Usability Test Questions + Reactions

 Usability Test Questions:

  1. What are the first things you notice on the home page?
  2. Is my site clear and easy to navigate?
  3. What do you think is the best layout for a site like this?
  4. Are there any elements missing?
  5. Did any page take a long time to load?
  6. Overall strengths of my site?
  7. Overall weakness of my site?

After reading my classmates’ responses to my sites, many of them liked the floral logo and believe it is a great way to start off the page. I may also take one of my classmate’s suggestion and have the floral background run down the sides too.  I agree that I would like to spend extra time customizing my home page and adding more graphics and photos to make my website even more visually appealing.  For the layout, most of my classmates found my layout to be easy to understand and navigate. Some of my peers suggested to make the side bar horizontal, to add an extra element to each of my pages. My classmates appreciated my menu bar and the tabs and found it easy to find each project. Only thing is I forgot to link Project 2, so I will have to remember to add that. But for the most part, all my links and sections load really fast and all work. I think the major thing I am going to focus on for Project #4 is to add more color, play around with different fonts, add more photos, and link my social media platforms. I am pleased with my layout so I will not be spending tons of time on that, I just want to make my site more creative and appealing.

Smashing Magazine

Do you intend to follow all 10 tips that Smashing Magazine suggests? Why or why not? Also, make sure to explore the “40+ beautiful personal portfolio websites.” Which sites are your favorite and why? What would you need to learn/know in order to make this type of portfolio?

 After reading all 10 tips that Smashing Magazine suggests I plan to follow most of the tips to create a user-friendly website that showcases my work and allows me to create an online presence. Some of my favorite tips from this article, include remembering that your personal portfolio website is all about you, so you want to create it in a way that makes it easy for your readers to follow and to help your readers understand your brand. In order to perfect my site, I need to learn more about how to link my works to my portfolio, create a more eye-catching logo, and come up with a more user-friendly navigation.

After reading this article, here are a few must- haves for my site:

  • A logo- I believe a logo is the first thing your readers see, so I want to include a colorful, eye-catching logo on the top left. My logo will allow my readers to understand the purpose of my site and what it entails.
  • An about me- This section is an essential so I can tell my readers a little more about me. I believe when you allow the audience to get to know you better it helps build trust and credibility.
  • Contact/Social media links- This page will include my email, as well as links to my various social media platforms and the link to my fashion, beauty, and lifestyle blog. This way I can keep in touch with my readers.
  • Portfolio- I want to add this section to my site to highlight my favorite works and what I think people will be interested in reading. I want to include high-quality images and links to each work so it will be user-friendly.
  • Blog- Of course, I want to link to journalism course blog because this blog features a variety of assignments from past journalism classes. I would also like to have a special tab to link to LivForStyle, so my readers can see the other side of me, the fashion blogging side.

Some of my favorite sites include:

  • The Things We Make (Mike Kus)- Love the use of colors and simple logo. Love the easy navigation bar. The home page is simple, with an about me and a featured work column.
  • Toby Powell- Love the black and grey color scheme. Like how his about me is on the home page with links to the various sections of his site. I also like the Twitter section under his logo.
  • Design Moves Me (Roy Vergara)- Like the latest project section on the top. Like how his about me is below his logo
  • Chirag Solanki- Love how simple the home page is and then it invites your reader to click on the various sections. Love the logo and color scheme.

 

 

Project #3: Peer Reviews

Project #3: Peer Reviews

Let Creativity Flow

Storyboard:

IMG_2844

All of my peers responded to my story board in a positive way. Many of the comments I received said that my project was really organized and seems like I know what I want to include on each scene for the video. My peers also liked how I know what images I will be using. They also enjoyed that instead of using cartoons, I am using real photos from when I was a child. My peers believe that using real photos is a great detail, that makes it easy for the audience to follow my story and to capture their attention.

After reading the reviews from my peers, I agree that using voiceover will be the best form of narration for my video. I also like how my peers suggested using light, happy background music to fill any dead air. I will take that into consideration when I am editing my movie. Also, my peers pointed out that I should start rethinking about fonts and color schemes. I would like to include a fun font to show my creative personality so maybe Comic Sans? As for colors I still have to test out what will look best against my photos. It all depends on what color and font will be easy to read.

