Exposition

Exposition

A number of factors have shaped and influenced the choices made during production. I believe one of the most relevant was initial market analysis and research into similar artefacts. Research demonstrated that an older target audience was more relevant to my project and enabled me to understand that aiming it at a younger age range of 17-25 would have been a fatal error. This led me to change initial design ideas to suit a more mature target audience. Additionally results pointed out users preferences in relation to the content they most valued on films, what filters they used most commonly to search for films and the way users navigated the website. Secondly I believe that adopting an iterative deign process has enabled me to create a clearer interface that meets the needs of its users, specifically for, interaction, engagement with content and clear design. Through consistently analysing and critiquing my work at different stages I was able to recognise initial flaws that otherwise might have gone unnoticed, for example, comments appearing on more than one film on the main page. I consider an agile approach to be more effective than that of the waterfall as I was able to adapt and change designs to suite functionality that I failed to design with the rest of the website. I consider that designing iteratively has allowed for more flexibility during design and building phases.

Lastly a factor I had not previously thought of as influencing my project was the technical side. PHP proved extremely useful in time management as it limited the amount of HTML code I had to enter, significantly decreasing my work load. Adding in each film and storing it into the database meant that one style could be added to all elements, removing the need to add in each individually. This therefore allowed me to focus on designing the interface, rather than entering in data.

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Short Falls and Failures

An initial short fall of mine, was the inability to create a responsive design that worked consistently across each device. Designs that looked good on desktop and tablet devices appeared cramped and overloaded when transferred on to the mobile screen. If I were to approach this again I would design for the mobile first, as it is easier designing for larger screen resolutions, with more space to play around with. Ben Frain (2012, p.11) supports this notion stating,“A truly responsive methodology is actually more than merely altering the layout of a site based upon view port sizes. Instead, it is to invert our entire current approach to web design. (…) we should design for the smallest view port first and then progressively enhance the design and content for larger view ports.” The biggest design difficulty I had to overcome was deciding the best way to represent user’s opinions. When displayed below the films, this forced the layout to alter as not all comments were the same size and also took away from the clean minimalistic design I had created. The most appropriate alternative involved replacing the description with user’s comments when hovering over a film.

Another downfall of mine involved time keeping, as i failed to acknowledge the amount of time it would take to enter all the film content into the database. With a hundred or more films viewed at the festival and each needing a synopsis, several photos added to the image gallery, a trailer and list of actors, this proved a more arduous task than expected. With imminent deadlines, I needed to focus on designing the interface, so collaborated with Harriet to avoid wasting further time.

Despite all setbacks each short fall entailed, I believe they helped develop my design, coding and production management ability.