Well, in an effort to catch myself up there will be a series of posts as I move towards catching myself up in this class.
This week’s lesson covered stock photos and web design mistakes. Often you go to a big company’s website, or corporate literature and see these images of business people. I doubt most people think about where these pictures come from. A lot of times, I just assumed that company’s would have to have some sort of a photo shoot to help create their latest campaign or literature. This is what fashion retailers do, but now I wonder if companies like Comcast just get these images from these stock photo sites like Gettyimages.com or shutterstock.com.
We had to read about bad web design and the biggest take away for me was that aesthetics do not mean a web site is good. Being able to get the information you want from a site is what makes it good. An example is the website for Blue Bell Ice Cream.
When I first went to the site, I thought it was pretty. I liked the way it looked. But it is hard to navigate because things are not clearly labeled – so you do not know your options. You have to hover over things, which is referred to as “Mystery Meat Navigation”, to figure out where to go. The problem is that unless you study the site or write out a key for yourself, you don’t remember what the compass links to versus the two identical ice cream containers. The point is that you cannot sacrifice function for looks.
The first idea I have is for my youngest sister’s freelance make up business. She has been slowly growing it over the years and we have often talked about how having a website would be beneficial to her business. Working together we would be able to create a good amount of content together as over the years we’ve brainstormed a lot of ideas and she has been kind of bugging me to help out with this anyway. There is a tren show this weekend that she is working for Smashbox Cosmetics in Annapolis that I can go to to get photographs, in addition to upcoming weddings. I could also reach out to any number of her friends for wedding pictures to showcase her make up work (she’s literally done the make up for 98% of her 10,000 friends).
We’ve also talked about setting up a photo shoot to display her more creative side (like in fashion magazines). I would also create a page that spoke of her background, a Q&A page where she offers advise for frequently asked questions and/or a blog about products or trends she likes, a page about the services she offers and contact information. We would have to come up with her corporate identity but we have been working on that concept already.
My second idea is to create a portfolio of my work. It would include digital work from the 3 graphic design classes I’ve taken so far in addition to my artwork (drawing/painting). Honestly, I feel that working on my sister’s site is the better idea for now. I do want a website to showcase my work, but I do not really feel that I have enough work in this medium yet to make an impact. I believe that my sister’s site would be a better choice to help build my own portfolio.