INTERACTIVE EXHIBITION: CONCEPT FOR MY EXHIBITION – MEMORY’S OF HULL

After my experience of hull museums something became very apparent to me, the lack of modern interactivity. The only form of modern-day techniques used to interact with the public that I had seen was in Wilberforce house, but again was only very limited and only told a small segment of Wilberforce’s history. Not only that I was limited to what I could do on the exhibition, and must have only of spent around a minute clicking around.

As an interactive experience it was rather bland and didn’t really immerse me into the product, and only caught my attention because it seemed familiar to me because it was on a large screen that you can scroll around on. It was nice to have an alternative source of information rather than reading through mounds of text plastered on the wall, but it was to limited and didn’t really teach you much about Wilberforce himself.

The lack of modern approaches that are found in these museums actually inspired me, I realised that in Hull there is a very large gap to be filled in this subject. Hull is a place that is very proud of its heritage, and so we should because Hull is a very historical place. It made me think about how the people of hull would benefit from an exhibition that told the story of our city, because I feel as though the museums don’t do our great history justice.

I wrote about an immersive online experience I discovered during the first year of my course, called “I Remember”. This interactive experience allows users to upload short segments of text with an image, to tell a significant memory from their life and post it to the world. The website serves no real purpose, other than to pay respects and create awareness of Alzheimer’s. Re discovering this amazing page, gave me ideas for my interactive exhibition.

This experience allows the user the scroll through a landscape of lights, when you click on a light a memory some one has contributed to the page enlarges. The use of sound and imagery together on this page create a beautiful and immersive experience.

I remember

Below is the link to the I remember Page:
I Remember


My chosen establishment for my exhibition is “The Hull History Centre” but will be a joint effort of both the public and the centre. I came up with the idea inspired by the website “I Remember” that will allow the individuals of Hull to contribute their memory’s or history such as ancestors who played part in some form of historical event in Hull. And they can contribute notes or pictures and even short videos of a memory. Take for example the construction of the Humber Bridge, an individual can put forward a personal account of seeing the bridge being built along with an image.

For me this idea kills two birds with one stone, because it not only covers one thing it covers them all, so it could maybe be used in all of the museums in hull, that lack user interactivity. And because we live in the thriving days of social media, I think this is something that will interest the younger audience as well, because it resembles similar attributes of Facebook and Twitter, that allows a user to contribute their own accounts.

My hopes for this exhibition would be that it creates a sense of community, and make it feel as though it is something to cherish and something that hull could be proud of and keep people wanting to update and add different accounts of their personal experiences of the history in hull. Obviously for this to work, people will need to be able to update from home, using a mobile device, computer or tablet.

This exhibition will benefit people who want to research into a certain historical event that has taken place in hull, and be able to see people’s personal accounts or even read a note or see an image of a historical event. The “Hull History Centre” will also be able to update and add information about a certain event that they have stored in the archives.

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Evaluation (High Noon Holsters)

In this project were to redesign a poorly executed website called High Noon Holsters, a website dedicated to selling all types of holster  to the american public. After a little research we found the company didn’t exist anymore but that didn’t stop us from researching the area of gun holsters through its old competitors.

During the research stage, there were many important elements that contributed to the overall look and feel of our design. Researching the product was the first major step before we even started designing the wireframes. It allowed us to understand the product the site would be selling and gave us an understanding for what the feel of the website should be like. It meant that we could simplify the products into four different categories, these were concealment, duty, tactical and sport. At this stage we were already many steps ahead of the original high noon holster website because we were very careful to make sure we didn’t overcomplicate the design and the layout. Something else we decided to put a lot of effort into researching was other southern american websites and the user experience they provided. Tying these into the font and the colour research meant we were able to make plans for how we were going to design the high noon holster website, for example the way tex is presented on a southern american website is unlike any other style of design. They tend to arrange many different styles of typefaces stacked on top of each other in a burger style format, usually with a graphic involved too, to annotate what is being said within the title. When researching the colour theory we learnt that contrast was important to make the content stand out from the background, therefore using the patriotic colours red, blue and white relate to americans because of the flag and the other colours used were darker, brown greys and blacks because they related to the old style american saloons. The Reds website shows how the brighter colours work well at the top as the navigation and the darker colours as the background colours of the main content.

