Project Description (500 words)

The project that I have been developing throughout this term deals with concepts of identity and data sharing on the Internet. Specifically, these concepts relate to issues of control of identity, persuasion and privacy. According to Rose (1999), identities are not chosen freely, but are intensely governed, in other words, we are being directed on how to behave and act, which makes our identity heavily disciplined. This is specifically seen in the way that we are persuaded to constantly share personal data of our online lives which are then sold to advertising agencies in order to then ‘be coerced into buying something online’ (Morozov, 2011, p. 229). This persuasion and control of identity occurs because ‘the Internet was built in such a way that [its] functioning mechanisms remained a mystery to the audience’ (Zielinski, 2006, p.138). However, the sharing of data poses a serious ‘risk to the security and privacy of our identities’ (Nurse, 2015) as ‘we (and our devices on our behalf) are leaking oodles of sensitive identity information, and others are listening’ (Nurse, 2015). This project thus incorporates these theories into one website that aims to raise awareness of these issues.

These theories are incorporated within the website in the form of a personality quiz that users will be coerced into taking. The aim of the project is to embark the user on a seemingly innocent journey of self discovery by asking them questions which seem trivial at first and then get more and more personal as the user progresses through the website. However, once the user finishes the last question, instead of getting a result the user will go to this page. A man with an error message will slide in and claim that something went wrong, alluding to the fact that the information that was just given away by the user is lost. This will serve as a reality check  because the user will realize that they have just shared personal information on an unverified website and now they have no knowledge of where their information has gone or who has access to it.

The pilot material contains 4 pages from the quiz, the landing page, the home page, one quiz page and a final page. The first two pages are completely finished while the last two pages are partly animated mock-ups which are included into the pilot material to provide a stronger sense of narrative of the website. These pages will portray a sense of how the website will look upon completion.  The larger project to which the pilot relates will portray the final website design with all the developed pages with questions of the quiz. It will have the same aesthetics and inhibit the same qualities but will be more developed.

The project is aimed at the Generation Y group or the Millennials as they are the first generation to have grown up exposed to the Internet. Thus, ‘their wide and prevalent use of the internet, combined with their distinct position of growing up exposed to advanced technology, makes Generation Y a unique target for companies’ (Djamasbi, Siegel and Tullis, 2010, p.309). This is why they are the most likely to be targeted to give away personal data through the persuasion tactics implemented by advertising companies. Additionally, ‘Generation Y actively contributes, shares, searches for and consumes content – plus works and plays – on social media platforms’ (Bolton et al., 2013, p.246). Thus, my project will be shared on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter which are used the most by my target audience.

Bibliography:

Bolton, R., Parasuraman, A., Hoefnagels, A., Migchels, N., Kabadayi, S., Gruber, T., Komarova Loureiro, Y. and Solnet, D. (2013). Understanding Generation Y and their use of social media: a review and research agenda. Journal of Service Management, 24(3), pp.245-267.

Djamasbi, S., Siegel, M. and Tullis, T. (2010). Generation Y, web design, and eye tracking. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 68(5), pp.307-323.

Morozov E. (2011). What do we think about? Who gets to do the thinking? In: Brockman, J. ed. Is the Internet changing the way you think?. New York: Harper Perennial, pp. 228-231.

Nurse, J. (2015). Exploring the Risks to Identity Security and Privacy in Cyberspace. XRDS: Crossroads, The ACM Magazine for Students, 21(3), pp.42-47.

Rose, N. (1999). Governing the Soul, The Shaping of the Private Self. London: Free Association Books.

Zielinski, S. (2006). Deep time of the media. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Navigation, Narrative and Submission Website Pages Explained

Navigation Map:Screen Shot 2016-12-04 at 2.54.19 AM.png

The above map shows the navigation of my final website as well as allows to see the narrative that has been created. For this submission, I am only turning in 4 pages, 2 of which are mock-ups. This map also shows exactly how the user will navigate through my website. Additionally, for the purpose of this map, only 7 questions are displayed, however, there will be 10 questions in total in my final project. As mentioned previously, my website doesn’t have a menu which means that the user will not be able to go back once he clicked to go to the next page. This was done in order to  make sure that the user follows a specific journey because if the user had the option to choose which section of the quiz he could go on, then the narration would be ruined. Thus, the order of everything within the website is extremely crucial for the desired effect.

