that prevent a satisfactory level of protection and, through an exercise based on speculative design, suggests an alternative scenario were users have total control of their information as well as capacity to protect it against careless and malicious use from other users.
Davide M. Parrilli, Rodrigo Hernández-Ramírez

Research Methods and Strategies

Design Radicalized as Experience: Disentangling and Reassembling the Dance Floor Experience to Understand the Relationship Between Design and Clubbing
Using data gathered by means of participatory observation and in-depth interviews conducted over two years of fieldwork in a club devoted to after-parties, the present text examines (a) the elements within a club of house music; (b) the way these elements interplay among them in the design and creations of the dance floor experience; and (c) how Design transcends the physical constrain of objects to be radicalized as experience in this context. The aim of this text is to open a discussion about the capacities of Design to trigger emotions and organize interpersonal interactions using the dance floor experience as a case study. This study accompanies the increasing scholar interest in the relation of Design and clubbing, while presenting data gathered through first-hand experiences, helping to close the gap in Design literature regarding clubbing, which tend to use data from secondary sources.
César Lugo-Elías, Pedro Cardoso
A Case Study of Remote User Research with Older Adults During Lockdown: Analysis of Barriers, Strategies and of Communication Issues
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns have brought to researchers’ attention the need to adapt user research methods to remote settings. This paper builds on a video dataset of remote user research with older adults, implemented in the context of a longitudinal study impacted by the lockdown. In the analysis of the dataset as a case study, we found and categorised general barriers, strategies and specificities of communication of user research sessions conducted remotely. Our findings inform researchers planning and implementing similar methods, particularly in studies involving older user groups.
Ricardo Araújo, Ana Vasconcelos, Ana Correia de Barros
Digital Security Narratives in the Time of COVID-19: A Case for Kindness
The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on the digital divide and its implications in a digital-first society. In the UK, where our research is focused, parts of society still lack the infrastructure and/or basic skills needed to access essential online services like health, welfare, food, housing and education. During the pandemic, these services became digital by necessity, forcing many people to seek help through informal networks such as community hubs. Based on our focus groups and interviews with voluntary and third sector organisations in the UK, we make a case in this chapter for a kinder, more holistic approach to the accessibility of essential online services, based on the hypothesis that such an approach creates the types of spaces in which the benefits of such services can be more safely realised.
Lizzie Coles-Kemp, Peter A. Hall
The Professional Practice of Type Designers in the Design of Variable Fonts
The insertion of technologies in the professional practice of design has provided new areas of activity. The fields that support the professional design practice are different, such as typography, responsible for transmitting written messages and creating typefaces. The typographic scope was also boosted by computerization and digital tools. As a result, font formats began to be developed to allow greater flexibility and the use of typefaces in digital media, such as variable fonts. This format consists of a technology where different widths, weights, slopes, and many variations are incorporated into a single file. There are a lot of ads about variable fonts. However, studies that point out their development processes are still scarce and fragmented. In this perspective, this study aimed to identify indicators and components of the design process of variable fonts. For this purpose, a prospective qualitative investigation was carried out based on the application of questionnaires and interviews with type designers and specialists from different locations and experiences. As a result, it was possible to identify, distinguish and characterize specific components and procedures of the production process of the variable fonts, such as carrying out tests and verifications, structuring the design space, the relevance of adopting a flow for the process, and defining the context of the use of fonts and the contribution of external agents to the type designer in the production of variable fonts.
Maíra Woloszyn, Berenice Santos Gonçalves

Pedagogy, Society and Design Practice

Inclusive Design is Much More Than the Opposite of Exclusive Design
For the last 30 years, designers and researchers have been discussing and practicing a design with the concern of not excluding anyone, or at least including the largest possible number of users, always with their participation throughout the process: it became known as Inclusive Design. All projects that do not meet these principles are now considered exclusive. However, the vision, culture, strategies, quality requirements and the inherent needs of a socially responsible design have been changing in recent years. Developing inclusive design products and services has become a challenge not only for designers but for all stakeholders involved in the process, requiring greater knowledge of methodologies to be used, processes, tools and procedures. The present document intends to be a call for attention to the issue, based on our personal experience as a designer and researcher, with the main objective of discussing and reflecting on basic and fundamental concepts inherent to Inclusive Design.
