AS WEBSITE EVALUATION
My website is similar to the websites I researched as the most frequent conventional layout used contains a banner and three columns. We decided to use this layout for our website, however, we used a navigation bar underneath the header, whereas, on most websites, the left hand column is usually ‘indexed’ to navigate you around the site and the right hand column is for links to other sites. We decided to use the right hand column for advertising the ‘WeightWatchers’ campaign who we have said have sponsored us, and the left hand column as links to other websites which we found relevant. On each page, for example the recipe page, we put links about recipes from famous chefs such as Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver. We used famous chefs because we thought they would be inspirational for our audience to follow their recipes. Also, majorities of the population follow celebrity icons as they look up to them. We thought this would be a good idea to attach links relating to each page for the audience to gain a greater knowledge on the topic. Unlike most conventional websites, we did not use the most commonly used colours, which are generally pastel colours for backgrounds, however our website was not too bright, as the colours were not fluorescent so it did not repel the audience. Our background was white for each page, but we decided to use different colours that were slightly brighter for our boxes to attract the audience to the positive idea of health. We used certain colours to reflect the mood, for example, the red on the exercise page reinforces the energetic mood and getting your blood pumping, whereas on the nutrition page we used orange to remind the audience of carrots, as this is what was drawn in the banner on the nutrition page. The colours we used were bright and exciting, as we felt that we wanted the audience’s mood to be lifted due to the colourful pages.
In retrospect, our website is different to the websites we researched as we challenged the way how most health websites seem to almost force the audience into certain diets, for example, strict “Do’s and Do nots”. Contrasted to this, the information on our website is not too strict and we felt that, if the audience is more interested in their diet, they are more likely to stick to it. We also included a colourful hand-drawn banner with a slogan as we felt this was a lighthearted way to engage the audience without them feeling too pressured.
We have arranged our website in such a way that it has a positive effect on our audience, as previously mentioned, there is not too much information and it is cheerful. This encourages the audience to respond in a positive way because they feel that we are talking to them, not telling them what to do. A conversational aspect engages the audience leaving them feeling relaxed and feel that they could confide in us.
I feel that we used the conventions effectively for our own site because it is different to other websites, yet still looks like our researched websites as the conventions are the same – the layout etc.
The written language we used is Standard English, however, as well as the humour we included in the banner, we decided to add a bit more to our information to keep the reader engaged, as we felt this was a good way to do so. However we did not go off the fact that being healthy is extremely important in one’s life. An example of the humour we used is on the ‘Recipe’ page is “Eating breakfast is extremely important to get your body and brain functioning in the morning. However, a double espresso and a pastry is just about the worst thing!” We felt that using conversational undertones would involve the audience. To make the site individual to our cause, we made everything look friendly, without the audience feeling that they are being forced into looking good; we wanted the audience to know that they already do look good, but there are a few tips on the website on how to keep healthy. Our website is not necessarily about losing weight, but to be aware of how important knowing your weight is – the reason why we used the BMI chart HTML on the exercise page for the audience to interact with. This is a way of how people could be aware of their weight and BMI and we included ways of what to do about it. We ensured that people could find their way through our website in a way that they are used to by using a conventional layout with three columns and easily readable links. We have arranged, created, coloured, placed, and linked all the elements of our site in such a way so that the audience understood our website conventions. The effect this has on our audience is that they are more likely to carry on reading our website as first impressions are extremely important. This encourages their response to our site in a positive way because they are to find that the information will be beneficial to them after browsing the website because it looks eye-catching.
Initially, we expected our health website to be aimed at everyone who were not too interested in strict dieting, but just a way to eat healthily. We thought it would be difficult to attract a male audience as well as females because women are generally more likely to be slightly more considerate with their health. The demographics our media product aims at is probably any class group as our information is not too formal, yet not too informal either. In our survey we found that females are more interested in their health than males. Despite this, we tried to include as much as we could to attract a male audience to keep it balanced. Perhaps if we were to create our website again, we would consider how to attract the male audience as well as keeping the female audience present. There is no particular age group our website is aimed at and we feel that it could attract any age audience because there is information and tips for an older audience to read yet not too much information, pictures and interactivity for a slightly younger audience so they do not become uninterested. The layout is neatly set out on each page into three columns with colourful shapes and text to attract a slightly younger audience. Perhaps these bold colours are not very practical for an older audience as they may feel the website looks ‘childish’ as, conventionally, children’s websites are bold and colourful, whereas older audiences use pastel, less bold colours. This could be a problem as it may lose an older audience based on first opinions, even though the information might be useful to them.
Our website has a wide variety of things about health that will help all social groups coming from any class to feel confident to lose weight before summer. They will be able to ask questions and get professional advice on our Question & Answers and Contact page. The photographs we used on our website are conventional as they are fairly basic, and we decided not to use many. We created our own images for our banners on each page by drawing and scanning in the image to edit on Photoshop. We added colour and shadows to each layer and placed each banner at the top of every page. When editing the photographs, contained within the text, we edited the brightness and contrast. The effect this had on our audience is that colourful photos are more likely to attract viewers, whereas, if the photographs looked dull in colour, the audience may, subconsciously, be uninterested. The video on the Recipe page is useful for anyone from any social group as it is cheap and simple to make and can be made by someone of any age. The language we used addressed our target audience, and the words were easily readable, as the font, Futura, was clear. We made sure the font size was consistent throughout the website so the website flowed and it could also be interpreted by showing a consistency in diet. We have chosen the colours and font etc because they are easily readable and make our website look friendly as the colours are not too dark – connoting a dull website.
