Monday, March 23, 2009

Journal 37-40: This seems really familiar

So now that I have my sobfest out of the way, I can write a good entry that actually has some meaning to it...hooray.

1) In the reading, "Design Decisions vs. Audience Considerations," Ragle - Davis states that, "If you know who your target audience is, you can tailor your site’s look and feel, content, and action areas to appeal to your audience and draw them in. If you know what your site visitors want, you can use that information to mutual benefit." She then proceeds to walk through an example of a site for a political candidate by illustrating her knowledge of who the audience is and what they want. How would you answer this for your final project site?

Well, my audience base is actually very wide. However, it is a unique little niche...seeing as I am designing for a Church, there is a certain look and feel that is expected by visitors...and a lot of the time, they have no precise definition of that idea. I do know that as a church site, it is important that the site makes one feel at home and comfortable...and a lot of the regular users are going to be people that don't have the best web skill-set,* so when I make my design, I want it to be very transparent (I am meaning easy to use and navigate here) and not a whole lot of navigation and as much pertinent information on the index.

2) How would you chart out your audience as Ragle - Davis did?

We're going to save this for another entry...let's just say current and prospective church members for the time being.

3) How would you categorize your content based on audience (as the Ragle - Davis example had action items and regular content)?

I have already made a Photoshop prototype of the site (see below somewhere)...I have service times, directions and contact information as a static box on the left which never changes no matter what page the user is on. This=good for potential members and anyone else that needs to contact the church. I will also be using a vertical nav bar with dropdown menus for church functions and more in-depth information about the church and the pastor.

4) In looking over the other readings for today, what suggestions did Verba, Rester, and Boulton provide you with that might assist you with your work on Module 4 and, potentially, your final site?

In the article about brainstorming by Boulton, I got some really good tips on getting feedback from the powers at be (currently PC) on how to proceed. I am hoping this summer after we get the first edition of the site up that we can sit down and take a look at what we want to do...and this article really provided some good insight on how to gather these ideas.

5) The readings for today all dealt with various aspects, including design implications, of usability and accessibility. How do you see yourself addressing these within your final project site?

I already answered this question in a previous post, but in short, I plan on keeping images to a minimum because many users will have dial-up and I am also planning on making 2 different page sizes to cater to users with smaller screen sizes.

6) Now that we are two-thirds of the way done with the semester (time is FLYING by) what are your thoughts on the definition and role of web authors? Are they the same as coders, or "code monkeys"? Why or why not? Is your definition of web authors the same as your initial thoughts when you signed up for or started this class? Why or why not? Use evidence not just from this week's readings, but from previous readings we have had in the course including Zeldman.

My definition has never changed...we are the people that make being on the web enjoyable and useful. I see my role as a facilitator. I am not, and will never be a 'code monkey' because that assumes that the person is just regurgitating what they are given...the monkey see monkey do principal. I will fight to my last breath to change that image about web designers.

*that's a gross lady at my church that was interested in contributing pictures to the gallery absolutely refuses to keep digital copies of her photos...and does not and will not learn to use a flash drive...oh the horror

1 comment:

RJD said...

Your chart for audience will probably need a grid in order to display everything you intend. I will be interested to see what you produce regarding them as well. Think about their accessibility to the site as we talked about briefly in our first meeting.