Site Revision

UPDATE ON 4/11/18 :Research

For my site revision I’ve chosen to redesign the website for a music shop not too far from my hometown; Speno Music. Below are screen shots of the following in descending order: home page, about page and photo “gallery”.


For aspects of the site that are working well, the header content is done well. The navigation bar is static and is not in a different location for each page. The image of guitars below the navigation bar is also static and does not change size, shape, color or position on each page. For improvements, there are many. The entire site is composed of various font tags with styling done in the HTML itself; very little at that. The image layout on the home page has no sense of direction but rather seems to have random elements “splattered” on the page (contact form to the left with image of store front sitting next to bottom right corner). The photo gallery is composed of a single image with a dull, static text overlay reading “Store Photo’s” in the top right corner. This text distracts from the single image and does not add anything to the experience. On the “About” page, there are incomplete descriptions about employee’s as well as the company itself with filler text reading “Include a brief biography. List their years of experience and education. Or describe how this person helps meet the needs of your customers”; incomplete and unprofessional. There are also stock photo fills in place of where an employee’s face should be. One of the main aspects about Speno’s Music that makes it such a great place is their commitment to the community and everyone that has a passion for music. Although the store was founded in 2006, Mike Speno’s (current owner) family has been assisting in providing great service for a variety of instruments and artists ever since 1951. They bring this point up on multiple pages, communicating the reason they do what they do is driven by other’s passion for music. Unlike corporate companies like Guitar Center, they have the ability to be flexible with pricing and aren’t afraid to make deals on equipment and offer cheap services, because in the end what they care about is making sure that music is accessible to all; not how large of a price tag they can put on an item. This communication could easily be improved by developing a stronger structured about page with more information and well formatted and developed sentence structure; making the person want to read about the company’s history. The audience being targeted by this site is that of musical artists or people who have a passion for music. Other organizations that are targeting this audience more effectively are mostly corporate companies such as Guitar Center and Musicians Friend. Their websites are much better structured and offer a more interactive experience while searching for a product they have in stock or even just finding a store location


One of the main pieces I plan to use on Speno’s redesign is having a message center right on the home page at the top. This allows users to be immediately informed of the deals you have going on. Everyone loves saving money so by peaking the user’s interest on what deals you have, you are quickly and efficiently pulling them into your business. I also plan on using organized drop-down menus to allow for a cleaner experience when it comes to finding the product a user may be looking for. At the moment, Speno currently displays stock images of guitars on their header that are most likely not even at the store and a single image from about two years ago of some guitars hanging on the wall; nothing new and nothing updated to keep user’s accurately informed.



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Screen Shot 1




Gallery Write Up #1: Interactive Design

Many people involved with the computer science and Digital Media and Animation major are hearing more about the Unity game engine; a free game engine for indie and professional developers. Much like other programs, it can be over whelming to learn a new program. To help solve this issue for the basics, a Unity seminar was held in SET 440 at 7PM. The event was hosted by Stephon Barrett with Michael Girard, Maria Frascella and myself assisting when needed. All participants were asked to install the newest version of Unity before the seminar began so they could all dive right in.

The topic of the seminar was a variety of sub-topics that had to do with the basics of using Unity. The first topic covered was the basics of the UI layout. This included the View settings so that people could select their favorite UI layout. This would allow people to find a format to use the software in which they are most comfortable.  After learning a bit about the Unity layout and getting everything organized, we then moved onto the basics of creating shapes such as cubes and spheres. Everyone was then taught how to create materials to apply to the shapes. Stephon then instructed everyone on how to create a script to allow the cube to be parented to the camera and allow the camera to move based on the user’s mouse input. Once all of these processes had been covered, Stephon allowed everyone to mess around and try to modify the content we had created to learn how to make changes to our games and learn the software.

Some of the main points that really grabbed my attention had a lot to do with how important organization is. When making a video game or any other type of media for that matter, you’re going to have quite a few files to manage. It is very important to keep these files organized so that not only you remember where they are, but also for any teammates involved to easily find the files they need in an efficient and organized manner. If a person using the program were to just dump all of the files into one folder, others as well as themselves would be able to find the file they were looking for without a headache and in some cases depending on the project, compiling errors. Organization is important with any project and Stephon was able to communicate the importance of this method to everyone. For a Unity project, if you make a material, put it in a folder with other materials. Scripts? Put them in a scripts folder. This applies to everything: keep organized and avoid unnecessary headaches.

