Website textual analysis

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  • 1. Website Textual Analysis A2 Media Studies Lauren Barrett
  • 2. www.edsheeran.com Website 1 – Ed Sheeran I have chosen to use Ed Sheeran’s website for my first analysis as I am more than likely to use one of his songs for my music video. The layout of this website is very blog-like in the sense that it relays information to the target audience. The newest stories are updated to the bottom of the page in a list format, giving it that magazine-contents page look about it which is quite commonly seen on blogs. I think this is effective considering Ed Sheeran’s slightly older target audience for his music, but the ‘latest news’ is highly overshadowed by the video at the top of the page. Whilst this is relevant as it draws audiences to the musician’s latest video, they may not necessarily notice the news information underneath. However, this would be quite effective for my own website as the idea of it is to promote the music video which I will create, and therefore I will be able to place this directly at the top as this will be the main focal point for the audiences. The title is the largest text on the page to draw attention from the audiences and by being placed at the top, the audiences will look at this first and know exactly that they are on the right website they were looking for. As social media makes up a large part of an artists’ advertising and PR these days, it is also important that links to the corresponding sites have been placed underneath the main title so that audiences know exactly where to look. Most growing musicians also have audiences across the world, so whilst the UK site might be the most popular as this particular artists is from the UK, a variety of different links for different countries have been made available in the top right corner as this section of the space is clear and makes the links easily visible by anyone. Most people read from left to right, which is why the link list looks most effective on the left-hand side as the viewers’ eyes automatically go to this point on the site. These links are vitally important as they take the audiences to PERSON other pages that they may have purposely visited the site for, and so this has to ALLY I be made clear and easy to navigate. The merchandise store is one of the biggest functions on the website, so the large adverts on the right hand-side are FEEL effective as the space is big enough for them to be easily visible. The use of larger text and images attract the target audience directly to the store, and will THERE persuade them to make purchases. It is also really important for artists these IS TOO days to get subscribers to their websites, as these subscribers then often get personalised email newsletters which update them with all the latest news, and MUCH are often given special discounts and exclusive content. The use of the big EMPTY black text box on the left underneath the link list is quite effective as it stands out and fills the empty space which would have been their. It means that once SPACE someone has possibly read through either the latest news or the link list, they will HERE. then have their attention drawn to this subscription box. PERSONAL LY I FEEL THERE IS TOO MUCH EMPTY SPACE HERE.
  • 3. www.edsheeran.com Website 1 – Ed Sheeran The colour scheme for this website is quite basic and minimalistic, and this is to ensure that the site suits the genre of the artist more. The artist creates very basic, natural music, so the use of soft greys and beiges suit this style of music quite well. The use of the colour orange also creates a trademark for the artist, as it is symbolic of the singers’ hair colour as he is well known for his strong ginger locks. The colour orange is often used on most of the artists’ products and merchandise, which helps to create a sense of brand and identity for the musician. The use of orange is quite subtle on this home page and I feel it could be used in a much stronger sense to make more of the titles stand out better. Black is also used in the colour scheme as it harmonizes nicely with the beiges and the orange, and allows for certain elements of the page to stand out well against the background, such as the text boxes. Other colours could have been used, for example, purple, but this would have created a contrast and would not have suited the music genre as well. To make the page more interesting for the audience as the colour scheme is rather bland and minimalistic, the use of colours are important as they create a sense of fun and attraction for the page. Black and white images could have been used to match-in with the page’s colour scheme more, but then they wouldn’t have stood out as well, which is why the bold-coloured pictures are important. The same colour scheme applies for all the other pages linked from the home page, to create a sense of continuity, making the whole site look more professional. In general, the background is made up of the grey/black charcoal drawing, white text boxes with black text and orange headings, or to contrast, black text boxes with white text to highlight more important information.
