Self Initiated Project – Critical Appraisal

Overall, I feel the project wasn’t a complete resounding success as I’d hoped, but I am happy with the outcome of the work. I may not have managed to build the site at the end, but I am very pleased with the concept I created.

At the start of the project, I got stuck straight into the research and got it out of the way as quickly as possible, so it allowed me to quickly move on the next stage and give me more time to do the rest of the work. This is an improvement from previous projects, as normally I tend to wallow a little bit with the research, and spend more time on it than I need to.

Conversely, time management was one of the main reasons why I didn’t get to the build stage, especially towards the later stages of the project. Over the last 2 or 3 months, the client project I was involved in took up most of my time, which meant this project was put on hold for a while. This is why at the end, there was not enough time left to be able to build the site.

This made me realise that time management is so important, and I cannot afford to take time management for granted. I have learned that I need to manage my time across all projects and not just one. For future projects, I will take what I’ve learned in time management and plan across all of them.

In terms of my design, I’ve always created designs that I like and that appeal to me, instead of how the people I am creating it for like it, or how they need it to be. It was pointed to me that while the research I did in the discovery phase was good, I needed to put this into practice. I always seem to leave the discovery phase behind for when I start designing, but I should be using it to help inform my design, as that is the point of the discovery phase. I also came across a bit of a stumbling block with my design, but this is only because I didn’t use my discovery phase properly to inform my design.

My initial designs were also created before I decided on the colour palette; however, this is bad practice, as the colour palette is part of the discovery phase and should have been done before starting the designs. In the future, I need to fully complete the discovery phase before starting any design work.

For future projects, I’ve learned that I need to effectively use my discovery phase in order to create a more suitable design.

I have learned a lot of new skills and software over the course of this project, too. The use of Balsamiq allowed me to create simple sketch wireframes, to take onto using Illustrator to make them look better and more professional. Its drag and drop interface was very easy to pick up and is something I will use in the future

Invision was a brilliant app to use. It was great for creating a working concept of how the actual site will perform and it also helps to bring a user journey to life. This is also another key thing I’ve learned from this project; a concept is much more important than I thought, because in a design company, it makes a developer’s job easier, as they can use the concept to see how the site should behave and perform, so they can easily implement it into the development and build of the site.

When I look back at the project, and the past year in general, I have learned a whole lot more than I did in the first year. The things I have learned this year will help me greatly in future endeavours, both professionally and academically. When I use my discovery phase properly, the designs I create will be much more suited to my target audience. Once I effectively manage my time, my projects will run a lot more smoothly, and I won’t be panicking at the end of them, rushing to get everything done.

It is a shame that I didn’t manage to build my site, because it feels like I didn’t complete what I set out to do. The project feels a little empty without a final site at the end, but this will only spur me on to do better next time. This year has been a huge learning curve for me, and I look forward to future projects.

Self Initiated Project – Final Designs

These are my final designs for the site. As this is a concept, the images of players used in them are just for illustration purposes simply to show what the site will physically look like; if this was an actual website, every image would be different. It would be bad practice and unprofessional to have the same image repeated in a real website.

I have also used some dummy text in the designs, this says what the text would say if this was a real site.

Home page

finalhomepage

On the home page, there are the links to the main sections. There are also 2 other sections, the top 10 flops of the season, and most recent sections. In the most recent section, the more button simply moves the videos along to show more, the image below shows this:

Pressing ‘more’ on most recent

finalhomepagemorevideo

As you can see, when the user clicks ‘more’, more videos are shown.

Stats page

statsmainpage

This is the main stats page. From here, the user can select a category. I only created a page for one category (discipline); this was because all the category pages are laid out the same, and it is just to show what the user can expect to see when they view a category.

Discipline

discipline

The discipline page, like all the other stats categories, has a jquery orbit slider, a top 10 list where it is possible to switch tabs to show other data, and at the bottom graphs to make the statistics more visual.

The orbit slider

disciplineorbit1disciplineorbit2

This represents the transitions between the orbit slider.

Switching tabs/Sorting stats

disciplinechangetabdisciplineinvertstat

The above images show the different information that appears as the user switches between tabs. They can also sort the information either ascending or descending.

Player profiles

This is the profile section. When the user hovers over an image it shows the player’s name. They click on it, which takes them to the profile of that player.

finalprofilesectionfinalprofilesectionhover

playerprofile

Gallery

final galleryfinal gallery bigimage

The gallery page would just be a lightbox gallery; a thumbnail is clicked on, to reveal the larger image.

Top 10 flops

The top 10 flops is another small feature I added. It lists the worst performers of the season.

top10flops

Mobile home page

At the start of the project, I aimed to create a responsive site. However due to time, I couldn’t build it. I created a mobile home page to show what it would look like on a phone. Because of the time left, I didn’t manage any more mobile designs, so I didn’t create a mobile version in Invision.

mobilehomepage

Invision

The main designs are now complete, and I also finished creating the prototype in Invision. Invision was a great tool to use as it allowed to physically take the user through what your site would look like, and give the user a feel of what to expect from a real working website. I will talk more about Invision as part of my critial appraisal evaluation.

The link for the prototype:

http://invis.io/SXUOZH6H

Final steps in the project

From a design perspective, the project is now complete. All that is left is my documentation. My last post for this project will be my critical appraisal, which will be posted shortly.

 

 

 

Self Initiated Project – Initial Designs & Colour Palette

This is a two part post of the inital designs for my site and the colour palette I am using for my final designs.

Initial Designs

These are the initial designs that I first created. They are not really designed well, as they are not themed around the topic of the site:

homepage2homepage1

These were created before I decided on the colour palette; however, this is bad practice, as the colour palette is part of the discovery phase and should have been done before starting the designs. I am in the process of creating my new final designs, based on the orange design above, but using the colour palette below:

Colour Palette

When choosing my colour palette, I wanted to incorporate ‘football colours’; colours that are used for team badges and kits, such as claret & blue, but claret & blue don’t work well on a screen together. I thought about using orange in the design; basically, I jumped on the Hull City bandwagon as they got to the FA Cup final for the first time in the club’s history and thought orange must be the color.

colourpal

 

Self Initiated Project – Balsamiq Wireframes

These are the first user journey wireframes created using Balsamiq. However, these were created before changes to my design and these were made before I created them properly in Illustrator, so rather than re-do them in Balsamiq, I will just make the changes to the Illustrator wireframes; this will save time and save me from doing them twice.

statsmockpcviewingprofilevidoemockuppc

gallery mockup journey pc_3

Self Initiated Project – Project Update

It has been a long time since my last post on my self initiated project, as there has been another project that has taken up time. That project is now finished so I am focusing fully on my self initiated project. Because of the length of time since my last post, there have been a few changes to the project.

The site is no longer going to be built due to time, as there isn’t a lot of time left to complete the project. Instead, I am going to create the site in the form of a prototype/concept, using InVision.

My design of the site has changed slightly too. There needed to be more information for site viewers to see on the home page, and more for them to do. They can now view videos and there is going to be some news features on the site too, as many football sites tend to have news and stats.

This also means I need to change my user journey slightly. Both my designs and updated user journeys will be uploaded over the weekend.