Creating impact – Workshop 1
The major theme of today’s workshop that we had with Steve, was an analysis of some web platforms. First of all, we went through some key concepts that we talked about earlier in the seminar, such as hybridity, convergence and interface, in order to clearly understand them.
After explaining these concepts, we concentrated more on the interface of some web platforms, because the interface is the connection between the content and the user. We were split in groups of 4 or 5, and every group received a popular website such as: Youtube, BBC, Amazon and IGN Entertainment. We had a few minutes to analyse the interface of these websites and to see if they are appealing or not. My group got Youtube, which is one of the most popular video – sharing sites. After only 5 years, Youtube has now more than 2 billion views per day. The interface is one of the most important things at a website, because it can attract or repel users. From this point of view, Youtube has a quite simple interface, easy to access, but not so appealing. It doesn’t stimulate you visually.
I should start by telling first about the principal element of an interface: the search box. What is good about the search box is that every time you’re searching something, it gives you suggestions about popular searches, similar with yours. Moreover, the well known logo, changes from time to time, especially from holidays. The site is split in several parts: in the left side you have the most popular videos, the ones that they recommend you, organised according to categories, and the latest TV shows uploaded; on the right side you have trending and featured videos(whats popular around the world), and also you have the rubric with whats new. Also, Youtube has a blog where you can find out many more details about it and its users, and it also gives you the possibility to change the language.
Moreover, another thing that attracts users, is the fact that you can become a member of Youtube, by creating an account. This thing has a lot of positive aspects. For example, by becoming a member of Youtube, you can vote other videos that you like or dislike, you can comment on videos and you can actually upload your own video. In this way, people will be more involved in this whole process. Moreover, another aspect is that by having an account you can create your own list of preferences. Another big step is becoming a partner of Youtube; this means that if you upload a video which has more than 1 million views, you start getting money.
On the other hand, there are some things that people don’t pay attention too. I am referring at the bottom of the page, where are the buttons for privacy, term and conditions. These are very important aspects of every website, and people should read this terms very carefully before making an account. They are placed on the bottom of the screen strategically and they are wrote with a small font, in order for people to not notice them. For example, if you upload a video on Youtube, you cannot know without reading these terms and conditions, that you will lose your rights on the video. Youtube will be able to modify, change or delete your video whenever they want, without asking your permission.
That’s all about Youtube, so lets go further, to BBC’s website. BBC, unlike Youtube, has a quite busy interface, with many widgets. This website covers a lot of domains: sport, news, fashion, music, weather, radio, time, books etc. Once you become a member of BBC, you can personalise the interface of the website by adding or removing things. You can change the fonts and colours, you can set the time and the weather from your city…Although it is something quite usual, BBC has a more appealing interface than Youtube. Maybe you are wondering why it is such a busy website? The answer is that BBC is one of the most important institutions of England, and it needs to cover many areas and domains, in order to maintain its reputation.
IGN Entertainment and Amazon websites are more appealing. They have a nice interface and its easy to access. For example, the first thing that you see when you access Amazon website, its a commercial at their own product: Kindle. This is a gadget that allows you to read and store books. It was one of the Oprah’s favourite things, and from then the sales started to increase. In the left, there’s a menu that helps you select the category that you are looking for. In this way you save a lot of time.
All in all, the purpose of this websites it to attract as many users as possible, in order to have a profit. Every website sells in a way or another something, even if that thing is a product or a brand. The interface of an website it is very important, because it represents the connection between the content and the user. In the same time is the one that can attract or repel users.