Final Report – Showcase of Robotica
Concept and Overview — 10%
The concept of my website is to demonstrate and present my artistic abilities in a professional manner. By creating a website to house my work, I am able to tailor the design in a way that is both functional and easy to navigate, but also showcases my work in the most suitable manner. An extension of the site was to include the opportunity for users to set up their own account within the site. What sets it aside from other similar sites such as Deviantart, is my proposed idea of introducing a ‘like’ system to filter feedback; removing the risk of online trolls and irrelevant criticisms, which can cause effects similar to offline bullying (Craker and March, 2016).
My target audience would consist of those I connect with through various social media accounts. By incorporating social links into my site, it creates a network between myself and users. Linking my otherwise difficult to find website with frequently updated social media platforms means users are easily able to access the site without having to go to any extreme lengths to find it. Based on my art style and the social media sites I primarily interact with, I would place my audience demographic at young people aged 14 – 25.
Visual Communication and Design — 15%
The best type of communication for my sight is, for obvious reasons, visual communication. A chose and theme that is simple but not empty and a text that is bold and easy to read, but also simple to compliment the style of the website and to not distract from the main content. The use of peach coloured text for the site name and post titles contrasts against the gray scale of the rest of the site, drawing emphasis on what I consider is most important. The colour is considered to be warm and inviting (De Fiore, 1988), but while the text is important, the focus of my site must primarily be on the visual images aspect. By choosing a theme that supports large pixel images, my work is made the number one thing users will see on my site.
My large, colourful banner is designed in such a way that it encourages users to engage more deeply with my site. By offering small portions of my work and using them in my banner, users will want to seek out full resolution versions of each piece, thus along the way finding other aspects of the site to explore. (Banner below)
User Interface Design — 10%
The layout of my website is intended to be as simple as possible, without appearing bleak and empty, while still maintaining a professional feel. I chose to stick with a black and white theme, par my banner and text, so not to distract from the content of my site. The inclusion of a very pale tiled background broke up the white expanse without interfering. While the theme is simplistic, by opting to add a large, colourful banner, it creates personality within the site.
I designed the interface with two audiences’ in mind. A professional audience and a public, or personal audience. The blog style main page, in which users are able to freely look at my work by simply scrolling, was designed mostly with my professional audience in mind (figure 1). As I intend to enter into the Game Design industry, it is crucial that my ‘portfolio’ is displayed in a way that is easy to navigate, without the need of spending unnecessary time searching for each piece. By having the home page link directly to the ‘dashboard’, potential employers need only scroll up and down to see all my work.
The second intended audience is my personal audience, where the other tabs featured on my site come into play (figure 2).. The about, commissions, and speed art pages were created with them in mind. In order to create a following, it is important for people to be able to get to know you well. The about sections gives a detailed description about what I do, as well as the suggestion to follow the incorporated social links. Many also feel more comfortable and less segregated when they know your creative process, so for many who are in the early stages of creating digital art, or simply those who wish to get a closer look at each step I take, the speed art tab provides process videos for them.
User Experience Design across Digital Platforms — 15%
I have utilized many social media platforms in order to connect with my audience. My main platform of interaction is Twitter, however Instagram and Tumblr are also commonly used. I opted to use Twitter most because of its easy to use interface. I found its tagging mechanic to be very accurate and up to date when compared to the other two. I also set up my site in a way in which posts made to my WordPress site are automatically shared with my Twitter account, creating that connection, but also saving me time on cross posting.
However, both Instagram and Tumblr have individual characteristics which can be used to market towards different types of audiences. Instagram allows for such creativity as posting an image that is divided up into 9 squares, that, when viewed together, recreate the image. This type of networking is not only creative, but makes viewing a more pleasant, fun experience. On the other hand, the ability to freely code themes on Tumblr means that creating a space to better suit your content is unrestricted, and thus showcasing work can be a lot smoother. Both Instagram and Tumblr have fairly coherent, albeit very different, messaging services, giving audiences the ability to talk to one another as well as giving myself the chance to talk with them, which is ideal for marketing (Mangold and Faulds, 2009). These each appeal to different groups of people and so using these varying social sites to my advantage will allow me to build a large following.