I can apply the various things I learned today at the Unity seminar to my work in DMA and this course individually. The most important thing to apply to ALL of my work is one that I am always careful to employ to the best of my ability; organization. Without organization, projects can easily fall apart. Pieces can get lost, ruined and in some cases, you may even forget to create something you need to have for your project because your directory or workplace is so cluttered you think to yourself “that’s not something I’d forget”; and then end up forgetting. Another important piece I have taken away from this seminar to apply to my future projects as well as this course is to double check your resources. What I mean by that is to go over any code you may be working on to check its sustainability and whether or not there are errors. Letting errors stack up can cause other methods to not function correctly and lead to quickly creating more problems.

Animation Critique

Rob McCoy’s walk animation does an great job at displaying body language in the walk as well as timing the poses accordingly. There are just a few things I noticed after scrubbing through a bit. On frame 17 it appears that the left arm eases out a bit too quickly as it swings down to become parallel with the torso. At the same time while approaching frame 26, the right arm appears a bit too stiff while swinging forward. The ease in and ease out with the arms in this section of the animation seems to slightly throw off the balance of the character. There is a little bit of sliding in the feet towards the middle but it is not too noticeable. Other than that this is a extremely well done animation!

Room/Interior : Moodboard


Above is a mood-board that was created in Photoshop to display the various color uses and decor features of the Shabby Chic room style. The shabby chic room style is well known for  containing furniture that appears to be aged or very well worn. New items can also be made to appear as though they have existed for quite some time and experienced wear and tear. The examples I used above were images that display both naturally worn furniture and antique decor such as the tin cans and bar stools. I plan to incorporate these features in my final project but without going overboard with the use of aged items; keeping a somewhat modern appeal to the overall look.

Journal #15

Contained within the posting given in the email, there are three separate articles. Each article being based around a different person as well as an incredible story in their life. For the first article, Jacob Needleman goes into great depth on the events that shaped him into the man he is today as well as how he learned a great deal  of information on embracing contradiction. Needleman does a great job at connecting events in his life to the various lessons he was taught. An example of this being when Needleman’s friend, Elia, passed away from leukemia at age fourteen. This event at such an early age is what truly inspired him to find the answers he would be searching for throughout his life. The second article, which focuses on a woman named Marina Abramović, discusses how she turned all of her pain and suffering she experienced at a young age into a drive to become a performance artist. To put in perspective as to how poor Marina’s childhood was, in the article she states that the happiest time of her childhood was when she stayed in a hospital for an entire year at the age of six due to what the doctors believed was a psychosomatic reaction to the beatings her mother had given her. “Deep same, maximum self-consciousness” are other things she experienced, and made it impossible for her to speak with anyone. But when she discovered art, Marina pulled a 180 and now is a completely different person. She found that through art she was able to escape into another world; a world of freedom and expression. It allowed her to leave behind the safe world that pulled her away from loneliness and sadness she was experiencing. This section of the article is extremely powerful and shows that even the most quiet, “unlikely to succeed” people can create great things. The last person is Lise Meitner, one of the main people responsible for discovering nuclear fission. Sounds like a great feat, and it WAS good enough for a Nobel Prize, but she was excluded from receiving it because she was a woman. Throughout most of her life, there were unfair opportunities for women. An example of this is when she traveled to Berlin at age 29 to study at a man by the name of Max Planck, only to find that the universities in Germany would not allow women in unless given special permission. Later in time, Lise would work with another man named Otto. The two would later discover a new process that they would call nuclear fission. The only person to obtain a Nobel Prize for its discovery was Otto; Lise being left behind. But the amazing thing is that Lise did not let this get her down. She took that negative experience and made it push her to do even more great things and live life to the fullest. The overall message is to take a negative experience and not let it destroy you, but encourage you to keep pushing forward and achieve greater things. This relates to what we are currently doing in class. because no matter how badly all of us want to smash those chairs, we must learn to accept what is currently happen and will happen, for in the end we will be able to move on and learn from the experience. This article is well organized and does a great job at getting the overall message across.

Illustrated Journal #10


Helen Frankenthaler’s piece shown above, “Nature Abhors a Vacuum” (1973), is a great example of the use of direction in art. Just through the use of five basic colors and different values for each in different regions of the piece, Helen is able to draw the eye to the center of the page almost instantaneously. If she were to have used just the plain colors and applied them to the canvas with no manipulation what so ever, the image would look “flat” and have no depth to it and in return based on the shapes she created with the colors, not draw the eye. But due to the fact that there are different values, these waves appear to flow on the page, and in return cause your eye to focus instantly on the center. This is important to bring up in relation to what we are doing class because many times when it comes to stylized letters like the ones we are doing, there always seems to be a direction that our eyes follow along the decorated patterns; rather than looking at the letter itself.