Not Complete - Readings will be adjusted!
Module 2 - Project Analysis & Creative Brief
- For Monday:
- For Tuesday:
- For Wednesday:
- For Thursday:
- Watch the USA Today demographics presentation and look at some of the Claritas demographics by segment or zip code. This explain common groups or demographics that are present in America today.
- General use for the entire course:
- Universal Principles of Design (textbook) Gestalt Principles:
- Alignment - p.22
- Closure - p. 34
- Figure Ground - p.80
- Law of Pragnanz - p. 120
- Chunking - p.30
- Good Continuation - p.98
- Proximity - p.160
- Similarity - p. 184
- Symmetry - p.190
Resources for our projects
Assignment: Creative Brief
This week we will being our simulation of the work that an information architect/usability consultant would do. You will be producing a Word or pdf document, with multiple sections. Over the coming weeks, you may refine and change this document, as you come to understand the project better.
This document establishes you as the information architect and defines the project scope
Think of this document as a persuasive sales tool that you are preparing for a client. You will be doing the analysis of a magazine. You will present this analysis to the (imaginary) client. I have given you sets of questions below to get your thought rolling. Do NOT echo back answers. You need to write a clear, succinct symopsis of your findinsg in each area. It may help to put your information into a bulleted list, table or diagram.
Part of the iterative process is re-evaluating and adjusting the mission and goals on an ongoing basis. You will return to this at each stage of the process and may adjust the your mission and goal statement.
The first submittal is just a quick review to be sure that you are on the right path. For this first submittal, you will need to produce the following sections:
- Identify Mission and Goals
- Identify the Client's Vision
- Define the Audience
- Targeted Message
Identify Mission and Goals
- Provide a basic overview of the project? Briefly include background information if relevant.
- What is the major purpose of the new site? Are there secondary goals of the new site?
- Try to get an understanding of what makes this site special. How is it different from the competition?
- What areas of the current site are successful and why?
- Does the current site take advantage of current web trends and technologies? Would social networking or technologies enhance the site?
Identify the Client's Vision
What is the concept or vision of what the client thinks the website should look and feel like. Where there are multiple clients, there will be multiple (and sometimes contradictory) visions. It is not always possible to identify common elements. In such a case, a vision must be constructed out of elements of each client's perspective and - in a way - 'sold' to the clients.
- What do our site visitors currently think and feel about the magazine?
- What do our they currently think and feel about the existing site?
- What do we want them to think and feel about the site?
- What is the existing visual vocabulary in the print version of the magazine?
- Can you sum up the feeling in a few words: edgy, homey, safe, exciting...
Define the Audience
The 'audience' of a web site is the group or groups of people who will actually use the site. It is important to identify an audience because it will be important to determine what people will want to do when they're on the site. If, for example, people will visit the site daily for news and current events, then this information must be easily accessible, and not buried in some deep recess.
Often, there will multiple audiences. A corporate site, for example, may be intended to serve both employees and customers. While their interests may overlap (they may both need product information, for example), they will often have different interests and priorities.
- Who is your major target audience?
- What is one specific typical task this audience would perform on your site?
- What prompts them to visit the site (be specific - none of us just cruise dozens of magazines on the web to read an article), and why would they be enticed to return?
In determining your target audience in a real world case, you might rely on demographics.
- Questions to consider:
- Home page. How informative is the home page? Does it set the proper context for visitors? Is it just an annoying splash page with multimedia? How fast does it load?
- Navigation. Is the global navigation consistent from page to page? Do major sections have local navigation? Is it consistent?
- Site organization. Is the site organization intuitive and easy to understand?
- Links and labels. Are labels on section headers and content groupings easy to understand? Are links easy to distinguish from each other? Or are they ambiguous and uninformative ("click here" or "white paper")? Are links spread out in documents, or gathered conveniently in sidebars or other groupings?
- Search and search results. Is the search engine easy to use? Are there basic and advanced search functions? What about search results? Are they organized and easy to understand? Do they give relevance weightings or provide context? Do the search results remind you what you searched for?
- Readability. Is the font easy to read? Are line lengths acceptable? Is the site easy to scan, with chunked information, or is it just solid blocks of text?
- Performance. Overall, do pages load slowly or quickly? Are graphics and applications like search and multimedia presentations optimized for easy Web viewing?
- Content. Is their sufficient depth and breadth of content offerings? Does the content seem to match the mission of the organization and the needs of the audience? Is the site developing its own content or syndicating other sources? Is there a good mix of in-depth material (detailed case studies, articles, and white papers) versus superficial content (press releases, marketing copy)
Examples of this project from previous classes