Category: Uncategorized

User Experience (post 6)

‘Critically analyse the online portfolio of an individual working in your chosen career’

User experience summarised, involves all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, it’s services and it’s products (Norman, 2017). UX Mastery explain that user experience design is all about thinking of the users needs at every stage of the product lifecycle – and that it applies to to web apps, mobiles apps, desktop apps or even physical products (2012). Their YouTube video was interesting and helpful in understanding the UX topic.

user-experience-areas(Figure 1) This graph highlights all the key areas that are important in giving the best user experience.

To sustain competition, it is imperative for businesses to have a web presence – the user experience for business’s/company’s websites will be absolutely vital in attracting and maintaining a customer base (Harvey, 2013). The majority of visitors to a website make a decision within a matter of seconds whether or not they wish to stay on the site or go back to look for something else. Consequently, there won’t be many more chances to make sure customers have the best user experience possible if it’s not done right the first time (Harvey, 2013).


Below is a personal critical analysis of Freelance Cameraman, Steve Lord, who is a well established Freelancer in the Northern region.

In the video below, myself and a peer have collectively analysed the online portfolio of freelance film maker, Danny Cooke.

 

 

Bibliography:

Harvey. A (2 July 2013) User Experience: What Is It And Why Should I Care?. Usability Geek [online & online image] available at: <http://usabilitygeek.com/user-experience/&gt; [accessed on 12 March]

Norman. D (2017) The Definition of User Experience (UX), NN Group [online] available at: <https://www.nngroup.com/articles/definition-user-experience/&gt; [accessed 12 March]

UX Mastery (2012) What the #$%@ is UX Design? [online video], 23 August. available from: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ovj4hFxko7c&gt; [accessed 12 March].

‘Media Entrepreneur’ (post 7)

Picture1(Figure 1)

Figure 1 is useful to people who are wanting to startup a business that involves numerous job roles to give it any life. As it is such a huge part of any business in the current day, I would add to the graphic ‘Social Media Marketing’ as a specific job. According to The Content Factory, 91% of brands use several social media platforms and do so early on in the startup (2015). They also suggest that doing this early on is essential because you can earn the majority of your followers/customers/client’s loyalty (2015).

As for me, I am promoting a Freelancing company where I work for myself as a Videographer/Photographer and not all of these tasks and roles will be needed. Or I do it all myself, such as creating a website and creating social media platforms. Lamprecht has a very interesting blog, titled ‘How to become a successful freelance and quit your desk job in 30 days’, in which he explains his personal stories about what he did to become a successful freelancer. It’s a great blog and there is plenty of information and advice in there for people Pre-Freelance and those already years into it. An example for those Pre-Freelance such as myself is to CONTACT EVERYONE YOU HAVE EVER KNOWN because the more contacts, references and experience you have, the easier it’ll be when you make the break to freelance (2016). This is good advice as it is a well-known fact that in the media industry, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. (Carmody, 2001).

Another great source of information is a book by Horowitz called The Freelancer’s Bible – similarly to Lamprecht she gives advice to people thinking about making the change to Freelance and those already doing it. Taking an example from the book, she talks about figuring out your key strengths, which for me Pre-Freelance is important to do (2012). No one is brilliant at everything and no one is brilliant all the time so once key strengths have been figured out then it’s possible to start figuring out rates and prices (Horowitz, 2012). As a newbie to Freelancing my rates and prices will start at the lower end because I personally need the experience to get to grips with how the Freelancing industry works. If needs be, I can begin Freelancing as a side project whilst I still working because that way, the skills that are needed to be an excellent Videographer/Photographer will have been practised and I’ll be going into the job more confident and hopefully more contacts.

 


 

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 10.04.08

The aim of the diagram is to explore what I’d like to do in my job against what people would pay me to do – this then brings me to the outcome of what my ideal work would be with the right income and and job satisfaction (Regina, 2014). This is a great way of racking your brain to try and find the perfect jobs. It may not necessarily happen as easily as ‘wanting’ to do the jobs in the middle but it’s a good start and a goal to aim for.

 


 

The company that I wish to start-up is my own freelancing business of a ‘Freelance Videographer/Photographer’. Below are bullet point plans of ideas to try get the business up and running.