For the most part, I am very happy with my story and I am excited to start using iMovie because iMovie is a software I am very comfortable using. I plan to use my photos and my voice to tell my story and I am glad that my peers were able to understand the story I am going to tell.

Project #3 Proposal

My literacy narrative will focus on my favorite communicative mode, the linguistic mode. I plan to produce a 2-3 minute video using iMovie to explain to my peers how I became literate in reading and writing and the special way that I became literate, which ultimately has inspired me today and my future career choices. My literacy narrative will be about my love for coloring, reading art and fashion related books, and reading drawing books to exercise my drawing and sketching skills. My choice of books at a young age made me realize the importance of art and how I can express my thoughts and feelings through my art work.

In the beginning of my video, I plan to use photos of me as a child that show my love for reading, drawing, and fashion. I also plan to show clips of my favorite books when I was a child and use voiceover to describe why they were my favorite books.

Towards the end of my video, I will use voice over to explain how my love for art and fashion since a young age inspired me to create my very own YouTube channel and launch my fashion blog. I will include snippets and clips from my YouTube channel and blog to show how I use pictures and sketches to write about my favorite trends, my unique fashion style, the 411 in fashion news, and so on. Now my written words on my blog and spoken words on my channel allow me to communicate with my audience and talk about a topic that is important to me.

I hope my video will show my peers that my choice of art books at a young age fueled my creative side and inspired me to launch my YouTube channel and blog. When most of my childhood friends were reading Harry Potter, I was reading fashion history books and sketching dresses; however this genre of books made me who I am today (very creative and use art as a form of expression) and have motivated me to pursue a career in the fashion world.

Data-Driven Story #1

Home Sweet Home (Less)

Meet Abdul, born and raised in New York.   The New York Times were able to sit down with Abdul and learn more about his struggles being a teenager living on the streets of New York, so his voice could be heard.  At the age of 17 he became homeless. His mother had died five years earlier, and he was living in South Carolina without a support system.  He was all-alone in the big city, nobody to rely on or no bed to rest his head.  Now at 23, Abdul is trying to make things work, but still faces many obstacles.  Abdul, along with the thousands of children in homeless shelters in New York City, want people to realize that being homeless is sometimes your only option.

“I, we, didn’t choose to be here,” Abdul said.

Living in New York City is very expensive. As reported by America Fact Finder, the median household income in 2014 was $52,737 per year. However, the median monthly housing cost for renter-occupied housing units in the city for 2014 was $1,148 per month. So a significant portion of individuals’ paychecks is used to pay for housing.

These high numbers contribute to the growing homeless population in New York City, especially the homeless children population.

“I, we, didn’t choose to be here,” Abdul said.

According to America Fact Finder, in 2014, 20.6% of the population in New York City lives below the poverty level.  More importantly, 22.6% of children under the age of eighteen years old live below the poverty level in New York City.

According to the New York Times, since 2014 New York City is seeing a rise in the homeless population, describing this issue as an epidemic. However,

according to Mayor De Blasio, the homeless population in New York City is decreasing, although the annual census for 2014 and 2015 shows no significant change.

Based on the New York City’s government data, the winter months, more specifically January of 2014 and 2015 showed an increase amount of homeless children on the streets or in shelters.  In January 2014 there was a total of 22,210 children in homeless shelters. By January 2015, 2,734 more children moved into homeless shelters in New York City. For example, in 2015 there were a total of 31,079 students in first through fifth grade, with each class holding more than 30 children, equivalent to 6,135 children in a typical New York City elementary school becoming homeless in one year.

2014

2015.png

Although Mayor De Blasio is hopeful that the homeless population is decreasing, the New York Times is accurate by describing the homeless population, especially the homeless children population as an epidemic that is containing to increase as years go on, especially when the cost of living in New York City is continuing to rise.

According to the New York Times, many nonprofit organizations have noticed the rise of homeless individuals in shelters and are working to provide every family with a safe home to call their own.

Especially the homeless children population as an epidemic that is containing to increase as years go on, especially when the cost of living in New York City is continuing to rise.

The New York Times interviewed Ms. Howard, who has experienced being homeless when she was younger. Now she is part of the nonprofit organization, Safe Horizon, a non-profit focused on homeless youth and domestic violence victims.