When creating wireframes we decided to break it down into different stages, firstly by creating four wireframes, two for desktop and two for mobile, we then got together and worked out the negatives and positives of each design. That meant we were able to go away and create two new designs each, the best parts of each design were combined to create the next version. This meant we were then able to put both of our final combined designs against the other and create a new one based on the best parts of both. This meant we had technically gone through 6 different designs and allowed us both to have input on the final design. Once this stage was completed we both went our separate ways in the design process to put our own design ideas forward, so that we could decide on the best later on.

When reading Natalie Nahie’s Web of Influence I learnt that people trust others with similarities, therefore we created a personalised greeting message on the homepage for every different state of the united states based up local language and similarities that the people from that state share. The design of these greeting messages were based upon the research about the southern american websites and the ‘stacked’ look of the different typefaces to create an new unusual look for the message.

Another thing we learnt from the research stage was that usability is very important in relation to increasing user interactions. Steve Krug’s “Don’t make me think” discusses how hierarchy and positioning of elements on a webpage massively influence the experience the user has on the site. Since the user scans through the page for the relevant information, the layout has to be very simplistic and self evident. Taken from the book, these two pieces of information massively influenced how we redesigned the High Noon Holster online presence.
One of the most important elements to our teams organisation was the fact that from day one we listed everything we wanted to do and broke it down into manageable tasks that could completed alone. We then set about creating a planner and allocated these tasks to the person who could handle them the most efficiently. This meant that at any given time, we could check the planner and see if we were on schedule. Another very important element of the planner was the fact that we built into the schedule time of things to go wrong, so if we ended up delaying a piece of work it wouldn’t matter because we would still be able to hand in on time.

Being able to criticise each others work professionally and take criticism was a large importance of being able to work as a team and putting personal issues aside to achieve the best possible end product was at the forefront of importance when working as a team. Understanding your responsibility within the group was majorly important as it meant you stayed on track with the tasks you were assigned rather than doing your own thing.

Once the final designs had been completed we had to choose which design we were going to pick as the final design we would present to the group.  At the end, it was apparent that both design were hugely different in appearance, only because we both had different visions of the final products. Alistair’s design uses simplistic design cues, with subtle gradients, flat colour and influences from the fonts and colour research and the diesel online store. Aidan’s design on the other hand, was highly influenced and adapted from the original High Noon Holster website, thematic around spaghetti western posters, using torn paper like vector images for the containers of the content, and using flat colours for the navigational elements, and using high fidelity images for icons used on the store selection page.

Taking into consideration the research in relation to usability and functionality in which the entire redesign was based around, Alistair’s design was more fitting regarding the research and wide audience of the gun holster business in comparison to Aidan’s. The thematic spaghetti western design looks really good but would target a much more specific demographic given its niche design in comparison to Alistair’s.

High Noon Holster Design


Icon Design


Here are my icon designs, inspired by the graphics used on the “Red’s True BBQ” web site, I wanted to make some icons for the holster type selection page, as you can see I have created a few using the high fidelity filter. I created my icons like this because when using guns, say in the police force or some kind of hunting team, you can relate it to badges, which can be easily signified by the user when using this page.
hnhicons


Desktop


homepagedesktop

productfilter1desktop

productpagedesktop

buypagedesktop

faqpagedesktop

contactpagedesktop


Mobile


homepagemobile

menupagemobile

productselectionmobile

faqmobile

contactmobile

As you can see from my designs I have stuck to my original idea of adapting on the original high noon holster website design, but improving it. Based on old spaghetti western film posters. Using my research I think I have improved the High Noon Holster look, by using a stronger colour palate and some very intense visuals such as my icon designs, and the use of ripped wanted poster like paper for the content containers and buttons.

Also something I have tried to do within these designs is make everything self-evident, which is something I took from the Steve Krug book, and keeping continuity throughout my designs.

Wire Framing

For this project, me and Alistair in total made 6 wire frames, firstly we made two for the desktop and two for the mobile, and then arranged to meet up at college and talk through our ideas towards the structures of the websites. We then mashed the best of each design together, and met up again to talk through the page in which we had decided for both desktop and mobile, we then merged these ideas together to create the ultimate and final wire frame design, for the desktop and mobile.


