Read the Pitch and Beta first!

My digital artefact is a Surf Report Website called North Gong Daily, created as a partner for the Instagram and Facebook pages of the same name, originally created by Kel and Michelle Giddey, who I know through North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club. Theyโ€™ve been running NGD for 2 years now, and so, at the start of BCM112 I approached with my offer. Since its creation, I have continued to upload surf reports daily, which takes roughly 10 minutes to do, and have spoken to Kel and Michelle about potential upgrades and changes to the site recently.

These possibilities include:

  • Advertisements/Sponsors โ€“ Kel and Michelle have spoken with Quadrant Financial Solutions about potentially featuring ads on the site and have sampled it on Instagram
  • Dropshipping โ€“ Selling merchandise by taking orders and placing them with the manufacturer, who then ships directly to the customer. This can be achieved through plugins such as WooCommerce.
  • A SurfCam โ€“ a 24/7 video camera, like the one used on Coastal Watch placed at North Wollongong Surf Club, letting people view the conditions for themselves live. However, we would need permission from the Surf Club, and Wollongong City Council.
  • Updated Merchandise โ€“ NGD has sold Shirts since the before the website existed, and recently began selling Hoodies, so I have suggested that the next order of shirts and hoodies should have the website URL on them, to help advertise more.

What Iโ€™ve found whilst creating North Gong Daily is that since it doesnโ€™t require Users to be signed in to access any information and the topic is always the same, it doesnโ€™t generate much discussion, since it is just giving important information and only receives views rather than likes. This makes it hard to access feedback, unless I ask people for it. Iโ€™ve found that this isnโ€™t the most effective form of gaining feedback, as it requires people to access the site then search for something they can comment on, which usually results in a compliment or appraisal of the site, rather than encountering something naturally and providing constructive criticism.

Since NGD was made for two people, the most important feedback is from them, since it must cater to what they want it to do, as well as the users. As this is the case, I have iterated multiple times to suit what Kel, Michelle and the Users want.

As we are coming into Spring and Summer now, I believe North Gong Dailyโ€™s social utility will increase as more and more people begin going to the beach again due to the heat, and will need some way of accessing information whenever they want, with no cost of entry. North Wollongong is also one of the most popular Beaches in the Illawarra area, so having that coverage is helpful for a lot of people, both local or non-local, as seen in my starter pack

Through utilising three platforms โ€“ Instagram, Facebook and the Website, North Gong Daily indicates a fully connected Network Topology with each platform utilised acting as a node, connecting to the others in a distributed network, with no one controlling platform.

NGD does this by reaching out to a wider group of people, with each platform used as a tool to provide exposure and link to the next โ€“ which creates this connected network amongst the platforms.


Automattic 2019, โ€˜WooCommerceโ€™, accessed 30/10/19,

Chan, K n/a, โ€˜North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Clubโ€™, accessed 30/1/19,

COASTALWATCH n/a, โ€˜COASTALWATCHโ€™, accessed 30/10/19,, n/a, โ€˜Iterateโ€™, accessed 1/11/19,

Pekarek, L n/a, โ€˜The Truth About Dropshipping: The Good, The Bad, and the Uglyโ€™, accessed 30/10/19,, n/a, โ€˜Network Topologyโ€™, accessed 1/11/19,

Making NGD

Since its creation in May, during BCM112, North Gong Daily has reached 1,857 views, with Referrers from Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Search Engines, and has gone through multiple iterations.

However, since the Prototyping Stage of North Gong Daily, very little has changed, but I have spoken to Kel and Michelle regarding the future of NGD, and come up with a few ideas, for both my DA (the website) and their part – the Instagram and Facebook pages.