“There’s not a lot of resources for these young people. But there are a lot of times when there is no option. There’s no beds,” said Ms. Howard.

The winter months in 2014 and 2015 including November, December, and January have shown a rise of homeless children in shelters.  This can be because non-profit organizations work hard to help provide homeless children a place to stay indoors, rather than stay out on the streets when the temperatures plunge and become dangerous.  For example, in January 2015, there were a total of 24,974 children in homeless shelters. Contrary, in July 2015, there were only a total of 22,956, a difference of 2,018.

Untitled

Many of us only see our home as a place to sleep; however, a house provides us with security, warmth, and a place to call ours.  Luckily, many non-profit organizations, including the Bowery Mission strive to help the homeless population in the city. Since 1879, the Bowery Mission provides each men, women, and children food, shelter, clothes, and medical care. Especially, through the use of prayer and faith, the Bowery Mission transforms individuals’ lives so they can feel hopeful, happy, and motivated live a more fulfilling life.

Many of us only see our home as a place to sleep; however, a house provides us with security, warmth, and a place to call ours. 

Many of us who have walked the streets of New York City have encountered a homeless person. Caroline Lillicraf, a junior nursing student at Fairfield University, had the opportunity to intern last summer at Mount Sinai Hospital in Harlem. On her commute to the hospital, she would encounter homeless people of all ages on the streets. After spending her summer in New York City, Lillicraf realized how many individuals lack life’s basic necessities, like food, water, and clothing.

Lillicraf realized how many individuals lack life’s basic necessities, like food, water, and clothing.

Lillicraf said, “It is time to shine a light on the homeless population in New York City; especially the children who are alone on the streets or in shelters.”

Peer Reviews

It has not been easy learning HTML coding this semester. Every class I have left with a pounding headache and my anxiety through the roof. Some days I even want to throw my computer out the window, but I know HTML coding is a very important skill, especially in the journalism world. So I know all the pain and hard work will pay off in the end.

crying-emoji

In today’s class, we were able to review each others projects and leave feedback. I found it very helpful to see what my classmates thought about my project. Although my project is no where near completed, I am glad I was able to see the comments from my classmates.

For my analysis, I am glad that all of my classmates enjoyed reading my analysis and noticed my use of all the visualizing composition terms. They all found my analysis easy to read and understand, so I most likely won’t make any changes to my analysis.

For the pictures, my classmates thought all the pictures I used were great and really drove home my point and purpose of my project. I agree with my peers that I should put the title and blurb beneath the photos, so my readers can better understand each section.

For the organization of my project, my classmates said my pages were really well organized. Most of them liked the scrolling feature of my page. My classmates also liked my color scheme, saying the white background really made my text and pictures pop. Although I am not interested in putting a background image on each of my pages, I might play around with different borders and/or margins. My format and organization of my pages need tons of work, but I will take into consideration my classmates’ feedback, including creating a block-style layout.

Back to DreamWeaver for some more (and by more I mean A LOT) of edits…

 

 

Multimodal Annotated Source List

Blog Post #6

Part 1:

 Source 1:

  • Author- MTV
  • Title- We stand with @iiswhoiis. Learn more at mtv.com/news. #FreeKesha
  • Publication- MTV’s Instagram account
  • Web address- https://www.instagram.com/p/BCGSTu6H9Hb/?taken-by=mtv
  • Asset- Instagram photo of Kesha
  • Summary- MTV showed their support of Kesha by using linguistic and visual models, which included the design choices like contrast and proximity. By MTV posting a photo of the artist with the caption “We stand with Kesha” and using the hashtag #FreeKesha, the company is obviously supporting Kesha.

Source 2:

  • Author- Lena Dunham
  • Title- Why Kesha’s Case Is About More Than Kesha
  • Publication- Lenny Letter
  • Web address- http://www.lennyletter.com/politics/a275/why-keshas-case-is-about-more-than-kesha/
  • Asset- A snippet a very important and powerful paragraph from Lena’s blog.
  • Summary- By using a portion of Lena’s blog post, her written worlds will perfectly describes Kesha’s issue and the issue with music contracts, in general.

