Personal Website

Website Aspirations:

Strategy:

  • Site objectives include advertising my name and marketable skills.  It is very important to clearly show what my talents are to any potential future employers.
  • At this point in time, I am looking specifically for an internship.  I am not certain if I am going to pursue graduate school yet, and I have one year of school left so I am not looking for a job at this point in time.
  • I am interested in working in the sports media field.  My site will be geared towards showing off the work experience and skills I have in the following:
  1. Sports Journalism (iSportsweb)
  2. Sports Radio (WPSL)
  3. Sports Broadcasting (FTV)
  4. Utilities work (ESPN3)
  • My target audience consists of potential employers and anyone who would have interest in using my skills
  • To optimize user experience, I need to have a clearly set up website that doesn’t have glitches any links
  • Each page needs to be independent of the home page (in case a user enters the site through one of the more specific pages), but all of them need to make it clear what the main purpose of the site is

Scope:

  • Contact form- include email, address
  • Resume
  • Blog from Digital Communications
  • Experience with ESPN3
  • Links to my sports articles with iSportsweb
  • Contact info of those I’ve worked with previously

5 Website Design Inspirations 

  1. Need a fun, but not distracting font.  Image
  2. You need to make sure your resume is personal and explains exactly why YOU are the best at what you do.  This article explains some unique ways to show how attractive of a candidate you are.

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3. Paul Landon’s personal portfolio is a superb example of what we want to accomplish with our web sites.

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4. Lukas Linden’s personal portfolio..

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5. Jan Finnesand’s personal portfolio..

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People First Attitude

All web sites are created by people, for people.  No web site is going to be used by a bank, car or restaurant.  A web site is going to be used by individual people for a unique purpose.  

It is obviously important to figure out your purpose when you first create your new web site, but the most important aspect to consider is your audience.  Without your audience, your web site doesn’t mean anything.  

How do you begin to understand your audience?

There are seven important guidelines to help you understand your audience:

  1. List your major audiences. 
  2. Gather information about your audiences.
  3. List major characteristics for each audience. 
  4. Gather your audiences’ questions, tasks, and stories. 
  5. Use your information to create personas. 
  6. Include the persona’s goals and tasks.  
  7. Use your information to write scenarios for your site. 

You really have to delve deep and ask thought invoking questions to ensure that your web site creates the best user experience possible.  It may seem like overkill to create a persona (or many) and delve into many aspects of that persona’s life, but you can never be too careful when creating a web site.  If something is wrong, the user will abandon your site within seconds and go to a competitor’s.  

A personal example for me is the sports writing I have recently begun working on for isportsweb.  The creators of this web site had to really think about what kind of audience they wanted to write for.  Obviously the target audience are sports fans, but they had to ask a few more questions before beginning to create an internet product.  

  • What sports should be covered?  Certain sports are more popular in the United States and definitely garner more attention. 
  • Should the articles be incredibly in depth or allow the casual sports fan to enjoy them?
  • What teams should be covered?  Different teams mean a different geographical audience.

 

 

User Satisfaction

User Experience and Why It Matters

User experience- the experience the product creates for the people who use it in the real world. User experience is not about the inner working of a product or service, but it is about how it works on the outside and when a person comes into contact with it (Garrett 6).  

From Product Design to User Experience Design

There are essentially two ways to think about product design:

  1. Aesthetic appeal
  2. Functionality 

It is very important to design a product to look appealing to potential consumers, but functionality is also crucial.  It is difficult to determine what is more important.  Obviously it is easy to say functionality is more important.  Who would want to buy a product that doesn’t work that well?  But many will admit that the product has to look good for them to buy it.  

It is very important for a designer to think further than that and think of the user experience.  

Designing (for) Experience: Use Matters

Use matters for a product.  If a product doesn’t work or meet the satisfaction of the buyer then it is useless.  It’s almost as if the product doesn’t exist.  The more complex a product is, the more difficult it becomes to identify exactly how to deliver a successful experience to the user.  

