It was the best way to end the graphic learning experience. Designing websites first for the website and then for the phone was extremely intense, exciting, time consuming and tedious. At the end of the day I learned a lot about user interface and designing strategies being different for both dekstops and mobiles.
Mobile is the way forward and it is great to learn that we can modify our design strategies to match the change in consumer needs .
I loved it ! It was a great end to an amazing term.
For this project I chose the website for Food & Water Watch. An organization promoting healthy and safe choices, protection of the environment and transparency from the government and big business. Just from the first sentence you can tell it is heavy subject matter and this was the first thing that made me choose the aesthetic I chose. Because the information is so serious, I wanted to create a lighter and more welcoming interface for people to access the information. The original website is also very very text heavy so I wanted to use more visuals to simplify some of that text heaviness. With these changes I also wanted to stay true to the organizations original branding as I could tell they put thought into colour choices and visuals. First of all, I took the colours from the logo and use them throughout. This is a blue and green, very obvious choices for an organization dealing with the environment. Fortunately, the blue and green they chose were unique so I used them. I kept these colours in mind when I choise visuals and created the icons located on my webage. Another thing I found on the original website was the amount of redundancy of information. While it is good to use certain things multiple times to assist the user in accessing them, others just take up space and cause confusion. I was able to integrate parts of the original site, such as “research”, into other existing sections like “tools” as it was essentially a database. I also simplified the navigation titles as they use two words with some and it is not necessary for space or overall look.
Once I made these fundamental choices based on who the orgnization was, I tried to think of who my audience was. Based on the literature on the website, they seem to be trying to reach every day people with an interest in making environmentally friendly decisions. They may also be reaching acadmics and/or activists as secondary groups. Overall, it is focused on people that want to be better educated about issues surrounding the food and water we use and consume. With that in mind, I wanted to keep it simple. A person trying to do research for the first time does not necessarily want to be bogged down by text. I therefore wanted to create my one page as more of a portal. There would be no way to fit all of the information from every tab on the original site onto one page to begin with so it acts more as a highlights/features/links front page. It contains all of the primary information the original site has, but instead has “teasers” and links to more information rather than paragrpahs of text.
I originally used different shades of the same colour for the background of the different sections, but foudn that this created a lot of business on the page that was not necessary. So I chose a neutral, muted green and made that uniform throughout. For my layers comps, I chose two “changes” to communicate to the user that the item is interactive. For general text that can be clicked on, I used a light grey box to show usability. For an item/visual that can be clicked, a grey box also appear behing it. in the case where text is already inside of a shape, that shape and the text get bolder and brighter when the user srolls over.
I designed the Page for the Rachael Ray’s Yum-o! It is a nonprofit that empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking. So the target audiences are children and their parents. So I tried to make the page as simple as possible. I used a lot of pictures to attract kids’attentions. Also, I used the Microsoft Tai Le in this page, because it’s not only easy to read, but also reminds me of childhood. And I used the same orange in the page, because it is the color of the logo. I didn’t show “DONATE” part in the page. Because I want it to open in a new window, so that audiences can type in their card information clearly and safely.
In the mobile page, I used limited characters. Pictures and titles of the articles are main content of the mobile page, so people can enjoy this page easily. By clicking the title, audiences can get into another page, which has complete recipes or articles.
Both Food.com and Jamieoliverfoodfoundation.com inspired me. They are all websites about food, and they display recipes in a very clear way.
I chose the Warrior Writers because the organization in a national nonprofit based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and its website is crowded with a lot of text that rolls from one topic into another. My idea was to separate the key communication points of Warrior Writers and transmit them in short bursts of text similar to radio message traffic. The photo of the soldiers in the header is intended to evoke an emotion, a thought or a memory from the viewer. Since most wars are won by occupying ground space, I used a stoney soil pattern as the background and various shades of brown throughout the site. Though all viewers are welcome to read and donate this website, the intended audience is veterans – male and female—of all ranks, branches of service and wars for the purpose of learning how to write and publish their military experience. By using a sharper typeface without serifs and military imagery that would catch the eye of veterans, a viewer will scroll down the page and realize the emphasis is on writing for this group.
The mobile version presented a different set of challenges, namely scaling photos and text to fit the smaller dimension. I had to reconfigure the toolbar using the “hamburger” icon to pull up other sections. Social media icons also had to be repositioned to create a better balance of the icons on the navigation bar.
Three following three website influenced my design for this project because of their sense of color, innovative graphics and fundamental appeal.
- “A Stranger to Words” by Meng Chin Chiang
- “Stand Out” by Denise Chandler
- “Remember Your Dream” at discoveryshadow.com
This is my design for the New England Aquarium website which is currently a little out of date and very cluttered.I wanted to create an airy and fun affect for this website design and I can really see it coming through, mostly because of my choice in color and the size of the photos. My target was children, who are very visual and respond well to shapes and colors. I choose brighter colors instead of staying with the deep dark blue because this is suppose to be fun not depressing. I also included cartoons to engage children.
Design strategy: you MUST explain the reasoning behind the design you chose.
- I kept with the color scheme and wanted a simple one-column layout. I took away a lot of elements in my original design (like boxes and a lot more color) to make it easier to read and have a better UX overall. I took certain elements like the header and footer and mimicked certain mobile designs. I took out the social media options because it took up too much room in the header. I added little bars and arrows to point users into the next section to keep their attention. I thought adding “Back to Top” was a simple way to encourage more interaction with the menu options and main message.
Choices of typefaces (Including some you tried but didn’t use).
- I chose Baskerville for the body copy and Big Caslon Medium for the subject heads. I think they work well together. I originally wanted a thicker type for the subheads but it distracted from the flow of the overall project. I put certain words in all-caps to provide emphasis and continuity.
Choices of colors and images.
- The colors are as close to the original website as I could get them. The images are from creative commons and correlate to actual stories from the website. The main image is supposed to represent a little girl—someone that the organization wants to affect with its research.
Explain why you think the original site (if there was one) is ugly or has a poor design.
- The original site is too wordy and the pictures are too small. It seems like it doesn’t have a personality. Other websites with similar messages have more interactivity and elements that provide depth.