Fernando Moreira da Silva
Sci-Stories in Design: Guidelines for Curricular Inscription and Dissemination Through Visual Narratives
This article aims to present a set of guidelines for the curricular inscription of invisible stories—empirical knowledge, life experiences, professional and pedagogical practice—of Design professionals, lecturers, and researchers, with a role in the history of Portuguese Design, shortening as much as possible, the scientific findings from the corresponding curricular frameworks. It is intended to revert this matter into a pedagogical context, permeating several Curricular Units, in coordination with the faculty thus creating new pedagogical contexts for the students who take part in these Units. A series of workshops in different Design Faculties were conducted to understand the engagement of the students and the degree of empathy they were able to establish with the different topics through visual representation exercises. This reactivation and inscription of these testimonies, from the voice and experience of several design professionals and researchers, aims to connect the current generation of design lecturers, students, and professionals with Portuguese design. To achieve this, we propose two dissemination approaches: (i) learning methodologies will be put into practice aimed at exploring new visual repertoires that offer a critical look to the new generation of design students on the inheritance of knowledge, and intellectual assets, through visual representation; (ii) conceiving a digital archive to increase outreach and perpetuate knowledge. The guidelines proposed will inform new solutions for the dissemination, inscription, and reactivation of knowledge (shaped by memories and experiences) as curricular or extracurricular modules, using visual narratives as a communicational interface.
Eliana Penedos-Santiago, Susana Barreto, Cláudia Lima, Rui Vitorino Santos, Nuno Martins, Pedro Amado
Designing for People with Dementia in Academic Contexts
This article reports a pedagogical project carried out in collaboration with Memória de Mim Day Care Centre (a service by Alzheimer Portugal) within the course of Design Lab of the Communication Design BA, at the University Lusófona, Porto. This project aimed to highlight, explore, and articulate methodologies and tools of Design for social issues, through the development of works oriented to People with Dementia at an early stage. These works included mainly signage materials and cognitive stimulation materials. Concurrently, this project contributed to the professional integration of students by acting as designers in a real context. This article reviews the methodological approach used, namely a set of adaptations required due to Covid constraints and their impact on the work process, and the outcomes are analyzed and discussed foreseeing to improve the project dynamics. It is expected the continuity of the project in the next academic years and a possible replication of the model of these pedagogical practices in other university contexts for an approach to Design more oriented to human needs that may contribute to the training of Designers aware of the importance of their role as social agents.
Cláudia Lima
How Design and Technology Can Contribute to Learning: The Mobeybou in Brazil Educational Game Case Study
Currently, there is a generation of children that tend to be exposed from a very early age to digital media, especially in the most economically and culturally developed societies. Thus, it is necessary to think about ways in which technology can contribute to learning, namely by seeking to converge the recreational component with the educational while preventing or suppressing potential dangers. This study aimed at extending the Mobeybou pedagogical materials, i.e., a Digital Manipulative for storytelling, and a set of interactive story applications, thus integrating the easy access that children have to technologies and the positive characteristics of games. In this context, here we present a descriptive case study of the design process of the interface for a game to be integrated into the Mobeybou in Brazil story app. The game interface is intended to reinforce the knowledge conveyed through the reading of the story app, therefore contributing to the development of language skills, creativity, and digital literacy. The game interface should be easy and intuitive to use, its development followed a design thinking methodology. A pilot test carried out with a group of five children aged between 8 and 9 years-old revealed very encouraging results, showing that the game interface was easy to use and engaged children with the story content.
