From planning my website at the beginning, I decided that I wanted to do a masonry layout so that its nice and neat to look at, I also decided that I wanted to add a theme for it and came up with the idea of presenting it so that the images looked like photos framed on a wall, however when actually designing my website i decided that keeping it simple looked the best and ditched this idea, and that is how I got the finished result.
When it came to planning, I was slightly over optimistic that everything would work out how I planned, however now I have designed my website i have learnt that my planning wasn’t that effective in some ways, because I didn’t follow through with my idea. However, in some ways my planning was effective because if I didn’t plan, I wouldn’t have any idea about which layout to choose, therefore the result of planning has made me able to piece things together more easily and come to decisions more quicker in order to meet my deadline.
One of the problems I faced while planning was whether the goals I had set were achievable, which in the end they were not, as i did not follow through on my original idea. However, I overcame this really well by using what I had to come up with a new, easier yet creative idea to be able to meet my deadline and get what I needed to be done finished on time.
A problem I faced while creating my website is that when you hovered over the images or home button it didn’t show you any indication that your mouse was over that particular hyperlink, however I overcame this by making the links glow when you hovered over it so that it is easier to navigate.
Another problem I faced is that I wanted my side bar which has YouTube videos on them on every single page, which you should put on the Master page. However I wanted the side bar on every page except my homepage, therefore when I put it on the master page it covered most of the content on the Homepage. Therefore to resolve this matter I cut all of the content on the sidebar together and paced the items in place on every page except the homepage, so that everything was still in the right place.
I feel like I could have planned my research more effectively by not being too optimistic about what I could achieve, to manage this in the future I will test things out before I do the actual thing to make sure it works and is achievable to save time.
Before I made my website, I did a lot of research on different website layouts which include; Metro Layout, Card Layout, Long Scroll, Cascade, Carousel, Responsive. From looking at different websites such as ‘Pinterest’, I decided to go with the Masonry layout because I thought it looked neat because of how each photo was the same width but different lengths, and it was also compatible, therefore it would look good on multiple devices. I also looked at various top websites on the website ‘ Awwwards ‘, which is website which shows you lots of award winning websites; from looking at this, i was also able to come to the decision of choosing the layout and colour schemes that I did. this method was very effective because looking at award winning websites gave me an idea of what people like in a website, therefore I was able to put these features into mine.
During the production of my website, I also did a bit of research on the Awwwards site, because I needed some examples of how people navigate there websites. From doing this research, I was able to see that people like the navigation of a website to be really easy, there fore when doing the navigation on my website, I made it really simple and easy to use.
Regarding to the ethical issues, my website does follow the guidelines because all the photo I have used are copyright free and are top quality to be able to use.
My finished product follows the appropriate codes and conventions because the content is all useful and necessary. The layout and navigation is also very easy to visualize and use.
In terms of the technical side of the production, most of the features worked really well, the navigation worked well because you are able to move around the website easily and effectively, little detailed factors like how the images glow and light up when you hover over them are all factors that make up a good website in terms of technicality because they are all things that contribute to making it more easy to use and visualize.
I think that the finished product would appeal to the target audience because the colours and presentation of it really up to date and modern and all of the images are top quality. I was able to get a focus group of the target audience and was able to get there thoughts on the finished products:
- What do you like about the presentation of the homepage?
After asking this question to the focus group, the conclusion was the that they liked the colour of the content and that it is well colour coordinated and all of the colours work well together, they also said that they like the order of the images and how they have been placed, because it looks neat and tidy.
- What don’t you like about the presentation of the homepage?
They said that they didn’t that there was nothing to highlight the images when you just look at it and all of the colours are too subtle, they said that they would have liked some colour in a border around the photos that still goes well the colour scheme but stands out more and looks more bold to catch peoples eye.
- How do you feel about the navigation on the website?
All of the people that I asked the focus group all said that the navigation was really good and they could easily get around the site. they also said that they liked the fact that when you hover over the images they glow so that you know which image you are about the click. However, they said that they would like it if when you were on a different page, you are able to access the other pages instead of having to go back to the homepage to go onto another one.
- What do you like about the layout?
the focus group said that they liked the type of layout (which is masonry), because it makes the homepage look neat as the images are all the width.
- What don’t you like about the layout?
After asking the focus group this question, they said that they didn’t like that the bar at the bottom of the page looked a bit empty, and it needed a bit more information in it.
Overall, I feel that my finished website has worked really well and I was able to achieve what I wanted. I have learnt that I should try and use my time more effectively when it comes to planning and try things out in samples before committing to something. I have also learned that when it comes to research, i should try and cover everything so that I don’t have to waste time and go back to research within the production time. Finally, I have learnt from my focus group that I should use the space I have left and not make things look empty by adding images or more information.