Posts Tagged ‘Site Critique’

RIA Site Critique-Rachael D’Addezio

September 5, 2013 |  by  |  Inspiration, Project One, Student Work  |   |  Comments Off on RIA Site Critique-Rachael D’Addezio


The RIA site I am discussing is Black Negative. (!/loader/)

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I picked Black Negative simply because it is simple. I find many of RIA sites sick, but also very confusing and tedious. To me, this site is neither confusing nor tedious. It’s simplicity, beautiful designs, and layout stood out to me over a very complex and intricate sites. I’m actually not 100% positive what the purpose of this website is. I think it is either an inspirational website or some type of ad website, maybe an ad agency’s website. However, when I researched the name “Black Negative” few search options appeared, so I’m assuming it’s an inspirational site instead of an ad agency.

User Profile

Someone who visits this site is definitely a person with a creative eye or  appreciates good design. This site has many multimedia videos, great typography, and clean designs that would be inspirational. Therefore, I would assumer a visitor to the website would be someone in the design, multimedia, or photography field. I picture the viewer to be new to the industry or a younger designer, so somewhere between the ages of 20 and 30. Since the website contains multimedia and good design, I would picture the user to have technical abilities related to multimedia and design, such as knowledge of the Adobe Suit and be familiar with everyday technology, but not someone who is an expert coder. Based on the companies shown, the user would be someone from the United States, Canada, or Europe. Also, the user would need access to broadband to view this site successfully.

User Interface

Right from the start, the user is not left confused. The loading page tells the user exactly how to scroll from slide to slide to view the information. The user experiences the beauty of this site without frustration. The movements needed to go from slide to slide are as simple as clicking and dragging. The user can also easily identify what to click on the page to view the video. If the user no longer wants to watch the video, they can simply click on the background. This easy way to exit, does not make  the user look at anything longer than he or she wants to, which is a major benefit. Part of this benefit is that the user can click on the menu bar on the bottom of  the site and scroll through the slides he or she wants to view. Once again the viewer is not forced into looking at anything he or she does now wish to. The only frustration the user may face is the fact that there is very little information to what the purpose the site is.


The major functionality issue of the website is that the website does not give an 100% expression of  intention of the site. However, the functionality is easy, and would be easy for most viewers who were born in the generation of computer use. The website relies on simple click and drag commands to navigate through, which eliminates any frustration the viewer may have with more advance sites. The site also brings attention to clickable components on slides by making those components flash or move. Besides the purpose of the site, the site functions without any technological issues.

RIA Site Critique MacKenzie Dunsmoor

September 4, 2013 |  by  |  Inspiration, Project One, Student Work  |   |  Comments Off on RIA Site Critique MacKenzie Dunsmoor



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I chose this sight because I had the most fun clicking through it and I really enjoyed the stories. It is a website that many people can appreciate because so many people eat McDonalds. I have never seen a site like this and I was intrigued. This sight is a great PR move by McDonalds because it is an entertaining way to view customer testimonies.


McDonald’s target audience is extremely large. All ages, races, and genders eat at McDonalds. McDonalds are found all over the world. In order to expand it’s reach to other countries, McDonalds had to make some changes. In Europe, McDonalds are much more attractive and they have more of a cafe atmosphere than that of U.S. McDonalds. Europeans are not as concerned with eating quickly as Americans because their culture is typically more relaxed. For example, when I was in London, one family told me that they had not used a drive thru window in over five years. This website is directly targeted at UK consumers. People who are frequent users of the internet (ages 15 to 25) are likely to visit this site simply because of the entertainment it provides. Adults (25-55) who are concerned with customer testimonials and product reviews would most likely visit this site to gain feedback from others. It is not as likely that people over 55 will use this sight because they are less likely to browse the internet or use the interactive elements of it, because they do not understand it as well.


The tiles that fill the entire space are unique and entertaining. The colors used are fun, but not overwhelming; there is a lot of variety, but the dullness of the colors keeps them from getting too distracting or busy. The illustrations are similar: there are a large amount of them, but they are simple enough and consistent enough that they avoid making the interface too cluttered. The consistency of sounds when moving between boxes is also helpful in maintaining simplicity; however the variation of sounds when using the interactive illustrations keeps things interesting. It is important that there is always parts of boxes always shown on the sides of the screen so the user knows there is more to see. Finally, the distortion of boxes when scrolling is important to the visual hierarchy of the interface (which it would lack completely if it were not for this feature).


The story boxes are easy to select and read because of the distortion of the boxes and the light box that opens with each story and a “Discover their moment” direction appears. The illustration animations are easy to use because the motion is the same for all of them and there are instruction as to how they work each time you open a new one. Movement to boxes that are not shown in the window is fairly easy (by clicking and dragging the window over); however, users are very used to being able to use their mouse to scroll. The design would be more functional if it was also possible to scroll around using the mouse.