The first issue with distribution is that anyone can do it. This may be a problem because if anyone can easily publish their own website, websites may become less useful for advertising institutions. Websites can be edited frequently, unlike newspapers, which need to be edited before publishing and need huge capital in order to get an issue printed and distributed. There is also a risk that sales may not be as expected. People can easily make a website look professional, however, people may trust websites too easily if they look conventional. Newspapers need a lot of people for different jobs, whereas websites do not need many people in order to publish it. People can easily make their own film or programme, yet it is institutes that decide what is put on television, the same with radio programmes, whereas no one decides what websites are published and there are thousands. Our website is sponsored by ‘WeightWatchers’ which makes our website look professional as a proper weight loss company sponsor it. After researching, I found that it does not show a clear chain to distributing the website from production. It may be difficult to have your website found as anyone can advertise their website on Google, or any other search engine, but you have to wait until people find it. All of this publishing relies on digital technology as this is the most common route for people to pursue. Things can easily be leaked on the Internet, which is illegal, and the simplicity of this distribution could be a problem.
Using our survey we created for our research, we found that we have identified our target audience as being more for females than males but we found it difficult to find what social group our website should aim at. We took our results and put them into pie charts (which are on my blog) showing our findings.
Our website reflects the needs of the audience as it is simple and easy to navigate around yet contains the relevant amount of information so the visitor is not to get bored. Photographs are included to attract the audience and there is a video for the audience to watch and interact with as it is something to do themselves. Our main discoveries from the survey are that our audience wanted healthy recipes, advice on how to lose weight and useful diets, therefore, this is why we included a Diet, Recipe and Exercise page containing useful information for our audience. We also found that the majority of people who answered our survey said that fad diets are overrated – this helped us know what sort of diets we could include on our diet page. Lastly, we thought it would be useful to find what our audience would like to see on a health website. Although drink driving was our highest factor, we thought that, because fitness was one of the lowest, it would be essential to bring the importance of this to the audience’s attention as Britain as a community is becoming overweight. We also found that the majority of people wanted to know about sexual health, woman well-being and anti-smoking, therefore, we included little, but relevant, amounts of information for this. It represents the audience because our survey showed what the audience desired and we took this into consideration, adding the relevant information to our website. Overall, the survey helped to give us ideas on what we will include for our website and aim our information and pictures to suit our audience.
Since making our preliminary website, I have learnt a lot about technologies from the process of constructing our product. My attitude was more focused on detail than in my preliminary website. Unlike my preliminary website, I used more software such as Illustrator and Final Cut Express. These programmes were challenging because I found it difficult editing the sound of the video as it seemed fairly echoed. However, the outcome was proved effective as, in the end, it sounded normal. As in my preliminary website, I used Photoshop to edit my photographs and I also used the scanner to scan in my drawn banner to be edited with colour and embossed in Photoshop. I have learned how to use many programmes effectively and learned to consider the audience from researching different age groups and basing our website on the results from our survey.
Looking back at my preliminary website, I feel throughout my progression from it to my final product I have paid more attention to detail and learnt to use the software appropriately. I feel that our website has contained all the correct information for our target audience and the colours and layout are useful because we considered how our audience could easily navigate themselves around without being confused by the layout. Our process was very careful and exemplary as it works as a good example of a health website since we researched health websites and used our survey to see what people wanted in a health website that they would use. Our main website contains a lot more detail and information and I had to consider the rollovers for all the links and to make sure the website was consistent throughout the pages, although, together we decided to change the colour on each page as we thought this was interesting and exciting to have as a theme and to keep the audience interested. Our website creates pleasure when the audience use the site as they can be involved with the interactivity, for example, the BMI calculator or ‘poll of the week’ as it is rewarding, fun and easy to use. The links take the viewer to other closely related sites as there are certain links on each page. It is easy to return back to the previous page, however we could’ve done a back button on each page – but this would be difficult depending on which page they are navigating from. The video has controls to play and it uses Quicktime. This is our only form of audio as we felt viewers may be frustrated if music were to play automatically and it could disturb people.
Overall, I have gained greatly from creating my websites (preliminary and main) and have used a range of software that may be useful in the future. There were not many difficulties throughout my process, however, I think if we were to create our main website again, we would consider how to attract our website at more social, age and gender groups, particularly male (perhaps we could have created a ‘male’ page). We would also add more interactivity as I feel that our BMI HTML was an exciting extra to our website. Adding more things similar to this may attract more of an audience where the institution may respond. It was interesting to create my own website and to attach everything I wanted to make sure the website was concise and looked neat. The challenging aspects were, that it was fairly difficult aligning all the information correctly and keeping everything consistent. The HTML’s were fairly difficult as some we tried to include did not work. We also had trouble with the main website as the font we decided to use for titles did not work on certain versions of the internet and we had to check this on as many types of browsers as we could. Our health campaign may help to counter the dramatic increase of obesity throughout all ages in Britain. People are not interested in harsh diets as they feel they cannot succeed in following a strict diet. Therefore, this is why our website is friendly and emotive.