Exploring the UX of online material

‘Critically analyse the online portfolio of an individual working in your chosen career’

User Experience (UX) is defined by the overall experience of a person using a product such as a website, especially on how easy it is to navigate and how it meets their needs (Norman & Nielson, 2017). In order to achieve high quality user experience, it needs to go beyond that. Having a deeper understanding of the user is important, what they value, their abilities and their limitations. Peter Morville presents how users find value in what is being provided for them. He does this through the use of a very effective diagram. It illustrates how clients must move beyond usability, highlighting on 7 key elements (2004).

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 11.41.31.png(Morville. P, 2004)

 

Useful: Content should fulfil users needs and be relevant and original.

Usable: Usability remains vital, but it isn’t the most important. It is a measure of how simple it is for users to learn your site. It’s important to get the right balance, a website could be excellently developed, with every page and feature working as it should. However, if it is too complex and confusing users will be more likely to navigate away to another site. To discover any issues with usability early into the design process, it’s important to use planning techniques such as briefing and wireframes (5 Elements Of The Online User Experience).

Desirable: The visual aesthetics of the product must be attractive and easy to translate. As an inspiring documentary maker, I would do this by using a minimalistic design so all the focus is on my content such as showreels rather than a distracting design.

Findable: Strive for a design which is easy to navigate and locatable objects onsite and off.

Accessible: The website should be designed so that people with disabilities can have the same user experience to others (Wesolko, 2016)

Credible: The company such be trustworthy.

This post is going to critically analyse an online portfolio that has been created by Paul Griffin. He is a freelance director and editor, who works in the UK and internationally. The following portfolio can be found here: http://griffinproductions.co.uk/#section-home

Firstly, the URL is very simplistic and recognisable. This allows a client to find his website very easily because when typing his name into a search engine like google it’s one of the first links to appear. Andrew Epperson highlights the importance of a clear URL as he says by having an easily memorable URL, visitors can recall it and become regular guests (2015). Not only that,but if it is structured in a logical matter that it is more useable to humans it will generate a better SEO (Epperson,2015).

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 13.11.29Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 13.11.36(source:http://griffinproductions.co.uk/#section-home)

When designing a portfolio content wants to be the focal point. Rather than having a distracting design with lots of writing, keep it straightforward. It can’t be assumed that visitors will have a clear understanding of the services that are offered to them, so it is important to communicate clearly on an online portfolio (Ravenel, n.d.). Paul griffin has done this very effectively through the use of show reels and minimal writing. The background is plain white so rather than distracting the viewer from his content, it pulls them into his colourful show reels.

Social media: According to Milstone, just having social media links on a website isn’t enough, they need to be visible to the user so it’s easy to find them (Supple, 2016).

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 14.00.15  ( source:http://griffinproductions.co.uk/#section-home)

On Paul’s portfolio his social media links always follow on the bottom left corner which is a very useful feature. The buttons stay with the user no matter where they navigate or scroll, meaning they will always be visible. Another advantage to his social media links, is they open in a new tab, so it won’t redirect viewers to another page.

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 13.35.36(source: http://griffinproductions.co.uk/#section-home)

Overall, this portfolio is really strong and includes key elements on what makes a good portfolio. The only negative aspect that can be pin point is weak presentation in parts. Little things such as making sure all buttons and links are in line are important. As seen from the picture above the Facebook symbol is slightly above the rest, which would only take a couple of seconds to tweak and change. Apart from that it is really difficult to criticise his website, so it is no wonder he is on the first page of results when you search ‘freelance director’ into Google.

Here have have another critical analysis of Danny Cooke’s online portfolio, done by myself and another fellow BMT student. Source found: http://www.dannycooke.co.uk/

References
Epperson (2015)Lieberman Technologies. The Importance of URL Structure. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.ltnow.com/importance-url-structure/. [Accessed 15 March 2017].

Levo League.( 2014). 4 Reasons Why You Need An Online Portfolio – Levo. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.levo.com/posts/4-reasons-you-need-an-online-portfolio. [Accessed 15 March 2017].

Paul Griffin (2017) Online Portfolio [Online] Available from: http://griffinproductions.co.uk/contact-3/ [Accessed on 17th March 2017].

Danny Cooke (2017) Online Portfolio [Online] Available from: http://www.dannycooke.co.uk/ [Accessed 15th March 2017]

Morville, Peter (2004) . “User Experience Design”. [ONLINE] Available at : http://semanticstudios.com/user_experience_design/ [Accessed on: Mar 17, 2017]

Norman.P and Nielson. J (2017) “The Definition Of User Experience (UX)”. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/definition-user-experience/ [ Accessed: March 17th 2017]

Ravenel, M. (n.d.). 6 Steps To Creating A Knockout Online Portfolio. [online] 99U by Behance. Available at: http://99u.com/articles/7127/6-steps-to-creating-a-knockout-online-portfolio [Accessed 17 Mar. 2017].

Supple, M. (2016). 3 Key Reasons to Add Social Media Links to Your Website. [online] Blog.milestoneinternet.com. Available at: http://blog.milestoneinternet.com/getting-social/3-key-reasons-to-add-social-media-links-to-your-website/ [Accessed 17 Mar. 2017].

Wesolko. D (2016) Peter Morville’S User Experience Honeycomb”. Medium. [ONLINE] Available at: https://medium.com/@danewesolko/peter-morvilles-user-experience-honeycomb-904c383b6886#.qh7t0cs8o [Accessed on: 18th March 2017]

5 Elements Of The Online User Experience (2016)  The Interaction Design Foundation [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/5-elements-of-the-online-user-experience [ACSSESSED: 19 Mar. 2017].

 

 

 

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