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RIA site critique: Lizzie Hart

September 3, 2013 |  by  |  Inspiration, Project One, Student Work, unfathomable  |   |  Comments Off on RIA site critique: Lizzie Hart



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I choose this site because I wanted to look at an example of an interactive alternate news story format. Recently I have been noticing online various news sites creating interesting ways to tell stories with full page photos, videos and graphics. After the New York Time’s published “Snow Fall,” there have been similar long form, multimedia stories popping up throughout the web. The purpose of this particular site by The Guardian is to tell the story of an Australian family who just nearly escaped a forest fire that whipped through their home.  The story alone is powerful in that the reading imagines being in the family’s frightening position. With the addition of the quality photo editing, information graphics and compilation of interviews The Guardian has put together a compelling piece.

User Profile

I would say the most common user of this site would be a middle aged person who reads the Guardian regularly and is invested somehow in Australia or wildfires. Their interests may be natural disasters or news in general. They may be a reporter, fire fighter or just anyone with these interests.The user may live in Australia, near where the fire took place. The viewer would need access to an internet browser and flash. The user wouldn’t need many technical skills though. The site makes it easy to navigate for those who are inexperienced with the internet and technology.

User interface

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The interface of the site includes a menu bar on the right hand side. (see image) This breaks the site up into more easily digestible chapters. In each chapter there is a combination of scrolling text, ambient sound, moving background images, auto play videos, and controllable videos. If you roll over the chapters on the right it is broken up into subchapters that again make it easy to navigate, and skip to the parts you are interested in.

Over all the site has a clean straightforward design. The large type is easy to read and works well with the background images. The subtle ambient sounds works to add dimension. The videos are powerful and add to the emotional reaction the viewer has.


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The simple scrolling functionality makes it easy for the user to navigate the site. It is a linear experience. The viewer simply moves down the page, and new elements like videos and images pop up. This downward motion makes sense to the viewer and is natural.

One thing that frustrated me was that some videos were auto play, while others were controllable. I wish this were more consistent. As the user I’d like to be able to control all the videos, and skip through parts I don’t want to watch.

Another larger scale issue I have with the site is there is no way to get a quick synopsis of the story. Sitting down to experience the site takes quiet some time. This may not be practical for the average person. It is a big time commitment to experience the entire story.

RIA Site Critique-Abby Legge

September 3, 2013 |  by  |  Inspiration, Project One, Student Work  |   |  Comments Off on RIA Site Critique-Abby Legge

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At first I chose “Your Tour” because of the cool and clean UI first presented.  I also chose it because it was associated with Google, and Google usually puts out things that are very cool technologically, but also appeals to us as humans.  This is seen especially with their ads, and the title of “Your Tour” just continued to demonstrate their way of emotionally drawing in an audience.  Once I began to play with it, however, I knew that I just had to explore it further.  The purpose of the site is to take the user on the Tour de France from start to finish.  It also weaves in history and social media posts to really show the user what it was like, and how people are feeling about it now.  It also seeks to immerse the user with photos and videos that make the user feel as if they are on the trail.

User Profile

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I would say that the user profile boils down to anyone who has an interest in the Tour de France, or a fascination with the technology that Google used to put it together.  The ages range anywhere 15 and over, mainly because of the universal appeal of the Tour de France itself.  It is an enigma in sporting culture, and even in common culture, as it is the ultimate test of endurance and strength.  These are two things that most of us aspire to have.  The majority of users probably have interests in biking, sports, endurance races, the race itself and/or the technology that made this experience possible.

Most users would range anywhere from student, to banker, to nurse and everything in between.  Again, I believe because the Tour de France appeals to the basic human desire to win despite obstacles.  This opens this site up to appeal to the masses.  The race itself comprises of athletes from all over the world, so many various cultural backgrounds are invested in this race.  Perhaps, however, the dominant culture would be the United States, because of our emphasis on sports and the fact that Google is an American-based company.  Yet, the site is also available in French, so it opens it up to anyone who knows English and/or French at the very least.  The user would need definite access to broadband, and probably would be more adept at technical abilities.  The instructions however are very clear, so even more novice users of technology would be able to follow along.

User Interface

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The UI itself is very clean and keeps to the Google brand in color, type and whimsical but intelligent feel.  There is a static grey bar at the bottom that when using the site, displays the progress along the “stage” that you are in.  The images that you see before you switch between video, images, Google Maps and graphics all depicting the journey you are on.  In the beginning, there are clear instructions on how to move through the site (fast paced scrolling!) and reminder arrows pop up in case you stop.

