Wednesday, 11 May 2011

AS Media, Project Evaluation

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge the forms and conventions of real media products? 
Our website challenges the typical conventions of a media product massively, most website contains many things:

  • 3-column text.
  • Top left logo
  • Banner
  • Standard boring layout.
However my website has a brand new layout, which is the complete opposite of the conventional websites you may see, but having a childish like approach, it attracts the younger audience which was the main target. In comparison to talk to Frank, the website is sort of similar as they both don’t follow the conventional websites, the unique layouts are what makes them different from other websites and even themselves. The colour scheme in which we have used is a wide range of colours, which appeals to once again the younger audience. The layout is in an etch-a-sketch form, making it look quite funky and appealing, along with the colour. The photographs in which I have used are around the ages of 14-18 year olds, which is the perfect age group in relevance to my target audience, I have personally made the decisions for the photos to be taken the way they were and contain the props that they do in order to make my website look as realistic as possible.

How does your media product represent particular social groups? My media product represents a particular social group, a group which could be names under the label ‘druggies’, however as the modern world develops more and more people are falling under this category, mainly the working class depended upon drugs in order to help them get through day to day routine, but now children and even adults of all classes and ethnicity are becoming more and more dependant on drugs. My media product represents mostly the ages between 14-18 of most ethnicities in which most of the drug abuse takes place and who need the most guidance, however other demographic categories still use drugs and can still get a lot of help from our website. Our site gets the most out of children as the design helps attract the reader, being a childish like design, which is very colourful and cartoony which appeals to many young adults. The kind of photographs contain young people too, which people can relate too and understand them, especially on the ‘Personal Stories’ page in where we have a photo from previous drug users and their experiences, so you can relate to the same experience and see what the person looks like. The ‘Personal Stories’ page helps encourage others to stop drug taking, as you get to read about other peoples stories and put them into perspective In your own life, making people aware and notified about the dangers, consequences but also the highs of taking drugs. Along with our contact us page, we are always available if people who are having problems with drugs need someone to talk to or visit them in order to help them overcome there troubles, as for a campaign it is vital we show an encouraging attitude towards all of our customers in order them to feel safe and in good hands.

What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? I will be the main person in charge of my website, however I will get in touch with AOL, Virgin, Sky and see if they are willing to host my website. However I will still own the website and any edits and changes would be made by me. Once I’d found a valid domain name not being used, I’d attempt to buy that domain name and then it would be bought and hosted by the company I’d bought it off. Web hosting means that you host your website online, so other users can visit and use the site and the features within it, like said above it see if any companies are willing to host my website, if not I’d go to a less recognized company for example: ‘’’ and host my domain through them. The process is that I would pay for the website to go online and then the company would help me distribute it through advertisement and I’d still manage the website myself.

Who would be the audience for your media product? For a campaign site, the audience is everything, therefore my media product would try and attract the audiences between the ages of 13-18, so teenagers who are encountering secondary school, maybe school parties and get them aware with some of the ‘drugs’ in which they may encounter throughout there secondary school experience. However, my website is available for all ages and still may manage to encourage young adults and adults to use my website and get involved. After recent surveys in which we have sent out we have discovered that the younger generation are encountering drugs more than adults, but some may still be affected so the target audience is anyone who is suffering or curious about the topic of drugs.

How did you attract/address your audience? My website will use a wide range on things in order to try and attract the audience, for example the main thing when you visit my website and discover the unusual layout, most conventional websites would contain a banner and a 3-column structure, however my website uses a notepad like layout which is very different and something in which I have not discovered on any other drugs website whilst doing my research, which is why I thought that something different would help attract my audience and make it more appealing to the average eye.

The bold colours I have used within my website help also to attract the readers eye massively, as there is no set colour scheme, each page has a different colour as the tabs direct what colour the next page will be, this little feature I think works better than the specific colour scheme as it makes it a bit funky and a lot more different to most website, however I did come across this effect when I was doing my website research and adapted it into my own style. The font in which I have used is ‘Handwriting – Dakota’, I have used this because in my opinion it is a less smart option then Arial or Times New Roman, and also it is once again something different and unique which will reflect when people visit my website. The handwriting I use is less formal, as the website is suppose and aimed to interact with the younger more vulnerable audience so therefore I think this handwriting was a good pick. The handwriting also helps portray the use of language in which is used in the website as the language is once again more informal than formal, which again is used to help to gain approval from the younger audience.

What have you learned about technologies from the process of constructing this product? The main programmes in which we used to develop the preliminary and main website was iWeb. However we also used many programmes like Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Express and Microsoft Word, so we now came out with a wide knowledge of many programmes and with a good idea in how to construct a website in the future. My knowledge of Photoshop was pretty good coming into this project, as I used to be incredibly into designing things in Photoshop and I have a brother doing programming at University meaning that I had a good knowledge before we started, however the technologies and teachers have also helped me understand a wider range of tools on all programmes to allow me to cut corners and make life a lot easier for when next using the programme.

iWeb: This was the programme in which we had to use in order to create our websites; coming into this project I did not have a lot of knowledge behind this programme to help me through it. Now after completing a good website which I am very pleased about, I am confident that I can use this programme again efficiently in order to complete another project in which we may get given. So coming out of this project I have gained some useful skills with iWeb which may be able to help me in the future with maybe a job which requires good iWeb knowledge.

Photoshop: Coming into this project, I had a good understanding and previous history with Photoshop, however when doing things I thought I already knew, I discovered some shortcuts. with help from peers and teachers, this saved me a lot of time and effort, but now i save some time and effort as i've found out some new little shortcuts. So overall, I would say that now I have a better understanding and a better knowledge of what I thought I knew a lot about

Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? From looking back at my preliminary task, I think I have a wider knowledge base on a variety of different software, when we used iWeb for the first time I had no idea how to use it, and we had to make the preliminary website using it. The when it came down to doing the main website, I already had a good knowledge on how to use iWeb and could dig straight into the task. I was a lot more comfortable with making my main website as it was a campaign that we could choose, so I chose drugs which I have a good knowledge about and was a lot more interesting than the previous school one. As both websites are about completely different things, they both felt like completely different tasks and allowed me to experiment with different things. For example, the school website is suppose to be very formal written as it is mainly aimed at the parents as they are the one choosing the school for the child. On the other hand, the website I chose to make was a charity about a drugs campaign about trying to come clean and aware children about the drugs and the dangers of them. The campaign was aimed at young people and young adults, but also some adults, therefore there were going to be huge differences within both sides and I have shown these in the written language, the layout of both websites and the style of colours. The preliminary task was for us to gain a basic understanding of the software in which we were going to use, I have now discovered ways in which professional companies use in order to get the best website they can and after my final piece, there are still a lot of things in which professionals would have had to have done, in order to make it look professional, for example high-quality pictures, videos and a fully-functional website that will please the audience the website is targeted at.

Overall, I feel that I have discovered lots of new things, different ways of doing different things, which have helped broaden my knowledge for further reference. Also I have learnt certain things which must and must not be used within a website, in order to make it look as professional as possible. I gained good knowledge around the domain and web hosting side of things too, not just the development side, which will definitely be able to help me go further in life in the future.

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