Web Design Evaluation

Visual Communication

I feel as though my product meets the needs of the brief as I have produced a functional website that displays my design work, informs the user about me, where I am based and how to contact me if they are wanting to work with me in the future. I displayed this information by planning the most accessible and aesthetically pleasing website as possible, by using hyperlinks and a strong colour scheme. However the slight aspect whereby I have failed to meet the brief would be whereby I didn’t take ‘ample of screenshots’, I only took a few throughout the production stage therefore this is something I must ensure I improve on in my upcoming projects.

I believe there are many strong points of visual communication throughout my website, the first being that the audience can easily read and view my work that is presentable on the page as it has a clear font, strong colour scheme (font to background) and also large clear images. I used a bright colour scheme with light blue and cream and so I feel as though this will keep the engagement with the audience stronger.

The downfall to my visual communications would be that my website isn’t very interactive with transitions between pages, it just reloads the website to the page the user is being redirected to. I feel as though this would make my website much stronger however due to my lack of experience and understanding in Muse I feel this let me down slightly in this aspect.

I feel as though my website is hard to mis-interpret, this is because of its simple navigation throughout the website and the information on my website is in a clear font and simple English, therefore translation would not be a problem. However the user mis-understand that I do not live at West Kent College however it is my place of work and education, this is because I did not state this on my webpage. Aside to this I believe I have designed a strong website in terms of understanding and interpretation.

In my opinion I feel as though my website could be improved in terms of aesthetics and effects, this is because it is plain and simple, however the reason for this was due to my little understanding in Muse and so prevented me from showing my full potential. I believe if I were to undertake this project again and had a little longer to play around with Muse I would be able to drastically improve my final websites aesthetic and features. I came across many different problems with the program such as images being blurry when viewed on a browser, font becoming blurry when previewed in a browser if the font has been changed to something different to a standard font – this in my opinion limited my potential as I didn’t have enough time to find out the problem and tackle these challenges.

Reflection of own working practices

I think my time keeping was good for this brief even though I had 2 projects occurring at the same time and having a week missing in the computer room which I felt hindered my progression in Muse.

My research was very detailed as I looked into 8 different portfolio websites and analysed in-depth what I liked and disliked about them, and how I felt I could implement their ideas into my website. I feel as though I could’ve researched into different genres of websites, not just portfolio websites as it would’ve given me a larger understanding of web design as a whole, therefore I will ensure to research websites for my future understanding of website design as this is an area of graphic design I would like to go into in the near future.

My analysis of the brief was good, I had a strong understanding of what I needed to produce and what was expected of me and I thoroughly believe that I have met the needs of the brief.

Personally I enjoyed the research stage of the project as I was able to generate lots of ideas that I like for design and web design in general. This was extremely interesting and helped me a lot with planning/ sketching my final website. Aside to this I didn’t really enjoy the production side of this project as I didn’t feel confident with the software Muse, this led to be annoyed with myself as I was unable to achieve my full potential. On the positives by the end of the project I have gained a basic understanding of Muse and will hopefully be able to progress with the software in the future.

Overall I feel the project went well as it has enabled me to produce a base for my online portfolio allowing me to showcase my design work digitally. However I found the overall creation of the website challenging due to my little knowledge of Muse. Aside to the little understanding of Muse, this project has strongly benefitted me in the long term as I have a strong understanding of portfolio websites due to the research I have undertook and the way websites work due to the presentation we had from LTMRK (A local web design company in Tunbridge Wells).

‘Good Design’ Evaluation

Throughout this project brief I have tried to be as sustainable as possible by reducing my amount of wastage and time by making sure I use the fastest and most effective method to produce a high quality piece of work. The main factor was that this project was entirely digitally based as I was producing a website therefore there was no chance I could of used paper for test prints to increase my wastage.

I considered the ethical implications for my project, the main ethical implication for the design of my website would be the use of my design work. I ensured that there was no copyright infringement throughout the website and also all of my design works have limited/ no ethical problems as I am a socially conscious designer and so each design I produce and work on, I am 100% certain there will be no chance of offending the audience.

For me I personally feel as though this project as allowed me to step forward as a socially conscious designer in someways as I have been able to reduce the amount of paper wastage by doing lots of test prints – this is because the project has all been revolved around Muse. Also, Muse was a completely new program to me at the beginning of this project and I feel as though this project has enabled me to create a greater understanding of the program itself which I will be able to use to my advantage in my future design career.

My personal target in the future would be to always ensure that I am consciously thinking about how the audience could interpret my work, and to remove all potential upsets in my designs if need-be.

Below is my final product, please click on the link to view my website.

http://connorhalldesigns.businesscatalyst.com/index.html

 

 

Social Media

I also added social media to my website allowing users to be redirected to my other sites with hyperlinks of the social media icons. Here are some examples:

As you can see when the user highlights over the social media icon it lights up to make them aware there is a hyperlink to another social media site. Here are 2 examples of my Instagram & Twitter account. This will increase my connectivity with the client/ design agency as they are able to follow my posts which are design related.

Organised Files

I always ensure that my files are organised with every project, everything is in its own separate folders in order to make it easier for me to find what I am looking for. As you can see below from the screenshots I have taken I have a folder for my ‘sketches’, for ‘Gallery’ (where I used the photos for the slideshow on my gallery page) and also for the ‘social media vectors’. Here are some screenshots below to show my organised files. Please click on the images in order to enlarge the screenshots.

 

Publishing of Website

I was able to temporarily publish my website allowing users to access it from around the world as long as they had the link for the website.

http://connorhalldesigns.businesscatalyst.com/index.html

I have used the weblink in multiple different browsers, such as Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox and IE and they are all compatible. Here are a few screenshots showing my live website, please click on the images to enlarge them.

As you can see I used chrome and safari as examples in the screenshots above however the hyperlinks have been working and the effects I have implemented into the designs are active.

I managed to publish my website by clicking ‘Publish’ at the top right of muse. I clicked on the side arrow and pressed ‘Business Catalyst’ which allowed me to create a temporary live website for free with the link that I put above of this blog post. This is a great way to test your website and to gain feedback from other designers before you make it officially live by paying for an FTP Host.

Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 13.53.58.png

 

Target Audience

My target audience for my website is primarily for design companies to be able to easily view my portfolio work, thus promoting myself. However I have also aimed my portfolio towards clients as I feel that clients need to be able to see what I can offer to them, which is why I create a ‘Contact’ whereby they can fill out a form in order to contact me about working with them on a project. They can also view my portfolio work in order to see my designs and my own unique design style.

Digital Website Design

When starting the creation of my website I chose my website to have a ‘fluid width’ as it makes the website smooth when scrolling. I chose the default webpage with of ‘1170’ and I kept the minimum and maximum height the same. There is a screenshot of my site properties below.

Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 13.30.33

When starting on muse I made 4 different pages named, Home, Gallery, Contact & About, these are the sites that the user can be redirected to when clicking on hyperlinks. Below is a screenshot of the pages all setup with the browser colour I chose.Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 13.34.40.png

Once I had setup the pages I decided to design each individual page by adding in photographs, slideshows from the widgets panel on muse and also playing around the different effects. Here are the four pages of my website that I designed. As you can see I had kept very precisely to my webpage sketches and I am pleased with the outcomes. You can easily move between the webpages by clicking on the hyperlinks I have implemented throughout the website.

Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 13.31.14Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 13.31.21Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 13.31.29Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 13.31.40

I found using Muse very challenging as I had limited knowledge with the software, however after using it for this project I feel as though I had progressed and have a basic understanding of the software.