I believe this all works very well, as it gives a good platform for the images displayed as well as makes the user feel immersed.  The colors, while vivid, are used sparingly and do not detract from the content presented.  They made a wise choice in choosing a tar grey and a yellow reminiscent of street lines.  It all subconsciously adds to the feel of being on the road.  If there is anything that doesn’t feel right, it is the distracting “Report a Problem” and “Images © 2010 Google” tabs that pop up in the content window as you bike through the stage.  They are distracting and I believe would have better been placed in the static menu bar below with all of the other items that are more global nav-oriented.


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As I mentioned before, the navigation directions given are clear, concise and in big bold type.  Every stage operates by the same scrolling method, and there is always a big “back” button in the top left corner in order to return to the beginning.  Language options are easily seen in the menu below as are links that lead you to social media, the Tour’s main website and an About pop-up.  Because this is created by Google, a lot of the familiar elements you see in Google Maps are still present and function in the same way.  For instance, you scroll through a stage until you get to a Google Map of the route.  There is the typical compass in the bottom left corner though, that lets you navigate the map like you would any other.

The few things that didn’t work, are perhaps more based the user’s accessibility to the site. Moving through the site is all based on fast-paced scrolling, which is simple for those of us with touch mouse pads.  However, if one was using a typical mouse with a wheel scroll, I can see how the movement between video, maps and photos would be more jerky and less fluid.  Also, as wonderful and exciting it is to scroll quickly through the images as if you are racing with merely two of your digits, it gets fatiguing.  If one played with this all day, carpal tunnel would be looming on the horizon.  If there was an option to play through the content without scrolling, I think that would better accommodate more users.

RIA Site Critique Tierra Taylor

September 3, 2013 |  by  |  Inspiration, Project One, Student Work  |   |  Comments Off on RIA Site Critique Tierra Taylor

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I have recently become interested in how design plays such an important part in the marketing and advertising world. Designers have to create an experience that is so captivating and one in which makes people want what is being sold. It is a very interesting aspect of storytelling. It is a true craft. This site is a prime example of how to involve the customer with the brand so that it becomes memorable.

This site is meant to promote and advertise for Virgin America Airlines. It shares the experience that a passenger would have when flying on a Virgin America airplane.  The site works to educate possible customers on the Virgin America brand and encourage possible customers to want to be a part of the experience that they have on the website.

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User Profile

The typical user of this site directly reflects the airlines target audience. The user will range from 21 to 35 years old. They are likely to be small business owners or entrepreneurs that require frequent, inexpensive travel.  The user is likely to be college educated and within the middle class. They a definitely technically savvy, because the airline stresses all the technology that is available for their customers on each airplane. It is an airline for business class passengers that are constantly on the go and require their work to follow them no matter what.

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User Interface 

The site effectively provides the user with an experience that is a replica of the experience that they would have if actually on a flight. There is great use of call to action on the opening page. The calls to action are clear and easy to understand. The site is also successful, because it doesn’t give the user too many interactive elements. It provides interaction in small doses so that the user is seeing the site and understanding the information for what it truly is.  The site is like a big, interactive advertisement and it does well not to not distract the user from its purpose. My biggest complain with the site is that there is no way to put the experience on pause. If a user needs to step away from their computer they have no way of pausing, moving ahead, or moving backwards.


This site functions well. I did not have any problems with it loading or stopping in the middle of the experience. It is fairly easy to operate. It does not require too much action to where the user gets lost or overwhelmed. The interactive elements are fluid and guided the entire way through.

My only complaint with the site is that it could offer more. I appreciate that there is not an overwhelming amount of interactions and information. However, I do feel like the site could include more. For example, I would like to see some kind of interactive elements that address the comfort of the airplane seats. There could have been a call to action with someone reclining in a chair in which leads to more information about the make of the furniture.

Overall, I think the company was very effective in creating an experience that is appealing to its audience.

RIA Site Critique Arianne Daniel

September 2, 2013 |  by  |  Inspiration, Project One, Student Work  |   |  Comments Off on RIA Site Critique Arianne Daniel!/whoweare/

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I chose this site because while I was looking through it, I found myself becoming so interested in it and I was playing around with all of the different videos, and other interactive features for a very long time.  Not only is the design of the website very well put together, but it has many different features that keep the viewers interested and wanting to keep looking through it.  Black Negative is a group of designers, photographers, web developers, directors, etc. that work together to tell people’s stories in a compelling and interesting way, whether it be through sound, videos, motion graphics, etc.