Source 3:

  • Author- Lady Gaga
  • Title- Free Kesha
  • Publication- Lady Gaga’s Instagram account
  • Web address- https://www.instagram.com/p/BCL9_ibJFLG/?taken-by=ladygaga
  • Asset- Lady Gaga’s Instagram photo of Kesha and herself.
  • Summary- Similar to MTV, Lady Gaga showed her support of Kesha by using a visual model, including emphasis and proximity. Lady Gaga’s photo shows that her, along with other celebrities, agree with Kesha’s decision to break her contract with Sony.

Source 4:

  • Author- James Griffiths
  • Title- Luke breaks his silence, denies Kesha’s allegations of rape and abuse
  • Publication- CNN
  • Web address- http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/23/entertainment/dr-luke-twitter-kesha/
  • Asset- The video clip of Kesha singing “Amazing Grace.”
  • Summary- This multimodal text uses the aural, gestural, visual, and linguistic mode. Since it is a video, it really focuses on Kesha’s beautiful singing voice and her choice of song so her fans will be inspired to fight with her.

Source 5:

  • Author- Maura Johnston
  • Title- Kesha and Dr. Luke: Everything You Need to Know to Understand the Case
  • Publication- Rolling Stones
  • Web address- http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/kesha-and-dr-luke-everything-you-need-to-know-to-understand-the-case-20160222
  • Asset- The picture of a group of Kesha’s fans protesting outside of Sony Music Headquarters.
  • Summary- This picture uses the visual mode to show that Kesha’s fans support her during this tough time. This picture shows Kesha’s fans holding up signs and expressing their frustrations throughout their facial expressions and body gestures.

Part 2-

 Source 1:

  • Asset- Fair Use. The work is being used for educational purposes and commentary. Also using only a small portion of MTV’s Instagram account.

Source 2:

  • Asset- Fair use. Hearst or Hearst licensors owns all content; however, a small amount of information can be used for educational purposes.

Source 3:

  • Asset- Fair use. The working is being used for educational purposes, also I am only analyzing one photo out of Lady Gaga’s 1,900 photos on her Instagram account.

Source 4:

  • Asset- Personal video of Kesha uploaded to CNN. CNN’s privacy policy and terms of use information has been updated in 2015. Might need to ask permission from the author of the article to use Kesha’s video for my analysis and project.

Source 5:

  • Asset- Fair use. Rolling Stones allows readers to use a small portion of their work for non-commercial use, such as for education purposes or commentary.

 Part 3-

Source 1:

  • MTV (MTV). “We stand with @iiswhoiis. Learn more at mtv.com/news. #FreeKesha.” February 2016. Instagram

Source 2: Dunham, Lena. “Why Kesha’s Case Is About More Than Kesha.” Lenny Letter. 23 Feb. 2016. Web. <http://www.lennyletter.com/politics/a275/why-keshas-case-is-about-more-than-kesha/&gt;.

Source 3:

  • Lady Gaga (ladygaga). “Free Kesha.” February 2016. Instagram

Source 4:

Source 5:

 

 

 

 

Sample Web Texts Analysis

Blog Post #5

Persuading People To Recycle (Ali)

 Pros:

  • Like the use of several shades of green, considering the color green is associated with recycling.
  • Like how Ali emphasizes the “Easy as 1,2,3” by having the readers click on the numbers to view her multimodal texts and her analysis.
  • More interactive than Marcus and Shannon’s project.
  • Like the use of the font size, to really emphasize her project topic.
  • Love the use of a bold font to emphasize important words and key ideas.
  • Appreciate the back button on each page so the reader can easily go back to the main page and continue to browse the project.
  • The use of the arrows made her analysis easier to understand.
  • The use of key words, like emphasis, color, sequence, contrast, and so on made her analysis easier to understand.
  • Great choice to include a page about the project, a page that listed her sources, and a page that included her conclusions from project.
  • Like how Ali linked her main web portal, so her readers can check out more of her work.

 Cons:

  • NO cons!
  • Ali’s project was amazing and I have been inspired to model my project in a similar way.

 ** I plan to place the photo of my multimodal text in the center and use arrows to guide my readers. I would like to include a brief summary of my analysis for that specific multimodal text on the top of the page to give my readers a preview of what they will be reading. I also would like to split my analysis in sections, like emphasis, contrast, organization, proximity, and so on.

