When designing a web page don’t try to reinvent the wheel. You want a site to be attractive and interesting visually to grab the user’s attention, but it also has to be easy to navigate or they will lose interest. Guide the user where you want them to go and keep it simple. Use larger, bolder font to bring attention to the most important points you wish to make, break the pages up into clearly defined areas and make it obvious what is “clickable”. Having clearly defined areas is important because it allows users to decide quickly which areas of the page to focus on and which areas they can safely ignore. You also want to make use of conventional icons and symbols that are universal in meaning so the user doesn’t have to waste time trying to figure out what things are and how to use them. For example, sites that sell products often use the metaphor of a shopping cart.
Consistency is a good thing to strive for within your site or app, but there will be cases where things will be clearer if you make them slightly inconsistent. At times like these, the rule to keep in mind is that clarity trumps consistency. Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind, however, is how things look on the page, or the visual hierarchies. Through organizing and prioritizing the contents users can grasp your message much quicker. Keep paragraphs short, use bulleted lists, and highlight key terms to make scanning the page effortless.
Web designers generally agree that the number of “clicks” a user has to make in order to get to any page within the site needs to be limited to no more than three. You want users to be able to get to what they want without getting too frustrated. However, when you can’t avoid giving the user difficult choices or questions to answer, you also need to be prepared to offer just the right amount of guidance. Guidance works best when it is brief, timely, and unavoidable. In other words, you want to provide the smallest amount of information to be of help, place it so that the user encounters it just when they need it, and format it in such a way that ensures the user notices it. When the user is faced with choices, making those choices mindless is one of the most important things you can do to make a site easy to use.
1. Have you ever been turned off to a website because of its intrinsic design?
2. What would you strive to accomplish when designing your own website? And what would you avoid?
Being able to easily navigate a site SCREAMS user friendly to those who are not quite up to par with technology. If I go to a website and I can’t figure out how to get around or get to where I want fairly quickly, I am very likely to exit out and try an alternative route. Krug brings to light 7 different principles that you need to keep in the back of your mind when creating a user friendly sight.
1. Useful- does it do something people need done?
2. Learnable- can people figure out how to use it?
3. Memorable- do they have to relearn it each time they use it?
4. Effective- does it get the job done?
5. Efficient- does it do it with a reasonable amount of time and effort?
6. Desirable- do people want it?
7. Delightful- is using it enjoyable, or even fun?
Krug’s first law of usability is “don’t make me think!” When you first navigate to a sight, you don’t want to have to spend time searching through multiple pages of the site just to find out what the gist of the page is all about. The home page that you pull up should be self-evident and explanatory without much effort exerted. When you’re creating a site, you don’t want the user to have question marks filling up their head wondering what everything is tied to and what it exactly means. A good example Krug gives of unnecessary question marks are links that obviously aren’t clickable, which leaves us wondering what the word does and where it leads.
Krug’s second law of usability is “how we really use the web?” Designers typically think that users are going to dive so deep into every page and effect they have on their site, when in reality users generally just skim the sight and navigate only by using key words. Very few users are going to read everything, even half, of what is on a website. Fact of reality is, we skim articles, and generally for three main reasons. One, we’re usually on a mission; two, we know we don’t need to read everything; and three, we have become inherently good at it (22).
User experience is a valuable element in relating to your audience. No one likes to have a mishap or malfunction that could have easily been avoided had the maker been more attentive to the user friendliness. For example, not clicking the button down on the coffee maker so it doesn’t make your coffee, swiping your credit card the wrong way and it getting denied because there are no instructions, or your alarm clock not waking you up on time because it had the wrong programmed time. All of these are personal experiences users have had with technology. Simple tasks can be marked with a bad memory based solely on the outcome of the experience.
1. On average, how long do you think you spend on a website page before navigating to the next?
2. Have you ever had a bad experience with a piece of technology because an important piece of information was lacking?
Video editing in the correct way can turn out to be very powerful. A professionally edited video can appeal to senses and emotions and create relationships with viewers. Not all videos have to be professionally edited to be interesting, such as the one above. The youtube video above has no story line nor is it trying to get any particular point across, however, the producer of the video does a great job at editing each scene and making them seem like they are actually happening in reality. He keeps the viewers interested by not showing the clips for too long at a time and in each he shows some drastic change. There is also a motive for each cut in his video, which is important for keeping the video in sync and creating flow.
