PULSE – Website Testing

I carried out website testing on various devices to ensure the functionality and styling was working correctly. Through testing, I realised that the portrait styling was sufficient but I needed to amend the styling for landscape views. I resolved this through created another css media query for orientation=landscape. The below screenshots show some of the errors that I resolved.

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As well as the styling, there was also a few links that weren’t working correctly, of which I successfully resolved. I got some members of my target audience to test my site, they registered and tried out the training guide. From this, my target audience gave me some useful feedback of which I acted upon. I added an option to preview week one if the users doesn’t sign up on a Monday, as well as edited a few spelling mistakes and working more on form validation. Previously if the user entered a username but no password, it would still let the access their guide. To overcome this, I altered the code so that it checks the database to see that the password and username match and if not an error message appears.

PULSE – How This Guide Works

Reflecting upon feedback and my research on exemplar works, I decided to add more information to my home page. Originally, my site just featured the top image, however I have now made it parallax scrolling, in order to relate to contemporary website trends and to provide users with more information about the PULSE…home.png

This addition allows users to find out more about the guide before they have to register, it clearly explains that it provides 15 week marathon guides that integrate Strava. Reflecting upon existing works and contemporary design trends, I decided to add icons to support the text in order to make it more visually appealing.

Target Audience

The target audience for my project are runners, specifically those seeking to train for an upcoming event. The website aims to cater for a range of runners all varying in experience, from first times to professionals. It aims to achieve this through providing training plans of different difficulties.

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Runners would use the website in order to not only informatively guide them through the necessary training but also to motivate them to get all the set runs done. From personal experience, training for a marathon is intense and requires high levels of motivation and commitment. Thus, using Strava and gamification elements (can only unlock the next week once runs have been tracked on Strava) it helps to motivate users through their training. Testing with the target audience is crucial and a process I will continually undertake. I am a member of a running club so will regularly test my work with the club. I will gain feedback and opinions from runners throughout all the process, allowing me to continuously modify the website to make it more successful with its intended users.

User Testing – Family and Friends

I have presented my piece to my family and friends in order to see whether they think it will be successful and to help me gain feedback and improvements, as well as to help me decide which objects to use (shapes/stick figures/software icons). It is important to gain feedback from users as it means I can improve my piece to make it more appealing and suitable for its purpose. It relates to the iterative design process as I am engaging with users in order to help develop and improve my piece. Before showing my piece, I came up with some qualitative usability questions to ask and here are the concluded responses from the multiple users…

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  • Which object do you prefer?

The majority of people preferred the shapes as they thought this idea worked and looked best. There were a couple that liked the stick men figures as they thought it looked more unusual and interesting. None of the users preferred the software icons.

  • Discuss what appeals you to interact with the piece?

The majority felt that the bright colours stood out a lot and helps make the piece look more appealing. They also liked the fact it involved camera interaction and thought this worked well.

  •  Discuss what you like about the piece?20150111_132938

The majority liked the black and white video capture contrasting with the bright coloured objects and thought this worked well. They liked how they could use any part of there body to interact  and obstruct the objects. The simplicity of the piece also meant anyone could easily interact without any difficulty.

  • Discuss what you understand about the piece?

Everyone understood that it is camera interaction where you can obstruct the falling shapes. However, some couldn’t understand what the point of the interactive piece was. When discussing the concept of surrealism and the blurring boundaries between the real and the imaginary/simulated, this helped their understanding but younger family members portrayed the piece as more game-like.

  • What improvements would you suggest?

A common suggested improvement was that I could experiment with adding more of each the shapes. Also, another common suggested improvement was to make the range of the sizes of the objects more varied. Some users suggested that I could make the piece more game-like and have a point system so that if an object falls, they loose a life. They felt that if it was to be made into a game, the objects needed to fall faster in order to make it a bit harder, as well as possibly to use shapes as decoys. For example, you only loose a life if a square falls and the other shapes are just there to distract you. A big improvement that has come to my attention is that the video capture needs to be mirrored. At the moment, when you lift up your hand, the screen flips it so it is the opposite side. This makes it a bit confusing for users to interact with as the video capture is reversed.

Moores (2005, p.112) suggests:

‘the ways in which individuals make sense of media products vary according to their social background and circumstances, so that the same message may be understood in differing ways in different contexts.’