 

Gaming News Websites (Marcus)

 Pros:

  • Similar to Shannon, I like how Marcus has a home tab where he describes his topic and the purpose of his project.

 Cons:

  • Could have experimented more with different colors and fonts.
  • Should have a better title for his project, so his audience knows what they are about to read.
  • Had to scroll sideways to view his last two multimodal texts. Each tab did not fit on the full screen.
  • Less interactive than Ali’s project.
  • Lengthy paragraphs, which made it hard for me to stay focus. I would have liked to see more visuals, like arrows, to help prove the point.

**I plan to have a home tab where I describe my topic, why I chose the topic, the importance of the topic, as well as instructions for my readers so they know how to access each multimodal text. I also plan to have separate pages for each multimodal text, which will allow my readers to focus on the analysis of each text separately.

Anti-Fracking (Shannon)

Pros:

  • Like how she had a page describing her topic, defining anti-fracking, and what multimodal texts she chose to analyze. This page gave the readers an introduction about her project. Below she linked the project page, where you will find the five multimodal texts and her comments.
  • Like the New York City skyline as her background, considering her topic is about Political Environmental Campaign against New York’s Anti-fracking.
  • The white text against the black background makes it easy to read and allows the words to stand out.

Cons:

  • Everything, including the text and photos were centered, making it harder to read and follow.
  • Should have changed the font or color of each multimodal text title to really have each section stand out and make the reader see that it is a different model she is commenting on.
  • Similar to Marcus’s project, their was large blocks of texts that could have been broken up with the use of more visuals to make it more appealing to the audiences’ eyes and easier to read.
  • Less interactive than Ali’s project.

**I also plan to organize my page with the image or clip along with my comments below the multimodal text.

#FreeKesha

#FreeKesha

1035x689-GettyImages-511278148

Topic:

  • Recently, the twitter hashtag #FreeKesha has gone viral after the public learned that famous, pop singer, Kesha is trapped in a recording contract with Sony. Last week, the judge denied Kesha’s release from the recording company, even though Kesha wants to end her contract with Sony Music Entertainment because she claims her producers have sexually abused her for years.
  • For this project, I would like to investigate her trial, how society is reacting to her decisions, why artists have a hard time withdrawing from a contract, and when Kesha will be allowed to record new music or if she can even record in the future.

 

Purpose:

  • To learn more about the recording industry and the unethical side of these recording companies. Also to get the public aware of the idea of “the fine print” of these contracts and how it can harm the artist and/or company.

 

Research strategies:

  • Learn more about how Kesha’s fans and popular celebrities, including Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, and Kelly Clarkson have voiced their support on social media sites.
  • Learn more about why the judge declined Kesha’s freedom from Sony Music Entertainment.
  • Learn more about the next steps in Kesha’s trial.
  • Learn more about the affects of Kesha’s trial and how it can impact the music industry and future recording deals.

 

Multimodal texts:

