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February 2017

Final Focus Group Report

After finishing my portfolio of work, it was time to get final feedback from the class, which is amongst my target audience of people from Sheffield between the ages 16-25. Once I had chosen and shown a select amount of my copy to the group, I had a feedback sheet with three questions where they could write and give their opinions on my pieces.

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9.3.2 Reflection on Unit 9

When reflecting on my unit 9, I realise that there is a lot more I can do when it comes to my FMP. The first and main thing will be trying out more wordpress themes and getting the right one exactly, depending on the interactivity options for my audience, and how easy it is to navigate etc. When it comes to deciding what theme I use, I will need to make sure that it has all the characteristics of a webzine in order to meet the specification. I will also need to make sure I design it in a way that appeals to more of my target audience, being teenagers in their later years.

Social media will act as a sort of marketing tool for me, so I need to make sure that I use it more to help during my FMP. I can use it to see what the hot topics are at the moment, and see if there is anything that I can make content out of. I could also use it as a place to gather peoples views and opinions on any ideas I may have. Social Media is also a great way to get in contact with people in order to interview them, so it may be good to improve my online presence.

When it comes to the content I produce, I want to make sure that I do more that requires me to use different software in order to improve my skills, such as garage band, imovie and photoshop. I will also be monitoring any analytics on my posts, so that I can become aware of what content the audience like the most, so that I can create more of it. I aim to produce podcasts discussing any topics that are popular at the time, or just on going, in order to do this I will have to research into podcasts more and possibly listen to a few. It may also be a good idea create a certain group that I do the podcasts with, and give the group a name so I create a sort of brand for it. I will also be including interviews, photographs, articles/features and some more fun posts such as listicles and possibly images.

My main aim will be to create content up to a great standard, so that people will want to read and possibly get involved, discussing the topics etc. In order to do this I will have to use all of the software that I am provided with and make sure any writing is good quality and my podcasts/videos/photographs are edited to a good quality too.

9.3.1 Evaluation of webzine

Evaluation of preparatory work

The overall theme for my project was teenage lifestyle. I originally had the idea to create a webzine using wordpress in order to show all my content in the form of issues. My original plans were to have articles including interiews, blog posts to share my opinions etc. These ideas later developed into me thinking about having content in the form of podcasts and videos, depending on the subject.

When researching different teen lifestyle webzines, I looked at a few and in depth analysed two, one I liked and one I disliked. For this I talked about the design aspects and what I liked, and what I would include in my webzine. If I were to go back to research, I would of looked at a lot more in order to get more ideas on the content side for my webzine, in order to target a teenage audience.

When it came to looking at art and cultural sources,  I would of preferred to do a lot more research than I ended up doing. Due to social media being my main tool when it comes to knowing what they younger people are talking about and are interested in at the moment, I feel like I should of used forms of social media a lot more for research. Simply looking into what they’re ‘talking about’ at the moment or the themes of their social media accounts, how they edit their images, videos etc would help design aspects of my work and content ideas in order to target that specific audience.

I do wish that when researching, I looked into a lot more podcasts and videos on teenage lifestyle, or just lifestyle in general. This would of helped me to see how it works, how people edit to target their audience the most and just the type of content they create in general. It would of also been good to of have some experience with editing and using the software, such as garage band and imovie, in order to refresh my skills and possibly add more to my technical skills when it comes to editing. I would of also played around with themes more on wordpress, instead of just sticking to one theme, as I still dont have an idea as to what theme I want to work with when it comes to my FMP.

Evaluating the graphic product 

Overall, I don’t really like how my webzine turned out, although this may be a good thing as it shows me what I can change when it comes to doing my FMP. Even though I don’t particularly enjoy my webzine, it does reach the specification. It functions well with the characteristics most sites posses. For example it had a logo, side bar, it is easy to navigate and post were scheduled before they were posted.

The main problem with my webzine, was the theme I was using. I didn’t feel as though it had many options when it came to the design, so there weren’t many things that I could change in order to make it mine and personalise it more. Even though the theme proved to be a problem, I will still be using wordpress through ThisIsTap when it comes to my FMP. This is because I know that when it comes to it, I will be able to do what I want to it and I will be able to make the changes to any theme I choose, depending on which is most convenient for the readers. This depending on the accessibility and how easy it is to navigate.

9.2.2 Production stage of webzine

The first thing I needed to do to in order to start producing my webzine, was add a theme. There are multiple themes installed into wordpress already, so you can look through and choose one of those, or you can choose your own and install it yourself. I installed a theme called genie which I installed onto my computer, so to do this I went to the theme section, add new, upload new and found the zip file I had previously downloaded and selected it.

uploadgenie-themegenie

Once the theme was installed, it was blank and just the general theme, but there were multiple things that I could do in order to make it a little different.

The first thing I did was create a temporary logo. The logo would only be temporary as im not completely sure as to what I want mine to be like yet. To create this logo I went to a website called canva, where you can select and customize designs.

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9.2.1 plan and development for your own webzine

Webzines research.

As I need to get a little inspiration for my webzines, I had to look online at some based around my genre, which is teen lifestyle. I have picked out one I like and another that I don’t, so I can see what I want and don’t want to do.

One I like:

webzine-researches

The first thing I noticed about this was how simple it is. Simplicity is something I really like when it comes to websites and it makes them easy to navigate around and find whatever it is you’re looking for. Another thing that caught my attention was the colour scheme, being it very simple with monotone black and white with a pop of red now and then. I like these choice of colours as it doesn’t necessarily target any type of audience and the colours don’t take any attention away from the content. This site does have a sidebar, but it is one that you have to click on for it to become visible (top left)

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9.1.2 Interpretation of webzine research

After looking at the characteristics of a webzine, there are various things that I will need to use for my webzine in order for it to function like one. The box based design that a lot of webzines have is something that I will be using. This because it will allow me to have an overall image that people can click on and it will take them to several different posts, which will act like one issue. This leads onto more of the fixed features, the search bar for example. This would allow the reader to search for whatever it is they’re looking for. Another characteristic that my webzine would have to follow would be the responsiveness. This will mean that no matter what size the readers screen is, the content will adjust to the size of the screen itself.

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Unit 9 Checklist

1.1 Analysis of Webzine – research characteristics of said magazine and compare to other similar products which allow for the publication go online content.

1.2 Interpretation- Based on research and identification of webzine characteristics write a proposal on how you intent to use this knowledge to create your own- what will you publish?

2.1 plan and development for your own webzine- This can be done via a digital sketchbook which essentially is a place where you store photos, inspiration, sketches, logo/masthead designs, layouts and record software use.

2.2 Production stage- This is where you make your webzine within the software- record with screenshots and prove competency and knowledge association to planned goal.

3.1 Evaluation of webzine- Does it comply with the characteristics of the product you researched.

3.2 Reflection on what you have learnt-  reflect on what you have learnt and how you can take the knowledge through to you other projects.

9.1.1 Analysis of webzine

Webzine definition: A magazine published electronically on the Internet.

There are webzines that are distributed publicly on the web but there are also ezines that are distributed through email.

Digital editions of magazines are  electronic versions of print magazines/newspapers. These look identical to what is in the print version. This saves money for the publisher and the reader as time and money would not be needed to print and deliver the magazine or newspaper. They also include multimedia aspects such as videos and animations which helps to make reading the magazine fun for readers but is also good for advertisers as they are not limited to a piece of paper. This version of magazines/ newspapers has been said to be more environmentally friendly.

Archive system

The difference between a webzine and a blog: A webzine is scheduled, where as blogs are more spontaneous, they upload when they want depending on the person.

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