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.