Kel, Michelle and Myself spoke about 4 potential ideas for North Gong Daily, which are:

  1. A SurfCam
  2. Advertisements
  3. Updated Merchandise
  4. Dropshipping
The North Gong Daily SurfCam

Kel and Michelle spoke to me recently about the idea of installing a Surf Cam at North Wollongong Surf Club, similar to the Cams used CoastalWatch. This will provide Surfers with 24/7 coverage of North Gong Beach, and letting NGD expand its services. To do this, NGD will need explicit permission from North Gong Surf Club as well as Wollongong City Council to install the Camera on the Club Building. After this is implemented Kel and Michelle will continue to make their daily reports, but also have the Camera for when they aren’t there.


From the 29th of September to the 7th of October, NGD also trialled having advertisements at the end and in the middle of each post. Kel and Michelle are friends with the people at Quadrant Financial Solutions, so they partnered with them during this time.

After this, Kel approached me about potentially having Quadrant’s advertisements on the site, in return for sponsorship and financial payments. This would help decrease the costs of produce Shirts and Hoodies, paying for the potential SurfCam, and paying for the WordPress Premium Plan, with the potential to upgrade depending on the amount.

Updated Merchandise

I also spoke to Kel and Michelle regarding the merchandise available for NGD, and they informed me that they plan on offering more styles for the T-Shirts and Hoodies as well as different merchandise. I have suggested they add next to the Instagram and Facebook symbols, to get more views for the site by promoting it more.


I also spoke to them about implementing an online store onto the site, so users don’t have to message NGD about purchasing merchandise, and they were open to the idea. In order to do this, I would need to implement “Dropshipping”, a supply chain management method, where a business doesn’t keep stock itself, and instead passes on the sales order to a third-party supplier, who then ships the order to the customer. This can be done via certain plugins such as WooCommerce, which I discovered thanks to a Reddit Post on the WordPress Subreddit that I posted on in BCM206.

The future of North Gong Daily holds many different possibilities, and I expect it to continue to grow.

The Prototype


The fifth stage in the Design Thinking Process, Prototyping, is the release of an incomplete version of your artefact to the public, to test it and receive feedback from the audience/users. The aim of prototyping is to convert the concepts devised in the Ideation stage into a practical form, whether physically or digitally. After this, the Prototype may move forward into the Testing phase, or revert back to the Ideating or Defining stage, depending on the feedback gained.

Career Foundry explains that “Putting the user at the heart of the process requires you to test your designs on real users”. The Prototyping Phase is incredibly important in figuring out what works best for your audience, as it lets Users test what you’re promoting and offer insights as to what they would prefer or what works better, after all, the Artefact must serve the User as effectively as possible.

Prototyping relies heavily on Feedback Loops, the process of gaining feedback, and adjusting to better address the issues identified. Theย Feedback Loop works through five key steps:

  1. Observation – recognise an absence or issue
  2. Define – develop observations into ideas
  3. Ideate – develop ideas into potential solutions
  4. Prototype – create tangible physical/digital models of the solutions identified
  5. Test – evaluate how well each prototype works and adjust the model appropriately

Alternatively, the Feedback Loop Process can be simplified as:

  1. You produce something – create and publish something online
  2. Measure information on the production – receive feedback from users
  3. Use information to improve production – reiterate based on feedback


Although it has 1,686 views (as of 10/10/19), accessing feedback is the one area that North Gong Daily is severely lacking. Though each post has a comment section, it isn’t the type of site that warrants comments, since most people just use the site to check the surf then leave. There isn’t a lot else to see or do aside from the picture gallery, merch and various videos.

One thing that was changed early on after publishing was the site’s layout, after realising the site required a header image on each post, as seen below.

Screen Shot 2019-10-10 at 11.19.39 am.png

Having these images helps to further the beach aesthetic, which is why prototyping is such an important stage in the process – it lets you identify what isn’t effective and change it for the better. It has also helped to identify NGD’s starter pack audience, as seen below:da-starter-pack.png

Feedback can be gained from Twitter posts, as seen below, however, this only works if people actually check out the site. Instagram posts work the same, in that if people haven’t checked the site, they might not be willing to take the extra time to look and give feedback.