  • Start-up offer such as a competition. Post a video of my work on to social media, Facebook/Twitter/Instagram and anyone who likes and/or comments on the post will instantly be put in to a random draw to win my services for FREE. Also, add ‘don’t forget to share with your friends’. Great start-up as it gets business shared and name out there to lots of people. It’s also good because it means I can start building a professional portfolio for my new business plan.
  • Advertise myself as a freelance videographer/photographer with an online portfolio as you’d expect to see with any businessman in this field.
  • Wireframe for a website/online portfolio has been already created by an undergraduate student – this could be made into a full website by the individual on the cheap as it is good experience for them, helpful and won’t take time and effort away from other things that need to be done to get the business going.
  • Put myself on every social media platform available, asking family and friends to spread the word in any way they can because it’s about who you know as well as what you know.
  • Like and follow corporate company’s profiles as they will get a notification and see that I’m following them – they may take a look on my profile and see that I’m cheap and take a look at my show reel for consideration.

 


 

Below you can see a Pinterest board that has been created in an attempt to express Media Entrepreneur influences. Some of the pins aim to be stimulating towards people who are on the fence on what to do with their career.

 

 

Bibliography:

Carmody, Bill. Online Promotions. 1st ed. New York: Wiley, 2001. Print.

Horowitz. S and Toni Sciarra Poynter. The Freelancer’s Bible. 1st ed. New York: Workman Publishing, 2012. Print. <—–EXCELLENT SOURCE

Knight, Megan, (2013) Social Media for Journalists, london: SAGE Publications Ltd, pp. 195-201. Figure 1

Lamprecht. E (20 October 2016) How To Become A Successful Freelancer (And Quit Your Day Job In 30 Days), Career Foundry [online] available at: <http://careerfoundry.com/en/blog/career-change/successful-freelancer/> [accessed on 15 March]   <—– EXCELLENT SOURCE

Regina (8 May 2014) 12 ESSENTIAL STEPS TO STARTING YOUR FREELANCE BUSINESS, By Regina. [online] available at: <http://byregina.com/starting-your-freelance-business/&gt; [accessed on 15 March]  <—— EXCELLENT SOURCE

16 Reasons why your business needs social media marketing, The Content Factory [online] available at: <http://www.contentfac.com/9-reasons-social-media-marketing-should-top-your-to-do-list/&gt; [accessed on 15 March]

 

Professional Portfolio (post 5)

‘An exploration of techniques involved in generating online traffic to your portfolio’

Visiting a page via the internet in the online world is known as ‘traffic’. It is essentially the number of people who are visiting a site, which can show how popular it is (Generating Daily traffic to your website quickly, N.D).

The first topic in the exploration of generating online traffic is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – This is how search engines attempt to filter results that are most relevant and authoritative to the users search (What is SEO?, 2017). In other words, it is about being unique. A well optimised site can provide the right information, at the right time, for the right person (Lieb, 2009).

Mobile app optimisation is becoming huge as there are more and more people on their mobile devices rather than a desktop or laptop. According to Chaffey, the number of mobile users overtook desktop users in 2014 (2017) – which is huge for technology and leads onto the next point. When creating a site or app then the loading speed needs to be quick and responsive for mobile users, if not then there’s a big chance you can lose customers and users who don’t like waiting for it to load.

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 16.27.49

(figure 1)

Using keywords is an important technique to generate traffic to your site. It is valuable because it could potentially decide whether your site is going to be a success. If you do a bit of investigating into your field/market then you can find out where your market’s keywords are and include them in your site – and at the same time enhance your understanding of your target audience (Fishkin and Staff, 2016)

Another way in which a company or individual can successfully generate traffic towards their site is by using Social Media Optimisation (SMO). Social media has become an important marketing strategy for almost any business – there are not many people who aren’t on a social media site such as Facebook and/or Twitter. Therefore, targeting these sections as part of a ploy to generate traffic to your site is imperative in your marketing process, whether you are an existing business or a starting out new (Safko. L, 2010).

My Portfolio

As I will be advertising my portfolio as a ‘Freelance Videographer/Photographer’ it would be important to use these words in titles and headers, and also use words related to this and the job. This is because when people search the internet, they are mainly searching to find an answer to a question. So my portfolio will need to include answers to people’s searches. By adding my location to the end of ‘Freelance Videographer/Photographer Leeds’ this will be helpful as it narrows it down for the people searching and improves my chances of being found.
Another helpful step to take will be to look at competitors websites to match them and ‘steal’ their keywords, because if they’re on the first page then they’re doing something right (Shivar, 2016).

