Archive for May, 2010

May 9, 2010

Website Analysis – Times Online

The content of the World Wide Web is constantly expanding and updating, as a consequence users now have more choice than ever before (Nielson 2000). Therefore, it is vital that professional websites are appropriate for all potential users. In order to do this a website must have effective usability, searchablity, navigation, design, content, video/audio, interactivity and user-generated content. This Website analysis assess Times Online in relation to these factors.

 

Screen shot of the homepage

Navigation

The Times Online logo is consistently placed on each webpage in the same position and hyperlinks to the home page, this is effective as the user is constantly reminded of the name of the site and it provides easy access to the home page. The website has a navigation bar running horizontally across the webpage below the logo, which consists of ten tabs, e.g News, Comment, Business, etc. The user can easily identify which tab they are viewing as the colour of the text appears lime green with a dark grey background when it is being viewed, each tab is also quick to load. The tabs are broken down into categories for example, within “News” there are tabs such as “World news”, “Politics” and “UK news”.

Content

The Times Online uses a vast amount of hypertext, for example the home page is filled with content, with over forty hyperlinks leading to a wide variety of stories. It could be suggested that the home page has too much content and should be more succinct so the user is not overwhelmed. Nielson (2000) also highlights that research shows that reading from computer screens is 25% slower than reading from paper, this emphasises the importance of providing the user with concise text.

Searchablility

The Times Online site proves to have effective searchability, for example it is the first hit when “Times Online” or “Times” is typed into the search engine “Google”. However, it was the seventy fifth entry when “News” was searched in the same search engine. This suggests that the website is only effectively located when the user is specifically looking for the website, whereas if the user was looking for a News website in general it is unlikely that Times Online would be chosen.

Design

The Times Online website has a consistent colour scheme as the colours lime green, blue and grey are used throughout the website. This is a simple way of visually connecting the web pages of the website, without overpowering the user. Kollock (1996) also suggests that online environments should be designed to encourage user co-opertation, maintain a community-based institutional memory and include elements of the physical environment through which users travel. Times Online achieves this effect by using a consistent colour scheme and page layout.

Video

Each story is illustrated by either an image or a video, this creates more depth to the story and gives a visual insight which supports the text. There are also tabs within the navigation titled “videos” and “picture gallery” which enables the user to search and view all the videos/images on the website.

Interactivity/User-generated content

The user has the option to comment on any story, image or video that appears on the Times Online website. Additionally, there is a tab within the navigation bar titled “Comment” which consists of columnists and professionals who express their personal opinions on topical issues, for example John Houghton and Libby Purves. There are also podcasts that are available to download which provides the user with an audio interpretation. It could be argued that the website could have more user-generated content such as personal videos and images in order to create more variety.

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May 6, 2010

Get the Pixie Lott look…

Over the last year the talented Pixie Lott has risen to fame, she began writing songs from the age of fourteen and has charmed the nation with her infectious personality and powerful singing voice. Another of her many talents is looking gorgeous. Here are a selection of my favourite Pixie inspired pieces, all available right now at your local highstreet stores…

This Pixie outfit is perfect for the summer, patterned denim shorts are a must have this season and work beautifully with a white cropped top and a grey blazer.

White cropped top £10 Topshop

Polka dot denim shorts £30 Topshop

Grey Blazer £25 New Look

 

Pixie’s white summer dress can be dressed up for the evening with chunky jewellery and a patterned scarf or dressed down during the day worn over a bikini for a chic beach look.

White Dress £30 Dorothy Perkins

Scarf £12 Topshop

 

 This Pixie look is perfect for a meal out or a catch up with friends and can be dressed down with pumps or dressed up with heels and costume jewellery.

Heart white Tshirt £20 Topshop

Black blazer £19.99 H&M

 

Pixie works a cute rara skirt with a hairband and a cartoon top for an alternative evening look.

