Online Notebook

M. Mancini

Week One

Cartoon Network

I love Steven Universe and missed the last few episodes. Cartoon network advertises that the episodes are available on their website, so let’s see if it’s true.

When you open the site, you’re greeted by links to videos and games. Once you shorten the page, it adapts to smaller screen settings, but eventually it’s just difficult to see where to go to watch videos (instead of having a hamburger menu, all the options are at the bottom in the footer.

There’s also a thing called UNLOCKED! And I’m still not completely sure of what it is.

On the regular desktop site, there are menus on the top that drop down when you hover over them. You can choose one of the icons of the main shows there, or you can click See All Video and go to Shows for a specific one. I want to watch Steven Universe, so I click on the icon and immediately see the latest episode! Amazing! Except when I actually click on it, it’s only the first 2 minutes.

In order to see the episode, you have to go to See All Steven Universe Videos and keep clicking See More at the bottom, the videos are tagged to show which full episodes are available (therefore I’m going to assume that UNLOCKED! is full episodes).

Overall, I think the site is functional, if a little confusing at first. The website can be overwhelming at first, but I have to keep in mind that it is targeted towards children, who have trouble focussing on one thing at a time (thus why the menus and all the graphics are so large and colorful). I will say some of it seems a little confusing and misleading at first, but it doesn’t take long to figure out what’s up.

7/10

LimeCrime

I'm obviously too poor for anything on this website, but a girl can stare and dream.

Going into the website, the first thing you see is animated oranges spreading and revealing the site. This is to promote the company's latest eyeshadow palette, the Venus XL II. In terms of aesthetic, LimeCrime seems to be known for their sort of "grunge" aesthetic, which is why the animated graphics seems choppy and reminiscent of early 2000's or 90's web graphics.

One thing I find interesting is that when the screen gets smaller, the website still seems to be functional. However, when it's larger, it gets complicated. The menus are also the one where you hover and then select from a dropdown menu, but when the screen is larger, it's difficult to select anything as the website doesn't seem to register the mouse being there. It's a race to select anything before it disappears.

Other than that, I think the website is mostly functional. It sucks though that it only functions up to a certain point, but otherwise it is aesthetically pleasing and gets customers where they need to be easily.

6/10

Week Two

SquareSpace

I’m in an HTML/CSS class I am way too dumb for. I’m going on Squarespace to look for a website I can steal the code for.

When you first get on the site, you see a series of aesthetically pleasing images going into small examples of website formats. Scrolling down, there is information on possibilities that are available to you with the website. At the top there is a menu, the Tour tab is a drop down showing what they mean, and the others simply change color as they direct you to other pages.

Under Tour, Websites you get more examples of website formats and accomplishments. The Get Started button above the fold is exactly what it says it is. Going back to Tour, you click on Domain and it takes you to a seemingly blank page with domain examples placed on the screen. It’s only when you scroll down that you see all disclaimers about copyright and claiming domains, as well as different payment plans and another list of the same accomplishments as before. Online Store is a little different is the sense that it does look more like a tutorial if anything, how to run an online store, how to look into analytics, etc. The same goes with the Marketing Tools tab.

Overall, the website is visually beautiful and very easy to navigate and function. If I wanted to use it to make my own site, it would be easy for me to (however I’m poor so you can be assured that I couldn’t if I wanted to). That being said, the only problem I have is how redundant the site can be. I understand that they are trying to sell me something, but every page I click on (even the homepage) has the same list of awards and accomplishments every single time. I think it would be better if they just kept the list on the homepage, or even a new tab for it.

9/10

tumblr

I’m cool, edgy, and have thoughts people need to hear! I’m going to make an account.

You get on the site itself and the site shows you an art post background (with the name of the user in the bottom right corner) as it shows you to either log in or sign up. I don’t know anything about this site and why I should sign up, though, so I’m going to click on the What Is Tumblr selection at the bottom. The site will scroll down and show you a graphic advertising it's simplicity. It will then immediately keep moving down before you can finish reading, though at least you have the option to go up by clicking on the transparent circles on the left side.

The site also shows a preview of how it'll function once you have an account. The latest update shows the background being much darker and heavily saturated with white text. While this may look good on a poster where you can glance and move on, this is proven to be a strain on the eyes if someone is reading like this more long, which tumblr is meant to be.

As for having a profile, a lot of the design options are frankly either ugly or not functional, so many users either code a new design themselves, or download free codes from users who offer them.

Tumblr was originally created so that people can share photos and writing with others, which made it great for writers and visual artists to share their work online and gain a following. As the site grows older, though, the algorithm has changed so that the only users being suggested are more popular blogs rather than blogs that are relevant to a person's interests. For example, if I am interested in taxidermy, instead of being shows taxidermy blogs, I will be shown a popular kpop blog. This has made it insanely difficult for talented artists with a small following to be able to grow.

All this said, I think tumblr has questionable design elements, and while it is somewhat functional on it's own, we do have to remember that XKit was invented by a user and the addition was made in order to make the website more functional than it is on it's own (including fixing the background color so it's not so much of a strain). It also has gone so far away from it's original intention, that people have been looking for alternatives for a while. However, we should consider that it is popular for a reason, and it has elements of sharing and posting that not many other social media sites have

A begrudging 6/10