Rafael Fernandes, Cristina Sylla, Nuno Martins, Maitê Gil
Hermeneutic Methodology to Design the Skin of the City
This paper support the concept of skin as design’s control to create building’s epidermis. The first part develops the meaning of skin and its interpretation, considering time, space and circumstances. The second part analyses several case studies that define western reality between Ancient Egypt and Art Nouveau. Methodologically, the paper is based on hermeneutic approach. With this new philosophy in mind, the authors want to prove that although it is risky and cloudy to—summary—analysis the main conceptions that were found throughout past, it is also a strong and singular choice without the prejudice of history. For this reason, it is a choice that takes on the power of semiotics, culture and knowledge. In this research, the authors avoid the critique of architecture—that catalogs space in typologies, such as, religious, private and public—in order to choose the right of autonomy to judge the skin of buildings as images that adds new data, and interacts with the users, connecting ancient symbols with current symbols that provoke sensations and emotions. Ultimately, the paper relates knowledge in a dynamic way, assuming elements from different cultures, in a recyclable and sustainable way.
Liliana Soares, Ermanno Aparo
Visactivism: A Conceptual Model to Identify Information Visualization as an Expression of Design Activism
Can Information Visualization be an expression of Design Activism? This question leads an exploratory research that seeks to identify parallelisms between these two domains of design practice. Following an interpretive approach and a case study methodology, the research focus on three Information Visualization projects aiming to identify Design Activism characteristic attributes, namely the kind of motivation, purpose and discourse inherent to these projects. The results show that a visualization may be an example of Design Activism when three conditions are combined: the project is motivated by the ethical stance of the designer towards a specific cause; the designer aims to contribute to the disclosure, awareness and/or public discussion about the subject addressed; the visualization is designed as a persuasive discourse that challenge and/or influence the end user. These results allow us to propose the conceptual model of Visactivism that describes the practice of Information Visualization as an expression of Design Activism. As well as nurturing the relationship between the field of Design Activism and the specific domain of Information Visualization, this model is also a theoretical contribution to deepening the interpretation of the specific foundations, objectives and characteristics that identify Design as an Activist practice.
Pedro Duarte de Almeida

Digital Design Branding

Capitalist Visuality: Branding, Architecture, and Its Visual Reproduction. A Case Study in the City of Porto
This chapter examines the promotional image of the city of Porto, created and disseminated in the last decades, as a means through which core capitalist values, objectives and operative logic are disseminated and naturalized in public space. Mirzoeff’s conceptualization of visuality, as the aesthetic means through which dominant systems seek to present their legitimacy as self-evident, informs our examination of branding, architecture, and its visual reproduction, as discursive practices employed in the deployment of what we will designate as a capitalist visuality. Local tradition and cosmopolitan modernity are identified as the two main concepts in the promotional strategy designed to enhance the city’s appeal, which representation relies to a large extent on architectural aesthetics, namely vernacular heritage, and international architectural icons. The chapter analyzes the recurrence of these concepts in branding, promotional imagery, and architectural management.
Ana Miriam Rebelo, Heitor Alvelos, Álvaro Domingues
A Sense of Kyoto Through Advertising: A Case Study on How Outdoor Advertising Can Support Local Identity
Throughout its history, Kyoto has been considered a well-designed city, with drawings of its natural and urban landscape reproduced in a myriad of everyday objects. To protect this panorama amid the modernization of the city and the growing number of disruptive outdoor advertisements, brought about by globalization and economic progress, policies of landscape preservation and city planning have developed severe restrictions, holding much higher standards than any other city in Japan. Using Kyoto as a model city, this study explores the benefits of a greater contribution from brands in the dissemination of the intrinsic values held by a given place through its outdoor advertising. To establish a basis capable of assessing the importance of quantitative and qualitative variations in advertising, the current Japanese sociological, cultural, and aesthetic situation was analyzed. Through a field study based on visual research, a sample composed of 180 advertising objects was collected in Kyoto and examined in three sequential phases: descriptive analysis, content analysis, and interpretive analysis. The results show a cultural and aesthetic preference in the outdoor advertising of Kyoto which could be explored by brands to support local identity, as well as establish a more effective, meaningful relationship with the city’s inhabitants.