Cartoon Tshirt £7.99 H&M

May 2, 2010

STAGE FRIGHT…A five-part serial drama

As part of the Professional Writing unit of my course we were required to write the script for a production of our choice…below is the opening scenes of a five-part serial drama Stage Fright…

 

INT.   LONDON PALLADIUM.   THEATRE DRESSING ROOM.   DAY 1.   EVENING

CLOSE ON LEILA ZIMMERMAN applying red lipstick as she gazes at her reflection in the mirror. She is wearing a black sequin dress and suspenders; the room is silent apart from the faint sound of jazz music playing from a speaker. She fixes her hair and sighs. The door opens and OLIVER WHITE struts into the room with a clipboard in hand.

OLIVER WHITE

Ok darling! Amber will be playing “Roxie” tonight as Bella still hasn’t showed. Just remember in the finale dance to stay back a few steps otherwise you are going to dwarf her! Apart from that the show will go on as usual, so just work your magic darling.

MARTINE ZIMMERMAN

Ok – will do.

OLIVER WHITE smiles then rushes out of the room fiddling with his headset. LEILA ZIMMERMAN pauses in deep thought for a moment, her eyes are watery, she reaches for her mobile phone and holds it to her ear.

CUT TO:

 

INT.   PENTHOUSE FLAT.   LONDON.   DAY 1.   EVENING

CLOSE on a mobile phone ringing loudly on a living room floor. Music as before. PAN along floor, muffled moaning can be heard.

CUT TO:

 

 INT.   LONDON PALLADIUM.   THEATRE.   DAY 1.   EVENING

UNKNOWN POV ON OLIVER WHITE walking briskly through the narrow corridors of the theatre. He arrives at the side of the stage and whispers to the cast whilst gesturing.

OLIVER WHITE

Curtain up in two minutes people!

ANGLE ON AMBER JONES standing centre stage with her back to the curtain in a confident pose. She winks at OLIVER WHITE and flicks her platinum hair. LEILA ZIMMERMAN is standing by his side watching. The music is building up.

CUT TO:

 

INT.   PENTHOUSE FLAT.   LONDON.   DAY 1.   EVENING

CLOSE on the living room floor, a black high heeled shoe falls to the ground with a thud. Muffled moaning can still be heard. Music as before.

CUT TO:

 

INT.   LONDON PALLADIUM.   THEATRE  STAGE.  DAY 1.   EVENING

AUDIENCE POV loud applause from the audience as the curtain goes up a fraction, revealing only the silhouette of AMBER JONES’ legs. A VOICEOVER with an American accent is heard.

VOICE OVER

Ladies and Gentlemen…put your hands together for the sensational…Miss Roxie Love!

CLOSE on AMBER JONES’ feet as curtain proceeds to rise. Loud, fast jazz music plays, the audience gets louder.

SMASH CUT TO:

 

INT.   PENTHOUSE FLAT.   LONDON.   DAY 1.   EVENING

Music continues. CLOSE on the black high heeled shoe, as second shoe falls to the ground. PAN upwards revealing the feet of a female, her legs are swaying.

SMASH CUT TO:

 

INT.   LONDON PALLADIUM.   THEATRE STAGE.   DAY 1.   EVENING

CLOSE on AMBER JONES’ feet the curtain rises revealing the silhouette of her entire body, music continues.

SMASH CUT TO:

 

INT.   PENTHOUSE FLAT.   LONDON.   DAY 1.   EVENING

PAN from feet upwards stopping at the neck, revealing rope tightly tied around it, music continues.

SMASH CUT TO:

 

INT.   LONDON PALLADIUM.   THEATRE  STAGE.   DAY 1.   EVENING

ANGLE ON AMBER JONES. Music has nearly reached a climax; the lights come on in sync. She seductively turns to face the audience.

SMASH CUT TO:

 

INT.   LONDON PALLADIUM.   THEATRE  STAGE.   DAY 1.   EVENING

SHOT of BELLA MORGAN hanging from a chandelier, her body is swaying. She is unconscious with blood trickling from her mouth. Music reaches a dramatic climax. Black out.

 

CUT TO TITLES AND CREDITS

 

INT.   VICTORIAN HOUSE.   CENTRAL LONDON.   DAY 2.   MORNING

UNKNOWN POV ON CHRISTINE WATERMAN frantically drinking coffee in her kitchen, she rushes through the hallway, the house is modern and immaculate apart from a bin bag of clothes on the hallway floor. She glances in the mirror by the front door and pauses for a moment , she runs her finger over her eyebrow then exits.

