Evaluation – MC Wotsee site

December 5, 2007 at 1:09 am (Evaluation, Research)

When first given the assignment I struggled to chose a subject to focus on. There were two paths I could have gone down realistically, basing the site on a graphic artist or a music artist. In the end I decided to go the music route as its an area Im very interested in. At this stage I had to decide whether to concentrate on a specific scene/genre or an individual artist, originally keener on focusing on a scene in general, the Rave scene. As I looked at existing sites and started thinking about content to my site I quickly realised I was setting my sights to high, and that the ideas I was having were too complex for the level Im currently at and the time allocated to complete the assignment. For these reasons I decided to focus on a specific Hardcore MC, MC Wotsee.

Now I had a subject, I needed to decide on content. I completed brainstorms and site maps to help me document ideas, whilst also looking at a range of websites to gain research and ideas for my own site. Links to all these can be found in the research blog for this project. As my site was based on a Hardcore MC, I wanted the design to associate with its target audience of ravers.To do this I needed to look at a range of contrasting colours to represent lights and lasers. From experience of going to raves many of the lasers used are green and blue, with occasional yellow and red. These were the main colours I was to look at, quickly establishing that blue, green, yellow and black gave me the most reminiscent feel of a rave whilst also utilising plenty of contrast. I chose type fonts that were suitable and complimented the design. Choosing the correct fonts is an essential part of any design as its one of the main aspects the user focuses on.

After tweeking areas of the design till I was content I was ready to save everything I needed for Dreamweaver and start putting together the site. I decided to create the site at 1024 x 768, a large resolution but one that any modern computer can hold. I’ve used Dreamweaver before, a while ago, but not the new CS3 version. We had had a demo but there were still many things I was unsure of within the software. At first I had a rough idea of what I needed to do, although as I went on it became evident that stuff I had learnt previously was outdated. The backgrounds I sliced and put into tables, which worked, although I then tried using layers over the top. The problem with layers comes when resizing browser windows, as the layers move with the browser window, which then muddles the layout of the page. This was severely annoying. By this stage I was beginning to run out of time and so my alternatives were limited. One option I looked at was using i-bars to load the main content into. Another was slicing up each individual page with the navigational links included and adding rollovers to the slices with the links in. These both proved time consuming as I tried to figure out the best ways to do it, so much so in the end I had to settle with aligning the table with the background in right to the left so the layers with the links in stayed in place.

If I had more time to bulk out and add extra sections to my site there are definitely certain aspects I would concentrate on. For a start, I feel the site could possibly do with an intro movie, something made in Flash that says ‘welcome to my site’ in an atrractive and interesting way. As the site is on a musician, I had originally wanted audio and video situated on the site. This only became a problem when I tried downloading a free web MP3 player, as the tracks I wanted to use wouldn’t go into the playlist and so weren’t being read by the player. With more time I would also add extra pages to certain sections of the site, such as the biography and images sections. These only have limited information that could easily be expanded to add extra content. I could also expand the sections to include a forum for users to chat to each other on as well as a shop selling MC Wotsee and Hardcore products, such as tape packs and t-shirts.

There are many aspects of the design I am happy with a some that I would change given more time. A main aspect I find works really well is the contrast of colours. This helps relate the content back to the user as it resembles ‘rave’ colours. I also like the font used for the links, and feel they not only compliment the site but are fit for purpose. The imagery is well presented although I feel it could still be taken a level higher, with more interaction and possibly extra element relating to the rave scene. Colours on the whole work well together, although I do feel the green needs dumbing down, made to look more like the intense, vivid lasers used in light shows. The space and simplicity works really well and helps to not confuse the user. A busy site can sometimes be hard to navigate around, making it les easy to use. Overall I am happy with the site, although there are still many areas that could be expanded upon to create a fuller experience. One idea I had was to impliment a social networking element to the site, although this would have created a lot of extra work. I think the idea works and the site has a certain aesthetically pleasing feel to it so I am content, although as I’ve already stated if I had more time I would concentrate on expanding the site whilst adding in extra pages and elements to make a complete experience for the user to leave with.

Link to site:- http://mediaweb.aib.ac.uk/fdashow09/dovey/html/index_page.html 

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