Before I started designing my main and preliminary website, I had to complete a certain amount of research in order to make sure I had full understanding of the typical website conventions used in most websites in order to attract an audience and keep them engaged. For this understanding to occur I looked at a range of websites comparing and contrasting there layout, colour choices, font style etc and asked myself as a member of the public how do they make me feel? To reach a deeper understanding I then annotated 4 school websites and 4 charity websites 2 pages from each website. Once I completed this task I then highlighted and realised the typical website conventions that are most commonly used, and planned to use them for my own websites. For example like most websites, for my main website I designed to always have a navigation bar at the top of each page displaying a link for each page however when I first designed this I believed it looked too plain and basic making my website seem uninviting, so to overcome this challenge I decided not just to have one textbox running across the top of the page however to have individual curved boxes linked together by a running box making the page seem linear and neatly aligned. I also included an image in each text box, giving the user a insight of what to except on each page.
Here below is my navigation bar;
Another convention I came across when researching was the use of different media eg sound, images and videos to interact and engage with the user. Because of this I used my knowledge of final cut express, photoshop, garageband and iphoto to create different types of media to connect with the audience. For example for my main website I used final cut express to develop the beating heart on the enter page and added sound of a beating heart, this image is realistic and automatically affects the user and informing them of the seriousness of heart disease. Furthermore I also used final cut express to edit and produce the video for my homepage and overlapped music which I designed and created in garage band, the use of video and sound automatically engages the user and creates a professional image. For extra research I created a questionnaire and handed it out to a range of people different ages, the results from this questionnaire helped me discover the needs and wants from the audience. For example I found out that colour is a big impact to the audience and changes there perception of a website, because of this when annotating external websites I looked at there colour schemes and noticed all school websites follow the same colour scheme as the uniform and tends to use basic primary colours, whereas charity websites directed to adults tend to use pastel colours with one primary colour used to highlight and keyword key facts and border shapes to create a professional finish. I used this information to my advantage and chose the colours blue, red and white for my website changing the opacity occasionally to get different effects for different things such as border out line for textboxes and images. Blue connotes; sadness and sorrow but also can connote strength and stability blue is also said be the colour of deoxygenated blood, red connotes; love, passion, hatred red is also the colour of oxygenated blood and so on a whole is a very emotionally connected colour. These colours fitted with the subject our site was based on, as heart diseases will always have an emotional affect on the diagnosed person and their families.
Although I did follow many of the typical website conventions I did, also create and use my own ideas for example, from my questionnaire I found that the audiences prefer images of text, so instead of using just plain images, I decided that I would create a rollover image using a html code, at first I did find this quite challenging as I had to edit the code etc however now it is working correctly it is very effective and engages the user and creates an professional image and persuades the visitor to browse my website, similarly I also took and image of an donation box edited it in photoshop and created a matching button on photoshop making them both a link to paypal, I imitated this idea of direct payment from a charity website as I found it very effective way of persuading the visitor to donate.
Before creating the website in iweb we had to identify who our target audience was, in order to do this we created a survey asking a range of questions including demographics and psychograpghics to gain a full understanding of who we should direct our website to. The results from the survey showed that heart disease can affect and cause problems for anyone, and their class, age, gender, ethnicity, disability and sexuality does not affect it in anyway, Because of this we had to create a layout that most people can understand and choose colour and font that would relate to a range of people. For example we used the same font style for the whole website creating a linear and professional finish and we also set the page going downwards not sideways so it would be easier to understand and would create a ‘flow’. Our video was just a basic, one to one talking from Doctor Wells to the visitor this basic approach makes the website seem personal and more intimate for the visitor and makes everyone feel like they can trust the foundation. The video is an easy way for people to understand. We have our doctor ‘Dr Wells’ in the video people who watch the video will believe her more than an ordinary person as she is an educated, well respected figure in this subject area, in the video we made sure that DR Wells was seated in a office environment with a stethoscope around her neck we decided to this to increase the reality of her position as a doctor.
The charity we chose is a very serious problem and our campaign site had to express this seriousness in a way that most people would connect to and understand. Our selection of images and animation creates an emotive and arguing case which is still inviting to the visitor. Because of this we have input information which is patient friendly i.e. the patients will understand it without help from a medical specialist. Our market research showed us that many people of a wide variety of demographics prefer visual aids along with the information as it helps them to imagine exactly what we are talking about so we decided to add in a whole load of our own images that we took in various locations to increase the believability of the campaign. I think that it challenges the other campaign websites by having lots of images and not as much text which is normally the other way round with lots of text with the odd image
Because the audience for our media product is not just strictly one set audience, as the issue that we are confronting in our website can affect many people across many classes, age groups and ethnicities. So we decided that our website should be aimed at a wide demographic audience so that no mater who you are, you are able to gain full potential out our website Just to be sure that we were aiming our website at the right audience we decided to send out a survey to randomly selected people of different ages and backgrounds. We found that 23/30 people surveyed would rather have lots of pictures with a little bit of text as a pose to a lot of text and a few pictures. Our survey also showed us that 20/30 would have the pastel colours chosen over a wide variety of choices. The survey also revealed that almost all of the people surveyed that’s 28/30 said they knew someone with a heart problem and said they would visit our site if they believed it would help t. We wanted to educate everyone on how to reduce the risks of getting heart diseases. We believed that the best way for us to do this was to use audio/visual, so we decided to make a video.
During the process of producing my preliminary and my main website I learnt many new things that helped me produce my website to a high professional standard. In order to produce my websites I used: Photoshop, Garage Band, Final Cut Express, iphoto and iweb but I also used a vast amount of hardware such as a Sony digital SLR camera, Apple Mac computers and video camera equipment.
When using photo shop I learnt how to change the contrast of images, I also learnt how to duplicate layers then change backgrounds or change the colour of a certain part of an image., this came in handy on both the preliminary and on my main website, for example the background on my preliminary website is an image I took of my school and I had to edit the school name out and duplicate a part of the wall in such a way that the bricks all matched up. I also learnt how to use the magic pen tool to cut out the backgrounds or select a certain part of the image.
I then used Garage Band to create the music for my main campaign website homepage I used various loops from the apple library to create my music i found it quite easy to use the loops as all you had to do was make sure the loops you use played in harmony together and in time with each other. I also used garage band to create the heart beat, I did this by using a drum loop that resembled the ‘lub-dub’ sound of the heart.
Similarly I used final cut express to edit my videos for both my preliminary and my main website. For my preliminary website I had to cut different parts of my video in order for it to look like a real school video, for my preliminary website there was a lot of editing that had to be done whereas in my main website there was less editing to do as we used the video to our advantage only having to tweak the contrast a little.
I used Iphoto to put my edited images into a slideshow for my preliminary website. I chose not to use a slide show in my main website as I thought that there was a vast amount of visual aid and I thought by adding in a slideshow it may look as if they website was trying too hard to be the perfect user friendly website and with out it we still managed to use all the images that we took and thought were good enough to make it to our website.
Iweb has got to be the most important piece of technology I used in this project at it was the medium through which I was able to string all of the components of my website together, it was fairly straight forward once I got to grips with it.
I found the sony SLR cameras the easiest to us as it was a pretty straight forward and basic. I just had to learn to taking pictures with a purpose rather than just as a form of memories which is what I am used to. So I used the various rules such as rules of thirds and the different types of shots such as over the shoulder shot when taking pictures for my own leisure to make sure that I was able to use them in a professional way.