Category Archives: Assignments
Assignment 2: Comparing/Contrasting Media Sites
Type of Media: Social media, including all types of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and startups like foursquare, chime.in, Groupon, etc. It also provides information on technology, business, and more.
Interface: First off, the site has a very good color scheme, using the popular soft blue shade. The site’s clean lines and simple typography scream Web 2.0. Social Media integration is awkward if you’re not a member of Mashable, with links to a bunch of random websites on their posts (picture below).
However, if you are a member of Mashable, you get the “Follow” feature, which allows you to post to several social networks at once.
Many of the bottons and text fields look clean and glossy. The chrome elements of the site are fantastic. Despite some of these pluses, however, the site feels a little too crowded. Particularly the footer. Perhaps they could just put a lot of this content on their “about” page…
Type of Media: Regarding content, CrunchBase’s “About” page says they’re, “dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news.”
Interface: Like Mashable, TechCrunch has a relatively minimalist interface. Clean, bold typography makes it easier to read headlines, white background makes for easy readability, and the social media icons are also minimalist. One thing I’m not sure about is their top bar (main navigation) remains at the top of your screen when you scroll down on an article, although the logo does become smaller:
Both Mashable and TechCrunch’s sidebars are very related-article heavy. This is good for people who love to consume information, which is a lot of who they are appealing to. TechCrunch’s footer is relatively busy as well, but not as messy as Mashable’s:
3. Fresh Apps
Type of Media: This site’s primary focus is to providing information on cool, new applications for the iPhone.
Interface: It strongly resembles iOS and Mac OS X-like aesthetics, with a light-gray background and rounded edges to the sections of the website. A simple search box on the top right serves its purpose well, and is a great addition to an app-based website where searching is very important.
Although the site reflects an iPhone-like color scheme, the green is the highlight and main theme of the site. The “fresh” idea is based on whether or not you liked the app, and it appears in a list on the homescreen. When new reviews are posted and new information is released, more new people will “fresh” the apps and bump them up to the front page.
This website is a different kind of media, less article-focused and more interaction of users. Not commenting, but reviews and ratings. Interesting Web 2.0 stuff going on there, too.
Type of Media: Politics, News, and a variety of opinions.
Interface: A clean, black and white interface with serif type and boxes of pictures and text. Of all four of the sites, it’s the simplest, and the least popular. It’s the only personal blog, too. Notice that the footer is significantly cleaner than the other sites’:
Rather than a list of recent articles or sponsored sites, this site’s sidebar has a follow section, about me section, picture, and a small Twitter feed. Less content by far and simpler than the others.
That’s it. That’s the WHOLE sidebar.
I suppose the choice of font and simple layout is intended to represent a newspaper. Unlike Mashable, it lacks many of the glowing, 3D buttons on the site, making it more pre-Web 2.0. But hey, look at reddit. I do like the navigation bar at the top, which is smaller than the more important posting-content:
From a team of one person, there’s an impressive amount of content.
Interface wars: who wins?
I’m a sucker for sans-serif fonts, bold typography, minimalist social media icons, and easy readability. But beyond that, for the content the site has to manage, it organizes its articles and pages very well. It may seem a little crowded with information to the layperson, but I think that’s exactly what the tech-nut/geek readers are looking for. 🙂
Demographic: Man in his mid-twenties, a developer for Windows Phone who loves the Metro UI design language. He is engaged and is employed at Microsoft. A bit materialistic but he is developing a compassion for people and desire to make software that is easy to use.
As they look: He’s paying attention to the aesthetic of the website, how it looks, how it feels, how closely it embodies the Windows Phone interface. They’re looking for design elements that are new and modern, innovative layouts and interfaces. He’s looking for what’s sticking out, what’s different than the rest. As a fan of Metro UI, those are things he constantly looks for.
Feelings: Generally happy, pleased at the new take on a metro design for a WordPress website, including the people live tiles and Windows Phone icons for page navigation. It inspires him to be creative, especially for updating his blog for his fiance and him which is metro-themed.
Non-Profit Site: Africa Tour 2008
Site name: Africa Tour 2008
Site description: The Africa Tour 2008 travels through Africa in an effort to eliminate child labour. Follow the reporter, learn about the fight against child labour, and the need for full-time, formal and quality education in Africa.
Audience: Individuals who are concerned with injustice and want to change the world in a radically-positive way. People who see child labor as wrong and want to do something about it. People who donate a lot, likely wealthy individuals, often Christian.
Business/Site Goals: Eliminate child labor in Africa and allow them to be educated instead. “Stop Child Labour – School is the best place to work.”
Technologies used: HTML
Entertainment Site: Windows Phone Metro (WordPress blog)
Site name: Windows Phone Metro
Site description: Windows Phone News, Tips and Reviews.
Audience: Windows Phone enthusiasts, people who enjoy smartphones and smartphone news. Also people who are passionate about Microsoft’s new UI, Metro, would be interested in this site.
Business/Site Goals: To post updated content regarding current Windows Phone, Microsoft, Metro UI, and Windows-related news and information.
Technologies used: WordPress (powered by PHP and MySQL)
Media Site: Mashable (WordPress blog)
Site name: Mashable
Site description: Social Media news blog covering cool new websites and social networks: Facebook, Google, Twitter, MySpace and YouTube. The latest web technology news, via RSS daily.
Audience: People interested in media as it pertains to the interwebs. Social-networking fanatics, online and digital media enthusiasts, and web start-ups all have Mashable posts in their RSS feed readers. Surfers on the net who are interested in Web 2.0: redefining online interaction with collaboration and connectivity with others.
Business/Site Goals: Keep posting the latest news on social media and new websites. Provide current, relevant information for everything web-related.
Technologies used: WordPress (powered by PHP and MySQL)
Government Site: Access Washington
Site name: Access Washington
Site description: Locate Washington State Government information and services available on the Web.
Audience: Residents and tourists of Washington State. This government site is a hub for people to learn all about the state of Washington. People can find out about community service, employment opportunities, ways to contact the governor, report a crime, and more.
Business/Site Goals: Provide easily-accessed information about Washington for visitors and residents alike.
Technologies used: HTML
E-Commerce Site: Vat19
Site name: Vat19
In 2001, Vat19.com was launched to promote the sale of our line of independent DVD productions. Popular series such as the Ambient DVDs quickly opened opportunities for Vat19 to leverage its web presence beyond merely selling its own products.
In 2005, in preparation for the busy holiday season, Vat19 introduced its first non-DVD product. Its fireplace-scented candles were an instant hit with its large customer base of video fireplace customers. So, the wise sages at Vat19.com began to search the world for other, “curiously awesome” products to promote.
Audience: “Purveyors of the Curiously Awesome Products.” Consumers who are interested in unusual and unique products.
Business/Site Goals: To make shopping entertaining and fun. To present unique products beautifully and abstractly.
This is my lab screenshot document: screenshots