User Profile:

The user of this website would most likely not be someone younger than twenty.  The companies that turn to this website to help them tell their stories are are luxurious companies with products that most likely do not apply to younger people.  The user could go up to about any age, I don’t think that there is a limit on how old someone would be to find this website interesting.  The user could have an occupation in almost any field or come from any cultural background, but they would most likely be interested in design, photography, storytelling and the products involved in this website, or any combination of these interests.  Although I do not have much need for the products that are being shown in this website, I still found it extremely interesting because of the design and storytelling aspects.  The user would most likely have strong technical abilities, or be interested in the technology of websites.  The website is not difficult to understand or work through, but the interactivity can make any website difficult to maneuver if a person does not have some sort of technical ability.

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User Interface:

The website is attention grabbing from the second you see the homepage.  The photography has impeccable detail and composition.  The typefaces that are used on each page are integrated extremely well with the photographs and colors on each page.  The photographs and colors are mostly muted which works with the sophisticated look that the company is going for.  Even though there are videos or moving graphics on each of the pages of the website, they do not distract from the other aspects of the page.  The way that the website integrates photography, moving graphics and typography is amazing.  They do it in such a way that a person could almost never get bored of looking at each page of the website because there is always something new going on.  Even though each page of the website is for a different company/person, they all are cohesive and you would never know at first glance that they were all different companies that Black Negative works for.  I do not think that there are any negatives in the interface of this website.

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This website is mostly easy to navigate.  Wherever you click on a page something pops up, even if it doesn’t direct you where to click, it is still easy to see the interactivity on each page.  Each page has a video attached to it that you can click anywhere and it will pop up.  It is easy to get from page to page, just by dragging the mouse to the side.  There is also a menu button at the bottom of each page, if you click on that you can easily see what each page looks like and which one you want to look at.  There is only one difficulty that I found with the functionality of this website.  When I was first playing around of the site, whenever I would click to watch one of the videos, I had a problem figuring out how to get back to the main site.  After a few times, I realized that it was simple, you just click on the screen, but there is no direction on how to do this.

RIA Site Critique Chloe Hutton

September 2, 2013 |  by  |  Inspiration, Project One, Student Work  |   |  Comments Off on RIA Site Critique Chloe Hutton


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I chose this site because I found it compelling and it’s story relavent and important. Often we are presented with dense information in a way that is not engaging, whether in a presentation or on the news. Into the Arctic is a greenpeace movement calling people to protect the disappearing arctic from  oil companies.

User Profile

The user seems to be a young, environmentally conscience man or woman in their 20-30’s. They are in tune with what’s happening in the world. They’re interested and social justice and making the world a better place. They hold liberal beliefs and believe that big business are doing more harm than good. They’re probably middle class Americans who have been raised to appreciate the world and preservation. They have strong technical abilities and appreciate modern design. They have easy access to internet, even on mobile devices.

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User Interface

They’ve adopted the flat design trend using muted colors and very simple icons.  The animations on the buttons are smooth and bring out a pop of color to the design. That movement of the map and the incorporation of video make the site really engaging without being overwhelming. The use of imagery and copy work well together, making the content more digestible. The site looks great in the Background, where type and images are well balanced.

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But in the actual stories, I think the hierarchy gets a little lost. My eye doesn’t really know where to look first. The map is used well, but I think it’s size gives it too much importance over the actual story. Also, it feels like the time and date fights for attention with the the title of the actual story.

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The site functions well for the most part. There are plenty of call to actions all over the site even tucked away in the articles. I think the content could be condensed down because some of it seems repetitive. Like having the 4 icon sidebar appear on the Petition page. Also, I think a site like this should be fully responsive. Some of the images shrink down and move, however, things like the petition, which seems  to be the main function of the site, is not responsive.

The audio as the site loaded sometimes became fragmented, which definitely takes away from the modern experience they’re trying to give off. The zoom in on the map animation does not work for me. I think it load time is too slow. It’s not very engaging to watch the line being drawn on the map at that pace.Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 3.22.34 PM

Also I feel like it takes too many click throughs to get to the actual information within these story portions.

RIA site critique – Lindsay Dawson

September 2, 2013 |  by  |  Inspiration, Project One, Student Work  |   |  Comments Off on RIA site critique – Lindsay Dawson

At Home

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At home was an experiment to illustrate the need of housing for the homeless in Canada. Dr. Sam Tsemberis of Montreal founded Housing First, an initiative to get the homeless first and foremost off the streets, but not just for a few days, yet for good. Tsemberis saw the flaws in shelters and wanted to provide a home not just a shelter for the homeless and particularly those facing mental illnesses. The National Film Board of Canada teamed up the Housing First in an experiment to see how effective Housing First was in providing not only homes, but also mental assistant to the homeless. The website details the success of the experiment in getting people off the streets and the help they need.

It took me a while to find a sight that really made me feel anything until I stumbled upon this one. Others had good graphics, but I felt that At Home had great content and an emotional appeal, all while remaining informative.