To further create a network, I carried over my personal logo across each platform. In doing this, audiences can easily see that I am the same person based simply on one image. It creates familiarity between myself and my audience, which they can then pass on to others.
An example of how WordPress automatically cross-posts can be seen below.
Audience Metrics — 5%
Unfortunately, I have not received the necessary information to garner whether I have been appealing to the correct, or my ideal, demographic. likely due to inactivity, I have not received a lot of feedback apart from clicks and page views. I could have avoided this by producing more content, or publishing written posts in order to engage with audiences more.
Although Twitter analytics from May shows I received 527 ‘impressions’, this only resulted in 1 new follower, and even then, without any re-tweets, I am unsure of where these users hail from.
On the other hand, analytics found directly on my WordPress site do show where those who have engaged with my site are in the world. Of the 59 total page views received, 53 were located in Australia. While these are most likely primarily my classmates, the other 6 viewers were found to be from the United States, Italy, and Indian.
I conducted some A/B testing early on in the course via Twitter which yielded some useful results. I created a post which featured such tags a #gameart and #characterdesign, which did, in fact, receive attention from several accounts who also share game content. I then created a similar post without any tags that received almost no attention whatsoever, proving that content cannot be seen unless it is assigned to a certain tag. It is easy to see how applying even something as simple as a tag can increase or decrease the type of traffic a post receives (Ud-deen, 2015).
Future Directions and Development — 5%
Considering how my theme has constantly changed and evolved over the duration of this course, I have considered upgrading to WordPress premium and purchasing a theme to further refine my site if I continue with it after the course has finished. The concept will likely remain the same, however I will adapt it if I chose to make it a social site where other can create their own profiles; making it more user-friendly with users in mind rather than just myself.
I also aim to be more active on other digital platforms. Facebook is widely used, with the Monthly Active Users for the first quarter of 2017 at 1.94 billion (Investor.fb.com, 2017), which could increase my chances of connecting with a wider, my variant audience. Although it prevents me from uploading my work in full quality, I can still use it as a way to lead people back to my WordPress site using excerpts and cleverly worded status’. Another potential platform could be Snapchat. I have noticed with the inclusion of news articles into the platform, that Snapchat is becoming very multipurpose. While it may not be great for sharing digital work, it could encourage me to photograph traditional, pencil and paper drawings, but could also act as a way of building relationships between myself and my audience if they can see how I am. In my experience, I have seen many artists move to Snapchat, where they are able to share more personal things about themselves, not just the art they produce. This could once again help me connect with a wider audience in the future.
word count – 1643
- Craker, N. and March, E. (2016). The dark side of Facebook®: The Dark Tetrad, negative social potency, and trolling behaviours. Personality and Individual Differences, [online] 102, pp.79-84. Available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com.proxy.library.adelaide.edu.au/science/article/pii/S0191886916307930 [Accessed 30 May 2017].
- Investor.fb.com. (2017). Facebook Reports First Quarter 2017 Results. [online] Available at: https://investor.fb.com/investor-news/press-release-details/2017/Facebook-Reports-First-Quarter-2017-Results/ [Accessed 2 Jun. 2017].
- Mangold, W. and Faulds, D. (2009). Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix. Business Horizons, 52(4), pp.357-365.
- De Fiore, G. (1988). Drawing with Color and Imagination. Published by Watson-Guptill .pp.21 – 31.
- Ud-deen, H. (2015). 8 A/B Split Tests That Made Shocking Discoveries. [online] Kissmetrics. Available at: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/ab-tests-shocking-discoveries/ [Accessed 1 Jun. 2017].