“there is beauty in simplicity”

“Your goal should be for each page or screen to be self-evident, so that just by looking at it the average user will know what it is and how to use it”

{Krug 18}

The stereotypical idea is that our society is always in a rush, always multitasking, and always looking for the next best thing. This is the most important thing to remember when designing a website. I fit the stereotypical idea of society; therefore, I should be able to use my website they way that I want my audience to be able to use my website.

Krug makes it clear that users want fast, easy, and mindless. I am not going to waste time in designing an elaborate website with flowery language and tons of images because no one is going to actually pay attention to any of that. Users omit over half of the information they view on the web. Every user skims.  If users wanted to read a ton of text and long paragraphs they would have their nose buried in a textbook!

How to make my website scan friendly:

-short paragraphs

-pictures

-visual hierarchy

-defined areas

-give hints or pointers about where to click next or what to read

-headings

-concise language

When building my website I need to highlight the most important things, making them appeal to the eye and very easy for users to understand and click on. There is so much that I could put on my website; however, do to users’ habits I do not have space to waste. The only information that needs to be on my website must aim directly toward accomplishing to goal of the website which is to send to future employers and showcase my work in this digital communications course. Many websites are overwhelming to me because there is so much going on. It is great if people or companies have accomplished a lot but the things that are really important are going to go unnoticed if they are mixed in with the random filler things.

This tie company redesigned their website with a lot of Krug’s theories in mind. The website on the left is the redesigned website. It achieves a simple and clean look with a lot less text. After redoing the website the tie company experienced a huge increase in sales and revenue. Not only is there beauty in simplicity but there is profit in simplicity as well.

weaving the perfect web(site)

“We are all constantly interpreting what we see on the screen in light of our own experiences and expectations” 

{Redish, 11}

Students, business professionals, and even everyday people are constantly clicking through the web, being taken to hundreds of sites, flooded with information each day. It is extremely hard to stand out on the web. It is easy to be different in the way you dress, communicate in person, or even on a phone interview; yet, the challenge is worth accepting and tackling because it is extremely impress if one can create a website that makes not only a good first impression but a memorable and lasting imprint.

As Redish states the audience is the most important factor when creating a website. How do I go about understanding my audience?

-list major audiences

-gather information about your audiences

-list major characteristics of each audience

-gather your audiences’ questions, tasks and stories

-use your information to create personas

-include the persona’s goals and tasks

-use your information to write scenarios for your site.

I want to go right into the professional workforce after graduating from Furman; therefore, my audience will be future employers. One way in which I can create personas and scenarios to better understand my audience is to think about my past internships and what would impress those people and what they would enjoy. I am a creative person and want to showcase my writing skills as well as creative skills in a way that remains professional.

Another important part of my website will be in the homepage. It is the book cover. No one is going to want to open the pages or click other links if the first impression is sloppy or uninteresting. One way that I can capture people is by using images and a unique voice and style. My writing style is distinctive which could set me apart from other people seeking jobs.

Redish states that in order for users to have a successful user experience they need to be able to: find what they need, understand what they find, and be able to act appropriately on that understanding.

The way that this translates to my website is to: have a resume that is easy to find, have a resume that showcases my skills, and have a contact section or a way to reach me. As long as everything else is built around this then my website should have a clear purpose that accomplishes the goal of reaching my target audience in an effective way.

form follows function

“The user experience design process is all about ensuring that no aspect of the user’s experience with your product happens without your conscious, explicit intent”

{in response Garrett, The Elements of User Experience}

As the daughter of an interior design and architect, I love to compare web design to basic design. After all, physical, concrete design came first. These elements and ideas should be applied to how the web is structured since our eyes and minds remain the same.

In 1947 Horatio Greenough wrote a series of essays titled “Form and Function”. He pioneered the famous design term, “form follows function”. This is an extremely important concept on the internet. Countless times I have been directed to purchase something online; yet, it is too difficult to navigate the layers of the website so I give up. It does not matter what products are even being sold if the media in which they are being sold is ineffective.

The famous Italian mocha maker by Bialetti can be found on every Italian’s stove top. It is a famous image and icon of the Italian lifestyle as well as a favorite brand and product of the country. At first these mocha makers appeared to be dull and ordinary; yet, the functionality over compensated for the design. Years later, as I said before, the coffee maker is an icon. It has become a piece of design and art because functionality was considered from the first drafts of design.

A website must be the same. Form has to follow function. Just like designing a building, a coffee pot, or furniture, the pages and layers of a website have different aspects and piece that must all come together to not only perform well but to also look good. Form never has to be compromised for function. We are lucky to have so many different tools in order to design things in so many different ways.

In chapter two of the text, Garrett describes the different plans of a website from abstract to concrete: strategy, scope, structure, skeleton, and surface. There is so much more going on than what the average viewer sees on the surface of a website. It is like a building with interior walls, duct work, molding, and the brick that covers the outside. Without one of these elements standing strong– all else fails.

in the eye of the beholder

“For any storyteller, a fundamental consideration in crafting a tale is deciding from whose point(s) of view to tell the story”

-Douglass & Harneden, 31

Eye-Reflection-640x421

{in response to Douglass & Harnden}

In an article written by Sam Maggs, research states that police and FBI agents can now identify criminals by the reflection in victims eyes. How is that for point of view? This just illustrates the power of point of view and the creativity and thought that must go into the process when doing anything, especially filming a story.