User profile

The user of the website would have to be a person of education. Not to say that this webpage isn’t going to spark any interest for uneducated people, but in order to understand the impact of the organization and the details of the issue, having some knowledge social work would be helpful. It is not a site geared toward a very youthful generation, as some of the content is more explicit and emotionally taxing. I would guess that most users would range from age 25-50, both men and women.

Most likely they would their occupation would involve some form of social work, whether that be governmental or nonprofits, or those merely interested in charity work or volunteering. Culturally I wouldn’t fit them into one mold. Because the experiment was conducted in Canada, that would be a person with the most interest in the subject, however, this is an issue that spans across all cultures and ethnicities. Due to the focus being in cities and Canada being more modernized, most would have access to broadband.

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User interface

The reason I decided to stick with At Home was the creativity of the design. I loved the typeface first used in the introduction as it wasn’t intimidating and easily invited the user in. The chalkboard background presented throughout the site was also a positive. It added detail without being too distracting and gave that feeling of being on the streets as many of these people face. The accent colors of bright yellow, red, green and pink pop against the darker background and draws the eye quickly to the information, keeping the site informative. The use of circles were also fun and the lines that were used to connect the page almost as a web helped to convey the message of homelessness being a wide spread issue very well. The type was also organized well and color was used appropriately for accent colors.

My only negative would be perhaps too much color and along with the motion, could be seen as distracting.

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One of my favorite parts of the website was the introduction with the type appearing to be written across the chalkboard. It was kept clean and simple and the music in the background added some drama and set the tone very nicely. I really appreciated all the interactive elements from moving statistics, to video, photos, graphs and more. At Home covered a lot of information but it was never overwhelming. I also really enjoyed the organization of the experiment by city because it helped to break down the information to be more digestible for the user.

However, at times all of moving colored dots were overwhelming and I wish the information within the individual cities were more divided. Once clicking on the cities it was hard to find what to do next so more instructional keys would have been helpful. There are small keys at the bottom but they didn’t stand out too well nor did their navigation add anything to the page. There are small X marks in the corners but a small panel would have made it more ‘user friendly’.

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RIA Site Critique_ Caroline Castro

September 2, 2013 |  by  |  Inspiration, Project One, Student Work  |   |  Comments Off on RIA Site Critique_ Caroline Castro

SO, this is the craziest use of RIA I’ve probably ever seen so I decided to use it for this critique. The website is for a hotel in Berlin that I really want to go to now JUST because of this website. Everyone should really play around on this site…and whatever you don’t find hidden I’ll show you when I present in class.

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User Profile:

Just by reading a little bit of the history on how this hotel came about as well as exploring the content (photos, videos etc.) on the site, it is clear that this is a hotel/website for young, trendy adults. I would say anyone from the age 17-35 would be pretty into this if they came across it. This website is definitely not for people who have never experienced a heavily coded RIA site like this–to be honest I even needed a few minutes to get my bearings and navigate through the features, so I would say this site is intended for people with a good amount of technical abilities. As far as cultural background…you can tell this is totally german. Theres a quirkiness about the features and an attention to detail that just screams german design. Other Europeans are commonly exposed to german design, so I would think this site definitely communicates easily to other young adults in Europe looking to travel. So to paint the full picture, I’d say the typical user for this site would be a 24-year-old European dude/chick who has some time off from his/her job at a small design firm and wants to travel through Berlin in style…and possibly take psychedelic drugs while there.

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User Interface:

The interface of this website is unlike any I have seen before. The “stuff” that moves and floats and changes can either be front and center (as shown in the first screen shot) or put into the background as the user browses actual information for the hotel (as shown above). This is controlled simply by clicking the “on/off” option on the remote in the bottom right corner of the screen. The remote also controls the sound and gives other cool interactive options like watching videos or playing with audio (shown in the screen shot below this section). The typefaces used are techno-inspired and futuristic, which is really cohesive with the space-themed, out-of-this-world illustration style. The main colors are yellow, blue, black, and white, which I think keeps the cluttered illustration bold and easy to navigate. I think this interface really works because it gives the user a really solid idea of the vibe the hotel wants to provide for its customers–a cool contemporary space to visit. Honestly, just by looking at this website, I want to go to Berlin just so I can find this hotel–now  THAT’S a pretty good effect right?

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This is the section where things get a little dice-y for this website. Although everything seems to function the way it was intended (buttons all work, no glitches etc.), as I said before it can take a few minutes and a few tries to get used to navigating around. For example, when I clicked “audio guest book” on the remote, at first something came up that didn’t look or sound like any audio guest book. Then when I clicked it again I realized that a floating helmet was sliding by in the background that says “CLICK” on it…so then I clicked it and it took me into the audio part of the website (in a really crazy way…check it out). Also, because there isn’t really any educational or even truly informational aspect to all the RIA material, some people who go on this website might be searching for a “purpose” to do all these things. Using the audio guest book example again, once you get to that part of the site (shown above) you can just click a few random things that make sounds, hover over the keyboard which makes music, but other than that you aren’t really doing anything there. So yes it’s totally awesome but…what is the user getting out of the experience? This doesn’t necessarily apply to me (I get plenty out of it) but I’m sure it does to other people. Other than getting used to the flow of the site and some of the buttons, I really think the actual information for the hotel is easily accessible and presented in a really interesting way.