  • 4. www.edsheeran.com Website 1 – Ed Sheeran Navigation is important on a website because the harder it is for the target audience to find their way around, the less likely they are going to visit the site again. Navigation is created on a web page with the use of links to the other content pages from the home page. On this home page, the links are presented in a clear, easy to read list on the left-hand side. Most audiences will read from left to right which is why placing the list on the left works as audiences are likely to find and locate this easily. Big links to social networking sites are also presented underneath the page title as audiences are likely to look directly at the heading when they first open the site. In relation to the rest of the content on the page, I would have preferred it if the list were a little bit bigger to make it easily readable and identifiable from a further distance. Once looking to navigate to another page on this website, a line appears underneath the chosen page and the link changes to orange to indicate clearly to the audience what page they have chosen to visit. What is also useful for the target audience is that as they change to another page, a ‘loading’ icon appears which tells them that the action has indeed worked, but it is just taking a short minute to physically load the content. Often on some websites, users may click on a new link and wait for ages not knowing whether any content is actually going to appear on the page. The icon has been made from a black and orange image of a paw print, another trademark of the artist. The paw print symbol acts as part of Ed Sheeran’s signature, it appears on the majority of his merchandise and it has even been marked on the guitars he performs with, which just shows the audience that the website they are visiting is legitimate and 100% official.
  • 5. www.edsheeran.com Website 1 – Ed Sheeran The font used on Ed Sheeran’s website follows on from the same fonts which have been used on his EPs and album. The font has been identified as ‘Moms Typewriter’. It was important for the same font to be applied to the website as it again helps to create a brand and identity for the singer, and now every time the font is used, it is automatically likely to be associated with the singer. It is a very unusual, yet quirky style of font, which allows a ‘fun’ element to be applied to the website, whilst the ‘serif’ element of the font still keeps the text looking professional and grown-up. This is a useful finding for me as the font is available on font-download sites such as Dafont, which means I may be able to use the font on my own website for my coursework to keep it looking professional. The font is used on the website for the majority of all of the headings and titles to make it stand out clearer from the rest of the body text. All of the body text is then given a standard Arial Sans-Serif font to make the writing more legible and clearer to read. Mode of address really comes from the text and the way it is worded to speak to the audience. There are various different types of text on the website and they all speak to the audience in different ways. The actual news stories themselves are written by Ed’s team who run the site, so they speak on behalf of the singer. Whilst some audiences may prefer hearing directly from the artist, it isn’t realistic as they are clearly busy working on their music, so the text is presented in a professional manner. Whilst the text is kept professional, the style of writing is quite casual, using words which directly talk to the audience and keeping in context with the potential younger segment of the artists’ target audience. The advertising elements of the website use much more persuasive language in order to directly engage with the audience. Common words include ‘free’ and ‘exclusive’ make the audience feel like they are particularly special to the musician, persuading them more to subscribe or buy the products. With the products themselves on the merchandise page of the site, play-on-words are often used to create an element of humour and fun, and these are the products that are likely to be more memorable. In particular, they are advertising a ‘Ted Sheeran’ teddy bear for Christmas on the home page, which is obviously play-on-words for the singers’ name ‘Ed Sheeran’.
  • 6. www.edsheeran.com Website 1 – Ed Sheeran Images are just as important as the rest of the content when it comes to creating a website as they create an interesting visual for audiences to engage with. A website of just plain text automatically looks boring and would cause audiences to eventually turn away as they are less likely to engage with the product. On Ed Sheeran’s website, the images are actually quite minimal, which is surprising considering the level of content presented on the home page. Firstly, a large image is used as the main background-filler, which does admittedly look effective as it again creates a brand identity for the artist. On all of his albums/singles, the artwork consists of a hand-drawn sketch in charcoal, which automatically creates the link with this website and the artist. The other images on the site are relatively small, and sit directly next to the list of news articles listed at the bottom of the page. They make a direct connection for the audiences to make, but they are quite small and do not particularly stand out well on the page. When the article is clicked on and opened in the next page, the images are expanded but only slightly, which is a shame as they do not utilize the free space on the page The only other images used on the page are those used within the very well. advertisement text boxes, which are useful as it allows audiences to visualize the product rather than just reading the details. However, it is understandable as to why there are so few images on the page as the majority of the artists’ target audience are of an older age, but it does not compensate for the section of younger audiences he may also have. Overall I think that the background image works well as it creates a main focal point for the page, but the free space is not utilized well enough and could have been filled in an orderly manner with interesting images to draw in more attention from the target audience. This may however be something I may also have to consider for my own website as all the images have to be original and I will need to photograph them myself, so I am likely to have limitations in terms of the number of photos I have to work with.