Often reporters and journalists arrive at events or situations in order to collect quotes and stories from people who witnessed the events or were at the site of action. And time after time and situation after situation, one would think that the reporter went to multiple places and interviewed people about completely different things; yet, they only went to one place and just talked to a variety of people. We have so many different experiences that shape our point of view and perspective of different situations. A child 10 years younger than me would explain 9/11 in a totally different way than myself or someone even older.

If point of view is used in the wrong way it can change the story or the impact a story could have made. As I read this article I was thinking about my video that I am working on for class. It is composed of multiple different people’s personal points of view. I hope that this will broaden the appeal to my audience, making it easier for someone to relate to at least one part of the video. Going back and forth between different people’s points of views can be confusing; however there will still be order and consistency in my video. Throughout my interviews each person is speaking in first person.

Just like the photo above, point of view can be taken in so many different directions, depending on the audience. Does one see the victim’s eye? The criminals reflection? The photo as a whole, a new situation? One would hope that people see all the different parts and components of the story but that it not always how it works.

the art of editing

“For an editor, it’s the frame, and two frames off is the difference between a sweet note and a sour note”

{Quentin Tarantino, 240}

dvsport-fastbreak-basketball-video-editing-data-analysis-software

{In response to Osgood and Hinshaw, chpt. 8}

As the reading describes- editing is an art in and of itself. Just as photographers edit supermodels and manipulate pictures to make sure the viewer sees the photo in the ‘light’ that the creator intended to. I would argue that video editing is the hardest type of editing. After working on the podcast, it is clear that the more elements that are working together- the more complicated everything is and the more careful you have to be to make sure that everything works together as a whole.

http://nyti.ms/1hEJ49f

The quick Times Minute March Madness special conveys many elements that are described in the reading. The segment is only a minute long. The author emphasized how important timing is as well as the challenge to convey an idea in a minute or less. I am sure that the New York Times had over an hour of footage to pull from for this one minute special.

In just one minute there are tons of different things going on; yet, everything seems to flow. The viewer does not realize how many things are going on and brought in because the narrator ties everything together, relating it as a whole. Creating a movie with a written script and story line is easier to make flow– the challenge to maintain continuity comes when things are short and choppy.

At the beginning the sports editor starts talking the narrator speaks, then the video is branded with the Newspaper logo. Then photos fill the screen with different shots of the man speaking, as well as still pictures– mixing mediums with images and sounds. The next part gets tricky because the news clip introduces something that seems unrelated- Deal or No Deal. The shot order is not compromised, instead it remains organized through the editing and narration over the sounds of the television show and the B role. The clip also mixes in more still pictures to maintain pacing and the viewers interest by not staying on a single shot for too long.

Then yet another subject is brought in to the picture- Obama. There continues to be a stream of narration and texts pictures and other computer generated images. The sound editing at the end begins to give clues to the viewer that it is ending soon. This is a neat tool to use in order to prepare a smooth conclusion that is still interesting and pleasing.

Just in one minute all of that was accomplished. Once it is all written out, it seems like a lot; however, that is what our society craves. We have a short attention span and always need things to be moving at a rapid pace which has made editing an even harder job.

the dimensions of dimension

“The screen is our new principal frame of reference”

{Zettle, 101}

{In response to Zettle, Chapter 7}

Some of the best examples that can be applied to the two dimensional field of design, come from the three dimensional field of design. Last week I visited one of my favorite museums. Located in the upper-east side amongst historical town-homes and high-rise condos- the Guggenheim is a visual landmark that will stand out to anyone.

According to the reading there are 6 types of field forces or basic principles:

~main directions

~magnetism of the frame and attraction of mass

~asymmetry of the frame

~figure and ground

~psychological closure

~vectores

Each one of these can be applied and found in the creative masterpiece that Frank Lloyd Wright designed. The combination of both horizontal and vertical lines is present. The main dome part of the building stretches vertically while the lines around and the base of the structure reach horizontally. This creates movement, it almost overwhelms the eye; yet, it is all tied together through the unit of the design.

Once one steps inside, the main part of the museum is composed of discs, layers upon levels of circular frames. The circle is the center of the design while the edges are the art walls. One starts by walking into the middle of the museum then is able to be lead from the magnetism of the frame to view the art in a logical and meaningful order.

photo

The picture above also demonstrates the asymmetry of the frame. The curved lines as well as the variation of wall height lead the eye visually through the organic curves and shape of the internal structure.

Figure and ground is an extremely interesting concept when it comes to phenomenal architecture. While exploring the Italian Futurism exhibit I caught others, as well as myself, snapping pictures of the interior design of the building– no art in sight. So is the art hanging on the walls the figure and is the building the ground? Or vice versa? In design I think that we must be careful to distinguish the figure and the ground by making both equally pleasing and interesting but figuring out a creative way to make the figure the focus.

Not only does the Guggenheim illustrate Gestalt by tying everything together, making the entire museum an art experience but the building also gives the eye graphic vectors. The swirling walls make it easy to organize art and lead the viewer around. The lines and walls that separate and divide create space; yet, maintain the flow and give structure.

I am incredibly impressed that Frank Lloyd Wright designed this without a computer. He just used these simple principles. All art and visual dimensions must use the same principles. Design is design… the human eye will never change.