Tuesday, 9 February 2010

So far so good

Initially when issued with the team brief there were mixed emotions throughout our team. A mixture of apprehension, uncertainty, anticipation and quite a lot of stress to start with, as we were all finding our feet, trying to establish our self as a team and adjust to our personal roles. Since the start of the course we have always been responsible for our own work, so I guess its only human to experience something like this. To be honest I did take things a bit too seriously at the beginning, however, I feel this was amplified by the fact that I have less time now to commit my self to the course and there is little time left before we graduate.

After that initial hurdle I am pleased to say things have fallen in to place. We seem to be working well as a team and I am happy with the results so far. None of us were looking forward to large amount of written work we had to do, which is why we were so eager to get it of the way, so we could enjoy and focus on the design part, which we are working on at the moment.

Once our personal and team projects are handed in we are then ready to start work on our “live projects”. Fortunately we have quite a varied amount of work in the pipe line. This will be beneficial for us individually and as a team. My only concern, which is understandable from past experience is having our time wasted by a client and work not materialising as a result. Because of this we have been selective and careful with who we intend on working with. Hopefully the outcome will be positive.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Professional folio Analysis

For my online professional portfolio competitive analysis I have chose to write about a freelance designer and developer called Colin Miller (www.colinmiller.co.uk).

I intended like before on finding someone inspirational, however, whilst browsing the web looking for a professionals site I stumbled upon this site and decided to use this for my analysis.

In terms of speed, the pages loaded quite fast but were larger in file size than I expected, this is down to the large back ground image, however everything else is optimised for web.

When looking at the design of the site, I would have to say for someone with 27 years experience I was expecting something a bit more well designed and contemporary. The main element that stands out is the background image, which in my view looks a bit outdated. Personally I would of opted for something a bit more subtle, also and I am not fond of the cliché Esso tiger style photo on the home page.

The logo on the site does compliment the colour theme, and stands out on a white background, but again looks dated.

On a positive note the site is very informative, the navigation is good, all the links work, the site validates (note links at bottom), and it is obvious the designer is aware of web standards as he even has a page educating the viewer on the subject.

In terms of Parc principles there is definitely contrast, elements seem aligned, and grouped and there is use of repetition with the orange, yellow and blue, however the colour theme is disappointing. I would be inclined to change the colour theme colour theme, removing the background image would be a start.

Overall, for someone with 27 years experience in the trade, I would have expected something a little better for a folio site. In terms of information and navigation the site does its purpose, however, I feel the site does not do his portfolio work much justice.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Competitive Analysis

The site under analysis is a portfolio site of student who graduated last year (www.robertladkani.com). I found this site while looking at the D&AD students awards of 2009. The maker of this site won an D&AD award for web design.

I chose this flash site because I wanted to write about something inspirational instead of finding something with plenty of negatives and ripping it to pieces. What attracted me to this site was the its simplicity and quality of work which is complimented by its clean, minimal, clinical layout.

When looking at Proximity, Alignment, Repetition and Contrast (PARC), I would say the demonstrates these principles quite well. Elements are grouped and aligned. There is repetition of a minimal colour scheme and good use of typography which demonstrates contrast.

In terms of navigation, the site works fine, and is easy to use. The internal links work, are labelled clearly, all the externals are distinguishable, and active.

Another positive is the portfolio which is varied in style and medium. It appears the designer is quite versatile and demonstrates good use of print and interactive media. The minimalist flash animations that occur when one rolls over over the links at the bottom of the page also compliment this site.

In terms of information the site also has a biography, a blog, contact page and an online CV which can be downloaded which is useful.

The only negative aspect of the site is the blog which unfortunately has not recently been updated. When taking in to consideration accessibility maybe the navigation on the top right could be a more prominent, but then again am a fan of minimal layout. The site seems fairly fast when loading however I am on a high speed connection. it would be interesting to view it on a slower one as the file size is quite large.

Overall I feel the site does its job. its well designed, interesting, contemporary and legible.The folio is of a high standard, and is easy to navigate unlike some other flash design sites I have come across which seem to have lost their purpose and the value of navigation.