Landing Page:

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This is the first page of my website. I created lines and animated them in a way that makes the letters look like they are assembling in front of the user. This was done with the aim of making the user aware of the medium.  This aesthetics thus simulates an almost raw/ behind-the-scenes type effect which makes it look like you’re getting a glimpse into how websites are usually created before they are shown to the public as already assembled with hight quality graphics that attract the attention of user.

‘Lets play’ button- This button was inspired by an online quiz that I clicked on. I really like how that sounds very playful and fun and I thought that it goes perfectly well with my game inspired-design.

Home Page:

Screen Shot 2016-12-08 at 15.54.53.png

This is the home page of the website. The page as well as the whole website uses a vintage design aesthetic. As discussed earlier, vintage design can ‘elicit a sense of history, of stability, of reliability, and of value’ (Yoder et al., 2016).  When combined in a website, this concept evokes a level of trust from the users towards the website. Additionally, the lines behind the figures as well as the animation of the figures sliding in, all act as a source that evokes the awareness of the user towards how the medium is constructed.

The fact that the faces of the figures are covered directly relates to the concepts of blurring the face as representation of the fact that our true self is irrelevant online and that we are simply just an ‘IP address’ used in order to be persuaded into purchasing something online. The covering of the face is also a visual representation of how identity of the users on the Internet is being manipulated.

I also created a conversation between the figures and the user. This reinforce a game-like quality of the website and also serves as a source of attention-attraction for the user as the conversation will keep them entertained. This was created after the Lecture by Erica Scourti in which she talked about the existence of intimacy between a person and their computer, which generates a level of trust between them. Thus, this interaction is supposed to evoke a sense of trust in the user, making him want to think of my website as reliable and thus, engage in sharing of personal data through the questions.

Quiz Question Page:

Screen Shot 2016-12-08 at 15.55.05.png

This is the mock-up of the quiz question. The quiz seem like it is initially asking for very trivial information, something that people don’t mind sharing as it isn’t anything personal or seemingly harmful. However, as the user progresses through the quiz, the questions will become more personal and will require the user to think more critically about the medium while simultaneously giving away a little more information with each following step.This will make them give away personal information/data and reveal the fact that people’s identity online is constantly being controlled and governed using similar persuasion techniques.

This page will also have animated lines coming into the page as the user goes on the page which will follow the tactic of making the user aware of the medium.

Final Page:

Screen Shot 2016-12-08 at 15.55.14.png

This is a mock-up of the last page of my website. Once the user finishes the last question, instead of getting a result the user will go to this page. A man with an error message will slide in and claim that something went wrong, alluding to the fact that the information that was just given away by the user is lost. This will serve as a reality check  because the user will realize that they have just shared personal information on an unverified website and now they have no knowledge of where their information has gone or who has access to it.

The ‘okay’ button appears a couple of seconds after the figure and when clicked, a statistic will appear in the final project which will reveal the educational quality of this website as it will make them aware of the concept of data sharing based on how easily they give away their personal information/data.

Bibliography:

Yoder, W., Baker, C., S., A. and R., T. (2016). Vintage Designs For the Modern World – Logoworks Blog. [online] Logoworks Blog. Available at: http://www.logoworks.com/blog/vintage-designs-modern-world/ [Accessed 3 Nov. 2016].

Submission: Why did I choose to animate these 2 pages?

For this term’s pilot material submission, we are supposed to submit 2 web pages. These two pages are supposed to serve as a snippet into the navigation and narrative of my final website. Thus, I have been working on completely finishing these two pages and also creating mock-up plans for the other pages of my website.

I think these two pages are the most appropriate choice for this submission because they are basically the main focus of attraction to my website. By introducing the concepts of the quiz, these two pages capture the attention of the viewers while at the same time intriguing the users enough for them to want to see what the quiz is actually like.