 

EXT.   BUSY STREET.   CENTRAL LONDON.   DAY 2.   MORNING

She runs in her heels towards the black Mercedes-Benz which is waiting outside her house and gets in.

 

INT.   MERCEDES-BENZ.   CENTRAL LONDON.   DAY 2.   MORNING

CHRISTINE WATERMAN

Argyll Street please.

DRIVER

Of course madam.

She stares out of the window sitting upright. Her mobile phone rings loudly, she pulls it out of her bag and looks at it, then puts it back. It continues to ring. The DRIVER catches her eye in the mirror. She looks down.

 

EXT.   ARGYLL STREET/INT.   BLOCK OF FLATS.   LONDON.   DAY 2.   MORNING

The car stops, CHRISTINE WATERMAN smiles at the DRIVER and exits. The block of flats is surrounded by yellow tape and policeman. Passers-by gather around the scene watching tentatively.  CHRISTINE WATERMAN shows her badge and walks through. UNKNOWN POV follows her into the building and inside the lift, CLOSE on her face, she looks emotionless.  She exits the lift, DC ANDREWS walks towards her, he has dark hair and piercing eyes.

DC ANDREWS

Christine – great to see you.

CHRISTINE WATERMAN forces a smile.

DC ANDREWS

We have a suspected suicide, a young woman in her twenties found hung in her kitchen.

CHRISTINE WATERMAN

Was she found dead on the scene?

DC ANDREWS

Yes, her cleaner found her this morning, it happened last night, still not certain on the time.

CHRISTINE WATERMAN

Has the body been identified?

DC ANDREWS

Yes her name is Bella Morgan. She –

CHRISTINE WATERMAN

–  Bella Morgan? The west-end performer?

DC ANDREWS

Yes that’s right.

CHRISTINE WATERMAN pauses for a moment thoughtfully. They are walking side by side towards the flat door. DC Andrews looks uncomfortable. She gets out a notepad and starts scribbling.

CHRISTINE WATERMAN

Right, we are going to need more security around the building, no doubt the press will hear about this any moment now.

DC ANDREWS

Ok – I’ll take care of that now.

DC ANDREWS walks away.

 

INT.   PENTHOUSE FLAT.   LONDON.   DAY 2.   MORNING

CHIRSTINE WATERMAN enters the penthouse flat, FORENSIC SCIENTISTS are hard at work. The FORENSIC MANAGER walks towards her.

FORENSIC MANAGER

Miss Waterman, good day.

CHRISTINE WATERMAN

How is it going?

FORENSIC MANAGER

The evidence so far suggests that this case is a suicide, however, I have something that just might be of interest to you.

He hands her a cellophane bag inside is a Polaroid photo of BELLA MORGAN on stage performing. CHRISTINE WATERMAN turns the photo over and in red ink is written, “The name on everybody’s lips is gonna be…Roxie.”

FLASHBACK TO:

 

INT.   LONDON PALLADIUM.   THEATRE STAGE. TWO DAYS EARLIER. EVENING

BELLA MORGAN is on stage playing the role of “ROXIE”. Loud, fast jazz music is playing, she turns seductively to face the audience and sings the opening line of the musical.

BELLA MORGAN

The name on everybody’s lips is gonna be…Roxie.

A camera flashes from the audience.

CUT TO PRESENT:

 

INT.   PENTHOUSE FLAT.   LONDON.   DAY 2.   MORNING

CHRISTINE WATERMAN stares at the photo then looks around the flat unconvinced.

CUT TO:

 

INT.   GEORGIAN HOUSE.   LONDON.   DAY 2.   AFTERNOON

CLOSE ON LEILA ZIMMERMAN sitting in her living room watching the television, her phone rings, she gets up and answers it but nobody responds.  She sits down and it happens again. A few seconds later three loud knocks are heard at her front door, she opens the door cautiously, but nobody is there.