Photoshop assignment

March 19, 2010

As a compulsory assignment in dikult105 we were to create a webpage with the different Mccloud transitions.

Here is how my page ended up: http://www.student.uib.no/~aba068/photoshop/

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Paper no. 1

March 12, 2010

For this assignment I will be performing a semiotic analysis of the Norwegian party Arbeiderpartiets homepage (Norwegian Labour Party), www.arbeiderpartiet.no.

Jens Stoltenberg, Arbeiderpartiet

The main colours used in the site are red, white and grey. The top part of the site is in red which is a warm colour that draws attention. In the discourse of politics in Norway, it is a connotative representation of the left wing parties. The red is put at the top of the page with the party leader and Norwegian prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg aligned a little to the left, which can also be seen as a connotation of the party being a left wing party. He is dressed in a suit as we are used to seeing him. That is how he likes to portray himself to the public. He is standing upright with his hands on his back in a sort of a friendly, welcoming stance. In the background there are shadows of some different people. There seems to be both men and women represented here, and maybe people of different ethnicity. This signifies that this party is welcoming and representing everyone, and treating everyone equally. The quotes “Alle skal med” and “Arbeid til alle er jobb nummer èn” appears next to Jens Stoltenberg. It is put in large quotation marks, which gives the feeling that Jens is addressing or talking to you personally. This is a trick that is used a lot in advertising (Kress, van Leeuwen 2001, page 122). The quotes are about including everyone and giving labor for everyone which also the different selection of people in the shadows implied.

Arbeiderpartiets logo

On the top left is Arbeiderpartiets logo, the rose in white. It is usually in red, but with the red background they made it white. Underneath the party name “Arbeiderpartiet” and their slogan “Alle skal med” is written in white text. They also use their rose symbol for their online store, “rosebutikken” (the rose store) that you can find at the bottom of the site. It is hard to spot this though.

In the top right corner is a search box. The red and white together creates high contrast and makes it easy to find.

Underneath the red area is a grey navigation bar. It’s easy to spot. The “Aktiv” (“Active”) element in the menu doesn’t say much, but is explained with more text underneath. This is where to go if you want to become a member. This could definitely be changed to “Bli medlem” (“Join AP”) or something like that for better understanding. A navigation bar shouldn’t contain much text and should not have the need for describing the different menu elements, they should speak for themselves. If they can’t, it’s a bad choice of categories.

In the middle with white background, you can find recent news and causes that the party is focusing on. Right now it’s about women’s rights (as it has just been the International Women’s Day), with a YouTube video of Jens Stoltenberg making a public visit to a health care facility. On the right side they put three of their main causes in red. Labor for everyone, health and elderly care and education is what they are focusing on here. Next to the labor for everyone is a picture of a laptop computer which I find kind of odd. I don’t really know what to make of it. If you click on the link there is a more typical picture, of an industrial/oil worker.

Underneath this there is something called Apedia. Here they are referencing to Wikipedia which again is using the provenance of encyclopedias. It’s a collection of information about Arbeiderpartiet and their points of view. Here you should be able to find just about anything you want (or don’t want) to know about Arbeiderpartiet.

At the bottom there are links to where you can find Arbeiderpartiet at various social Medias; blogs, facebook, flickr and twitter. Under the heading twitter you can find the last two twitter messages posted, currently by Jens Stoltenberg and Helga Pedersen. This has become very popular in Norway by politicians after seeing it being used successfully by Barack Obama in the American election. All the major parties in Norway are now using at least some of these social Medias in their campaigns.

The fonts used throughout the page are Times New Roman and the Calibri/Cambria-family. This is not very surprising, as these are “websafe” fonts that most people have, and they want to reach as many as possible. At the bottom of the page you can find the “Information in English” link. But it is very hard to find, if you didn’t know it was there you probably would not find it. It is put in very small text along with the contact info.

References:
Kress, van Leeuwen (2001) – Multimodal Discourse – the modes and media of contemporary communication
Arbeiderpartiets homepage (12.03.2010) – http://www.arbeiderpartiet.no


Guide to Bergen #2

February 23, 2010

As a compulsory assignment in DIKULT105 I created this Guide to Bergen website. The assignment was to create a structure for the guidebook consisting of different webpages that each student created last week.

I started out doing some card sorting as described in Head First Webdesign, chapter 3.
I eventually ended up with these categories:

  • Food & Drinks
  • Shops
  • Culture
  • Sites
  • Mountains
  • Other

The “other” group could have been done different I guess, as it doesnt tell the user much. But there are some pretty peculiar things in that category, like a bus stop and fire hydrants. They would not fit into the other categories. The alternative would be to remove those pages from the guidebook I guess, which I didnt want to do.


Blog assignment #2

February 11, 2010

In this assignment I’m going to look at a website that fails to communicate in some essential way.

For this assignment I will take a look at the Internet Movie Database, IMDb at http://www.imdb.com. IMDb is a database with a lot of information mainly about movies and actors, but also about TV-shows.