User Experience and the Web

On the Web, user experience is even more important than it is for other kinds of products (10).  It is very important to have a user friendly web site that has no broken links or flaws.  A broken link or mistake will easily turn away your readers.  When things go wrong on the internet people blame themselves and feel stupid.  Needless to say, this is an effective way to have people avoid your site in the future.  

User experience is very important, but some web designers make costly mistakes in the hopes of being the first on the market.  Speed and efficiency are great qualities, but hastiness that causes mistakes is not good at all for your site.  

Good User Experience is Good Business

  • Communicate information on your web site as effectively as possible
  • If users have a bad experience, they won’t come back
  • User experience has a far greater effect on customer loyalty than features and function 
  • Return on investment
  • Conversion rate

The Five Planes

  1. Surface Plane- images and text that you see when on a Web site
  2. Skeleton Plane- placement of buttons, controls, photos and blocks of text
  3. The Structure Plane- defines how users got to that page and where they could go when they were finished there.
  4. Scope Plane- the features and functions of the site
  5. Strategy Plane- not only what the people running the site want to get out of it but what the users want to get out of the site as well 

Checking It Once, Checking It Twice

What is the process for online editing?

  • Identify the readers and the purpose of the content 

It is important to know who your target audience is so you can deliver your message in the best way.  This includes what medium you’re going to use and the actual content of your message.   

  • Define document structure and links 

The document or website you are constructing needs to be well organized and easily navigable.  It is very important that each page is independent, but also clearly shows the overall theme of the document structure.  Many articles are accessed directly through a search engine and not the homepage of your site.  Hyperlinks should be relevant to the material and always work so as not to inconvenience the reader.  

  • Define the style 

A site needs guidelines for style and for creating screens that users will see.  

  • Edit

Make sure the content, structure, links, visual design and writing style are good.  Don’t just finish the product and THEN go back and edit.  Edit while the product is being created.  Some suggest editing content chunks in random order rather than in sequence so as to ensure a suitable and accessible organization for readers.  

  • Copyedit

It is imperative to check consistency in visual design and to make sure every link works.  The aesthetic nature of the website should be pleasing, and discrepancies in design can cause a reader to leave the website.  Broken hyperlinks can also have that effect on a reader as it is very frustrating to have a link that doesn’t work pop up.  As always, it is very important to correct spelling errors to ensure that all credibility is maintained.   

  • Copyedit II

In addition to making sure the small aspects of the writing are correct, it is very important to make sure the whole thing is organized and focused as a whole. 

  • Write headlines

Make sure the headline shows what the article is about and can stand alone without any background information.  What is going to stick out and attract a click from a potential reader in a Google search?

  • Test usability

Act as if you’re the user and make sure everything makes sense and runs smoothly one last time. 

Taking a Different Perspective on Point of View

Aside

Three definitions of Point of View

  1. Within film and video, POV refers to a camera shot taken as if seen through the eyes of a character
  2. The perspective of the storyteller
  3. The interests, attitudes, and beliefs associated with a character’s or group’s particular perspective

What are the uses of different points of view in video?

POV Shots:

  • The moving POV shot is particularly effective in horror and monster movies to build suspense
  • One possible effect is watching the protagonist through the predator’s eyes and waiting for the impending catastrophe
  • The other effective use of POV shots in a horror movie is from the protagonist’s eyes and holding a sheer amount of suspense over the audience
  • While POV shots are often effective, they can certainly fail when used too much/long

First Person:

  • First person can offer direct, personal expression that third person can
  • Direct communication of thought and ideas to the audience
  • often used to convey information in documentaries
  • can shift the balance from visuals and dialogue, to commentary and contemplative language

Second Person:

  • This focuses on an approach addressing the audience directly
  • Instructional videos are often in second person
  • Addressed to “you”
  • Advertisements are often addressed in this manner, makes the viewer feel special

Third Person:

  • most popular point of view in video
  • the action on screen is seen from an observer’s point of view
  • POV is NOT omniscient without a first person voice-over narration
  • we discern mood from action and dialogue

There are often times when a production narrows down to one character, but is not quite first person.  This is called character point of view.