Tag Archives: google

Think before you ink

8 May

After reading an article in a magazine, I was re- faced with the question of do I actually want a tattoo? I know exactly what I want but the main problem is that I’m dead scared of needles and pain! (So yes pretty useless). Even the sound and thought of the machinery makes me cringe, let alone actually sitting down to have one!

There are more than 2,000 tattoo and piercing parlours in the UK. 1 in 8 adults over the aged of 18 have a piercing somewhere other than their earlobe. and in the USA 50% of over 21s have a tattoo! The growing popularity of tattoos means that the stats are sure to reach that high in the UK soon. Programmes such as Miami Ink and London Ink have helped towards the rising statistics, pushing the body art mainstream.

A tattoo for most is a way of expressing their individuality, people want something that is personal to them or something that relates to a personal achievement or special occasion.  There is one problem with our culture and that is the fact that is that we are living in a celebrity endorsed world. Some people will go into a parlour to copy a piercing or tattoo of their favorite celebrity. That is fair enough, but remember that is likely to go out of fashion and could make people regret having them done in the first place.  A lot of tattooists today will refuse to copy a Cheryl Cole-esque tattoo and you may find yourself getting turned away.In my opinion a tattoo should be unique and have a story behind it.

Today many people refer to their art as a collection, it is said once you get one you wont stop and that body art can be an addiction. A tattoo is a way of expressing yourself but if your’e finding yourself planning one after you’ve just had one done you will most likely be getting one for the wrong reason.

So if you are thinking about getting a tattoo why not go in to a shop and talk over what you would like and where before making the big decision.  Search through Google to learn the procedures and do a bit of background reading. It’s something that will be with you for life (unless you have lots of money to get it removed when you’re old and wrinkly). Ask someone that already has a tattoo to recommend a place to get one done. It may sound silly but why not try a henna before hand just to make sure you’re happy with your chosen design.

And remember a tattoo WILL hurt. So think before you ink!

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Time to analyse

3 May

The Times is a daily national newspaper which has been being published in the United Kingdom since 1785. The Times has a dedicated website which provides its users with a database of news stories, new and old as well as extra features that are written especially for the website. Well known organisations such as The Times must be “aware that they have to give their visitors good reasons to visit their site and good reasons to return to it.” (Geest,2001, p1) There are a number of aspects of a webpage that if not done successfully can automatically put a reader and viewer off.

Searchability

In order for a site to be effective it must be searchable. When typing ‘times’ into Google, the Times Online is the first webpage that is presented. As well as a link to the site there are direct subject headings that will take the user directly to a specific type of news category for example “sport”. A search bar means that if the user is looking for a specific news story the Times Online search bar will allow the user to make a search before even entering the website.

Navigation

A website’s navigation scheme should be intuitive, predictable, and easy to find. (Summers & Summers, 2005) The Times Online site is simple to use, its main toolbar makes it easy for a user to navigate to their desired topic of the website, whether it is ‘businesses or ‘travel’ for example. Once selecting the desired toolbar the link is highlighted and another toolbar underneath gives a number of further options.  A Clearly labelled navigation bar is one of the easiest ways to create a satisfying navigational experience for its users (Cox and Koelzer, 2004).

Usability

A professional website must be faultless when it comes to the links. All the links on the Times website work fast and efficiently, taking the user to and from their selected topics of news. The simple layout of the toolbar allows the user to navigate around the website successfully. There is no overcrowding on the site and although at times attention may be given to the adverts bordering the page, the main information is centred in the middle of the homepage making it easy to gain the user’s attention to the most important news stories and features.

Design

According to Burgess (2008) a “website needs to objectively promote visual, functional and design consistency.” The design of a website is the first aspect that pulls a user in and persuades them to read on further.  The Times Online uses a plain design with blue, green and clear black font and a number of different headlines and images all placed on a white background.  The Times has a well known reputation so therefore the design of the website must work with the newspaper and its reputation in the industry. The majority of the layout suits the newspaper, and the plain white background promotes maturity. The green, white and blue colour scheme is kept across the whole site to follow through with the theme of keeping the site simple and business like.

Content

Content for the Times Online must be rich and informative to follow the reputation that the newspaper has held for many years.  At an initial glance it is clear that the site will fit within this requirement, the amount of news stories is ongoing, and when reading them they match closely to what would be expected of the Times newspaper; mature yet engaging news stories which are well written and presented.  The website boasts a high quantity of feature articles and other articles such as recipes, league tables, reviews, and interviews to name but a few. The news stories are sorted correctly under the specific headings on the toolbar. Burgess (2008) says that “content should be organised clearly and in a logical manner so information context is maintained.”

