Literature High Street project is a text-oriented experience as well as multimedia web experience which involves different forms of media. Texts are linked with texts with maps, images as well as animation and soundscapes in order to enhance the reading experience. The interactive design in this project aims to bring usability into design process, which is an effective and efficient measure by which target users can achieve specified interactive experience. Usability is a major aspect to test whether the website can be perceived as easy as to use and provide an enjoyable experience to users. The degree of usability should not be tested by third parties (people say complimentary things) until the application is published. Typical questions that should be taken into account including how easy it is to learn, how to use the application, how efficient it is for users to achieve their goals, whether users would make errors when using it, whether users are satisfied with it, etc.
At the brainstorm stage, the group members all agreed to make a website with great usability. LHS project already has a database of compiled texts, and it is a challenge for all members to think how to use exact design approaches to provide users clear navigational clues of our website. A successful website not only needs to attract user’s attention but also attract users to enjoy the website for as long as possible. Do not try to challenge users ‘patience forever. As for this LHS website, clues include text clues, image clues, etc. Good understand how to deal with fonts, colours, images, and texts make sure visitors can get the information they want immediately and organically. The multimedia web design makes a difference according to the degree of the complexity of elements used.
I think the way to organize users with navigational clues hierarchically is the contrast. The proper use of contrast can greatly improve a website. In LHS project, the basic contrast is referred to colour contrast, font size contrast and alignment contrast. The final website looks different with the one produced in the middle stage. One is that the contrast of colours is improved to enhance impacts. Contrast is not only those basics, furthermore contrast could also organize and transmit information to make this website page more interesting. In this project, Contrast is everywhere. It helps designers to cope with large amounts of texts and interests users. Dark font colour and light background colour, big size font and small font size, a serif font with a Calibri font, old map overlays, and Google map, audio and still texts are all contrasts.
In LHS project, audio can help increase the dimension of the website. It is no doubt that audio can draw user’s attention and make a good first impression. A good use of audio can transmit information to the users and help in narration. In addition, those audio can highlight the important information and direct the users to a navigational clue. The Audio used in this project is a live recording made in High Street including birds singing, people laughing, and car nosing. It will give an additional dimension to the texts and make a deeper impression to the users. Actually, the animation in this project has equally important position to the audio. Our goals set at the beginning are to highlight the organized information and make it become emphatic and impressive to users.
In addition to the contrasts discussed above, there is another important contrast: image contrast. LHS uses a number of transitional images in panorama area. The pictures are the combination of old and modern pictures. With carefully use, the designed images enhance visual attraction and emphasize our project features at the same time. The impact brought by the contrast between old and new images could be much more than just single image. But this does not mean that the images could be used without limitation, on the contrary, the images contrast should depend on the target of website and organization of information. It is important to keep the consistency of images, colours, and texts within the website. Sometimes simple images just in the right place could also make users feel comfortable. The transitional images seem to tell a story of the High street, it is more convincing than the original pictures.