Erica Scourti said that there is an intimacy between people and the computers that they use. Specifically, people do not mind their computer knowing about their search history which is definitely something intimate and something we wouldn’t want to share with other people. Thus, a computer is seen as something that generates trust.
I kept thinking about how I would want to draw my audience into my website. In my pitch I thought I could create a landing page and put a person with ‘You deserve to be seen’ words around them. I initially thought that that would capture people’s attention and act as a persuasion slogan that will make people share their data as they go through my website. However, after Erica’s lecture I think maybe I could approach it in a different way and since she mentioned that people trust their computers more with things like their search histories, I thought that I could put a computer screen as the landing page and have the users click on the messages that appear on it’s screen. The use of humor in the messages will make the person want to click more and this could maybe act as a part that will grab the users’ attention and make them want to proceed further into my website.
Below are images of my trials using the computer as a focus point. I used Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Muse to play around with this concept in order to see how I could portray it visually in a website. The images of the colored screen were trials for the landing page while the images with the social media icons around it were trials for a possible homepage.
Inspiration 1: http://hotdot.pro/#bilet2u
The homepage trials were influenced by this website that I found online which I really liked. I liked the way it looked visually and especially loved the effects used on the pages. The above screenshot shows social media icons floating around a creature in the middle. I liked the fact that all of the icons are in different sizes as well as the fact that some icons are blurred out while some are in focus. This creates a sense of dimension and gave it a 3D effect which made me feel like I lost touch with my reality and I was part of this new reality that the website was portraying. This is a really strong effect to use and I really want to incorporate that effect into my website. This is why I have tried a similar approach with the trials shown above.
Inspiration 2: Website Design by Alberto Conti (https://www.behance.net/gallery/15423833/Ortoromi)
This website has a similar effect to the one mentioned above. Once again I really want to try and incorporate that into my own website as I think that it gives a very visually pleasing effect and when combined with a critical concept, it could create a more significant and dramatic impact on the audience as they will feel like they are part of this reality.
Inspiration 1: https://2016.fromthefront.it/
The website above is very well designed visually. I think that their use of colors was very successful as the dark backdrop and the very bright colors of the images and font makes the website appear more captivating. It definitely makes me want to explore the website more. I think the font that they have used is a little retro and reminds me of a vintage game or something similar to that. I think I could incorporate either the font or the use of this contrast in colors into my own website.
Inspiration 2: https://www.behance.net/gallery/43562041/COUP-DE-COEUR-FRANCOPHONE-2016
I picked this website because I really liked the combination of these colors. They’re all different yet somehow they seem to work really well together. I think looking at the combination of these colors is very visually pleasing. I might try using some of these colors for my website.
Inspiration 3: http://www.fornasetti.com/en/secretpage
This website is actually a game in which these faces fly up and you have to shoot them. The website grabbed my attention instantly and I actually played the whole game which I think shows that it was quite successful! The website has a collage-inspired feel because it looks like these status are cutouts from magazines or something like that. The colors they used work really well together too. I think overall, I am very happy that I found this website as I do feel like I could include similar cutouts of people on my website which will create a vintage effect and thus add a visual element that can become a game.
Inspiration 4: https://www.behance.net/gallery/44944357/Some-personal-work
This work has the most game-like aesthetics out of all of the above examples. When looking at the interactive images created by Florent Hauchard, I really get the sense that I am actually there, participating in his game. I think that the movement created within this work captured my own attention which shows that it can capture the attention of the users at a greater extent then normal still images. I think his work also captures some aspect of the concept of identity that I have been exploring earlier. It looks like these personas are being controlled by the like or dislike buttons which can relate to concept of identity control. I think this work made me aware of the vital role that interaction and movement plays in the engagement of the audience and I will therefore try to implement that into my own project.
As discussed earlier, my website will address the topic of Identity and Data. I will thus be creating a website that will allow a user to go through a ‘journey’. This will be done by creating a quiz, the aim of which will be to persuade the users to give more and more information/data about themselves as they answers questions in each step of the quiz.
The website will incorporate game-like visuals and colors to grab people’s attention and make their experience seem ‘fun’ so they would want to continue further along my website. Each page will thus ask the user to answer a certain basic question such as ‘What is your nickname?’ and ‘What is your gender?’. Initially these questions will appear very basic and harmless so the user will not mind sharing this information. However, the further that they progress, the more personal these questions will be. I think that when the questions get more personal people will want to find out what their result is, especially since they have already spent a significant amount of time on the website, they will thus proceed with answering the questions.
Once they reach the final question they will get to a page that will say ‘Something went wrong. Your information was lost. Please try again’. There will be a visual animation of data being dispersed all around the page. This will serve as a reality check because the user will realize that they have just shared a lot of information on an unverified website and they dont know where it has now gone and who has access to it. I think this will allow them to think about the issues of security. There will also be a button or something like that which will appear with a statistic such as ’80 percent of people share information online without thinking’ which will act as a source of education for the user.
This is a very rough plan of how the pages within the website. Even though I have only displayed 3 quiz questions above, I will actually have around 6-10 questions in my final project next term.
These are the potential questions that I thought my quiz could be based on:
- How digitally integrated are you?