This can apply to the user testing I carried out on my family due to the varied range of ages from 12-80. Each individual makes sense of the piece in their own way and denotes different meanings and messages. In particular, I found that the younger members saw it being game-like and the older members (grandparents) did not really understand it. This can relate to Jenkins idea of the ‘digital divide’ and how different age generations access and use of new technologies varies. Due to my target audience all being a similar age (students), I feel that there will be some more common denotations from interacting with my piece. However, as Jenkins suggests it is hard to understand the complexity of audiences. Due to this complexity, I’m aware that individuals may denote the messages and concept of my piece in multiple ways, peoples behaviour may differ and my expectations of the audience may be challenged.

Overall, testing the piec20150111_132925e with family and friends has helped me a lot. I have now decided that I will use shapes as the falling objects as this was the most agreed upon response. Also, I am pleased with the visuals and think the bright colours on the black and white video capture is an element that is appealing and liked by users. Due to some of my family being younger than my aimed audience, some didn’t fully understand the piece and the concept. However in the public space, due to my target audience being students, they will hopefully understand the piece better. From carrying out this testing, it has helped me to gain lots of feedback which will enable me to improve my piece to make it more successful. The improvements were all very useful and I will take each of them on board. I need to ensure that next I edit the code to mirror the video capture as this could make it confusing for users and put them off interacting with my piece.

Jenkins, H, 2008. Convergence culture: where old and new media collide. London: New York University Press.

Moores, S, 2005. Media/Theory. Thinking about Media and Communications. London and New York: Routledge.

Poster Designs

This was our first digital design for our Independent Dorset poster:

design 1We gained feedback about our first design and as a group came up with some improvements to be made. First, we decided that the title should be the same colour as the background, as at the moment it is separated. We thought the blue background wasn’t eye catching enough due to the flag also being blue, therefore we decided to have a white background instead so that it all stands out clearer and is more eye catching. Also, we thought the arrows weren’t needed to show Dorset separating from the UK and that the tagline should be larger. Here is our final poster:

final poster

By getting previous feedback from peers, we decided to change the tagline and also focus on Dorset rather than having the whole of the UK. By carrying out this iterative design process, it has helped us to improve upon our poster and help make it more appealing to the audience. Next, we will put our poster up in the public space (Weymouth House) to see whether people notice it and any comments they may have.

Rough Poster Design

A mini project we have been set is to produce a group poster promoting Independent Dorset. It was important that we first carried out research about Dorset and Independence, of which we found that Dorset was a relaxing, coastal and agricultural county. We researched existing Independence campaigns, Scottish Independence being the main one, in order to gain ideas and influences. Next we went on to draw out some designs…

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Our ‘Keep Calm and Free Dorset’ Poster was inspired by the iconic ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ campaign posters, of which I am exploring for my Media and History Essay. Specifically, I am analysing propaganUntitledda within advertisements and thUntitled1e strong importance of exploring media and design history. This design in particular highlights how historical designs can still have huge influences on the contemporary. The original was in fact designed in 1939 to boost the morale of the public at the time of the Second World War, yet the design still remains highly popular with various remakes an adaptations being made, Made in Chelsea’s logo being just one of many examples. However, we felt that if we were to go with this idea it would work best as a campaign of multiple poster rather than just the one. Therefore, we decided to go with our other design – ‘Homes for Homeless’.

We followed the iterative design process and showed our design to our peers in order to gain feedback to improve our design. The feedback we got was that the tagline could be seen as offensive and is targeted at the homeless. Therefore, we came up with a few different tagline ideas – ‘Dorset For Dorset. Not the Tourists’ and ‘Support Dorset Independence’. We also got feedback about the world map, peers felt that Dorset didn’t stand out that much due to it being at the bottom of the page. Therefore, we have decided to only include the bottom half of the UK and shift it up to the centre of the page. It was important to engage with peers as it allowed us to improve our poster and make it more suitable and eye catching. Next, we will go on to produce our computer designs for the poster.

Anon,1939. Keep Calm And Carry On [poster]. UK: WarTimePosters. Available from: http://www.wartimeposters.co.uk/ [Accessed 27 October 2014].

Made in Chelsea, 2014. [Television Program]. UK: Monkey Kingdom Productions. E4: 21:00.