Website Evaluation
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  • 1. 1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Having carried out research on various other charity websites I concluded that the conventions of websites includes a navigation bar, a strong image as the logo situated in the top left of the page (this is repeated on each page of the site) as well as images representing the nature of the site. Instead of having a logo in the top left of each site I decided to not do that but have the name of the charity repeated throughout each page, this challenged conventions as most other websites used logos and emblems. I used photos which I took, as a slideshow which like the Smokefree website used visual imagery as a way of deterring people from smoking, by emotive imagery and music. The layout for each page consisted of a blue and white gradient background with a title of the same font and colour and navigation bar on the left and top of each page. As well as this I placed my companies logo at the top left of my website, this created consistency throughout the website providing an organized layout, which is a recognized convention of websites. I made small manageable chunks of information because I felt it was easier to read and didn’t overwhelm the reader with all the information. This meant that they could absorb and remember the information easier. I choose the tabs on the navigation bar in order of importance because the main purpose of the website is to promote the help provided by the charity because of this I added "about us" and "contact us" as two of the tabs. 2. How does your media product represent particular social groups? I started out representing middle class smokers of the age around 30 to 35 yrs. I represented them because studies have shown that the older a person is the more likely it is that they are going to be able to quit. By using different techniques, picture and text for example using images of cigarettes and cigarette packets to show what exactly is involved with smoking, zooming in at the end of the slideshow onto smoking kills would hopefully hit the target audience and make them think further and resolve any misguidance they may have had. However having completed the site I can see now that I haven’t represented my target audience very well as I haven’t used pictures of the age group and my promotional videos only actors are teenagers. This was a mistake. I should have gone out and taken pictures and videos of my targets, 30 to 35 year olds, because I didn’t I have inadvertently represented school boys of 16 to 18 yrs as my target audience. This means that media product hasn’t fulfilled its task of having a target audience of 30 to 35 yr olds.
  • 2. 3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? Traditionally an advertising agency would give me creative ideas as to how to distribute my product via the WWW. Now that everything is digital though, and I have access to the WWW myself, I could distribute my own campaign site with the use of domain name registration online and find a webhosting company that would manage my site for a small fee. It wouldn’t cost much to host because it wouldn’t need a large amount of space. The main institution associated with health in the UK is the ‘National Health Service’ (NHS). They will mainly distribute the website via hyperlinks from their site to mine due to it being a health website, because of this even though they have their own site I’m sure they are interested in any other charity that helps get the message out to everyday people. In recent years the government, who are in charge of the NHS, have issued public issues concerning smoking. The health service will want to distribute the website due to rising health concerns. A reason for distribution the website will be to help inform the public i.e. the target audience of the how and where to quit smoking, and any help that can be acquired. 4. Who would be the audience for your media product? My target audience will be 30 to 35 year olds, as it became apparent in my survey that this age group where more likely to want to quit. A lot of my services will be free as the income bracket for most of the survey takers were not earning a lot of money for this reason I will make the services free to encourage more people of any income bracket to come and quit. Having a strong interest in health and possibly a stable family environment, my audience would be middle to upper class because these classes would consists of like minded people who are interested in their well being, family and the affects that they have on their family by smoking in proximity. My likely gender will be either male or female as the survey suggests that both male and female have a passion for quitting. Also being a smoker has more to do with your background and social life, you’re 10 times less likely to smoke if your parents tell you not to where as your more likely to smoke if one of your parents are smokers, this has no relation to your gender. Using psychographics, I would choose Individualists to be individual by leading the way in quitting smoking and became leaders for others, as my target audience. I would also choose. Carers as they are most likely to care for their surroundings and family, and possibly started smoking out of sympathy for another who was lonely. They are most likely to quit, as they will care what smoking does their bodies and their children if any. I will also choose Groupies as their longing to fit in may have triggered their smoking habit, this can be reversed by them being made to feel left out because of their smoking causing them to quit.
  • 3. 5. How did you attract/address your audience? I attracted my audience by clearly outlining what the company hoped to achieve, contact information and facts about the affects of smoking. I also displayed my information in a clear organised layout as to not confuse my audience, and thus repel them from further reading. Also my house colours blue are both bright and attract the viewer’s attention. The easy to navigate layout and page design helps to convey the message across to the audience, to quit smoking. Also the calm pale colours are aesthetically pleasing, drawing the audience into the site. The big title on each page with the name of the charity, Quit Smoking UK, also rings across that the charity is serious about what it does. I chose to have it in big because I thought it would draw the attention of the viewer and be taken seriously. The mode of address is formal but the language is intended to be accessible by everyone. This was important for my audience because I didn’t want them to be put off by complex information. 6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? I have developed with a lot of skills in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and iWeb. I have learnt a lot of techniques while designing and constructing my website, one of the most help tools was the pen tool, featured in Photoshop and Illustrator, which allowed me to create a path around an object in a photo and select and cut it out with precision. This was better than other tools as I could curve my line to fit better. It was a very useful tool and easy to use with the only complication being when you first learn to use it, it can be confusing, however after a few tries that is remedied. Another helpful piece of software was Garage Band that I had not previously used; it helped me create play list for the background soundtrack for my slideshow. It did this by having a pre-arranged list of tracks I could choose from, and then combines to create a soundtrack suited for the slideshow. It was very easy to use and extremely helpful with error messages if I did something wrong. 7. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? Looking back on my preliminary task I feel that the use of Adobe PhotoShop has proved extremely helpful in the producing of the site, as it has allowed me to edit photographs effectively. I didn’t use it much in my preliminary for editing photos and as a result some of my pictures are not as good as they could have been, meaning the quality, brightness and colour balance were not used to bring out the subject of the photo.
  • 4. Also the ideas of branding a product, attracting the audience, conventions of websites and the navigation of the site helped me a lot with the creation of the site as it meant I was effectively putting items and in the site while knowing what effect they will have on the audience. This meant that I could better direct my site towards them. I learned too that I should take notice of audience feedback and I did this to completely redesign my site at one stage. The feedback was that the site design did not look professional and the navigation bars were not designed properly to attract the audience and encourage them to browse the site. I fixed all these things but I didn’t have time to go back and do the photos and videos again to represent my audience properly so I have also learned the importance of considering this in the planning stages before the project goes too far. Alex Harris 2009