  • 7. www.elliegoulding.com Website 2 – Ellie Goulding In terms of layout for her new website, it can be compared quite easily to the previous example, Ed Sheeran’s. It is quite clear that the more modern way of presenting information is in the style of a blog, where the layout is much more interactive and the layout changes slightly as the content is updated, much like a blog. Ellie Goulding has made quite a dramatic change in terms of the genre of her music over the last few years. Her first album was more sweet and innocent, with a lot of pop numbers on them, whilst her second studio album, Halcyon is much more grown-up with a lot of dance and indie-style records on them. Therefore, her website has had a dramatic change also to suit the genre of her current album, as her target audience is likely to have changed dramatically also. The layout features the articles in chronological order in the form of large squares, with the images of the corresponding article blown-up to fill the square, and hen the title and the date of the article written in a transparent box over the top of the image. As new articles are updated to the site, the arrangement of the squares shifts slightly, which gives the site that ‘Tumblresque’ style, which suits that indie, hipster style of target audience the artist is trying to reach out to. The title is placed at the top of the page, as this is the conventional layout for any media text, as it is clear and easy to see, and then all of Along the top of the page is another black the links for the other pages on the site are highlighted underneath as semi-transparent header which includes the the audience are likely to look to this after they have seen the main title. links to all the social-networking site Little symbols are included next to the page titles to give the different associated with the artist, as this makes it types of page an identity, and the little triangle symbols are very very easy and clear for the audience to conventional of the indie/hipster target audience. locate.
  • 8. www.elliegoulding.com Website 2 – Ellie Goulding The colour scheme is much more bright and vivid, and particularly catches the eye of the audience. Purples, blues and pinks maeke up the main colour scheme, with black and white colours being used mostly for the textual elements of the page. Firstly, this colour scheme is used mostly because it was the colour scheme used on her album artwork for ‘Halcyon Days’ her latest album, so this allows audiences to make a distinct connection between the two. The colours are also very bright and electrifying, and act as a representation of the club-DJ sort of scene, which is the sort of vibe her new music is trying to reach out to. These colours are also stereotypical of the hipster-indie target audience the artist is trying to reach out to, as these are the main colours featured in the sort of clothing and accessories they wear. When you Google the hipster/indie trend, the majority of images give off a very mystical, unusual vibe, which is exaclty what this particular colour scheme also does. The use of black transparent text boxes looks really effective as it allows the text to be seen clearer, whilst it also darkens the colours of the images underneath, giving it more of a mystical look about it. The white text then stands out brilliantly against all of the colours, making it clear and easy to read. The sky-blue colour used mostly for the main headings also gives the artist a brand identity as it is a very specific colour, and it is also representative of positive, calm emotions.
  • 9. www.elliegoulding.com Website 2 – Ellie Goulding The navigation of this website is actually quite fun, which is probably because of the interesting and quirky layout, but it is still kept looking professional through the use of chronological ordering. There are plenty of working links to relevant content listed across the top of the page just underneath the main header, which are clear and easy to find for all audiences. The links take the audience to new pages with separate content which is laid out in a clear and specific way, which aren’t overcrowded with information to make reading more enjoyable and less distracting. Underneath the main link list is another list which enables the user to instantly change the news feed on the home page, dependent on what they are interested in seeing. For example, rather than going to the ‘photos’ page where they can scroll through the entire collection of the artists’ images on one page, they can just change the news feed to see the most recent photos updated by the singer herself, which is quite an unusual yet innovative and modern way of displaying specific information to the audience.
  • 10. www.elliegoulding.com Website 2 – Ellie Goulding The leading (space between each line/row of text) is quite large, especially for lists to make reading the, quite clear for the readers. The body text of main articles also has a fairly large leading compared to other websites as it gives the impression that the text itself is quite large, and makes reading for everyone very clear and easy. The font is purposely very basic and simple to counter-act the busyness of the page itself. A busy font-style would have looked too much on top of the busy layout and the colorful images and colours, and would have therefore looked unprofessional and made reading for the audiences quite difficult and distracting. The font used throughout the website is a basic serif font, to make reading clear and easy to read, especially as it is on such a busy page. The font is quite curvy with no sharp corners which gives the site more of a fun element rather than serious tones which would have been more appropriate if the target audience was a lot older. With all of the titles, the tracking/kerning between letters (space between letters) is increased to stretch the text across the majority of the page and to make reading even clearer, whilst the body text has a normal/average tracking in the font to suit the larger sum of text in comparison to the titles and to utilize the space.