These pages are the first thing that my users will see in my final website and since my target audience is people in the Generation X, their general interest in a website is based on the first impression that they get because they have a ‘short attention span’ (Djamasbi, Siegel and Tullis, 2010, p.310). This is further reinforced by a statement that ‘even major usability flaws on a website can be overlooked based on an extremely positive first impression’ (Djamasbi, Siegel and Tullis, 2010, p.308). This accentuates the fact that the initial two pages are vital as they determine whether my target audience will remain on my website. Moreover, ‘there is evidence that the visual appeal of the homepage may be particularly important to Generation Y’ ((Djamasbi, Siegel and Tullis, 2010, p.309). This once again reinforces the importance of these two pages and also acts as a supportive statement to why I chose these particular pages.

The reasoning behind my selection of these two pages could also be explained in terms of presenting a possible project to a board of directors or buyers in a creative industry. If I was going to present my project, I would only provide a snippet of the project itself and I would use the pages that introduce my idea, pages that have the most visually interesting qualities in order to capture the attention of the viewers by making them interested in what the website will be about.

UPDATE: I have decided that I will also include 2 mock-up pages on in the pilot project submission to provide a stronger sense of narrative of the website.

Bibliography:

Djamasbi, S., Siegel, M. and Tullis, T. (2010). Generation Y, web design, and eye tracking. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 68(5), pp.307-323.

Change in Animation on Landing Page

The animation that I had on the landing page consisted of two animation files that played right after each other. The first animation assembled into a letter H while the second one appeared seamlessly after the first one and made the letter smaller and moved it to the top of the page which was then followed by the rest if the words of the question. However, after showing my pilot website in class, I was recommended to remove the section where the letter H gets smaller and moved to the top corner. From the feedback, I learned that the assembling of the letter part looked professional while the movement of this letter that followed looked distracting and too abrupt. I completely agree with the comments as I myself have been struggling a little with making the two animations flow together. Thus, I decided to work on that particular aspect of the animation.

It is hard to see but the slideshow below was the initial animation that I used.

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By experimenting with and tweaking the Adobe Edge file, I managed to change the animation. The animation on the landing page now assembles the letter H, disappears and then the whole ‘How’ word appears in the top corner, followed by the rest of the words in the question. Thus, I removed the transition and now made it more clear and I think it words much better visually as the space between the two animations allows the eyes to concentrate more and made the general effect of the animation on this page better.

The slideshow below shows that the word appears all together right away.

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Additionally, I have also received feedback that the H looks more like a logo rather then an introduction to my quiz. I haven’t really looked at it that way before but now that it has been pointed out to me, I think it would interesting to experiment with the landing page next term and maybe make the beginning letter of each word assemble together? I have made a mock-up of how that would look (image below). I think that this could potentially make the page too busy so this might seem too distracting to the audience, however, I think that this could also work if done right. Thus, I think next term, I will try and experiment more with the animation on the landing page.

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Budget and Exhibition of Work

I thought that in order to make my project stronger and more successful in the future, I needed to consider the budget of my project as well as how I would exhibit and spread it.

Since my current budget is 0. I know that I wont be able to promote my project through any methods or services that involve spending money. However, I think that spending money might not even be necessary because ‘Generation Y actively contributes, shares, searches for and consumes content – plus works and plays – on social media platforms’ (Bolton et al., 2013, p.246). Social media platforms are therefore central to the spread of my website as I still accomplish the results I hope to acquire through sharing my website on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, sharing my website on social media is relevant because they serve as central platforms for oversharing data, thus, by placing my project exactly where the oversharing of data occurs, I could educate the target audience directly. Additionally, I currently have a website domain that I have been using for the past couple of years. Thus, I could also share this website on my domain and distribute this awareness through a platform designed for websites.

Bibliography:

Bolton, R., Parasuraman, A., Hoefnagels, A., Migchels, N., Kabadayi, S., Gruber, T., Komarova Loureiro, Y. and Solnet, D. (2013). Understanding Generation Y and their use of social media: a review and research agenda. Journal of Service Management, 24(3), pp.245-267.