At the top of their page you will find their logo. IMDb is written in black with a yellow background framed into what could be a movie ticket. “The Internet Movie Database” is written under their logo in the same yellow that surrounds the black letters IMDb. This is put there as a picture and not as text, which can cause problems for some types of users (blind people, non-humans). This is the only place on the actual page that it is stated.

They use 3 different font types throughout the page, which can be confusing. They seem to mix Arial and Times New Roman. Choose one and stick with it. Verdana which is designed for easier reading is barely used.

The search function seems to be an important one as it is given a very central placing. You will have to click on the search field to be able to type into it, which can be a bit annoying. If you go to Google or some other search engine you can start typing into the search field immediately.

The left hand menu contains a LOT of information. There are 5 links to movies in each of their categories, and since there are so many categories you have to scroll to find the rest of the menu. This can be confusing to the user and can lead to information being overlooked.

Under new DVDs and blu-rays in this menu, clicking the movie-title will lead you to their information page about that specific movie. If you click on one of the bold DVD or blu-ray links next to the movie name in the new DVDs and blu-rays you will actually be sent to buy them at Amazon. There is nothing that implies that you will be sent to a purchase site when you click the link and this is confusing for the user. Something like “buy it” would make much more sense.

IMDB has different international versions of their page. Can you find them? They are two places, but not where you would expect them to be. They are put at the bottom of the left hand menu, and at the bottom of the main page, so you have to scroll down to find them. This could be a problem for new international users that are not so good in English. They scan the front page for a flag, a language button or the like, but can’t find it, so they probably won’t stick around to find their language at the bottom of the site.

Pictures, pictures, pictures.

I put together all of the pictures that is visible when you open the front page. Pictures steal attention, and here they don’t seem to be consistent, other than about half of them are about their “Road to the Oscars”, where they write about the nominees to the Oscars and other awards. The other ones just seem to be randomly selected pictures of actors and from movies. The pictures have not been treated to integrate into the rest of the page, for example by adding colours already used in their site. To the user it adds confusion and disorganizes the page.

Finally, the actual code is full of errors. When trying to validate the main page through http://validator.w3.org/ it found 125 Errors and 60 warning(s). The numbers speak for themselves, and this is their front page, which should be the most important.


Blog assignment #1

February 4, 2010

This is the first compulsory assignment in dikult105. I am going to have a look at www.norwegian.no

“Norwegian” is a Norwegian airline company. It is the second largest airline in Scandinavia and focuses on being low-cost.

When you enter their site you see their logo in the top left. It consists of a plane with a shock wave tail. The shock wave tail indicates speed. “Our planes are fast. If you are in a hurry choose us.” The red background catches your attention and makes the text really stand out.

In bold white letters is the company website address. The font used in the logo is different from the font used at the rest of the page, which makes it stand out. They consider their webpage as their primary distribution channel, so they advertise it in the logo. The colours used in the logo are red, white and blue, which are also the colours in the Norwegian national flag. They use a lot of patriotism in their branding, which also their company name indicates. They portray Norwegian as being better, as a sign of quality. On the actual planes that they operate, the red, white and blue colours decorate the plane. There are also portraits of Norwegian heroes and entrepreneurs presented on the tail of the airplane.

The background of the page is a very light blue toning down into white to go with most of the page being red. The red colour is designed to catch your attention, while the blue and white background makes the page a bit calmer.

The font used is Arial I believe, which is their standard font. It is quite neutral in appearance. In the red sections the text is white, while in the lighter sections black is used. These colour choices makes for high contrast and easy reading.

The word cheap is used a lot on the page. “Search for cheap flights”. “Fly cheap with the Low Fare Calendar”. “Find cheapest flights”. They really want to communicate that they are cheap. “Take a look at our prices, they are really good.”

At the Norwegian version of the page a big advertisement fills the middle of the page. They are expanding into the telephone business, advertising their new low-cost mobile subscription. It is the only object that is animated that is visible when you first enter their page, so this obviously gets the users attention. I find it kind of odd that the most aggressive ad on their page is for a mobile subscription and not for some of their main services. The ad states that this is a new product, the cost/minute charge and the “callnorwegian.no” logo. The ad is made in “Norwegian’s” colours and the font is the same as the rest of the site, so it fits in. The “callnorwegian.no” logo is very similar to the “Norwegian” logo; the plane with the shock wave tail has just been replaced with an ellipse or ring, which can indicate communication.


dikult105

February 2, 2010

I am taking the course dikult105 this semester at the university of bergen. Its a course on webdesign and aesthetics, which I find interesting. This blog was created as it is compulsory while taking this course, and to finish my assignment for today I will post a picture for you all to enjoy.

This is an old screenshot I took which I found kind of funny at the time. It shows some of the weird things that can happen in online poker.

aakkkkjj


Welcome to my blog!

February 2, 2010

This will be my first blog-post ever, I hope you will enjoy it and follow my blog as it develops. As the first line states, I have never blogged before, and also I have not really followed a blog for a longer period of time.

The exception to that is my friend Tobias’s blog over at saiboten.com which I pop in at once in a while.
Also check out thimmis’s blog at thimmis.wordpress.com, its a brand new blog that will rock your world!