Enjoy this site! Also there are a couple other cool ones listed in the bottom left corner that seem to have been designed by the same creator of this site…I recommend “The Fountain of Youth.”


RIA Site Critique – Beth Fritzinger

September 1, 2013 |  by  |  Inspiration, Project One, Student Work  |   |  Comments Off on RIA Site Critique – Beth Fritzinger

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I chose this website because I have always loved the Wizard of Oz and basically all things magical and whimsy. This site fit the bill. The purpose of this site is to promote Disney’s movie, OZ: The Great and Powerful. It allows users to further explore and take part in the magical world of Oz, either prior to or after seeing the movie.

User Profile:

I don’t necessarily believe there is a specific age group for this website. That may seem like a cop-out answer, but it’s the truth. I’m almost 21 and I think I could have just as much fun on this site as a 10 year old or a 60 year old. The Wizard of Oz is a story that appeals to all generations, therefore Oz: The Great and Powerful does as well. That said, I believe typical user is around the age of 8+, but may require the assistance of a parent or guardian. However, I am not put a cap on the age of the user, because this site can be enjoyed by people of all ages. The user has a clear interest in fairytales, magic, and works of fiction, either new or old, such as The Wizard of Oz or Oz: The Great and Powerful. Students of any age are most likely to enjoy this website, therefore there is no exact occupation for the typical user. A user of this site does not have to be well-versed in the world of technology. All it takes is basic clicking and scrolling. Anything more complicated than just clicking is spelled out for the user very clearly. The user must have access to Google Chrome as their web browser because this website is a Chrome Experiment and meant only to work on Google Chrome. The download of this web browser would be up to the adults in charge of the computer, rather than the child using the site. Typically, users of Google Chrome are more tech savvy than the average Internet Explorer user because Chrome is not a default browser and requires download. As with age, there is no one cultural background that applies to this website user. Children and adults of all cultures can enjoy this site.

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User Interface:

The user interface for Find Your Way to Oz is similar to that of a video game, such as Call of Duty. The site allows for 360 degree views and turning. The user controls where in the world of Oz he wants to be with his mouse and simple clicks. At the bottom of the screen there are three buttons each representing the three main areas in the site. They are very clear and easy to use. One thing I really liked and appreciated about the site was the option to chose your internet speed upon entering the site. This function allows you to forgo HD graphics if you have a slower internet connection so the site will load at a faster speed. If you have a faster internet connection you can choose to enter the site with full HD graphics. The graphics are basically the main draw of the site because they help to put the user into the world of Oz. There are very clear markers throughout the site for the places that users can click and interact with the site, which is a plus, because at times the background can be a little overwhelming. As pictured above, one of the interactive parts of the site is a music box that allows the user to create his own song for the box to play. Once clicking the notes he wants to hear, the music box will play the song back to him. Overall, the graphics on this site are absolutely fantastic and fun to look at, even if you’re not in the HD mode.

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One difficult aspect of the user interface is using the mouse to move throughout the site. Although it may seem like one is in control of where he is going, the site seems to take control on occasion and point the user in the right direction. This may be considered helpful, but it gets confusing and makes maneuvering through the site more difficult. Once completing the final stage of the site, which is represented by the last button at the bottom of the screen, the user is taken to the screen shown above. By clicking “Follow the Wizard” the user is taken to a preview for the movie, Oz: The Great and Powerful. Once the preview is over, the user has the option to complete the experience again or watch the preview again. In reality, the site is very small and a user can get through it in about 10-15 minutes. Younger viewers may spend more time on it than I did though. I didn’t like the fact that the experience ended so abruptly. I thought there would be more to the site and more interaction than there actually way. It was a bit of a let down in that sense.


While navigating through the site with the mouse proved itself tricky at times, everything seemed to work as it was suppose to. I never got lost and I always knew what to click on next. Two of the interactive steps involved allowing access to the users webcam and it worked very well. The site even made it clear how to allow access with arrows pointing to the browser’s control bar. There are about 6 specific areas meant for interaction in the site, but it makes users believe there are many more. All the graphics in the site showed up clearly and without delay. The video and sound used on the site was crisp and held my attention. On there bottom left corner of the screen, there is a link to Disney’s, Oz: The Great and Powerful website in case users want to know more about the movie.

