This paper analyzes a designer’s website in detail using the 10 fundamental rules as discussed in class lectures. The website chosen for this particular assignment is http://shotopop.com/ which has quite respectable clients including Orange and Publicis.
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10 Fundamental Rules
The first thing to notice when we go to the site is the time taken to load the webpage. But once it’s loaded, we enter a world of a designer who takes the viewer to a colorful journey mixed with style and fashion. For a closer inspection, let’s pick each fundamental rule and comment on it.
Design for a Computer Medium
The website is built solely on Adobe Flash and would require a user to have this Flash plugin installed before the website can be viewed. With this plugin, the website opens in its due time and can be viewed very well in any browser and at any resolution. Thus the first fundamental rule passes the test.
Consistency of Design
The website is based on Flash thus all navigation, buttons and roll-overs are of consistent design all over. All web pages are lined with a navigation bar on the top while a static informational bar is displayed at the bottom. The colors for each navigation button change appropriately giving an effect on its own. The text font used is same for all pages with mostly lowercase used for navigational bars and sentence case used for items within the sub-navigational bar. The test of consistency is also passed.
Design Bandwidth Consideration
As expected, a designer’s website is heavy in terms of bandwidth consumption. When the website was first opened, it took quite a while to load the Flash applet. However once the applet was loaded, the navigation to one page to another took no time at all. The only place where the website took more time was in loading archive pictures that the designers have uploaded as a part of their portfolio. When the website was opened after a day, the Flash applet loaded instantaneously showing that the computer had saved the applet in its temporary memory thus helping in loading webpage faster. The best part about this loading process was that a progress bar runs on the top showing the percentage of webpage loading completed.
In this aspect, the website would again pass the test.
Portability of Design
Design portability may be an issue with this website. As mentioned before, the design is built on Flash which allows a designer a lot of leeway into stretching the limits of development. If the designer wants portability on computer only, then this website will pass the test in flying colors since flash can be used. However when we talk about the print medium, portability can be an issue due to the limitations of the paper texture, printing color and the ability to uplift the design on the any paper color. Although today’s printing capabilities far exceed anything we have seen before, it yet fail to compete with the graphics a computer screen can display. Thus this rule is dependent on the type of portability required.
Logical and Simple Information Flow
The website is extremely simple to navigate and follow. The static top and bottom pane makes it easier to understand the flow of information. The sub-elements of the navigation bar are again easy to follow and understand. The only confusing thing about the navigation was in the portfolio sub-category named cmyk and rgb.
In the artist’s world these terms stand for different colors, however in this website their differentiation makes no clear sense. Either, pictures of these colors archived under the heading or they differentiate the works of each designer, this was the only confusing part of the whole website. Thus again, the website passes this test.
Clarity of Presentation
From the above discussion, it is abundantly clear that the presentation of the website is clear and from every aspect this website is easy to understand.
Unified Look and Visual Structure
The website follows one single design with a grayish backdrop and swivels of colorful paints lining it. Pink, Purple, Black and Grey are part of theme which is uniformly studded in the pages. The website also passes this test.
The website has no-white space, infact it has grey space which is used effectively to give the website a texture background, aswell as a contrasting image against the many pink and purple shades of design.
Design for User’s Needs
All questions aside, the most important is that if the website fulfills the needs of the user. A user of this website will probably be a professional agency looking for help in graphical representations of its media and communication tools. Considering this, the website offers a bit of information about the company and the people who are involved in it. Then it gives portfolio of the designers to establish that real work has been accomplished by these designers. Furthermore and the most attractive for any new person is the list of clients that the company deals with. Interested new clients can contact the designers at the contact numbers given. Thus this aspect of the website deserves 100% marks since it’s helpful for new clients to locate important information easily and thus become attracted to the company.
Site As A Communication Tool
The last question to handle is the analysis of the website as a communication tool. For the purpose of communication, the website has a special contact page where the company’s contact information including the company’s email address and phone number is given. One of the best features of this page is the ability of a person to send a message to the administration of this website and the administration would contact them back. On this page, a link is also provided where a person can join the company’s mailing list to receive new information about the company on a regular basis.
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Apart from the contact information, all other information is clearly presented, easy to follow and logically sound. Most importantly all the information is relevant to the user.
Shotopop. (2009) Homepage. Web.