First Wire Frames


Here are the first set of wire frames, my ideas towards the design and structure of the website, I went down a more interactive and highly visual root.

Home Pages (Mobile & Desktop)

 homem2 home2m1 homedt2homemob1

For the product selection on the website or the store page, would be built up of three different pages. One too select the style of hoster, and then the next page to select where about the holster would be located on the body.


3 Product Pages (Mobile & Desktop)

product2d2 productd2 productmob2 productbodyedt2 productpagedt2 productpagedt1

Next is the FAQ page, the idea behind the buttons on this page is inspired from the WALMART drop down menu on the latest version.

FAQ Page (Mobile & Desktop)

  faqd1 faqmob2 faqmob1

The next page is the contact page.

Contact Page (Mobile & Desktop)

contactm1 contactd2 contactd1


Second Wire Frames


From the previous wire frames, me and Alistair discussed and analysed each others ideas, and criticised and spoke about which pages we liked and the one’s we didn’t. After speaking about our ideas, we combined the best bits from each design into one final individual wire frame for both mobile and desktop.

Mobile

homewebfinish

PRODUCT1MOBFINISHFAQ3MOBFINISH

PRODUCT2MOBFINISHPRODUCT3MOBFINISHCONTACT3MOBFINISHDesktop

homewebfinish

PROUDCT3WEBFINISH PROUDCT2WEBFINISH PROUDCT1WEBFINISH
FAQWEBFINISH
CONTACTWEBFINISH


Final Wire Frames


We then after combining the best ideas from our first wire frames, talked through each others finished wire frames, and then merged them together to make one final wire frame, mixing both of our best ideas together.

Desktop

finishedwireframe-desktop

Mobile

finishedwireframe-mobile

Now we had a complete final wire frame, it was time to begin the design stage, and actually create the design of the website in relation to the research that had been conducted by me and Alistair

50 states

Here is some research I did to help Alistair with his 50 states idea for the High Noon Holsters home page.

North Dakota

They are die hard fans of the American football teams “Packers” and “Vikings”

A very religious state, christianity plays a big part in everyday life of some one from North Dakota.

People from North Dakota prefer the simple things in life.

“Like a Viking of the good lord, praise you’re gun packer”

“Come appease the gods, stand and make no fuss of the cold and select a holy holster”

This should be accompanied by a picture of a church.

http://www.movoto.com/blog/opinions/north-dakota-stereotypes/

Texas

In Texas they take American Football and Food very seriously.

People from Texas understand that people from outside of Texas will never understand them.

People from Texas are all about freedom.

“Freedom lies within a High Noon Holster”

This should be accompanied by a picture of some american football players looking serious.

http://www.movoto.com/tx/more-texas-stereotypes/

Virginia

Everyone in Virginia forgets that DC is not part of Virginia.

They know how to skin and gut a deer in less than two minutes.

“Draw you’re arm, faster than you can gut a deer ”

This should be accompanied by a picture of a deer being gutted.

http://www.movoto.com/va/virginia-stereotypes/

Vermont

Vermont suffers with a great mosquito infestation.

Vermonters are outnumbered by cows.

People form Vermont worship maple syrup.

“Allow a High Noon Holster, to play a part in the good fight against Mosquito’s”

This should be accompanied by a picture of some maple syrup.

http://www.movoto.com/vt/vermont-stereotypes/

Rhode Island

They practically live at the beach.

They love coffee milk stout.

They have a lot of pride in their state.

“Coffee Milk Stout on the beach, would be so much sweeter with a High Noon Holster. ”

This should be accompanied by a picture of the beach.

http://www.movoto.com/ri/rhode-island-stereotypes/

South Carolina

South carolinians party hard.

Very religious.

Smoke a lot of tobacco.

“Lower you’re arm into you’re new holster, Spark one and Party South Carolina style.”

This should be accompanied by a picture of a party.

http://www.movoto.com/sc/south-carolina-stereotypes/

South Dakota

No one in South Dakota thinks Mount Rushmore is exciting.