RIA Site Critique — Maddie Kelly

September 1, 2013 |  by  |  Inspiration, Student Work  |   |  Comments Off on RIA Site Critique — Maddie Kelly


Site URL:


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This website has a very specific purpose—it is an educational resource for teenagers wishing to learn more about alcohol. It is interactive, essentially providing the consumer with a series of questions to “test their knowledge” about the subject. These questions are answered by sliding a button, clicking an answer, or sorting through words hovering over the screen. These features engage with the user in a variety of ways, which makes alcohol education seem approachable, and not outdated or scary.

I was immediately attracted to this site because of the whimsical nature of the design. It is clean and simple but still manages to include animated features. When thinking about a variety of sites I was exposed to when I was younger regarding alcohol education, I immediately think to outdated word art and demonstration photos from the 80s. This is a fresh approach that demands attention.

User Profile

            The primary target of this site is 13-15 year olds who are looking to learn more about alcohol. This objective is stated on the opening screen of the quiz. It encourages teenagers to complete this with a friend or in the classroom with their teacher, which gives the impression that education systems may take advantage of this interactive experience. The main audience for this site is unemployed, due to the target age. However, because of the tech savvy nature of the young generation, this site can be a little more complex because oftentimes teenagers are familiar with handling more complicated web interfaces.

After doing some digging, I discovered that this website is actually Swedish, and is sponsored by the Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and Other Drugs. In Sweden, 89% of the population had access to Internet in 2012, according to the World Internet Project: Swedes and the Internet 2012. Due to this high number, the amount of 13-15 year olds that have access to broadband to view this site is high.

User Interface

The initial reason I was so attracted to this site was the simplicity of the interface. It uses a clean typeface, a neutral background and simple interactive objects. Most screens pose a question and then give you options as to how to answer the question. Then, once an option is selected, it provides an explanation using graphs and charts. This is a very smooth transition, and it is logical, which is important to a younger audience. The education comes in with the highlighting of the colors and numbers; the most important information is pulled out through the use of color. There are also a variety of small characters that guide the way through the “quiz,” which adds variety to pages of text and numeric explanation. I also really liked the way the characters were altered to fit the question, i.e. when they were “dissected” for the question about how alcohol affects your organs. Alkopedia poses questions and answers in a way that is visually appealing and resembles a game or quiz rather than an educational experience, making it attractive to its teenage audience.

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One of the main issues I have with at least how this site is presented visually is the way that it incorporates so many numbers. Not only does it show the correct answer to each question, but it shows all of the alternate answers and how many people taking the quiz chose each one as the answer, regardless whether it was right or not. I had a hard time at first discerning which was the correct answer, and I feel like the important information got lost among all of the information presented on a particular answers page.


This website is very simple, it loads one page with questions, then a page with answers, then prompts you to move to the next question. The pages are all scrolling. In this way, it is simple. Each page also provides links to additional information.

The biggest issue I have with the functionality of this site is navigation. It is not necessarily easy to figure out how to move onto the next question, and I often found myself clicking on links to additional information on other pages rather than progressing forward with the site. It doesn’t seem logical, and I have a hard time believing that thirteen year olds would have an easier time with making their way around the site. Rather than there being some sort of “home page” navigation, it just asks if you want to “start over” the quiz. It would be advantageous if there were some sort of home screen that explained a little bit more about the purpose of the project, where all the questions could be accessed. There is a spinning wheel at the bottom of the page where the user can jump around to other questions, but it took a while for that to become clear.

April 23, 2013 |  by  |  Inspiration, Student Work  |   |  Comments Off on


Overview: Every week I think I find the coolest portfolio site, and then the next week I happen to find something even cooler. Black Negative is a company website for directors, motion designers, photographers, web developers, etc. and their site is literally the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. Everything is interactive, and you go throughout the site by swiping to the left. The laid out all the different projects/cases they have worked on by each having its own individual page and some different form of interaction.

User Profile: The user of this website would be anyone that wants to check out the company’s work. There would be no age cap, just people looking for some cool multimedia/design work. I am pretty sure any person could enjoy the stuff that Black Negative produces as well as the beautiful website that lays out that work. I also don’t believe there is any typical audience member, but of course those visually inclined would most likely appreciate the work the most.

User Interface: The interface is pretty simplistic, but it gets deep, in that you can go so far into the interaction that you get off the path. But they have laid out the path pretty clearly so if necessary navigation on the bottom of the page can be used to get one back to the place they were at. The interaction is a bit all over the place, but I think that only adds to the amazing experience you have as you explore the site.

Functionality: As I mentioned above, the interaction goes deep, but because of the bottom navigation, it is okay. I love the side sliding of the website versus the typically up down scroll. All in all I think they did a beautiful job laying out their projects in ways that make people want to engage with what they created and not just look at it and move on.

