Thursday, 26 November 2009
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
The website I will be designing will be accessible and appeal to a younger demographic, about 6-13. Through my research I have gained that there are not many charities linked with animal conservation and preserving our world that are aimed at children and so would fill a gap. It is important to instill in younger generations that we must work together with animals to save those, which we have put into endangerment. This will be the main cause of the website, to create a feeling of love and appreciation for animals in children so they will continue on their lives helping, giving and being thoughtful of the other species that inhabit our world.
A charity of course relies largely on donations to keep running and supporting itself. The parents, who are likely to be roughly 30-40, are at a stage in their life where they have more expendable income that they could look to put towards cause like this. This means the target demographic of 6- 13 is good for generating donations, but also means the site must be accessible to the older audience as well so that they can use it along with their children for optimum donations generated and impact on the family.
As this website is looking for donations its main audience will be higher socio economic groups who have the disposable income to use. They could be classified in terms of employment and economic status as: higher management/administration professional, middle management/administration/professional or supervisory/clerical/junior management. These are people who are skilled and in well paid jobs so they have the luxury of being able to give to causes such as this. I believe in most cases it would tend to be, based on the VALS system, makers: do it yourself enthusiasts and tend to live a conventional family life and fulfilled: Mature people who are well-educated professionals. This group values order, knowledge and responsibilities, in terms of the parents, who would be most likely to give or help. These would be the most likely people to understand the concept, wish to help the animals and have the means to do so.
When speaking of psychographic among children those who would relate to the charity would be “utopians” who’s wish is for the world to be a better place. This is directly linked with what the charity is trying to achieve and so the main audience for the site. In terms of their parents the obvious psychographic group would be “Carers” as they care for the world around them and the people in it. This would mean they could see that they should help animals and not wish to help them; children could sway them to if it was what they wanted.
In order to accommodate for the younger audience the site will feature bright colours, this will grab the attention of and cause them to enjoy using the site. As well as this the pictures should be of animals that they will recognize on the most part and think are good. Such as lions etc or birds with bright colours as the aesthetics often outweigh the rarity for children. The site will have to be easy to use so that a younger audience will not get confuse if using it alone although at times it is likely they would be with a parent. Also the language must be accessible to children while not being too colloquial to put off parents taking the charity seriously as they are the ones who will be donating.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Report on Existing Website Research
From my research into existing media products I have been able to select the conventions that work, those that don't and ones I would wish to use for mine. Also I have gauged layouts and ideas for my own charity website from looking at like products. It is important to stay with conventions that work as this will make users feel familiar with the site and allow them to use it and navigate through the site easily.
A convention followed by almost every website is to have the logo in the top left hand corner. This immediately gives the page an identity, allows the user to see what website he is using and promotes the brand making it more recognisable. As this is a convention that works well I will be incorporating it into my own website. Another convention is to the links along the top of the page. This allows for easy navigation through the website and they should be kept constant as when websites deviate from this it can become confusing and the user end up having to go all the way back to the homepage to find a different part of the site. A convention I feel should not always be followed is the 3 column layout of a site. Often featuring side bars with additional links and informations. This can cause site to look unprofessional as the varying width and length of the 3 different columns creates an uneven appearance of the site and is not aesthetically pleasing. Also it can make websites look generic and so will not enthuse the users attention along with making the page susceptible to leaving unused white space that does not fit with the layout, it looks accidental as if they ran out of information as on the amnesty international page; this is an issue I will take into strong consideration when developing my website.In terms of text, simple easy to read fonts are the best option and a dark colour is almost always used, this is easy to read on most backgrounds and will not strain users eyes when trying to read it. Also text must be big enough and varying size, and fonts are important for distinguishing between different parts such as headers, links, titles etc. On a charity website, a link to a donations page is essential, this is the main, or one of the main, aims of the website, to raise money for eh charity and so the donations page should be easily found on the site. Included on the donations page should be the different ways to donate and nearly every existing site had a range of options and amounts for people to select from. Images of animals people will be helping are good on the donations page as this reminds users of what they are donating for and the lack of images on the WWF site was a weakness. Also images used throughout the site should evoke emotions of the users to want to save the animals pictured as well as the language used. The convention of having corporate links, copyright and credits at the bottom of page causes the page to look official and gives it a finish to make it seem professional and so is needed on any site.
Monday, 9 November 2009
The distribution of websites is very different to the distribution of other media products such as television shows that would run through a licensed channel with funding and backing, the content would be regulated and approved by the channel and if it were not successful it would be cut. The nature of the Internet however is that anyone can add to it and present there own product. This means there are not as many stringent checks and you do not have to win the backing of a distributor to enable your product to be seen. The main institutions involved in the distribution of a webpage are advertising agencies, web hosting and domain name registration. It is through these institutions that a person or company can develop a website, purchase the server space for t to be uploaded and register the domain they would like for their website if it is available and applicable.
Web hosting provides a service allowing individuals or companies to upload their website to the Internet ad allow others to access it via the World Wide Web. The individual or the company provides the content of the site but the host will provide the server space and in most cases file maintenance. There are varying levels of web hosting from basic free web hosting services offered by many Internet Service Provider that gives limited space and much less scope to control the layouts and content of the site. Going up to the high end of dedicated hosting services giving the user large amount of control over the site and the most expensive collocation hosting where the user owns the colo server and the host provides little or no support but only electrical internet access and storage facilities.
I believe for my charity site the more expensive option of dedicated hosting is not the best option. For a charity organisation the main goal is to raise money and so a large part of this should not go on the upkeep of the site. The cheapest option of free hosting would not be suitable because it is much to limited to layouts and contents and so for a professional website looking to convince users to donate would not work. Shared hosting is an option; it is still cheap while offering more scope for personalisation and content. However there are limits on space and so the ability of the website to contain all the media wanted. The best option for my charity site would be a Virtual Private Server. This will allow space for everything the site needs to include and space for if the site were to grow more on a later date as the charity gains a higher level of awareness. There is not need to have control over their own server for the charity and VPS will give all the scope they need for website to properly promote themselves. www.webhostingsearch.com describes VPS as “a great alternative for you who's looking for "that thing" filling the gap between shared hosting and dedicated servers" and would cost roughly $40 per month.
In addition to paying for web hosting a company also has to register a domain, the address of the website, this is an extra cost of only about $8 and most hosting services offer the option to purchase this while purchasing hosting. Most web hosting will work with any domains and so the company or individual selecting the domain can have any they wish as long as its availability, which can easily be checked on the Internet on web hosting, sites.