How did we use our research?
Viewing and analysing existing websites was incredibly useful. The research allowed for a strong understanding to be developed of what makes a website good or bad which could then be applied to our own website. One of the main things we took from completing the research related to visual design. It became apparent how the layout of information can have a massive influence on the accessibility of information and the order in which users will find it. Altering colour and positioning of text on a page can completely change the way users approach the page.
The most important items of information should stand out allowing those scanning the page to pick it out easily. If users can easily find the most important information then they will be more likely to stay on the website longer as the website has established itself as a useful source of information.
Choosing a Theme
Before thinking about the written elements of the webpage, we needed to choose a theme that would suit the needs of this criteria. We aimed to have a theme that was modern looking with nice layouts, and can also display clear information that users can easily navigate to. We began searching on the official WordPress website as well as others to find a suitable theme.
From the many themes available to us, we ended up choosing the theme ‘Hestia’. This theme included highly customisable features that we could change to make our own, including different homepage sections, backgrounds, and colours. Not only this, but it is compatible with hundreds of plugins that would help our website be more accessible, such as entire website translations and easy navigation.
Creating Pages & Content
Once the theme had been chosen, we wanted to define what pages we would have on the website. By doing so, it meant that would have clear navigation around the website, allowing us to create specific content for each page quicker.
In terms of what pages were created, we wanted to keep it simple and specific. This meant that users would not get confused by many different pages on the website and can easily navigate to the page they need. We decided to go with two research pages each to different areas. The first being comparative research, where websites are compared to identify the good and bad, and secondly the topic research, where different areas of website design are analysed and discussed further.
We felt we also needed a page dedicated to what the website is all about, which goes into detail about what the brief was and what we planned to do to meet the requirements.
When designing the menus for our website, careful consideration was put into their organising and whether or not to put a page into a sub-list or whether to give it its own space along the top bar. For example, the two sections of research fall into the sub menu for the ‘Research’ button. However, the development section, although linked to the research, was not contained within the sub menu. Our reason for doing this was that the development section is important enough that visitors to the site need to be able to find and access the development section incredibly easily.
Using the menu editing system within WordPress you can see how the menu buttons are arranged. This menu system is incredibly easy to use and acts as a useful tool when trying to make information as easy to access as possible for visitors.
Audio & Screen Recording
For the second part of the brief, we were tasked to create a video walkthrough of the website. This was to be done using screen capture software (in our case we have used Camtasia), alongside a voiceover that explains what the purpose of each page.
We decided to record the audio for the video first as we knew what each page was going to include. In the recording studio, we used the microphone equipment and recording software available to us (Ableton Live 9). To help with this we wrote a brief script to read off when recording the voiceovers.
Once the audio was recorded, we used Ableton Live 9 to edit it. Our aim in using this equipment was so that our audio would sound clear and professional like. Once the audio was recorded, we cut out any background noise that the microphone had pickup up, as well as cutting out pauses to make it sound more fluid.
After the audio was edited and each of the page voiceovers were exported, we used the screen capture software Camtasia to go over each of the pages.We didn’t want the video to be too quick for people to understand, so we completed it in a timely and smooth manner, making it easy for people watching to grasp each page of the website well. Once this had been done, the audio and screen recording was edited together in Adobe Premiere Pro.