AS Media Evaluation
1) When initially thinking about the design of our website, we felt it was important to ensure our design was eye catching and bold compared to other charity websites, which go for a simple layout. Our charity name ‘Paw Paws” is short and catchy, the play on words making it sound like poor paws is fitting in with our charity’s objective ‘Looking after and re-homing poorly dogs”. From this, we chose a few colour schemes: White and black from the colour of our logo. Yellow and red the same colours from the pedigree logo and sky blue to represent freedom. The layout of our home page is inspired by many other similar charity sites, like having a fixed background of a pleasant image with all out context faded in to the front of the page. We liked the idea of framing the main section of the page and making it centre of attention to draw the audience’s eyes to the relevant information.
After researching the conventions of charity websites, we found that certain features were appearing repeatedly, some less obvious than others such as:
· Links to top stories
· Donation boxes
· Motivational quotes
· Navigation barWe included all the obvious conventions on our site such as the navigation bar, the ability to donate, an about us page with information on the charity and a ‘contact us’ page whilst also adding some of our own features. Something that didn’t appear often was a ‘fun and games page’, we thought we would add this page to ours to make our site more enjoyable for the audience.
2) We created our site to appeal to all social groups. We did this by using very simple layouts and colour schemes that would not favour any particular social group. We also thought about this in our pictures and videos and made sure that we had a selection of breeds to please all dog lovers. After reviewing what our audiences wanted from information collected from our surveys, we found out they wanted a modern looking websites with more images and video over music and sound. Customers would prefer a practical looking website rather than a stylish looking site. Our site had a very conventional layout. Everything was neatly spaced out and in line to make it easier on the eye for the audience. All pictures were measured to the same size and thought about in great depth to the where about of the placement of all the pictures.
3) When researching the publishing and distribution of a website, we found out that the whole process is not as complicated as we first thought. Compared to other media conventions such as newspapers or radio, distributing your media product on to the internet is relatively easy. It is quite simple and does not take any exceptional i.t skills. With a website, your main worries are getting it to look professional and to be functional. As we have found over the past few months, we have been able to create a stylish, practical website thanks to the simplicity of the process. When publishing and distributing such media products as newspapers or magazines, the context but me thought through a lot more in depth to ensure that all information being given out conforms and that there are no individuals or social groups that feel they need to complain to the PCC (Press Complaints Commission). Also with conventions such as newspapers and magazines they take hundreds of people working on them to ensure deadlines are met. Newspapers also require having large funds so they can print thousands of papers everyday. In cases of magazines, it can take weeks jus to get one spread out to the audiences. This is where internet sites become superior as a site can be created in very little time and very little fuss. With radio, we have seen on many previous occasions before where people have said things in the heat of the moment and paid the repercussions of their actions. With internet you can think exactly what you put on so it is harder to get your self into trouble with the PCC.
4) We tried to have everyone as our target audience. We did this by not using any colours or images that would appeal to any one social group over the next. We used a simple, spaced out layout that made the page very practical to use. We did this as we knew from our survey that this is what the audience wanted, practicality over style. We also took note from other, similar more established websites than ours on trends in layouts that many sites seem to be using. This gave us ideas on what we would like to copy and we knew they could be trusted as all the big sites with large audiences had them which also tells us that they would appeal to our own audience. Because of our survey already completed we knew exactly what the majority of our audiences wanted. This made creating a website for our audience a lot easier as we know what appealed to them. For example we used the top three most wanted colours from the survey and incorporated them into our site. Green was our most popular choice so we got a majority green grass background picture that was frozen at the back. White and blue were our second most favourable colour options so we then made are base white where most of the content would be placed. So we didn’t clash too much with the green but listened to out audiences requirements we used a little bit of blue in the header titles. We got the idea of the header titles from similar charitable websites. Another way in which we tried to base our website for all audience was by our font. We used a simple conventional font in an easy to read size to ensure we did not discriminate to the old audience members or audience members with bad eye sight.
5) We tried to attract our audience by having a friendly, attractive site. We used soft colour schemes throughout which made it easy on the audience members eye. We used a simple language as not to confuse any of our audience and to ensure that they are able to use our site as effectively as possible. We made sure that whenever text was on the page it was very easy to see. We did this by using a large font size and a simple easy to read font, we also made sure that the text was always in a spaced out position to the attention is not distracted from the reader. An unusual touch we added that not to many sites have was adding a fun and games page. On here we had a word search that appeals to the younger generation so they can enjoy our site as well. Having the roll over colour changes made it easy for the audience member to know when they were on a link to a new page. Lots of little things when collected altogether I think made our site easy to use for customers of all ages, ethnicities and so on. I think these small components were very effective and help make our site what it was. A simple, stylish effective site.
6) When constructing my preliminary website, I had very little knowledge on sites such as iweb, iphoto and final cut express. Because of this my first site was a very standard basic site. There was very little creativity, which was down to lack of skills, and not being able to put down the looks I ant to achieve. After much practise I had developed my skills and looked at new areas such as Photoshop. Now I had better skills I would be able to do more of m designs in the style I want. I would be able to give my website new effects and develop a better quality. I think overall my skills were made stronger and I was more confident to explore new styles that will improve my site.
7) Throughout the whole process I have learnt many new styles and techniques that have helped me change the way I look at designing. When creating my first site I knew very little about the programmes I was using and that was reflected in my preliminary site. Everything was very basic and looked unprofessional. Now as I am at the end of my project, I feel I have improved greatly as I have had the knowledge to create stylish and professional pieces of work. I have learnt to use video and image programmes to alter the way things look and how they sound. A lot of this is also down to becoming more confident and taking risks as well as experimenting and coming up with new designs. This can be as simple as getting rid of backgrounds on pictures that then make the whole site a lot more professional. Overall I my secondary site was a lot more successful than my preliminary due to the fact I knew more about the programmes and I was able to use them to their full potential.