- Do you belong in the digital world?
- Are you digital enough?
- How significant are you online?
- Can we guess who you are based on just 8 questions?
- How digital are you?
I created these questions when I was brainstorming all the possible questions that I could ask through my website. I definitely want the question to have the word ‘you’ in it as i think this will be the perfect way to appeal to the users’ sense of self. I think after creating this list of potential questions and asking people in my class as well as my friends, one question stood out the most which is ‘How digital are you?’ . I think it perfectly incorporates the concepts that I have been exploring so far and it is interesting enough to attract people’s attention.
Since I decided to make my personality test-based website have an educational outcome, I therefore wanted to look at a strategy that could incorporate this educational quality in the best way possible. I started doing research and the majority of articles that I have found, related to online game-based learning. Thus, I decided to look into this in more detail.
Quote 1 : ‘Digital games, initially designed for the mass market with few educational connections, have gained increasing interests from educators and researchers [as] when used effectively in instruction, [they] can improve learning through increased motivation and engagement’ (Sadera et al., 2014, p.1).
This article was mainly discussing the use of digital games in a school environment to improve learning outcomes. While my website is not aimed at school environments, this article serves as a perfect source of information for a possible game-based website design as my website is promoting an educational outcome in the form of raising awareness of the danger when sharing data online. Since game-based learning is proven to be very successful, I believe that I can use this in order to construct a website that allows for the engagement of the audience by allowing them to participate in a ‘fun’ environment. They will thus be participating and getting entertainment which I think will be the perfect way to simultaneously use their engagement to educate them.
Quote 2: ‘motivation as a function of the engaging, interactive environment that is experienced through digital-learning games’ (Sadera et al., 2014, p.1).
This quote reinforces the previous quote in a sense that it mentions that the interactive environment that is created online through a digital game could serve as a source of motivation to learn. This article has inspired me to consider implementing game-like aesthetics in my website as I now believe that the combination of interactivity and game-like aesthetics can significantly improve the engagement level of my target audience. I will therefore need to start looking at websites that implement these game-like aesthetics in order to get a sense of what I need to create in my own interactive website.
Sadera, W., Li, Q., Song, L. and Liu, L. (2014). Digital Game-Based Learning. Computers in the Schools, 31(1-2), pp.1-1.
I have also attended the Brighton Photo Biennale exhibition. The work that was exhibited there was mainly centered around the concept of exposing the reality and portraying transgender people that are ‘unapologetic’ towards showing who they are. Most of the photographs had a rawness effect to them, which made the subjects portrayed in the photos seem very authentic and real. I however didn’t find any similarities with my own project both conceptually and aesthetically as my project deals with controlling identity and oversharing data online. Thus, I thought that the photographs didn’t really inspire anything in the making of my own project. However, I did capture one particular photograph that really stood out to me. It was a photograph of a young man and I think that when you look directly at his face, he seems very exposed and real which aesthetically goes directly against my project that will portray people with a covered or blurred face. This was significant because I thought it was interesting to see a completely different effect with a similar emphasis on the face.
Today I attended the Brighton Art Gallery as there was an exhibition of various Greek and Cypriot artists. The artist that grabbed my attention was Souzana Petri, who created the vase sculptures pictured above. I think that based on all the research that I have done on identity and concealment of the human face made me more aware of the expression of these concepts in relation to other people’s work. Thus, I immediately noticed Souzana’s work and identified the aesthetic similarities that her work has to the concepts that I have been exploring in relation to my own project. The fact that she uses a different medium to portray these aesthetics than my website-based project really interested me as it provided more research into how these aesthetics could be represented in different way.
Despite the fact that she used these similar concepts of covering the facial features in a different context, I think it was still relevant to my own project. Additionally, the fact that I was able to actually see and touch the work, made me visualize how my project could look and it also made me realize that I am ready to start experimenting and creating my project. Overall, I think her work inspired me to use more 3D-like animations in my website so that when the audience interacts with my website, it seems like the objects in my animation could be touched.
After considering the concepts of online identities and data sharing, I became curious about what makes this medium so persuasive which also made me wonder why people are not as aware about this as they should be. Thus I started doing research and I through the research I realized that ‘the Internet was built in such a way that [its] functioning mechanisms remained a mystery to the audience’ (Zielinski, 2006, p.138). This made me realize what the main issue with the Internet is the fact that people don’t actually know enough about this medium. This has a negative impact on society because it is important for people to be aware of the technology that they are using in order to critically approach it. The danger to privacy and security is also relevant here as the user is not aware of the fact that they are targeted because all of that is hidden behind a ‘façade of flashing lights, deceptively simple graphic user interfaces and sleekly design[s] (Berry, 2011, p.4). The graphics are therefore reinforcing the mystery aspect of the technology and simultaneously, masking any threats hidden behind websites.
This made me realize that I need to somehow make the user aware of the medium that they are using on my website. I am still not sure about how I could represent that visually but I am definitely going to start looking for visual inspiration that could somehow inspire me to visually portray this.
Berry, D. (2011). The philosophy of software. 1st ed. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
Zielinski, S. (2006). Deep time of the media. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.