Writing to the World Wide Web
The two factors I'm looking for are 1) audience and 2) purpose. With each of these sites, we discussed who the intended audience might be, and what the message the web creators wanted to get across to the audience was - entertainment, information, community-building, promotion or marketing, etc. In some cases the websites had no specific audience in mind, or an purpose not suited to the audience they've identified.
In general, the point I wanted to make was that when "reading" the web, most people look for some sort of quick gratification (useful information, entertainment, aesthetic pleasure, etc.) and so they don't spend a lot of time reading through text or waiting for pages to load. If they don't find this right away, they always have the option of going somewhere else.
We talked about this in more detail in the last part of class last time. The language conventions used at the Car Talk website include contractions, colloquialisms, cultural references ("Nader"), the first person ("we"), imperatives, etc. Combined, all these conventions convey a character of casual, humorous conversation. Based on these conventions, this site is designed for people who are looking for entertainment while tangentially are interested in car- related issues.
The easiest way for you to complete this answer would have been to copy the code from a table from an existing web page. Basically, you need something like this:
This forms a table that looks like this:
|CELL ONE||CELL TWO|
|CELL THREE||CELL FOUR|
Taken from the policies page of my syllabus:
"You're expected to attend all class sessions and conferences. My attendence policy is simple: If you miss a class, send me an email message explaining why you couldn't be there. I reserve the right to subtract up to 25 points per missed class from your final grade. If you miss class and fail to send me a note, that's an automatic 25 points subtracted from your final grade. Note that coming to class unprepared or being inattentive in class is the same as missing the class altogether. If you miss a scheduled conference, either an individual conference or a conference scheduled for your design group, you'll be docked 50 points from your final grade."
If you looked on the projects page of my syllabus, you saw this:
The final group project is worth 600 total points. The breakdown is as follows: a project proposal, worth 50 points;. a design document for the site, worth 200 points; a plan, for testing and evaluating a beta version of your Web site, worth 50 points; a beta version of your website, worth 100 points; a completed Web site that will go online for the whole world to see, worth 200 points.
"Identity design," writes Mok, "is the expression of a company's vision and intent." While Mok explains that identity is at the simplest level what is communicated through a company's logo, it entails synthesizing and presenting representations of the company' interactions with the world. As such, it is expressed in writing style, in visual cues, in icons, in the structure of products (including websites).
The four-phase framework that Mok refers to is "DADI," for "Definition," "Architecture," "Design," and "Implementation." In a nutshell, the Definition stage entails figuring out what you the project is all about: what the problem(s) and solution(s) are, how much it will cost, what resources are needed, etc. The Architecture stage involves assessing th content, figuring out what will be delivered, and mapping out the overall structure of the product. The Design phase is about coming up with the initial content and fitting it in to the structure arrived at during the previous stage. The Implementation phase involves completing the project, testing it, producing it, and marketing it.
Bonus:Who is Ralph Nader? (2 points)
Ralph Nader was (and still is) the guy who started the whole consumer activist movement in the Sixties. He blew the whistle on GM for manufacturing the Chevy Corvair, a vehicle that had a major design flaw that made it "unsafe at any speed."
Brownie Point Bonus: Name your favorite website, describe what you think its purpose is and who it is designed for. What sort of language conventions are used that give you a clue about its purpose and intended audience?
If you answered this question, you received a big check by your name, which will come in handy when I figure out your contributions to and participation in the class.