My finished music video:

My front digipak panel:

My front digipak panel:
Right-click the image and open it in a new tab for a bigger version.

My inside digipak panels:

My inside digipak panels:
Right-click the image and open it in a new tab for a bigger version.

My back digipak panel (with album spine:)

My back digipak panel (with album spine:)
Right-click the image and open it in a new tab for a bigger version.

Click the image below to open my website in a new tab:

Friday, 22 December 2017

Construction Post 6: Editing the website

The third and final product of the construction phase would be the website. Jack was leading this project- as with the other stages, the leader did the majority of the basic work with lots of input from the other two group members, who also helped out. In this case me and Noa were the helpers, and we helped not only by doing some website editing, but also by creating various elements for the website, especially in the final week when we had both mostly finished off our products and Jack needed an extra boost from us. The website was built using Wix, an online website creation software with the ability to edit your website and then publish it live, with Photoshop used to create various images to be used to actually build the site within the browser. Website editing consisted of creating various pages and website elements, and linking them all together. We have a pop-up, a home-page, and a few supplementary pages that can be accessed from the relevant sections of the main page- for example, clicking the competition image takes the viewer to the special competition page. The home page is built of lots of small sections, including one for the debut video, one for the album, one for the gallery, one for the merchandise shop, and so on.
Wix is an all-in-one website creation tool, accessed through their website and used inside the browser rather than being downloaded and launched from the system files like the other programs we used throughout this project. This was a change for us, but one we quickly adapted to, especially because of the many benefits of being online- you could see what your website was going to look like because you were already viewing it in a browser, for example, and you could publish it at any time. Click to enlarge.
Photoshop CS5 had been a very important tool to us throughout this entire project. It was the only software used for the digipak, went beyond its standard uses of image editing to aid in video editing and animation for the music viceo, and for the website it helped us create virtually every element of all the pages. Click to enlarge.

Our Challenges

A few problems came up during this stage. The main one was the sheer number of images needed on top of the actual framework of the website- the video, for example, had all the footage already available, and the digipak required image editing but also had the basic template already in place. Thus we had to manage time well to have enough for all three projects, with Jack trying to stay ahead to save us time (which he did well) and Noa and I trying to not neglect our own products while aiding Jack (which we managed to do.) Breaking up the work over the multiple weeks we had, and Jack assigning us things to make for him so he could focus on other stuff and know he would have access to another image later on without having to work on it himself or worry, both really helped us overcome this challenge and get all three products done in time.

Another thing we had to contend with was the way Wix works. Sometimes, we had a plan for something, often something quite conventional, but Wix didn't have a one-step tool for it. For example, if we wanted an image to change when the mouse cursor touched it, yet still be a link to somewhere else, we couldn't just use the button tool- we had to make an invisible link box over an image box. Wix is a great website and piece of software, but it came with a learning curve, especially since we hadn't used it in any other projects throughout the years, although we overcame each issue as they came and still managed to have everything the way we originally envisioned it, and we were all quite proficient by the end.

My Contributions

My contributions included making four or five of the merchandise images, making some of the general website pictures, coming up with the idea for a coloured outline to appear around each band member when selected with the cursor, suggesting we move each section of the home page apart more to aid in reading them as separate things, finalising the details of the contest, general work and aiding in decisions and design, and more.
The 'gallery' section of the website. I have scrolled over the image of myself with the mouse cursor (which has disappeared for the screenshot,) revealing the yellow outline and my character's name. The others have not been scrolled over, and thus are just normal images, but they each have their own unique coloured outline and name if selected in the same manner. Click to enlarge.
An example of merchandise I created for the online shop. I created each of these separately and saved them as different files, but also made this images with both of them to act as a promo thumbnail image- people will see this in the shop, understand they can purchase an 'Acrylics' branded oyster card holder in multiple colours, and then click the listing and view the individual holder colours through the listing's gallery. Click to enlarge.

Feedback and Changes

We changed the website quite a lot as we progressed, basing the changes on our own adaptations as well as audience feedback, as with the other products. One thing we changed was the obviousness of the contest- an audience member mentioned they wanted to know about it soon after reaching the website instead of having to work more to find it, so we added a link to the contest page to the image gallery at the top of the main page. This solved the problem straight away and ensures people will be more likely to get drawn in quicker.

Another thing we changed was the start screen. We hadn't decided if we were going to have a start screen or a pop-up when we made a flat-plan, as we considered them interchangeable. However, both our target audience and our teachers seemed to agree that a pop-up that doesn't require a change of page is a much better option. Thus, after finding out about this, we added the pop-up.
Our website's pop-up. You can see the 'X' to close it in the corner, and through the semi-transparent background you can see the main homepage- clicking the 'X' simply closes the overlay, and leaves you on this homepage, with no need to redirect to a new webpage. Click to enlarge.
A third change would be the separation of the 'about' and 'gallery' sections. We originally had them be the same thing- clicking the information box about a band member would open their gallery. However, we found some of our audience who we had try out the website missed this too easily, and thus we added a dedicated gallery lower down the page, with a link to it on the navbar, but still left in the links in the 'about' section. Thus, people who want to click the information boxes to see more are accommodated, but people who don't realise that is an option but still want to see images have a clearly signposted gallery to visit.

Our Progress

Overall I think the website was a success. While it ended up taking us the longest out of all three, and we could probably have learned a bit more of Wix on the weekends before the product construction weeks, we still managed to produce a website very much in line with our original ideas, that looks good and is very functional. We used Wix to its fullest extent and produced something we are all proud of.

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