I spoke to Kel and Michelle, NGD’s creators, on the weekend, and discussed the idea of monetising the website, I told them what that would mean for the site and how it would work, however, I didn’t bring up splitting the payments, as I am unsure as to how that would work with two different accounts, and very little earnings.

In The Cathedral and the Bazaar, Raymond, E statesย “too often software developers spend their days grinding away for pay at programs they neither need nor love.” Something surf-related had to be the way to go for my Digital Artefact, as surfing is a big part of my life, and something I want to continue with beyond University.ย From this reading, I’ve learnt that it’s important to ensure what you’re doing is something interesting, otherwise, it becomes boring and time-consuming, without reward.

Beta Time – BCM206+114

North Gong Daily is aimed at people who want some info about North Wollongong Beach without having to go to Ad-filled websites which provide too much information which is hard to understand. The site is easy to use for locals, newcomers and seasoned surfers, as the interface is simple and easy to access. The owners, Kel and Michelle, are heavily involved in North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club, as am I, so NGD has strong ties to the Club, with many members being strong supporters and users of NGD across all platforms. The simple user interface and beach aesthetic gives the impression that North Gong Daily knows what they’re doing.

Check out NGD’s audience below:

North Gong Daily is only focused on the one beach, as all people involved in it are locals and regulars at North Gong, therefore it’s easier to just maintain the one beach, though expanding the NGD team to more beaches could be a potential option.

During the process of uploading, I used to have a list of 71 tags, all related to the beach and North Wollongong, that I would implement into each post, to gain viewers. However, this was time consuming and wasn’t bringing in many views, so I have since stopped using them in each post.

Users have been referred to NGD by a number of different places, with the biggest one being Instagram, of 74, closely followed by Twitter, with 70. The WordPress reader, which is where Tags become relevant, has only referred 13 people, which is why I am no longer using Tags.

Another issue that arises with monetising the site is that if profits are split, then we have to negotiate how the payments would be made, as I’m not sure whether the profits could be split and sent to two different accounts.

Until next time, stay fresh Surfers.

Ideating NGD

Starting Uni, I had no idea what to expect of my workload. Therefore, the Digital Artefact came as a shock to me last semester, in BCM112. All I knew was that it was:

  1. Free Form – it could be anything
  2. Must have Social Utility – it’s useful to someone
  3. Be iterated – updated based upon feedback.

This could be anything. Some ideas considered were a YouTube Channel, an App, and an Instagram or Facebook page, but what on was a whole other story. I thought I would never be able to think of ideas, yet here I was Ideating on the very first day.

Kel and Michelle Giddey run an Instagram account and Facebook page dedicated to bringing daily surf reports of North Wollongong Beach to its followers. I have followed them for almost two years now, and often view their content, so the idea of a website was perfect, since I often rely on their beach updates.

NGD is targeted at regular North Gong beach-goers, locals and North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club members, whilst still providing helpful information for non-locals. The site has a beach aesthetic, by having white on a blue backdrop, and featuring various pictures of North Gong, in a simple format.

As of 29/8/19, NGD has 1,331 views, and will continue to grow.

North Gong Daily

The main source of my feedback loops for North Gong Daily are Instagram stories and replies, Twitter posts, word of mouth and comments on Facebook and Instagram. These are posted every few weeks, and ask viewers if they’ve seen the site, and if so, whether they liked it or not and what could be done to improve the site. Feedback from the Owners of North Gong Daily is extremely important too, as the site was built for them, and should meet their wants and needs.

Monetisation was suggested last time, through ads on the site and selling more merchandise, and I’ll need to talk to NGD about where the profits would go, as it is their site, but I did produce it and am still curating and aggregating everything on it. The money earned wouldn’t be a lot, so discussing it may be time-consuming and not be worth a lot, but is still something that I want to look in to.