  • 11. www.elliegoulding.com Website 2 – Ellie Goulding This website in particular has special features to improve the mode of address and directly connect with the target audience. On every article on the site is a comment box for visitors to use and feedback to the artist, but I don’t believe this is used as much as it could be as most people would stick to social-networking sites to do this, so this sort of a feature would be more appropriate for an artist with a slightly younger target audience. However it is a unique idea and allows the audience to feel like they have a serious connection with the artist. People are also given the opportunity to listen to music and watch videos directly form the site, and gives a little statistic as to how many people are doing so at the same time, to allow audiences to also interact with each other. The language style itself is quite formal as the target audience is more populated by older audiences (20 – 30) rather than teenagers, yet they still use persuasive language to directly connect with the audience and also to persuade them to buy the products and the music. E.g ‘you’, ‘do so now’ etc.
  • 12. www.elliegoulding.com Website 2 – Ellie Goulding Images make up the majority of this website as it has high-quality visuals. The majority of people who visit artist websites look for sites which include a lot of images as they are a good technique to grabbing audience attention. They are also useful in utilizing empty spaces, which I feel this website does a lot better in comparison to the first site I looked at. A main image makes up the background for this website, and it includes colours which perfectly fit in with the site’s colour scheme. This looks effective as the image itself has been positioned so that it sits to the right of the page, allowing the text to cover the empty space. Any other images that are used on the one page are all of equal sizes and spaced out appropriately so that there is a nice ratio between images and text and it also means that there isn’t much empty space, which I felt was a weakness with the first website I analyzed. On the home page, all you see more of less, is images, which I think works for this particular site because of the blog-style layout and suits the hipster-style target audience, but for a more mature target audience, I possibly wouldn’t use too many images and slightly more text so that users have something to read straight away and entice them to stay on the site.
  • 13. www.emelisande.com Website 3 – Emeli Sandé The title of a website is supposed to be big and identifiable for the audience, but on this artist’ website it is fairly small and hardly noticeable, when really, considering the amount of blank space on the page, it could have perhaps been made slightly bigger to attract audiences more. However, the layout on the left hand=side of the page works nicely as opposed to being in the center of the page as it reflects the class and maturity of the artists’ genre. The listing for the other website pages is important as this helps with the navigation of the content. The layout again is clear and means it is easy to read and locate for audiences, but may have been even more effective if they had been made slightly bigger. However, the use of lines in between each link looks really effective as it reflects the image of a professional, classy media text such as a magazine. The main news articles are presented in a really interesting and innovative way actually, and I like how modern the layout of it is – it is well suited to the young, modern audiences the artist is trying to attract. The selection of most recent news articles for the artist can be changed using the chunky-style arrows, and as the article changes so does the background image, which looks really effective. Despite looking innovative and unique, I don’t like that the layout means that the text is really small in comparison to the rest of the background, meaning that the space is utilized very well at all. More quick-links for the artists’ social networking sites in the conventional top right corner. Easily locatable and readable but doesn’t justify the need for some of the links at the bottom of the page, suggest the idea that the site is not utilizing the space well enough. All the most popular links such as feeds to the artist’s Instagram and Twitter pages are listed across the width of the page in large black boxes to make them highly visible. This looks effective as it immediately catches the audience’s attention as it is the largest content on the page, but the layout interferes with the interchanging background images.
  • 14. www.emelisande.com Website 3 – Emeli Sandé I think that the colour scheme for this website works really successfully. The main colour scheme is a mixture of blacks, white and greys, in order to make the connection between the website and the artist’ albums and singles, which all include artwork with the same colour scheme. Although the connotations of these colours might be dull, dreary tones, they are actually a good representation of the Soul and RnB genres of music which Sandé incorporates into her songs and styling. This colour scheme, particularly used within the imagery, is what gives the artist a brand and an identity as it automatically links her name to anything produced in similar matter. Everything on the website is consistent to the colour scheme, apart from images on some occasions, to make the website have that extra professional appeal to it. All of the text is white on a black background, and it is often made transparent or semi-transparent to make the images more visible. The use of simply black and white tones also makes the content much more visible as they are both of high contrast with each other, making the dark sections look darker, and the lighter sections look brighter. However, one of the flaws I find with this colour scheme is that it may only appeal to older target audiences due to the nostalgia associated with these colours. Her music is aimed at adults more than teenagers or young adults, which makes it suitable, but if she wanted to break into a slightly younger target audience, the colours might have to be made a bit brighter. This use of a simple black and white colour scheme means that the colour within the images and other content stands out all the more, which is another really useful technique and allows the audiences to focus on different aspects of the website.