South Dakotans love Hot dishes and Hot bar.

“A High Noon Holser, more exciting than Mount Rushmore.”

“Hot Dishes, Hot Bar, Hot Holster.”

This should be accompanied by an empty desert road.

Tennessee

Very religious.

Wear leather cowboy boots.

Eat a lot of hot chicken, the stuff that would make a normal person cry.

“Why are you crying? is it the chicken or the hot holster.”

This should go with a picture of some leather boots.

Utah

They are hard working.

They love mountain living.

They don’t swear they improvise.

“Live high, work hard, wear High Noon”

This should be accompanied by a picture of a mountain.

http://www.movoto.com/ut/utah-stereotypes/

Washington

Never leave home without their dog.

People in Washington usually wear shades.

Thy are know as beer snobs.

“Grab you’re shades, and a good beer, and look into the High Noon”

This should be accompanied by a picture of the white house.

http://www.movoto.com/wa/washington-stereotypes/

West Virginia

The banjo is a very traditional instrument there.

They love Marshall and WVU american football.

“High Noon Holsters feel better than a game of football”

This should be accompanied by a picture of a banjo.

http://www.movoto.com/blog/opinions/west-virginia-stereotypes/

Wisconsin

Fish fry fanatics.

Love hunting.

Love bratwurst sausage.

Will drink you under the table.

“A high noon holster, better than fried fish”

This should be accompanied by a picture of a bratwurst on a plate.

Wyoming

People of Wyoming are born on the horse saddle.

Really outdoors people.

They eat all kinds of meat.

“Upon the saddle, make sure you’re equipped with a High Noon”

This should be accompanied by a picture of a forest.

References;

http://www.movoto.com/al/alabama-stereotypes/

http://state.1keydata.com/

http://www.danoah.com/how-well-do-you-know-the-slang-words-from-your-state

http://www.movoto.com/blog/opinions/alaska-stereotypes/

http://www.movoto.com/ca/southern-california-stereotypes/

http://www.movoto.com/arkansas-stereotypes/

http://www.movoto.com/arizona-stereotypes/

http://www.movoto.com/co/colorado-stereotypes/

http://www.movoto.com/ct/connecticut-stereotypes/

http://thoughtcatalog.com/kohl-conall/2014/05/10-kentucky-stereotypes-you-hear-when-you-leave-kentucky-and-determining-which-is-true-or-false/

http://www.movoto.com/de/delaware-stereotypes/

http://www.movoto.com/fl/florida-stereotypes/

http://www.movoto.com/atlanta-ga/atlantan-stereotypes/

http://www.movoto.com/blog/opinions/hawaii-stereotypes/

http://www.movoto.com/blog/opinions/idaho-stereotypes/

http://www.movoto.com/il/illinois-stereotypes/

http://www.movoto.com/blog/opinions/indiana-stereotypes/

Evolution Of Web Site Re-Designs – (9th Feb)

For this section of my research I used a website called https://archive.org/. This helpful site allows you to look at the history of the design of any web site, from when they where first created up to the modern day. I will be conducting this piece of research to gain an understanding of the evolution of the navigational element of the website.

The website in question is Walmart, because this website has a lot of content put in place, and has to allow the user to easily navigate through the content. This piece of research will be in relation to the evolution of the navigation on the website, because this is something I need to take note of when it comes to wire framing my re-design.


WalMart Web Site


 December 3rd 2002


walmart1


Navigation


Main Navigation Bar:

The main navigation bar on the Walmart 2002 site, is basic and sits among the top of the site, along with a search bar along with options to narrow down the search.

One of the main things I love about the navigation on the page is the fact they have discarded drop down menus, which is a head of its time considering this site was made in 2002 when drop down menus where a thing.

walnav

The link tabs on the navigation bar, are big dark blue buttons that stand right out among the rest of the content on the page. This makes it easy for the user to easily see where they can navigate through the pages on the site, nice and simple. Baring in mind this is an old website, the look of the design on the navigation bar is not very appealing, and does not look professional, but this is only because of the age of the site, and the trends at the time.