Not all edited videos are home made and have one scene going on in them at a time. Many times news reporters have to precisely edit videos for their shows or for the web. This editing style requires a few more steps and careful adjustments. Instead of the reporter being on the screen for the whole 5 minutes of discussion, a thing called b-roll is used. B-roll is footage that visually describes the story. While the reporter is talking about a certain event, she can use the b-roll to cover up her speaking about it and allow the audience to add credibility to her story by showing them clips of it.
Continuity is probably one of the most important aspects you as an editor need to make sure that you maintain. “Continuity refers to maintaining story consistency from shot to shot and within scenes” (235). Maintaining continuity is crucial to make sure you avoid jump cuts. A jump cut occurs “…when the cut between two images is not sufficiently different from the previous shot” (235). Below is a video I found on youtube of several jump cuts within a video. When the background image of the shot remains the same, but the viewer can tell that the main subject of the shot has changed positions is when jump cuts are most noticeable.
Although in my opinions most jump cuts look unprofessional and sloppy, some are left in place for added effects. Leaving jump cuts in particular scenes or interviews adds tension and intensity. However, if you are trying to avoid jump cuts there are several techniques you can use to bypass them. My favorite is using traditional b-roll. If you are interviewing a subject and the interviewee moves in between questions and you have to edit out the moving, you don’t want to continuously show the interview and allow the viewer to see where you cut out the fidgeting because the jump cut will occur when the subject moves from their initial position to where they moved after they fidgeted. Instead of showing their change in position, try covering up when they move with b-roll. When you begin the clip with the interview, then cover up the fidget with the b-roll, then go back to the interview after they get situated again, the viewer will never notice the change in positions from before the b-roll. Problem solved!
1. Have you ever been a witness of a bad editing job?
2. What techniques did the editor use that made the video so visually unappealing?
Evan Talbert, Kamber Parker, Taylor Collins
How many of you go to a movie and immediately rush to the front to get a seat on the front row? Well, if you are like me, you avoid the first SEVERAL rows. Before reading this article, I just thought that it was because my neck got tired of constantly looking up. However, now i realize that the extreme horizon effect overwhelms me and causes a lot of discomfort. When ones horizontal plane is off balance it often times can cause nausea.
Horizontal, vertical, both, and even tilt of the image can add effects to the scenery. Many pictures of buildings focus on the vertical aspect of the image so that it lengthens the portrait. While pictures of open spaces may focus more on the horizontal aspect of the image so that it seemingly increases the open space. A tilted horizon often times adds stress and excitement to a scene. Many video artists use this effect when recording a video to enhance the connectedness and energy it shares with its viewers. On the other hand, many painters focus on a level horizon because it adds peace to the image and creates a sense of stability and comfort with its viewers.
Not only do the horizontal and vertical scenery of the images entice us, but the placement, symmetry and asymmetry also play a big role. Asymmetry of the frame refers to the natural position our eyes are drawn to when first looking at an image. We do not naturally always look to the left or right of the picture, but rather our first glances are based on the position of the main focal point. Being able to create symmetry with the main image not being in the center of the portrait is the toughest challenge but if you can create symmetry with an asymmetrical photo balance, you have mastered an art.
Figure ground relationships also play a crucial role when examining the cameras point of view. This article lists a few important characteristics of figure ground relationships:
1. The figure is thing like, you perceive it as an object. The ground is not; it is merely part of the “uncovered” screen area.
2. The figure lies in front of the ground. The ground is what lies in the background.
3. The line that separates the figure from the ground belongs to the figure, not the ground.
4. The figure is less stable than the ground; the figure is more likely to move.
5. The ground seems to continue behind the figure.
Once a figure and a ground is established, you can create vast effects if you tweak the perceived figure and ground.