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 17.16.30Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 17.18.07As you can see on these two websites, the keywords are pretty clear; Freelance, Cameraman, the equipment they use, info/about, the city – and these two freelancers are on the first page of results when searching for ‘Freelance Videographer’. The difference between the two of them and what makes one better is the design. Aidan Metcalfe’s home page is instantly more eye catching than Tim Hollingworth’s. This is down to simple design elements such as the font, size of font and a simple yet more effective element in this case of black font on a white background.

 

Bibliography:

Chaffey. D (1 March 2017) Mobile Marketing Statistics compilation, Mobile Marketing analytics, Smart Insights [online] available at: http://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/ [accessed 10 March]

Fishkin. R and Staff. M (2016) The Beginners guide to SEO, Moz.com [online] available at: <https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo> [accessed on 8 March]  <==== VERY USEFUL RESOURCE

Lieb, Rebecca. The Truth About Search Engine Optimization. 1st ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: FT Press, 2009. Print.

Safko, Lon. The Social Media Bible. 1st ed. Noboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2010. Print.

Share of U.S Digital Media Time spent on by platform (2013-2014) [online image] available from: <https://techcrunch.com/2014/08/21/majority-of-digital-media-consumption-now-takes-place-in-mobile-apps/&gt; [accessed 10 March] Figure 1

Shivar. N (8 April 2016) How To Decide Which Keywords To Use: Keyword Research For Beginners, ShivarWeb [online] available at: <https://www.shivarweb.com/3179/keyword-research-for-beginners&gt; [accessed 10 March]

The Internet Marketers’s Guide to: Generating Daily Traffic To Your Website Quickly, (N.D) available at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=V-JYU-W8tGEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=generating+traffic&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=generating%20traffic&f=false [accessed on 6 March 2017]

What is SEO? (2017) What is SEO? It’s Simpler Than You Think, Red Evolution, available at: https://www.redevolution.com/what-is-seo [accessed on 6 March 2017]

 

USPs (Unique Selling Points) (post 4)

Branding

Branding is the way in which a company or brand use ‘marketing practise’ to create a name, design or symbol to effectively differentiate themselves from others (rivals/competitors) (Entrepreneur, N.D).

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 11.47.28

The sports company Nike are one of the biggest sponsorships in the world, sponsoring dozens of ‘world class’ athletes across the globe. This is a big part of branding, as it lures people and customers in to buy more products as they see their idols or favourite athletes wearing them. For example, Cristiano Ronaldo. He is without a doubt one of the best footballers in the world and for sure the most well known. Nike sponsor Ronaldo and have done since 2003 (Associated press, 2008) – with him being such an influence he is such high value for his sponsors. This is one example in how Nike are brilliant with having an effective branding system and relationships with top sports stars.

USP

Unique selling points are similar to branding, they are what make people or companies stand out and they also describe to customers/followers what makes someone or something ‘unique’. To develop USPs, it is important to understand target audience and realise what advantage can be gained over rivals. If this is done properly then there is a good chance of being different and attractive (Walker, 2017).

Mind mapping is an easy, creative process which helps with natural thought processes. By using a mind map it is possible to organise and structure information in any preferred way (Rustler, 2012). So below is a mind map of some of the skills that I consider myself to have. This was created in order to explore my skills and to dig up my personal USPs.

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 09.29.32

 

Bibliography:

Associated Press, (8 November 2016) Cristiano Ronaldo extends long-term sponsorship deal with NikeESPN FC [online] available at: <http://www.espnfc.co.uk/real-madrid/story/2992549/cristiano-ronaldo-extends-long-term-sponsorship-deal-with-nike&gt; [accessed on 11 March]

Entrepreneur, (N.D) Branding, Small Business Encyclopedia[online] available at: <https://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/branding&gt; [Accessed on 11 March]

Nike.com (2017) Cristiano Ronaldo, Nike/Football/CristianoRonaldo [online] available at: <http://www.nike.com/gb/en_gb/c/football/cristiano-ronaldo&gt; [accessed 11 March]

Rustler, Florian. Mind Mapping For Dummies. 1st ed. Chichester: Wiley, 2012. Print.