Yuxin Fang_How far is it to mars?

April 16, 2013 |  by  |  Inspiration, Project Two, Student Work, unfathomable  |   |  Comments Off on Yuxin Fang_How far is it to mars?


I found this website by accident but it is amazing. I am not an astronomy lover but I still feel interested about it because this is a hot topic recently. The only focus for the site is to tell how far Mars is from the Earth. It supposes that “if the earth were 100 pixel wide”, and shows the distance by traveling. Also, it includes the moon.  The simple design and simple goal I think could always attract more people.

user profile

There should not be any target group. Everyone will love it. Although it is about astronomy, the target group should not be astronomy lovers because this site is quite simple and direct. The main goal it to tell general people who has not clear idea about astronomy that how far it is to Mars. Maybe young people will feel more interested in it.

user interface

The design is quite simple without any extra decoration. The night sky with stars shows you are in universe. Simple earth, two dash circles, clear explanations…those are what I like. The earth, moon and mars are simply hand drawing. To have focus on information spreading, the color used for words is just white, which is professional and clear.


Same with the design, the functionality is also super simple. All you need to do is to click the arrow twice, one to go to the moon, and the other to go to the mars. The moon is used to show how far the mars is. When you traveling from the moon to the mars, some information will show up to avoid long boring time to wait. Users can easily feel that it is really a long way to go to the mars. If you want to try again, just simply click the arrow and travel one more time.

Yodabaz; Andrea Bolf

April 16, 2013 |  by  |  Inspiration, Student Work  |   |  Comments Off on Yodabaz; Andrea Bolf


Overview: Yodabaz is another portfolio site that I believe is beautifully well. It is a cool mesh of animation, interactivity and video clips that work together to show off all of the designer’s best work. He has a nice mix of graphic work with photo work that is displayed in a very easy to use simplistic manner.

User Profile: The user of this website would be anyone that wants to check out the designer’s work. There would be no age cap to the user that would be checking out this page but his or her interests would most likely include some form of graphic arts/photo or they would be the other side of the spectrum which would involve those clients looking for a designer for their job. The people viewing this portfolio would be from all walks of life, large age range, and a wide variety of occupations.

User Interface: The interface is extremely simplistic. I love how the page loads with the numbers popping up. The font choices used are beautiful sans serifs that are in caps to emphasize the word as well as be clear and easy to navigate for the user. My favorite part of the website is the background on all pages which seems to be a moving video/gif/image of the designer who does something different in the background every time something new is clicked on. It adds the personal touch and I definitely think it is what makes this portfolio stand out even more.

Functionality: Most of the website works because it is so simplistic and it’s not very hard to navigate. There is always a back arrow or understanding of how to get to the new page. I would only have about two complaints: 1) would be that the pages/pictures/designs load extremely slow, which makes me (and maybe other users) get annoyed and sometimes end up giving up and clicking on something else or going to a different website. And 2) Some pictures are slideshows and if you go to the way right or left your cursor becomes and arrow that is used to look through the pictures. I would never have found that if I had not by accident flung my cursor on the side, there is nowhere where directions are stated and I think that would cause some confusion with the user.

Bernard Testemale Portfolio; Andrea Bolf

April 9, 2013 |  by  |  Inspiration, Student Work  |   |  Comments Off on Bernard Testemale Portfolio; Andrea Bolf


Overview: Bernard Testemale is a photography and this is his portfolio site. I picked this site because I loved the creative way of presenting his portfolio and how close the images and display of his work come to looking like real 3D objects. I love the use of wood, pictures, and random objects that bring his portfolio together into one creative masterpiece.

User Profile:I believe the user for this website is anyone interested in Testemale’s work. That can include students who are learning about photography, future employers or people that are looking to hire Testemale, and any person that happens upon the website and appreciates his art. I don’t think there is any exact age limit or occupation to the audience that would be viewing his portfolio site, but once again it would be a viewer that appreciated the photos he takes.

User Interface: The whole interface of the portfolio is what stood out to me. The way the details are dispersed throughout the various screens make the whole site one big experience. I love his use of sd cards, and lenses to really give you a sense that you are sitting at his table and you are looking at all the wonderful work he has produced.

Functionality: The functionality is pretty simple. There are some things that I don’t believe work quite well. I wish there was some other alternative way of viewing the images rather than having to click on each individual one. It makes viewing them very time consuming as well as annoying if you have to keep closing an image and then opening another one, rather than sliding through a slide show. I do like how you can organize and move the thumbnails on the table. At least this can help you put to the side the images you have already viewed so you don’t click them again. All in all I think Testemale designed a beautiful site that really helps him stand out in the photography world.