Ana Seixosa, Maria Cadarso
Brand Management: From Storytelling to Strategic Narratives
Strategic brand management presupposes the use of different strategies. The dimensions. In this theoretical chapter, the authors analyze how the most known concepts are related. As a result, brand equity plays a great importance in brand image and brand identity, implying different approaches in the communication process of brands. Consequently, storytelling plays a specific role in brand communications, especially digital storytelling. Creating appropriate narratives, brands can improve customer engagement, consumer’s emotional involvement and loyalty.
Sérgio Dominique-Ferreira, Sofia Praça, Catherine Prentice
Dynamic Visual Identities: Reflection on Interaction and Playfulness in Visual Identity Design by Porto Design Studios
This paper is a part of an ongoing research conducted by the authors. As a primary effort of a bigger study, it aims to grasp a correlation between dynamic visual identities and contemporary society, considering the concepts of liquid modernity [1], mindfulness [2], playfulness [3] and relational design [4], among others. Some brands—particularly a sample of contemporary DVI’s from Porto Metropolitan Area’s design studios—are verified and analyzed through a condensing terminology, from Kopp [5], Kretuz [6], Olins [7, 8], Marriot [9], Nes [10], Oliveira et al. [11] to Lelis [12] and Martins et al. [13]. As methodology, we collected important references from literature review on several areas of study and some qualitative content visual analysis of dynamic visual identities from Porto’s graphic realm—our city’s design studios. As value, originality and motivation for this research, we advocate that DVIs do not seem to be taken into account by much of the scientific research in our field of expertise in our country, apart from certain authors that we refer to. We seek to share with design students and brand managers alike, the playful connections the design of a dynamic visual identity can have through a reduced attention span, that the fragmental media and capitalized culture have provoked. As a result of this exploratory research, we accomplish a preliminary contribution to the recognition of Portuguese DVIs, markedly from Porto graphic design studios—and critically reflect about how they are moving in that direction, discussing the benefits and consequences of play in DVIs.
Rita Coelho, Suzana Dias
Developing an Integrated Communication Plan in the Digital Age
Marketers are constantly exploring the best communication channels to deliver the best possible message to their targets. Therefore, technological advances are continuously shaping communications, especially in digital environments. Bidirectional and interactive dimensions characterize digital media communications. This study explores relevant literature on integrated marketing communications and communication in digital environments, including child-oriented marketing communications. As a result, theoretical framework on digital communication is provided for academics and practitioners.
André Teixeira, Sergio Dominique-Ferreira, Nuno Martins, Cristina Sylla

From Design History to Its Transdisciplinarity

Multisensory Fruition Between Cultural Heritage and Digital Transformation
The current context is characterised by the speed of change in the technological sphere and in particular by the interconnection—to the point of overlaying—between physical and digital space. This stimulates consideration on the opportunities to explore the new frontiers of knowledge through advanced technologies and unprecedented cognitive-sensory perceptions, both from the user’s viewpoint and from that of the researcher. The chapter provides a critical-analytical reflection on accessibility and multisensory issues as fundamental tools for transferring multilevel knowledge between physical and digital. Based on this study, it proposes the configuration of immersive knowledge-sharing environments where cultural heritage and scientific research intersect, placing the user at the centre of experience. The augmented, multilevel fruition, the tracking within the multisensory environment of psycho-physiological and behavioural users’ data, together with the assessment of experience itself, have guided the design experimentations undertaken for the new layout of the Museum of Contemporary Mediterranean Ceramics in Cava de’ Tirreni. This was conceived as a multisensory and accessible phygital laboratory of inclusion and dialogue, a dynamic and adaptive space for sharing and experiencing knowledge.