Video/Audio

A large variety of the news stories are supported with images or appropriate media, allowing for the user to support their reading with other mediums. Any media on the website which is provided in the format of audio, videos or slideshows load fast and play effectively on a regular internet connection.

Interactivity

“Interactivity” describes communication with a medium (Jucker, 2002, cited by Janoschka 2004). It allows a user to get involved with news topics and debates. The Times’ website allows people to comment on every news story published in a “have your say” box at the bottom of each story.

User Generated Content

User generated content comes from the “my profile” section, once registering with the Times Online the user is able to set up a personal profile and manage their own account. By registering the user is able to take part in competitions and promotions and sign up for free email bulletins.

To conclude, it is the clear that The Times Online works closely alongside the theme of The Times newspaper which has a high reputation in the newspaper industry. The website follows a simple yet effective design which reeks professionalism. Not only is the website easy to function but the straightforward layout makes it easy to navigate to a specific area of choice. On the whole The Times Online and its effective database provide its users with a satisfactory website experience.

For the full version click here

The Sun online – good or bad?

2 Feb

Evaluating the official website of The Sun newspaper, how did I rate the website that runs alongside the famous newspaper?

Searchability: The site is the first to come up when typing “The Sun” into Google, the URL of the site is exactly the same as the name of the newspaper, so people shouldn’t have any difficulties with finding the site.

Usability: Despite the many flashing multimedia links and the diverse range of articles on the homepage, each page seems to load quickly when the links are pressed . All the pictures also act as links so if the picture catches your eye before the heading does, you can just press on the image.

Navigation: My first thoughts of the homepage is that it is overcrowded! As you click on the site you’re faced with a rainbow of different multimedia and articles. Although the link navigation proves to be successful; in my opinion the navigation could be hard in terms of finding exactly what you want. However the search bar at the top is an easy way of finding a specific article.

Design: The homepage uses a large heading at the top and a left hand side toolbar and a red and white colour screen. Although the toolbar layout seems pretty simple, there are a lot of links, and it could be time-consuming finding exactly what you want in the toolbar. In the middle of the page are print screens of popular newspaper articles, these flash from one to the other, although eye catching they take a huge amount of attention away from the website and in my opinion are not necessary. Along the right hand side there are many annoying adverts which take up too much space, wedged between the adverts are more articles headlines accompanied by small thumbnail images. Ticker lines and flashing images take the much-needed attention away from the headlines of the stories. As you keep scrolling down (quite far) there are more article headings all jumbled between forums and features. The design has a lot of potential, the colour scheme is successful in catching the eyes of its user, however the overcrowding of the features and articles makes me feel pretty claustrophobic!

Content: The content runs alongside the news of the day. However the website has taken the content out of hand. There are a good selection of well written (depends what you personally describe as well written, but well written in terms of “The Sun”) articles. On the other hand if you can’t find the articles then there is no point in having the site. The content needs to be presented simply. If the toolbar was used alongside a print screen of the newspaper’s front page article then I think it would be easier to find a specific article or just browse for the day-to-day news. The multimedia is not necessary and makes the site look tacky. The site is definitely not well signposted! The homepage left me feeling overwhelmed by the amount of articles the website is presenting.

Interactivity: The reader is invited to become involved with the website in the numerous polls named “have your say”. However these forums are lost in the homepage until the user navigates precisely to the dedicated forum “discussion” page.

UGC: The user is welcomed to create their own account in order to enter competitions and reply to discussions and forums.

Overall, although The Sun website does include a numerous variety of articles, I as a user felt lost and confused about exactly where I start to to find my particular chosen news. If I was unable to use the search bar then I would feel completely confused as to where to start a search for a particular item. The site has too much information and links which can go on forever. The headlines are wedged between flashing outside advertisements. I feel bombarded with the amount of eye-catching headlines, and feel that there is no priority given to the top stories of the day.

The essentials

26 Jan

Most people will agree that without their specially selected websites they would be a little bit lost, I definitely couldn’t live without these ones…


1) Facebook.com: The best way to keep in contact with friends online, and snoop for goss & photos as well as sharing my own.

2) Youtube.com: Provides easy links to funny vids, film trailers and music, there’s always something guaranteed to make me laugh on here!

3) Asos: A way to keep up with the latest fashions by drooling over clothes I can’t afford,as well  as searching for online bargains!

4) Arsenal FC: As a true gooner I check the site regularly for updates on injuries, scores & fixtures. Not forgetting tickets, which I usually can’t afford!