Lunacy – evaluation

With the website up and running, which can be accessed here, I want to reflect on the experience of a group project, what worked, what didn’t and why.

I believe that I started the project with the idea that each person had certain things they were good at, and whatever you weren’t good at, you didnt touch on.

This became false very quickly.

Design can only go so far without testing it with html/php, everything had to look good on the web, not just in Photoshop. I felt like I was a little ignorant to the difficulty and monotonous labouring of creating a website, especially with the implementation of a database.

MySQL was probably the most challenging thing for me as the language is very different from normal php, it took a lot of time to get used to the logic of php and to mix in sql made it fairly overwhelming and confusing.

Luckily, the point of a group project is to help one another and I believe the general teamwork (besides for the 2 people that did not show up at all) was very good. We would look over each others codes, images, bios and all had an understanding of the groups strengths and weaknesses. Communication both online and in real life was constant, and we had a working(ish) prototype much earlier than some of the groups.

Having not worked on a project with a focused group before, and generally being a creative and idea-full person, perhaps I somewhat forced my ideas down everyones throats, and we settled on one of the first ideas everyone agreed on. If we were to do this over, I would have made a much greater effort to brainstorm lots of ideas, combining, removing and eventually choosing one that makes slightly more sense. Lunacy itself has the biggest issue of privacy, we have no way of anonymising the stories people tell, and no kind of consent or warning about the possible content of the site containing names, dates and other private information.

Overall the project was a success in terms of working together and building a working site, but I have learned a lot more through what didn’t work and fixing it, rather than everything working perfectly all the time.

Lunacy Logo update 2

After a long blog post about coming back to your work and realising what is wrong with it, I came back to my logo and saw what was wrong with it.

lunacylogo

Moon far too big, not transparent.

lunacylogo2

nice trimmed and resized image, the moon covers the L enough to stand out with the black letter, I’m really happy with it.

lunaylogobig

I did have a slight problem with the implementation, as it increased the size of the navbar container, the css style ‘contain’ was ineffective.

lunacylogosmall

However with a fixed height of 40 pixels and the width inherited, it was fixed.

This simple fix was a major personal milestone in web designing as I was not at uni and there was no team around me, and although it is simple, having the ability to fix minor problems like this off my own back quickly felt very rewarding.

Net Neutrality

Big business has a way of worming its way into everything in our lives, we pay for the privilege of sky sports or spotify premium, but net neutrality has been something the corporate world has been trying to break for decades.

Without Net Neutrality, big business (phone companies, broadband providers) could carve the Internet into fast and slow lanes. An ISP could slow down its competitors’ content or block political opinions it disagreed with. they could charge extra fees to the 1% companies who basically own the world already, meaning everyone else would be using a slower tier of internet. This would destroy the web we know and love (and hate).

The very idea of the world wide web is that is it world wide, open, free and unbiased. As soon as you put a meter on it, it becomes no different from TV and advertising; pay to win.

One thing that differs in Europe’s battle with net neutrality is that they want to allow “ISPs to install “parental control” filters in the network, forced onto you without consent.”

Only parents can assess the needs of their children, but these filters give no control to parents. They are a “one size-fits-all” solution by ISPs.

“Child rights organisations, such as the UK’s Child Rights Information Network (CRIN), have raised concerns that without a way for parents to make the choice for themselves what kind of online content is appropriate for their children. Youth of all ages will be treated exactly the same way, which could undermine children’s protection, education, and personal development.”

This song from the ‘stop SOPA’ campaign in 2012 perfectly sums up net neutrality.

References:

http://www.savetheinternet.com/net-neutrality-what-you-need-know-now

https://savetheinternet.eu/

Lunacy Logo Update

Coming back to things and redesigning is the only way to improve, it is interesting to see how different (terrible) things look after some time away from it.

Linking to my last logo post here, I have come up with a much better design that fits anywhere on the site;

lunacylogo

It is easy to get lost in the look of something, previous logos with starry backgrounds and lots of colour and images do not get to the point of a logo. The purpose of a logo is to give a visual representation of your product or company. Stars, lens flares and big flashy images do not represent a sleek, easy to use application.

Perhaps some further editing is needed, as we have a very limited space of 40 pixels height for the navigation bar, and the writing is quite small when implemented on the site.

Checkboxes or buttons?

After spending an eternity working out the checkboxes, another battle between design and functionality began.

nightclubcheckbox

The checkboxes are easy to use but lack the visual information that buttons give, especially as the site is centered around nights out, if one happens to forget the name of the club they were in, a logo may prove useful.

However;

sixtymillionpostcards yates lost garden barme_logo_small2

All clubs have very different themes and logos, and trying to make readable, symmetrical, functional buttons from them proved ineffective.

We stuck with the checkboxes.

Lunacy update

A big issue being a designer first and foremost is the battle between something looking pretty and actually working. Translating ambitious mock ups into working websites comes with much sacrifice, something I learned the hard way.

One of the main visual aspects of the website was to have the inclusion of a moon, either in the logo or as the background.

moonfull

“flashy designer mock up”

lunacypicfail

“messy integration into php”

lunacypiccontain

even when I managed to center it and it seemed to look acceptable;

lunacypicfailcontain

it came with the issue that the image was ‘contained’ in all of the containers, which meant it continuously tiled.

Also the visual cluster of white text and a light grey/white background was not appealing, the clean, solid blue look is much more user friendly, and keeps in line with the angular, ‘metro’ style of todays technology.

lunacyclean

Lunacy logo

Some ideas for a logo for Lunacy:

I like the idea of the lens flare from the sun creeping up from behind the moon, but realistically the logo will need to be transparent and workable into light and dark backgrounds, big, square picture logos are not sleek and very hard to implement cleanly.

logo1

And although this logo is much thinner and more usable, it lacks any reference to the moon.

lunacylogo

lunacy update

Much of lunacy has been set up but the themes have not been implemented yet.

I have re designed the site, it is fairly ambitious but not impossible we hope, I think a good way around transparency is to just overlay images, haven’t tried yet though.

lunacy

want to merge “working together” into the “team” page, as the change in font size does not agree with the symmetry of the site.

Then again 4 buttons would be weird too.

not sure

Inspiration for Lunacy

Lunacy is similar to other social media sites such as Twitter, FML and Reddit, where it is easy to see the most popular posts in a specific timescale.

FML, for example:

fmlexample

The voting system is unique as it does not focus on good or bad, but rather if the statement one makes is their own fault or the faults of others, though it can be said that ‘You deserved it’ essentially equates to ‘bad’.

This does make for interesting conversation on each post, and the ability to comment on each post extends the scope and usability of the site massively, as the comments section acts as an ‘other’ opinion field.

This kind of voting/comment system could be useful for Lunacy as it will not limit people who feel negatively about a story can do more than vote it up or down.

Lunacy – group project

Our group project idea stems from sites like Reddit and FML, where users can post text, and that text can be voted on in multiple ways.

to use Lunacy, one must post a short story (50 – 100 words max) about their night out in Bournemouth, possibly with pictures attached. Users can vote on stories based on how ‘crazy’ that story is, and whether or not that story is made up or real. The craziest, most real being featured at the top of a stream of posts.

mockup

mock up of the website