Mario Buono, Sonia Capece, Camelia Chivăran, Salvatore Gerbino, Giovanna Giugliano, Alessandro Greco, Elena Laudante, Maria Laura Nappi, Ciro Scognamiglio
Mapping Ecosystems Through Design—Reflections of the DesignOBS Project
This chapter explores the results obtained from the application of a participatory process used to interpret databases about the Design discipline. This project was undertaken within the project: For a Design Observatory in Portugal (DesignOBS). The challenge focused on developing a one-page visualization about at least one database focused on a vector of the design ecosystem (design companies, design research, design education). In total, 41 works from 70 design students from two different schools and 9 works from design professionals, with multiple backgrounds, were collected. After a preliminary selection, the results were displayed in the first exhibition of the DesignOBS project at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Lisbon. This chapter presents into the results obtained—it provides a description of the visual projects and reflects on the potential contributions of using design as an approach to support the mapping of ecosystems in Portugal and abroad.
Nina Costa, Rui Costa, Afonso Borges, Vasco Branco, António Modesto, Raul Cunca, Ana Catarina Silva
Growing Knowledge Across Boundaries: Lessons from a Multi-Actor Design Project
It is widely acknowledged that projects that seek to address complex socio-technical problems benefit from a deliberate mix of individuals, whose complementary expertise and skills can be leveraged in service of the project goals. Three ways through which this team diversity can be achieved are through industry-academia collaborations, through combining various disciplines, and through the inclusion of individuals with different levels of proficiency in their field. This chapter takes a critical retrospective look at a recently concluded collaborative project, which integrated these dimensions of interest. Ostensibly, that project aimed to design devices for smart and connected cycling. However, in this chapter, it is taken as a case study for a post-project review by its team members. We provide a detailed description of this multi-actor team, the design brief, work process and outputs, alongside the findings from a reflective questionnaire. In doing so, we aim to contribute to informing best practices for future heterogeneous collaborative projects through the lessons we learned here.
Alison Burrows, Filipe Lima, Ricardo Pessoa, Rui José, Paula Trigueiros
Design in a Post-pandemic Era
This paper reflects on some of the civilizational challenges enlivened by the post-pandemic context, thus playing a role in understanding the current crisis though other key moments in recent history that restrained design at the theoretical and operative levels, having an impact on several social domains. It draws a parallel between how the increasing digitalization changed both the profession and how research is performed though a change in the perception of society and the designers themselves regarding their sphere of activity—be it through spreading design to areas that once were out of reach or through an increasing emphasis on the performance of communication and interaction devices that were shaped and projected by the design industry to strive for a future. This future deploys aesthetics together with environmental and ecosystemic ethics, while adapting the policies of body and space, both private and public, but also of the spirit, thus transforming the perception of temporality itself. Lastly, this article sets out to reflect upon design, using as a starting point the energetic issue and the consequences thereof on creativity and geographical, biophysical, climate, and physiological processes, to appeal to a certain heterodoxy, which can lead to a counter-hegemonic transition that will have a relevant impact on the planetary system.
Francisco Paiva
Mediated Authorships: The Designer as the Instructor of Machines
The implementation and use of artificial intelligence (AI), and automatic learning in particular, are ushering in a methodological and conceptual updating of creative practices and their associated theory. The roots of these changes lie in disciplinary traditions associated with research into automatism promoted in the 1960s, with the introduction of cybernetics and computational sciences. This article focuses on the spread of the notion of authorship in architecture in the digitalization process and takes the discussion of systematic automatism in home design as a case study. For doing so it revises the main theoretical references, particularly the work by Gordon Pask, unfolds projects from the 60 s to post the main questions raised by AI today in the Design Field in respect to Authorship. While Gordon Pask suggested the transformation of the architect into a systems designer, now we can state that this is an environment in which the architect is transformed into an educator and a critic, an educator in the sense that they have to design the datasets, or conditions of possibility of learning; they have to instruct the generative and discriminative neural networks through numerous groups of “examples” and guide this learning through weighted assessment protocols.
Luis Ortega, Julia Capomaggi
Perspectives on Design and Digital Communication III
herausgegeben von
Nuno Martins
Daniel Brandão
Francisco Paiva
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