Tag Archives: design

A well-designed journalism website

This is part two of an a assignment for my Web Design for Journalists class at UMass.

Part one of this post involved me searching for a “terribly designed website” and point out what makes it so poorly designed. 

Part two of this assignment requires me to find a well-designed journalism website and make a post about why I like it.

But, as if you couldn’t see this one coming, I have loyally chosen PBS Frontline‘s website.

An aesthetically pleasing example of a well-designed media site.

The Frontline website is aesthetically pleasing, complex yet easy to navigate, and exudes an experience for the user. Here’s how:

  • The colors work. Note the varying shades of blue, gray, and purple. And, what pops out is the copany’s logo, which is classically white on red.
  • The shapes are spot on. Rectangles and squares follow continuous patterns, are spaced fairly, and are lined up like city buildings and skyscrapers.
  • Episodes are featured in two formats, as well as through the program schedule which is clearly marked.
  • Links to a popular topics and current affairs section is also clearly featured and is updated fairly regularly.
  • The user experience is first exemplified by a savvy theme. When users move their mouse over a featured program, an opaque detail card pops up, giving the viewer more information.
  • The front page also features a slick flip-book like rectangle showing off popular episodes.
  • When viewers click around the main menu they are taken to slightly less complicated sub-pages that aren’t necessarily less exciting but are clear and concise – and, yes, aesthetically pleasing.
  • The font and words are easy to read.
  • Their organization is key to helping fans find the shows they love most.
  • The screen fits to the window when it is expanded by a user.
  • Only one scroll bar is necessary.

It’s hip, it’s cool, it’s professional and is accessible.

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Photos of the Days – It’s been a while…

Due to my lack of access to real internet, the fact that I have an internship across the state and a nearly full-time job, I haven’t been able to upload my photos of the day or make some good blog entries. But without further agonizing, here are the photos!

May 5, 2010

Some hidden street art in Northampton.

 

May 6, 2010

Hearts.

 

May 7, 2010

Smith College gardens

 

May 8, 2010

Capturing footage at my new job.

 

May 9, 2010

Mint cookies!

 

May 10, 2010

The puppies have grown!

 

May 11, 2010

Firefly night.

 

May 12, 2010

Seriously, this cake was way too big. There's still some of that chunk in our fridge.

 

May 13, 2010

Strawberries.

 

May 14, 2010

Turkey run!

 

May 15, 2010

USFWS and UMass Amherst have joined forces.

 

May 16, 2010

Snow pea flower.

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The Rain Drop Advantage

Usually when it rains, me and every other photographer it seems takes photos of the rain drops as the subject matter. Not wanting to make this cliché photo mistake, something sparked inside of me to use the rain drops as a texturing tool rather than the subject matter.

No background bokeh for these rain drops.

I was sitting at my family’s computer, which involves a lot of waiting due to our dial-up connection. the sun was setting and I turned to the window in which it leaked in and hit me in the face.

In one window pane, remarkably, the pane that the sun rays were shining through was covered in glistening rain drops. Then, the spark came! Photo of the day!

But, of course, I had to get this classic shot.

Ran to get my camera, threw the rain drops out of focus, the fence in focus, and snapped away.

This further inspired me to go outside and take more photographs while my email waited to load, thus, today, I bring you a new, beautiful, and hopefully not cliché photo slideshow.

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London’s Markets

London’s Markets

If there’s any way to get to know London, get away from the sites and start exploring its side streets. The best side streets to start with are those that host markets.

My Top 4:

  1. Portobello Road Market
  2. Brick Lane Market
  3. Camden Market
  4. Borough Market

Portobello Road

Many would agree Portobello is the mother of all markets, which caters to the young and old. The best day to go is on Saturday as even on Sunday less than half the street vendors set up shop. Go in the morning beginning at the Ladbroke Grove (tube stop) end and work your way south towards Notting Hill Gate (tube stop). Much of the road is filled with old flea market items and some antiques that could be your favorite London souvenir. This is also the best place to get fresh produce, fish, meat, pastries, goodies – and lunch. Several giant pans of paella, gourmet sandwiches, crepes, sausages, African foods, and French goodies is just some of the dishes you have to choose from. Crowds are massive but tourists and locals mingle alike, just be cautious of pickpocket. Have your camera ready to shoot as you never know who or what you will see. Check out the Banksy graffiti at the top, note the road gets more posh as you head south, and don’t forget to check out a flat where George Orwell once lived.

There will be several performers.

Food for lunch, food for dinner, food for later.

 

Brick Lane Market

Brick Lane in east London (Aldgate East tube stop) is home to many Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants and businesses. Go any time of the week for good curry, spicy samosas, and other sweets, but Sunday is the best day to visit Brick Lane as the street and side streets boast flea market goods, delicious unique food made right in front of you, and the best used and new fashions. While many of the vendors are Indian, there is a huge young British twenty-something hipster culture. You will find clubs and bars pumping danceable music even in the middle of the day. The street also has to remarkable graffiti art. At the southern end of the market is the Whitechapel Art gallery – small but worth a pop in.

Brick Lane.

 

Paste and paper street art.

Spray street art.

Camden Market

If you are or you like punk-hippie-young-earthy cultures check out Camden market (Camden Town tube stop) on Saturday or Sunday. You can get a tattoo, piercing, eat delectable food for cheap, catch a show, buy some spiked leather, trendy clothing, or some of your favorite hits on vinyl. It’s definitely worth a visit, even the architecture is like nothing else in London. Definitely don’t go during the week as nothing is really happening.

Borough Market

Borough Market is the best place in London to grab a healthy, cheap, gourmet lunch, fine meat, wine, and produce on a Saturday afternoon. Nestled between brick buildings and archways on the south bank, this is definitely on hot spot for locals and tourists alike. Take the tube to St Paul’s cathedral, cross the millennium bridge, maybe pop in to the Tate Modern, make your way past the Globe, and dig in.

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Harvey Pekar

I attended a conversation with comic book writer Harvey Pekar yesterday evening.

Chatting with fans.

Pekar is best known for writing American Splendor an autobiographic series, which was adapted into a film called American Splendor where Pekar was played by Paul Giamatti

Pekar discussed how he got started and the Jewish graphic novel. And said he was writing a book about his thoughts on Israel, and expressed his disappoint with the state.

Pekar’s talk and conversation with Naomi Seidman was held at UMass Amherst and was sponsored by the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies.

Writing out autographs.

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Photos of the Day – Last Days In London : (

April 23, 2010

A grainy moonlit Hyde Park.

 

April 24, 2010

A performance of Macbeth at the Globe. Photography not permitted during performances.

 

April 25, 2010

Parliament at dusk.

 

April 26, 2010

Welcome to Harrod's 'Egypt.'

 

April 27, 2010

This is what London's telephone booths look like.

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Photo of the Day – Planted Ads

Aril 15, 2010

An efficient use of ad space and plants.

Eco garden ads are sprouting up all around urban environments.

 

Though, I'm not sure how the plants feel.

It might be a bit of an oxymoron for the advertisement as well.

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