  • 15. www.emelisande.com Website 3 – Emeli Sandé Navigation on this website is made fairly simple to ensure that all of the potential audiences – whether they be young or old – are able to find the content they want with ease. Despite this simplicity, it is also done in a creative and rather artistic way with the use of chunky arrow symbols which might attract a slightly younger, and more of a feminine audience. On some pages specifically the News and Lyrics links, the navigation allows for the audiences to scroll through and select the desired content with ease. Once the article is opened, audiences can then use a scroll bar to read the rest of the text. This does link in with Layout however, as all of the text is kept to one small column, whereas there is a lot of free, empty space to the right where text could easily be spread out, reducing the need to continuously navigate the audiences to other parts of the website. What is important about the navigation on this website is that the link list for the different content pages remains the same no matter where the audience navigates to. The change in layout on different pages is quite common on some websites and can often confuse and lose audiences, which is why simplicity on this website is key for the more mature target audience. On pages such as the news and gallery pages, a scrolling technique is used to animate the content, making the navigation of different articles or images more fun and giving it that professional ‘portfolio’ look. The article or image also ‘lights-up’ for example, when the mouse scrolls over it to indicate more clearly to audiences what they are about to click on, which is a useful feature for slightly more mature audiences. It’s not particularly applicable to my own coursework as I will not be creating the entire website, but the store link opens in a completely new window which might be confusing for some audiences as they might be mislead to believe they have clicked on the wrong link. Most musician websites do do this however as it means audiences become aware that they are moving away from the information site, and are going somewhere more secure where purchases can be safely made online. What is successful about this particular website however is that the layout and colour scheme is kept completely the same, so that audiences can make the distinct connection between the two. However, it would have been more appropriate for a message to be encoded in the process to inform audiences that they are moving away from the original destination.
  • 16. www.emelisande.com Website 3 – Emeli Sandé Fonts always have to be considered properly for websites as there are limitations to what fonts designers can use. Dependent on what format the website can be viewed on, the fonts available will change as not all fonts are available, which is why for body text in particular, website designers will use some of the most basic font types e.g. Arial, Times New Roman etc. All of the font on this website is kept very basic and simple to suit the more mature audience that Sandé’s music targets. For all the text, the font appears to be something very similar to Arial, and this covers everything from the titles to the body text. This is because it is easily identifiable and nobody will have trouble reading it because it is a Serif font, making the words much more clearer. For the main title, the tracking/kerning of the text is made larger than the rest of the text to give each letter a clear identity so that it is easily read and not confused with anything else. Then, as the headings and subheadings become less important, the tracking/kerning reduces, making the letters quite tight for subheadings, and a little bit looser for main headings. All of the text is written in capital letters to give the text a sense of greater importance, as well as making it a little bit clearer to read. It also gives the website a specific identity which reflects the imagery of a high-fashion, mature magazine, for example.
  • 17. www.emelisande.com Website 3 – Emeli Sandé The sense of mode of address on this website is really strong; they clearly want the target audience to make a distinct connection with the artist herself and they want them to know every little detail about her. The ‘ABOUT’ link is particularly important as it gives audiences a clear history of the musician’s life, but it is worded in a very specific and special way. Phrases like ‘you are’ are repeated continuously to make the audience know how it feels to be the singer and to appreciate her success even more. This makes audiences feel very lucky and special that such information has been shared with them, and so is likely to encourage them to stay fans for a much longer period. Also useful is the use of the singers’ Instagram and Twitter updates pinned to the page despite navigating around. This allows users of the site to continuously be updated by the singer personally and they can also feel like she is speaking directly to them. Images make up a huge part of this website as it creates the actual background for the pages themselves. As the pages or the articles change, the background changes to keep things more visually interesting for the audiences, and would ideally reduce the need for a ‘Gallery’ page, but this isn’t necessary. Images are also used to correspond with the relevant articles, to allow audiences to visually understand what they are reading as well. All of the images are kept the same shape and size to make the overall design of the website also looking professional and consistent. What I don’t like is that a lot of the images and videos aren’t embedded like other musician’s websites, meaning that you can’t click on them to blow them up larger, which might be a problem for slightly older audiences if they want to look at the images in closer detail.