In what way does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
My product follows the conventions of website design I have found from my research. For example I have positioned our logo on the top left because from my research on similar websites they all have their logo at the top of the page to identify the name of the site. However some websites I visited had their links situated at the top of the page whereas I decided to have ours on the side. I thought this would help my website differ from others and make it easier for people to navigate.
I used my photos which I took, as backgrounds to the website pages like the Smokefree website (see the picture on next slide) except I chose not to use just one image I changed each image according to each page. This created a theme going throughout the website providing consistency.
I also used the information from the “Dr. Bob’s Quit Smoking” site which gave a through amount of information to the site, however I used the layout of the Education / Stop Smoking Centre instead because I felt it was an easier read and didn’t overwhelm the reader with all the information in one chunk but instead in manageable chunks so they can absorb the and remember the information easier. I did this because our audience is from a wide demographic and this format will appeal to a larger majority.
How does your media product represent particular social groups?
My website is aimed towards smokers, who wish to start the process or are thinking about quitting smoking. By using different techniques such as the use of certain pictures and text I feel I have manage to get to our audience which is smokers young and old. For example using images of cigarettes and cigarette packets to show what exactly is involved with smoking. I done this also because smokers who will be viewing this website will be familiar with what they see and hopefully show to them why it’s a bad habit. Also through my video about peoples success in quitting smoking and the video on loop so that when the web page is opened it is automatically played, and with constant speech of ‘I quit’ this will get into the viewers minds and hopefully make them realise they need to quit and that they can quit.
The information and language is not too complex therefore it can be viewed by the younger audience but the information, language and mode of address is of a good standard and detailed enough so that the older and more educated viewers will feel the website is addressing them.
I included videos and pictures to breakdown the text for viewers who understand better by visual objects rather than text. One of my videos illustrates a story of a smoker where it starts off with getting the cigarette out and finishing with it. Then finishing the movie off with a question saying that it is your choice what you decide to do. Quit or not. I feel this is our main message, for us to deliver the help required but its your choice as in the audience to whether they quit or not, or even attempt to.
What Kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
The website would be distributed by the internet and read on a computer as an electronic page. To make it available for the audience to see, I would have to register the domain name as www.qsuk.org or www.quitsmokinguk.org. A domain name is the name given for the address of a website. The costs are £2.99 a year for .co.uk or org.uk or £9.99 as year for .com or .net. Once your website is completed, you must think carefully on how your website will be distributed and get to your target audience. You need to fund your project in order to get it running properly and this is done through web domain and web hosting. The service of hosting a site on the Internet making it viewable for other users on the net. A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to provide their own website accessible via the World Wide Web.
Who Would be your audience for your product?
My audience for my product would be people who smoke, as this is a quit smoking website, it we be a young adults with jobs which offer reasonable wages due to smoking being an expensive habit. Due to having a young adult audience I have designed the website to meet there expectations.
Also the majority of people surveyed were earning enough to pay for their habit with majority of people surveyed selecting £26,000-£35,000. This showed me that in order for most people to take up this habit they had to be earning enough to pay for their habit.
In terms of gender I nearly had a 50/50 split between male and female therefore we had to design and construct our website according to both genders and make it suitable for both genders to feel accepted within the site. This was mainly done through colour selection, I had to pick certain colours that would appeal to both genders.
The reason for selecting this target audience is because from research from my survey it came back with a ranged from around 19 year olds to around 27 which gave us the idea that smoking is taking up by a lot of young people and this meant I had to portray the information that would be sufficient to the user.
In terms of ethnicity I surveyed a mix and found from our results that our target audience would be a mix between all ethnicities.
I have aimed it at this audience by using certain graphics, visual and auditory techniques such as pictures of cigarettes, cigarette packets and a video of people wanting to quit and people who have quit, thanks to Quit Smoking UK.
How did you attract/address your audience?
Gathering from my research I found that I had an audience ranging from 19 to 27 in terms of age. This meant that I had to address our audience in a certain way which would allow the younger age to understand the information I would supply them with information and also design the website so that it would interest them. For example on my homepage I have little text and more pictures and with my text I splashed it around the page with information all over the page. In terms of my pictures I showed a happy picture in the top right of the homepage this would make the audience feel better seeing a nice picture on the page. Also the colour scheme would attract both genders as it’s a neutral colour and it’s balanced between male and female.
I designed my website based on the research I gathered beforehand and this gave me the correct information to give to my target audience. I found sufficient information which I felt was appropriate for our website. For example ways in which you can quit such as items you can use. In this situation I have explained about nicotine patches because my target audience will probably have heard of this technique because that is what they see around TV and magazines etc. and this is where a lot of younger people gather information from. However I have other items such as Lozenges, which will probably not be recognizable to my audience but they can learn what they are from the way I have constructed the information on that certain page. By breaking it down to simple terms and using a mode of address that is formal but not boring them with long words, I think I’ve managed to attract my target audience.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
During the process of creating my website I have had to use several pieces of software. Some I had previous experience on but some I didn’t and had to learn them.
The major software I had to learn and adapt to was iWeb. At the start I didn’t know how to work it, but as I used it more and more our ability grew and I was able to add things to my website as I learnt how to do it and the function of iWeb. I found the tools on iWeb were very useful when you got to know them, they allowed you to truly get what you wanted when designing the page. Linking with tools on iWeb I used Photoshop to create and edit my photographs I had taken so that I could add them to my website. Also I used Photoshop to create tabs, titles, Logos because it was easier to create this using Photoshop than iWeb and it gave me more options with adding layer styles.
Another technology I discovered and learnt how to use was iMovie HD, however this was quite easy to use even though it was the first time I had used this. The layout of iMovie was very user friendly and with the function of drag and drop it was very easy to piece together a movie.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
Since producing the preliminary task, there are several things that are included in my website now which I feel has progressed from the preliminary.
Firstly I have found the value of having a video incorporated into your website makes your website seem more professional and also gets the audiences eye more.
Also the use of working links I feel has progressed since the preliminary task and that with working links provides a better look to your website. With my full version I feel that the colour scheme has progressed with me because I have realised that you need to restrict the number of colours you use and the contrast between the colours you have used. Mostly I’ve learned that the audience expect the site to mostly look like other sites so they can find their way around. I didn’t think enough about this when I fist designed my site but after feedback from a number of people I realised that my site needed to be designed again.