Design for Online Platforms

In the last session, we looked at the importance of a good design online and what makes a good design. Design is a very personal and a subjective thing, everybody has different preferences and ideologies to what makes a good design. Even though it is a person preference, there are specific fundamentals that need to be addressed in order for a design to appear professional and to a high professional standard. Design is crucial for me as a practitioner as the appearance of the content I produce will have a direct impact on my professional status. The work I produce will have to look that of a near professional standard as I don’t want to appear sloppy. By making a good design will help the content credibility and help to generate more interest.

When developing an online platform, the design has to focus much more on the user experience and the appearance. When looking at an example of a bad design there where noticeable issues which would need to be amended. For instance, colour schemes. The text colour has to be readable and appropriate in accordance with the background. Colours should be limited and follow throughout all pages of website. They need to reflect the service, product or branding, this helps to keep the continuity and brand identity for the viewers. Within, the example we were shown within the image the navigation colours were red, this I would try and avoid as I wouldn’t want to exclude and miss potential business or audiences. Red text is not helpful for a number of people e.g. people with colour blindness or dyslexia as it can confuse the mind and no be suitable for them to notice or read. Also when creating my own online platforms, I will consider the uses of hover over buttons, these change the background colour to a lighter shade, so that the word is just highlighted as you hover over so you know your selection. This is simple to do and has a large impact to the professional appeal. Also it builds on the user experience as it helps the easily identify were they or on the page.

Logo’s and branding is vital as it says everything about the product, brand, service etc. It has to be professional, when looking at the example shown within the session it was clear that it wasn’t of good quality. When creating my own branding/logo it will be clean, and not over designed. I can make it look unique, simple and professional by not using to many colour and no big graphics. I’ve seen lots of logos where they have over thought their logo, to me it became less appealing. In my opinion Keeping logo’s simple is best and makes all the difference to how it is viewed. If I was to create a service online I would included a phone number across the top of the page as people might just call immediately instead of searching through the whole website which will increase business. This doesn’t work on all online platforms as some industries don’t provide a service they could just be an information based website.

I also believe that the visual graphics within an online platform is imperative to what the audience gains about the company or individual. Visuals attract more attention and can help to grip people into staying on that page to find out more. When deciding on images or other visuals for my work I have to make sure that it is appropriate and that it shows instantly what the web page is about. The visuals help to set the tone and they can attract or put off people.

Things like taglines help to grab the audience’s attention, this could be done through questions, imperative commands and bold statements. By Using a questions, this makes people think and keeps them more engaged with the website. The use of natural language is important as I will have to consider all types of audiences ranging from multiple demographics. Depending on the wording of things it might make the audience feel like they are in charge. This can be important in some industries as you don’t want customers to feel forced into anything, this is a big part of making them feel in control. There are other ways in which make access for the audience easy. For instance, on amazon they Use call to action buttons which allows customers to interact and take control. This could be adding things into a basket or even buying a product. Call to action buttons are generally see within the trading side of online platforms.

Below the fold is anything below the banner on the webpage it is another area that needs to hold the most important information. This is because It is what people will see first, this is what will showcase the type of website it is and what the most important thing’s are about the company, service or person are. Also it is the part of the website that the viewer will see if they are using a tablet to access the website

If there is a lot of writing sometimes it is best to Change the format into small chunks, this is because people who use the online platform, scan the majority of text. This will help pull out certain points that the audience may need or want to know. The audience can make more of a decision to choose to read more if something gets their attention.

Line spacing can play as big part to the appearance of the page as if the text is spread out it makes it easier to read. also people scan when they are reading on-line so it doesn’t need to have loads of information. also added a footer which is simple but completes the website to give it a professional look.

From this session I gained valuable knowledge that I will take into account when taking up my own online platform. Changing small parts of a website makes a massive difference, by taking into consideration all the small deal can make you site much more appealing for the viewers. The viewer will see me as a more reliable source and be more likely to come back. I want to come across as professional and be trustworthy and I want people to see good things about me. All designs are of personal preference and will depend on what type of website they are designed for.