  • https://www.instagram.com/p/BCGSTu6H9Hb/?taken-by=mtv
  • MTV showed their support of Kesha by posting a photo of the artist with the caption “We stand with kesha” and using the hashtag #FreeKesha.
  • Modes- This multimodal text uses the linguistic and visual modes by showing a black and white photo of Kesha with a few parts of the photo in color, including her signature eye makeup look and the phrase “free Kesha.” By only including a few words on the photo, it really allows the headshot of Kesha and the hashtag to be the main focus of the photo.
  • Design- This multimodal text uses specific design choices, including contrast, which is the difference between elements so one element can stand out from another, and proximity which is how close elements are placed to each other.
  • http://www.lennyletter.com/politics/a275/why-keshas-case-is-about-more-than-kesha/
  • Celebrity, Lena Dunham, used her blog to write an article about her response to the Kesha trial. Her well-written article showed her fans that Lena supports Kesha and is advocating for a positive change in the recording industry.
  • Modes- This multimodal text uses the linguistic, visual, and spatial modes. Lena’s layout of her blog post reads and is laid out like a newspaper article, relying heavy on words, little color, and only a few photos. Her word choice and delivery of her written text emphasizes her support for Kesha.
  • Design- This multimodal text uses specific design choices, including emphasis, organization and alignment. The written words are arranged and aligned in a certain way for the readers’ eyes to move in a certain direction so they can follow along with the story and be able to click on any additional links to find out more information.
  • http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/23/entertainment/dr-luke-twitter-kesha/
  • Modes- This multimodal text uses the aural, gestural, visual, and linguistic mode. Since it is a video, it uses sounds, tone of voice, volume of sound, body language, and facial expressions to educate the readers on the #FreeKesha movement.
  • Design- This multimodal text uses specific design choices, including emphasis, organization, and proximity to provide the audience with the facts surrounding Kesha’s court appearance.
  • http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/23/entertainment/dr-luke-twitter-kesha/
  • Modes- This multimodal text uses the aural, gestural, visual, and linguistic mode. Since it is a video, it really focuses on Kesha’s beautiful singing voice and her choice of song so her fans will be inspired to fight with her.
  • Design- This multimodal text uses specific design choices, including color, proximity, and contrast. By Kesha recording a very up close video of her singing, she connects with her audience and wants them to feel her pain.
  • http://assets.rollingstone.com/assets/2016/media/229227/_original/1456177687/1035×689-GettyImages-511278148.jpg
  • Kesha’s fans are pictured protesting Sony Music Entertainment outside of the New York State Supreme Court
  • Modes- This multimodal text uses the visual and gestural mode. Since this is a visual photo, it shows Kesha’s fans holding up signs and expressing their frustrations throughout their facial expressions and body gestures.
  • Design- This multimodal text uses specific design choices, including contrast, color and proximity. The fans are photographed in a way that their faces, bodies, and posters can be seen. Also the variety of colors, can tell the audience that most of Kesha’s fans are creative and colorful, just like her personality.

How Rhetoric Can Help Us See

Multimodial vs. Multimedia 

As defined in A Guide To Making Multimodal Projects, multimodial is a combination of the words multiple and mode. A mode is a way of communication, such as words or images. Multimodial describes how we combine many different ways of communicating in everyday. In contrast, I believe multimedia simply describes the form or medium of the text, like a poster, a blog, a magazine, a book, etc. Whereas, multimodial is how the text is being communicated. Multimodial includes five modes, including linguistic, visual, spatial, aural, and gestural.

 

Process! (pp. 11)

For this exercise, I visited the website of my favorite retail store, Urban Outfitters. While viewing the website, I payed close attention to the way spatial mode is being used on their site. Spatial mode describes how a text is arranged and organized and proximity between people or objects. Spatial mode is important because it can grab the readers’ attention and help the readers read the text.

When I entered the home page of Urban Outfitters’s website, my eyes were automatically drawn to the large rectangular box that occupied most the of page’s space. In this rectangular box was bright colors and information about their winter sale. This box also included a link to shop all the sale items.

The elements on the page are laid out using small, square blocks. In each block there is different information about their products and sales, as well as a link to take the reader to that specific page. The bottom of the page includes two larger rectangular blocks that showcase how their customers style their clothes.

I personally like how Urban Outfitters used the blocks for their layout because it allows me to get a glimpse of all their products and provides me with essential information, like discounts and the season’s trends. I also like how they have a menu on the top so you can go directly to the section you are looking for, whether that is women’s clothing, men’s clothing, music, or home decor.

If the information on top of the page was suddenly swapped with the information on the bottom of the page, the top of the page would be less visually appealing. The bottom of the page consist of the information that most customers are not really interested in, like the privacy policy and the terms of use.

Process! (pp. 31)

For this exercise, I decided to analyze the university home page of the Fashion Institute of Technology. While reviewing the website, I noticed that the intended audience is most likely high school students or adults who want to pursue a career in the fashion and design industry. I believe the university is trying to appeal future students and showcase the university’s classes and extracurricular activities. The secondary audience can be parents or guardians looking for more information about the school and if it is the right fit for their child, spouse, or loved one.

By featuring a full page slider highlighting current exhibitions, awards, and programs, the school is using that text to show candidates that this school is the perfect choice for those who want to learn more about fashion and design. They invite future students to visit their school and the exhibitions to show how talented all the students are who attend the Fashion Institute of Technology.

For the most part, the website relies on images and videos to hook their audience and persuade students to apply to their program.