Thursday, 29 April 2010
From starting my preliminary website earlier in the year I have learnt to carry out things differently in my fully produced drugs website. Things such as the layout have to look professional with the same template used on all the pages stopping the website from looking messy or not inviting. Especially as the audience is based on people giving help. The colour scheme must come across as well thought out and everything on the website has to be in contrast and look proffessional. Even the position of images, page links and the description on each page must be planned out properly. I think the main thing I've learned is to follow the main conventions so it looks professional and people will recognise it as a website but also to be creative and try things even it challenges conventions because you need to create a product that reaches the right audience and communicates the right message to them.
Whilst creating this media product I learnt how to use PhotoShop as before I had never used this. I also learnt to use iWeb which is the 'WYSIWYG' software we used to create our websites. I learnt how to create a website from scratch as I had never made a website before. We weren't allowed to use iWeb templates so we had to design our own templates, page structure and design. We also had to use PhotoShop to create our logos and edit photos to make them suitable for the site.
Overall my skills and technological knowledge has developed greatly whilst creating my website and I think there has been a great increase from my preliminary website to my newly designed drugs based website. I have learned mostly that the software we use is very good for creative projects because you can be creative without having to know HTML code and without being very technical. PhotoShop is a bit more difficult to use but I have managed to learn how to use the basic tools. I've also learned how to use Blogger from this project and I now know that I can publish my own work and ideas on the Web for free if I want to.
There are so many things that you need to consider after all of the designing of the campaign website. You have to think carefully about the distribution of your website, how it will reach the audience and therefore be a successful campaign. You need funding for it to go live on the World Wide Web and find an available web address to use.
Web hosting is an Internet service that allows individuals and organizations to make their own website accessible through the World Wide Web. There are all different types of hosting options, from very expensive commercial Web hosts, to free Web hosts. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server they own or lease for use by their clients as well as providing connectivity to the Internet, typically in a data centre. Web hosts can also provide data center space and connectivity to the Internet for servers they do not own to be located in their data center, this is called called cocolation.
Domain Name Registration
Domain registration is the process by which a company or individual can secure a website domain. Once you have completed domain registration the domain becomes yours for the period of the contract, usually one year. Before registration expires it must be renewed, or the domain reverts back to being available to the general public.
A domain name is an identification label that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority, or control in the Internet, based on the Domain Name System (DNS). They are effectively names used as simple identification labels to indicate ownership or control of a resource. Individual Internet host computers use domain names as host identifiers, or host-names. Hostnames are the leaf labels in the domain name system usually without further subordinate domain name space.
An important purpose of domain names is to provide easily recognizable and memorable names to numerically addressed Internet resources. This abstraction allows any resource (e.g., website) to be moved to a different physical location in the address topology of the network, globally or locally in an intranet.
Once the website is going live a search team would need to work on getting it to come up high in the listing when key words are typed into Google and other search engines enabling the site to be popular and highly visited.
I attracted my audience by using a simple colour scheme of grey and red and using a font that would appeal to young people. My pictures are of drug misuse which would help the audience realise the consequences of taking them. My home page has lots of space which would appeal to a young audience and the photo of the eye is very effective in grabbing attention. The main body text is clear and the header for the text sets up a problem then offers a solution.
I addressed my audience by using positive and persuasive on all pages which would attract people more than negativity when they are already probably feeling bad about themselves. The site offers advice and a number to call for more help so visitors will find this helpful if they are there because they want to get in touch with someone.
I decided early on that my audience would be young people because although they are not the only generation affected by drug use, they are perhaps most affected by it because they can be silly about the choices they make and they can ruin their lives and cause a lot of pain for their family and friends. I also found it easier to aim my site at this group because I am of the same age group so it's easier to know what the issues are and to get access to young people for photographs. If I was to aim the site at older people who might have families and lost their jobs I would have to have a different understanding of the issue and use a very different design to what I wanted to do creatively. My typical audience would be aged 14-24 and they would be in a situation were they realised they have a problem or that their friend has a problem and they want to get advice without their family or their doctor knowing. The social class could be any really because it can affect anyone from any background. The group would be defined by their age not their class. They could also be at school, just left school and working or at university. I think my typical site visitor would be someone who has realised that the drugs they are taking is making them miserable and they want help.
I designed my website to help people stop taking drugs so they people I am representing are young people who take drugs. I am aiming to represent them as a group of people sharing the same problem and I am also representing the issue in a certain way. Like I wrote in the last answer, Talk to Frank makes it all look like a game but I wanted it to look serious and so I have chosen to represent drug taking as having consequences and through the use of the photos I have represented some of the consequences like the loneliness and the health issues.
All the pictures that have been added to my website are to do with drugs, I took them myself using things that look like real drugs but really they're fake. There are pictures of a woman that has used drugs and the photos aim to show that she has no idea where she is or what she is doing. Even though I know representing the group in this way is not conventional I wanted to do it in this way. I did also include more positive representations of this group with the photos showing how their lives have changed with the help of the campaign.
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
1. In what way does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
My website is a drug based campaign that aims to help people stop taking them. It advises people to quit the drugs and informs them of the side effects. There are already anti-drug campaigns and drugs awareness campaigns out there so I looked at them as part fo my research and planning. The two sites posted below are those I think most similar to mine and I studied their structure and iconography to help me make decisions about my own site. Drugs online had a simple design using a 4 column structure with a black navigation bar at the top of the page. They also conventionally had a clear logo on there but it wasn't top left as it normally is, it was top right, under the navigation bar.Talk to Frank is a site that had a lot of promotion when it launched a few years ago. This is a site that challenges many conventions in the way that visitors can navigate around the page. It is not trying to tell young people not to do drugs, it's more about giving them information so they can be safe. It has an interactive A-Z of drugs and it has the latest news on legal issues. While both sites are different in their purpose and design, they both mainly follow the conventions of website design so I realised that while there are differences, the main conventions stay the same so site visitors can easily find their way around. I used these main conventions in my own site for easy navigation.
Like both of these sites, my website uses colour to make it stand out more so that people take notice of the message I am trying to get across. I made sure the font was an appropriate size and colour to ensure it was easily readable. I went with a grey and red colour scheme like the drugsline site because I wanted to connote that drug taking was a serious issue and not a game like it can seem from looking at the Talk to Frank site. The images and logo on my website were taken and designed by me. I followed conventions of some of the sites I looked at by using photos of people affected by taking the drugs but I realise that this isn't really a convention of webistes so I also used photos that would show how the campaign is helping young people. Most professional websites use navigation bars to get around. The navigation bar on mine has been placed vertically downwards and placed on every page so that visitors on the site can get around easily. The hyperlinks on my website were also created by me. I wanted them to stand out as they are on the homepage, which is what you see first.