Walker. A (2017) Developing your USP: A step-by-step guide, Marketing Donut [online] available from: <http://www.marketingdonut.co.uk/marketing-strategy/branding/developing-your-usp-a-step-by-step-guide&gt; [accessed on 11 March]

 

The Client and You (post 3)

Client-Service

‘Having created a wireframe, evaluate the written brief of a peer’

Click below to see the evaluation of the side by side brief of the peer ————————–>>>>>>>>>>>> 3A. Evaluation of Scott Brief side by side

Click below to see how the brief has been interpreted into the wireframe ———————->>>>>>>>>>>> 3B. Evaluation of brief2wireframe

Firstly, the aim at the top of the page is clear and concise, stating who the website is for (a freelance videographer) and what the purpose of the website is (an online portfolio of work). McCormack states that when people fail to be clear and concise then time, money and effort can be wasted by unintentionally giving longwinded, misleading information (2014).

Moving onto the objectives – he begins by stating ‘the main objective’. Reading this, the instant emphasis should be for the designer to achieve this and use it as the core to build on. Cleardesignuk runs through the necessary steps in writing an effective brief – and part of writing the objectives is to answer questions without asking them, ultimately setting goals (2016).

The next two objectives are explaining the design. Scott does this effectively as it is short, descriptive and clear. Within them it is easy to see and picture what he has requested for the design – for example, by describing that simplicity is the main focus at the beginning of the objective. He has given instructions for text and video thumbnails, one solid background colour and no scrolling. Also, typewriter font all in capitals with no bold underlined or italics text with central positioning. Furthermore, there are also descriptions of the ingredients for the website, such as the text he wants people to read on the page.

A budget has been included for the designer which will give them an idea of what they can do with the money provided. A deadline has also been set for the designer with a single date, this shows that there won’t be much wiggle room for any delay.

Overall, it is a solid and clear example of what a brief should be like. It is easy to read with well-defined instructions.

Bibliography

Client service post (2015) [online image]. available from: <http://empiregroup.careers/keeping-your-staff-happy/the-best-form-of-client-service/&gt; [accessed on 10 March]

Design, C. (no date) Writing A successful design brief – clear design. Available at: http://www.cleardesignuk.com/design-brief.html [Accessed: 27 February 2017].

McCormack, Joseph. Brief. 1st ed. [Kennett Square, Pa.]: Soundview Executive Book Summaries, 2014. Print.

 

 

Wireframing (post 2)

Wireframing is part of the design process for a web page. It takes place in the early stages before any developments are made. It is like looking at blueprints for the erection of a new building. A wireframe is useful in providing a visual understanding for a client before the rest of the web page is created for them (experienceux, 2016).

There are two types of wireframes; low fidelity and high fidelity wireframes. Figure 1 is the low fidelity wireframe that has been created for a peer, Scott. This kind of wireframe is a sketch that is manually done by hand and created simply in black and white (Rawool, 2017).
Steadfast Creative states that low fidelity wireframes are the the designers initial thoughts, and are a good core for communication between the designer and client (2017).

Wireframe(Figure 1)

Moving onto a high fidelity wireframe, in figure 2 it is clear to see that this wireframe is very similar to the first one, but with refined changes. The peer was very clear with the brief and after sharing the low fidelity wireframe, he was happy for it to be made into a more distinguished and sophisticated form – ultimately moving towards a high fidelity wireframe.
High fidelity wireframes are created to show the finer details of the design. For example, colours, typefaces, image dimensions, buttons etc – it goes beyond the absolute basic structure to bring more life to it (Steadfast Creative, 2017).

2. Wireframe(Figure 2)

The brief created and provided by a peer resulted in the wireframe (Figure 1). It would have been in black and white as a basic outline, but following communication with the peer he was adamant on having this colour – therefore it has been included. Continue reading the next post in order to see the brief given, and an evaluation.