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ETHICAL DEBATES SURROUNDING DESIGN AND ADVERTISING

Advertising is an incredibly important platform in which helps to provide viewers and potential customers with a visual aid about a product or brand. It is also a technique used as it can be aimed at all different age demographics. This helps to make a product feel more personal giving it more sell appeal. Advertising in my opinion can be a great thing for companies and traders as it can help them to gain all different kinds of things. For instance, it can helps increasing sales, helps to learn about other competitors, of the same path style. “Advertising helps making people aware of the new product so that the consumers come and try the product. Advertising helps creating goodwill for the company and gains customer loyalty after reaching a mature age.”[1]

There are also many downsides to advertising and designs as it is a lot more judgmental and critical currently in todays society. It can undermine the human qualities that are seen in the real world. For instance, not all people are slim built. Also modern society has the ability to manipulate and change things, like looks, face shapes, colours and the tones for an advertising campaign. In software’s such as Photoshop, illustrator, Premier pro, Sony Vegas etc. The software’s used to help manipulate a scene, person and much more can be immoral in my opinion as they change the ways things appear and look, taking away human qualities and truth. For instance, in a lot of fragrance or skin care advertisement’s they use hyper real humans, this means they change features to make them look better. In my opinion, it shouldn’t play as much importance as it misleads viewers. Truth in a provider is very essential as they should be giving you the correct facts and not just making something appear amazing. When developing my own designs and advertising I always try to not mislead people to much as I want to gain their interest and trust properly.

Another negative thing advertising does it put really small writing somewhere within the framing and if they don’t have the best quantitative information from a trial, they will simply just make the font colour a similar shade to the background so that the viewers are more unlikely to read the negatives. This in my opinion is morally wrong as it doesn’t make it clear to the viewer that it has negative reviews, it misleads people and can give them high hopes of a product and will be left feeling underwhelmed by the actual product. I personally find this frustrating as you believe that the traders would be honest and upfront, but to them its about the sales.

From looking at multiple advertisement’s and designs I do believe that they use things that have an emotional impact on the viewers, like who they want to be, what they want to look like, inspirational people ie celebrity endorsements. I personally think that advertising should have more reality and not try and manipulate people. This can make people feel like misfits as what they see it amazingly beautiful, slim and desirable. I think they should try and avoid making people feel this way.

[1] http://www.managementstudyguide.com/objectives-importance-of-advertising.htm

Reflection- News in Brief

In a recent session the group was introduced to News in Brief also known as (NIB). These are mini stories/ articles that follow the sane structure as a larger story in the sense that it is the most important information given. A nib is only a short piece many a couple of hundred words or less. for the ‘Your News’ segment of the Hull Daily Mail, I have and will be writing multiple NIB’s for this segment using the methods of the introductions to news stories. News in brief is similar to an introduction for a leading story. Having a word count limit means it is harder to decipher the most important and key information.

When writing a nib, I will still try and use as many of the 5W’s as possible. (who, what, when, where, why) also use the same methods of writing a main story in the sense that you can’t be biased and have to verify that all the content is factually accurate. Also following the correct tone. As the story will be small the sentences are only short and snappy therefore no need for punctuation like commas. In reflection of having an attempt at writing a NIB, I feel slightly better as I now know what is required and the basic structure. This will help to make me a better practitioner of writing these for the supplement.

Learning How to Write Introductions

In a recent session, we learned the basics to what makes a newsworthy story and how we can set the tones for the stories at hand. We also had an introduction into how to write the first couple of paragraphs of a news story. I found this challenging however at the same time enjoyable. This is the type of things I needed to learn to help me to become a sports writer.

The basic rules that are essentially for writing high professional standard introductions for print (Newspapers) are to make sure they are written in the format for that style of newspaper. Making sure the tone is right and matches the type of story that is being written. If it’s a serious story, make sure this is portrayed thoughts the words used. Also making sure it is short, snappy straight to the point by using the 5W, H techniques, I learnt that you don’t often see all of them within an introduction but it is best to get as much in. As I am doing a project that requires me to write for Hull Daily Mail ‘Your News supplement’ I need to use as many of the 5W’s, without giving to much away. This is so that it makes the reader more likely to read on after the first paragraph. Also I will also make sure that all spellings are correct and accurate as this is important and helps to keep that professional standard.  For instance, spellings of places and names. Only using names if the person is well known in the public domain, not otherwise till further down the story.

From having a news editor (Charlotte Richardson) as a client in my last course she was very specific about using the ‘Inverted Pyramid’ this means that the most newsworthy parts of a story should be situated at the top and the more irrelevant information further down the article/story. This means that the reader is more likely to be attracted into reading. Generally, people who read news stories read the first couple of paragraphs so by having the most important information at the top means there not missing out. In the image below it shows the structure that a news story should follow in order for it to be written in the correct way.

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At first I found it a bit confusing and difficult to get to grips with it, however, by having these skills will allow me to become a better practitioner of my work and to appear to be of that professional standard. It is also vital to make sure your story is of public interest or something that you believe is important for them to gain knowledge of.

When doing my first news story for the Your news supplement, I found it really difficult in the sense that I promoted certain things and I should have done it in the ways that it didn’t promote. Newspaper stories need to be none biased. You shouldn’t give opinions. This was a really good learning curve for me, this means I will try and make sure I don’t make the same mistake twice.