1. Do you tend to get bothered by a scene in which the horizontal balance is skewed?
2. How important do you think horizontal and vertical relationships are to the symmetry of a picture?
“To be interpellated by an image, then, is to know that the image is meant for me to understand, even if i feel that my understanding is unique or goes against the grain of a meaning that seems to be intended” (50). As humans, we have the ability to view and interpret each image that we see in our own unique way. This “interpellated” concept can apply on a large serious scale or a small everyday scale. For example, when you were younger in elementary school, how many of you had a teacher who would hold up an inanimate object and you immediately knew to stop talking, line up, clean up etc. For me, my all my elementary school teacher had to do was put her finger over her lips and hold up a red stop sign and we automatically knew that we were being too loud. This is a small example of a shared understanding that my elementary class had associated with a certain image. However, as the images grow more complex and our cognition develops, each person is not going to interpret each image the same. We all create different meanings and understandings about images. Whether we develop those meanings on the spot or if we have pulled from past experiences and those experiences have influenced or deterred us from connecting with an image.
For example, when I look at an American flag I immediately connect it with our soldiers and our freedom. While I think of the flag as my unending gratitude and soldiers in camouflage, a soldier may have a completely different view of the flag. When he looks at the flag, he probably immediately recalls different war zones he was apart of, or friends he helped heal from battle wounds, or long cold hungry nights, or countless nights away from his friends and family. Just by this simple image of the flag, very different meanings were recalled and correlated with.
It is interesting how closely advertisers pay attention to our connections with images and videos. It is in the advertisers best interest to make us as viewers feel apart of their add. If the advertisement we see doesn’t connect with us in any way, or totally bypass our interests, we aren’t as likely to keep watching. Below is the Olay commercial advertising cream to make our face look younger and more regenerated. Whether our skin is actually old and worn out, no girl likes wrinkles and we love clear smooth skin. Olay goes through the commercial by first connecting with us by explaining how most women speak of their skin. They then go through the steps you need to take to reverse your old baggy skin by using their product. Every woman wants to look and feel beautiful and this Olay commercial appeals to our senses by first calling out our concerns and then go on to describing to us how this new Olay cream can fix all our problems. The power of images here in this ad add credibility and insurance of the product to us as viewers.
1. How often are meanings and commands sent to you through images rather than words?
2. Do you think the power of these images are more or less powerful than the power of words?
Images. The use of these inanimate objects if used correctly can convey powerful meaning; meanings than can be influential and positive or dark and negative. How many times did your parents love to show off your school pictures as a child? How many of you still have that dreaded picture on every family members refrigerator? For me, it was my grandpa. I know no one likes to talk about the “favorites” in the family, but I am definitely my grandpa’s favorite. Every school or sports picture I ever had he would carry around in his wallet and every where he went, the doctor, grocery store, gas station… wherever, he would pull out my picture and show the cashier or employee and go on and on about it. To him, my picture was very important to him and symbolized a bond we had, and through that picture he was able to show others how proud he was.
Although, images are not always rainbows and butterflies. Just through a simple picture, we are able to tell the type of meaning and message one is trying to get across. My school picture was a bright young smiling girl in the hands of a goofy proud grandfather, so immediately the viewer is likely to have a smile on their face because they know thats the reaction my grandpa is hoping to get out of them. But what if someone walked up to you and showed you a picture of their dead cat, hopefully you wouldn’t have quite the same reaction. Just through a change in the picture and a change in the attitude, the message is completely changed.
However, images wouldn’t be what they are if we didn’t have the ability to look at them. Visual reference is also a very powerful action. By simply looking at something or someone or not looking at something or someone, you are asserting your power and it can be both looked at in a positive and negative light.
Pictures, paintings, drawing, photography and many more have to face the challenge of conveying a meaning through their work without using verbal language. To do so, they have to engage the viewer into their work merely by the scenery they take a picture of or the figures they choose to draw. When I was younger in art class my teachers used to always make the class dive in and try to depict what the author was trying to get across to the viewer before we went any further. This used to be the most aggravating thing in the world to me because I wasn’t really a deep philosophical thinker and most of the time I couldn’t explain what I was thinking when I drew a certain picture, much less try to dive into someone else’s mind and figure out what they were meaning? However, now i understand our rationalization of others works to be one of the most beautiful things. As an artist and being able to clearly convey certain messages to others by merely a picture, and not having to use any words to do so, is one of the most powerful ways to get your point across. So, for me, and for all you visual learners out there, being able to see an answer in a picture will drastically help you understand and grasp that message for far longer than reading them across a piece of paper .
1. Whats the last image, picture, or painting that your can vividly remember had a lasting effect on you?
2. Do you believe the power of images are more powerful than the power of words?
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