Secondary Navigation Bar:
The secondary navigation bar, again is very basic down to the era the web site was created. It sits along the left hand side of the screen, even though its not visually appealing usability wise, it gives the user a secondary option to narrow down their search rather than using the search bar, which I think is very useful.

wal2ndnav


December 29th 2007


walsite2


Navigation


Main Navigation Bar:

Very similar to the main navigation bar of the previous design, including a search bar that allows you to narrow down your search, but including a sleeker design for the navigation tabs, using a few different shades of blue makes it look a lot nicer, instead of just having big dark blue tabs. This navigation bar looks a lot tidier than the design previous, but I think that this new designs usability has gotten worse, because this navigation bar includes drop down menus, which is a bad thing.

walsitenav

Drop down menus causes a lot of confusion for the user, when it comes to navigating around the content, a link should take the user directly to where they want to go, adding a drop down menu confuses this action and throws unwanted content into the users face. Not only are drop down menus confusing, they are also extremely fidgety and can be quite annoying, when trying to click on a link on the menu and then it vanishes the moment your cursor moves slightly off of the edge of the menu.

Drop down menus in the world of modern web design, on tablet and mobile devices cause even more problems, its almost impossible on a tablet or mobile to use a drop down menu.

Secondary Navigation Bar:
Again the updated Walmart site contains another secondary navigation bar to the left of the site. The links located on this secondary nav bar, are not as precise as the previous design, although it does look a lot sleaker. The fact the links are not as precise as the previous design, is good and bad. The reason its good is because its not as cluttered as the previous design, and it looks sleaker. The reason I think this newer design is bad, is because its not as precise as the previous, it has the same links as the main navigation bar, and does not give the user a secondary option to narrow down their search.
walsite2nav


Febuary 6th 2015


walmart3


Navigation


Main Navigation Bar:

The main navigation bar on todays Walmart website, is encorparated into what was the secondary navigation bar previous. I have to say I really like this re-design, you can see it in the changes this website has gone through over time, that this was going to end up the main nav bar inevitably. It has all of the characteristics of all of the navigation bars combined, including a form of drop down menu that comes out to the side when you hover over a link, but this menu that apears is actually really good.

walnav3

Each narrowed down to other products they sell that are similar, and when you hover over the link it comes up with the menu that allows the user to narrow down the search for the product they want.

walsite3drpThe new site also contains a large search bar across the top of the page, which allows for the user to quickly search for their product. In relation to the Steve Krug book, he speaks of how the search bar is like a shop assistant, and allows the user to easily narrow down there search, this is something I will be considering for my re-design.

Steve Krug – Don’t Make Me Think!

As part of my research I read the famous book “Don’t Make Me Think!” by Steve Krug. I have taken a lot from this book, and has taught me how to make a website that is user-friendly. Some of the information was pretty basic, and I already knew before reading but it explained exactly why these techniques improve the usability of a website, based upon the way a user would use the site. Here are some of the key pieces of information I have taken from this book, that will allow me to improve my website.


Steve Krug – Don’t Make Me Think!


 “If Something Is Hard To Use, I Just Don’t Use It As Much”

This is the first quotation from the book, It says a lot about the psychology of the way a user thinks when it comes to using a product, Usability means making a product that is usable, it works well. Which basically means that anybody who has not used the product before, and people who have should be able to easily use it without getting frustrated. This is something I will be taking into consideration when redesigning the High Noon Holster website.

Another thing that Steve Krug talks about in this book is making sure that each button and piece of content does exactly what it is supposed to do. Just like navigation links, the user wants to click on them and get directed straight to the page, Unlike what some website do, and use drop down menus, which can be frustrating to use and also is not what the user is expecting when they click on the link.

Something else that is brought up in this book, is how the user does not want to read through large paragraphs of text, because we scan through information on the net, so keeping the information to a minimum is key.

These three pieces of information are very important in relation to mine and Alistair re-design, so I will be keeping these in mind when making the wire frames for the High Noon Holster re-design.

will be keeping in mind, when re-desiging the High Noon Holster website. Something else this book talks about not only making something self evident, but making sure that whatever a button or piece of content is intended for does exactly that. The user needs to be able to narrow there search down and get straight to the pice web site and the publisher.