What makes ‘Adelaide Students’ different from other similar websites “promoting” Adelaide, such as ‘The Adelaide Set’ or ‘This is Radelaide’, is that we cater more towards the younger youth. It is a fresh and exciting online social website where not only do we endorse the social culture and lifestyle of those living in Adelaide, we aim it for those who are currently in the midst of studying. Adelaide Students understand that it can be busy and stressful for undergraduates/high schoolers, thus the site generally has posts on how to handle the stress and what to do during the studying season. Not only do we have posts similar to those but also giving out tips and tricks on how to live a balance life (socially, mentally, and physically). We do this through the posting of various activities or events that will happen within each month; also keeping in mind of students’ budgets, we ensure the events or places will not do too much of a damage on their wallets. The website is purely for helping the students of Adelaide see that it is easy to balance out their lives. The goal is to connect with the community through creating, inspiring and showcasing a side of Adelaide that no student has seen before.
VISUAL COMMUNICATION AND DESIGN:
The way we understand information is powerfully affected by the visual design (Tufte, 2012). In order to connect with my audience, generally students, various visual communication factors such as photography, typography and the overall design have been taken into account to present a sleek, clean and easy to read and navigate website. Decisions were made in order for audiences to know and see exactly where things are in just one quick view. This is shown through the blog posts as audiences are able to scroll down in one quick motion and through the tabs on top of the page. Tabs give audiences a chance to interact with other viewers and also the creators of the site. Each blog post has one large image, each going along with the theme of the written post. The information within posts has the expression of writer to viewer, where it is speaking to “you”, the reader on a personal level. This is accomplished through the use of a ‘first person’ style of writing. Images used are not of my own, however, if my time was utilised more efficiently, own photos would have been taken. In doing so, would allow for a close connection with readers as they will see things from my own perspective. Most of the pages on the website does not have a lot of colours, in terms of links, titles, font. This was designed intentionally as I wanted to keep the website simple and clean, making use of black font colour and white space. It was also done as I wanted to make the website look modern, sticking to only using little colour as I did not want the website to look ‘childish’ with bright and bold colours. Majority of the colour has come from the images used; I made sure all images were bursting full of colour, capturing the audiences’ attention. Going along with the theme of ‘simplicity’, the chosen font used in majority of the sites’ design is ‘source sans pro’. This approach to the font was to ensure viewers were able to and quickly and easily read through the website.
USER INTERFACE DESIGN:
All websites will present an interface design for viewers navigating through it (Vegh, 2011). It is a combination of text, images, and other elements that make up the website viewed; what viewers see and how they interact and accomplish with the page is the interface design (Vegh, 2011). Through the understanding of how user interface design helps magnifies the site’s layout, the ideas have been addressed within the site, Adelaide Students. Also mentioned, a visual hierarchy is important and one of the key features, thus this was also incorporated into my websites’ layout design. As shown in the drawn-up wire-frame, clear cut off sections are my main priority and focus. The header will have a large image that is of relevance to the site’s theme and concept, with a medium sized title placed on the bottom left hand corner. The tabs underneath the header and title are to appear horizontally, it is the second thing readers will be able to view. This will help them to easily navigate through the website. Once readers scroll down, the blog posts will be shown corresponding from latest to earliest post. A large image will be shown, guiding readers to view what the post will be about as well as the use of a title written with a simple font. A short, sharp and simple description of the blog post will be underneath the image, also helping readers to view a short snippet of the post. The side bar consists of other social media accounts linked to the website (Twitter and Instagram), as well as an archive and search bar. White space is included as a mean of creating visual and aesthetic interest to the readers as well as managing the site’s theme of simplicity. The decisions on how the site is designed is catered for our readers accessibility, providing for a quick and easy read and navigation.
USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN:
Internet-based social media platforms have slowly increased within the past few years, making it possible for one individual to get into contact with other hundreds and thousands of people (Mangold and Faulds, 2009). In order to further extend my concept’s brand and to connect with a larger audience, other digital platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram have been incorporated and used. Both networking sites have different approaches, using either 140 letters forming a type of text or posting original images taken by the user. If combined and used together, the number of users one can reach and network out to is astounding. Adelaide Students was able to have a chance in creating both a Twitter and Instagram account, with different types of posts on each social media platform. On Instagram, I uploaded an image correlating to each on of my blog posts, “advertising”/informing my followers that I have made a new post on my blog. I also uploaded images onto my Instagram with short captions that were relevant to ‘Adelaide Students’, not necessarily posting about my blog. This was purely to communicate with my followers on Instagram. I also made sure to post an image of my header image/design, showcasing that my blog is up and running. I also did the same on twitter, however, instead of uploading images, I wrote short “tweets”, consisting of only 140 characters. This was quite difficult as I found it hard to tweet what I needed to with only a short amount of word count, however, followers would have found it easier and quicker to read. Having access to other social media accounts made it easier for traffic movement/readership on my website, as it would have reached other users who not only reads/view the website but the followers on the social accounts.
For more tips on studying, head on over to our website https://t.co/xiI61LXtMB
— ADL STUDENTS (@ADLSTUDENTS) May 27, 2017
Image shown below is a screenshot of the analytics regarding my website views. These statistics indicates the performance of readership and views towards the website. As shown, there are not as much activity as I would have liked, however, this may be a result of the changes made towards my overall website idea/concept. I ended up having to start and create a new website as I was not happy with my previous concept. The most views/activity was in the month of May in comparison to the earlier months, as this was when I made changes and postings towards my website. Another possible reasoning as to why numbers are low would be due to little engagement and activity on my other social media accounts. Once I started to increase in the amount of posts I made on Instagram and Twitter, the numbers, even though they are relatively low, increased slightly. This analysis, I have concluded that little to no interaction on social media accounts will result in little to no views/numbers on my website. The amount of interaction you have with your followers will indicate and be reflected in the volume of readers/viewers.
FUTURE DIRECTIONS AND DEVELOPMENT:
Due to changes made for the “theme” my website and other linked accounts, I had a setback and had to quickly get back on track within a short period of time. If I had the chance, I would have thoroughly thought out what I wanted to create and made use of my time more efficiently. By doing so, I would have been able to build a larger following and increase the numbers for the social media analytics. Uploading images onto Instagram and Tweeting more frequently will definitely help and improve my website, as I am interacting with my followers as well as gaining a larger network for my platforms. In terms of design, I would like to organise my posts into different sections/headings, making it easier for readers to find what they want to view in a quicker manner. If proper and high attention is put into my website and other social media accounts, Adelaide Students may have the potential to grow and continue on doing so.
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Kaplan, A. and Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business Horizons, 53(1), pp.59-68.
Mangold, W. and Faulds, D. (2009). Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix. Business Horizons, 52(4), pp.357-365.
Tufte, E. (2012). Visual explanations. 1st ed. Cheshire (Conn.): Graphics Press, pp.79-103.
Vegh, A. (2010). Web development with the Mac. 1st ed. Indianapolis: Wiley Pub, pp.205-219.