This video was very helpful and engaging to help understand the ingredients of a wireframe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0vt3nLZKks

 

Bibliography:

experienceux (2016) What is wireframing? Experience UX [online] available at: <http://www.experienceux.co.uk/faqs/what-is-wireframing/&gt; [accessed on 10th March]

Low fidelity vs. High fidelity Wireframes (2017) Steadfast Creative [online] available at: <https://steadfastcreative.com/low-fidelity-vs-high-fidelity-wireframes/&gt; [accessed on 10 March]

Rawool. A (2017) What is a Wireframe – The Complete Guide to Wireframes, Web App Huddle [online] available at: <https://webapphuddle.com/what-is-a-wireframe-the-complete-guide-to-wireframes/&gt; [accessed on 10 March]

Further reading:

Lim. W (June 2012) A Beginner’s Guide to Wireframing, Envatotuts+ [online] available at: <https://webdesign.tutsplus.com/articles/a-beginners-guide-to-wireframing–webdesign-7399&gt; [accessed on 10th March]

cReAtIvItY post (post 1)

somethingoutofnothing(Figure 1)

Understanding creativity is acknowledging the fact that it brings excitement and interest to a certain way of living (Berc, 2015). It is branded by the power to recognise things in new and different ways – creative people lean to being more open and inquisitive whilst taking less of an impact from already existing constraints (Penman, 2015). Penman also says that it is like attempting to explain a spectacular view or a stunning picture – it is possible to do, but only at a fraction of the real thing (2016).

Money can be an issue for stimulating creativity, it doesn’t stop it but it often doesn’t help situations (Amabile, 1988).

Jaffe explains that, according to the research of the Journal of Environmental Psychology, “Apparently, darkness triggers a chain of interrelated processes, including a cognitive processing style, which is beneficial to creativity” (2013). This is kind of contradicting the way the world sleeps at night in darkness, when the mind could be potentially working at its best creative ability.


Ken Robinson speaking on ‘Ted Talks’ states that creativity is as important in education as literacy, and it should be treated with the same status (Ted Talks, 2007). He also says that “all children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up”, “we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it, or rather we get educated out of it”(Ted Talks 2007). This is a bold statement, as it implies that schools are killing creativity. Children remain in school as they’re growing up, therefore they are battling with schools to keep their creativity. It is interesting because according to Adams, the government have been trying to push the arts subjects out of secondary schools (2017). But on the contrary to that, Adams also states that findings show that more arts GCSE subjects had been taken in 2015/16 than years before in 2011/12 – which was shortly after the governments attempts to encourage otherwise core subjects (2017). Another really interesting statement by Robinson is “There isn’t an education system on the planet that teaches dance everyday to children, the way we teach them mathematics.. Why? Why not?”(Ted Talks 2007).

The way it is seen from a personal perspective is the education system is based on academic ability. Schools all around the world are in competition to get the best results from their pupils.  This is all well and good but it isn’t putting their pupils first. An A* in Maths looks better than an A* in Drama or Music, which is a really sad thing to say, and this alone is killing creativity in pupils year on year.

“The arts play a powerful role in shaping young lives. And the struggle for some to achieve academic excellence and a positive, imaginative sense of one’s place in the world without the benefit of the arts is a form of impoverishment” (Kohl, 2012).

 

Bibliography:

Adams. R (7 February 2017) Study challenges view of arts subjects being pushed out of education, The Guardian [online] available at: <https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/feb/07/study-challenges-view-arts-subjects-pushed-out-of-secondary-education-gsces-ebacc-core-subjects-maths&gt; [accessed on 17 March]

Amabile. T (1998) HOW TO KILL CREATIVITY, Havard Business Review, pg 79 available at: <https://hbr.org/1998/09/how-to-kill-creativity[accessed on 6 February]

Berc. S (11 September 2015) Creativity in Everyday Life, The Creativity Workshop [online] available at: <creativityworkshop.com/everydaylife.html> [accessed on 6 February]

Create something out of nothing (N.D) [online image] available from: <https://www.tes.com/lessons/mr6ziIs_1Jtb-A/creativity&gt; [accessed on 10th March] figure 1

Jaffe. E (11 April 2013) Why Creativity Thrives In The Dark, Fast Code Design [online] available at: <https://www.fastcodesign.com/3020888/evidence/why-creativity-thrives-in-the-dark> [accessed on 6 February]

Kohl, Herbert R, and Tom Oppenheim. The Muses Go To School. 1st ed. (2012) Print.

Penman, (6 October 2015) What exactly is creativity?, Mindfulness: Finding peace in a Frantic World, Frantic World[online] available at: <http://franticworld.com/what-exactly-is-creativity/> [accessed on 6 February]

Ted Talks (2007) Do Schools Kill Creativity? | Sir Ken Robinson [online video], (6 January). Available from: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY&gt; [accessed on 17 March].