Friday, 12 December 2014

OUGD504 Studio Brief 03 A Brief History of... Evaluation

OUGD504 Studio Brief 03 Evaluation Beth Taylor

The best word to describe my experience of this brief would be, fascinating. I was dubious of my abilities to design in such an overtly digital format as web design. However, I found that implementing my illustrative approach gave me a window into web design and I really started to enjoy translating my usually physically grounded skills into a digital format. I was very lucky that my summer project allowed me to be relatively flexible in my direction, because I had collected so much visual and physical information to draw from. The landscape images in particularly were useful because it meant I had a high-resolution gallery of images to draw on when needed. This allowed me to side step the difficulty of web safe colours, which I had encountered before and, despite copious searching, could not bring myself to use.

One area of this brief that caught me unawares but was really interesting and quite tricky in an engaging way was the construction and understanding of user experience. The seminar and study task really got me thinking about the categorisation of information and how it could be conveyed in a way that made narrative sense. As a development of this was the designing of the website to put the information in the right places, so that anyone looking at the website would encounter the information in the right order and in the right places. Eventually I settled on a system of icons. Although I like the system and the way it makes the information more digestible and less of a bombardment I am uncertain that the icons are all they could be. I was limited by the establishment of the white over photograph theme that I had established earlier in the website design and as I designed them I found there were incredibly hard to get right.  Although I feel that perhaps the icons I settled on are slightly obvious I also feel that I could have tried to be hugely inventive with them and they might have made no sense to anyone but myself. If I were to have a chance to re-do this brief, this is the area that I would like to improve upon.

The continuity of the design is something that I feel I have established reasonably well. The dotted line from the logo is continued throughout the web pages and is strongly communicative of the walking theme of the website. The structure of the website is somewhat odd I suppose, but I quite like how different it is from any other website I found during my research, because this is what I set out to do. However, this structure would have caused endless problems had I actually had to code the website. Coding is something that I tried to do several times in different ways but I am simply unable to do because I find it limits what I feel I can do with the design and I am far less inventive than I would otherwise be. Only once I put the coding to the back of my mind could I design anything of worth. The specific locality and target audience for my website really help pin down what I was trying to achieve, which was a non-threatening walk website that could convince young professionals to get out of Norwich and out onto the coast. I think that although my website is not live, therefore its actual success is impossible to measure, it would have filled a hole in the internet market. The design is clean yet human enough to fit with the central outdoor activities theme, yet manages to be adult and free from condescension in its written content.

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