For this assignment I am going to compare how generic codes and conventions are used to create the identity and image of one commercial website and one educationally based website. The two websites I will be comparing are nike. com and s-cool. co. uk. First I will begin by reviewing each website. http://www. s-cool. co. uk/ s-cool. co. uk is an education website dedicated to providing information about school subjects, teenager life style issues, and career opportunities for students age 14-19. It’s a free service aimed at UK students.
The site is a free service funded by sponsor ship from companies who support the specific subject areas. On the homepage you have a small introduction with links to GCSE revision, A Level and AS Level, careers, entertainment, and more. The design of the site is fairly simple. The layout is not too advanced and it is easy to navigate, a good quality of an educational site. On a bar to the left of the page you have all the links to the rest of the main content. When you click on the GCSE revision link a new page opens up and provides new links to GCSE subjects like biology, French, physics, and a lot of others.
Once you select a subject you are presented with more sub-categories. The actual content itself looks very useful. There are bright colours and each sage is numbered to make following the content easier. A printer friendly version of every page is provided. This removes all of the colours and unnecessary images to save paper and ink. This is a good feature of an education website as the students who print things off don’t want to be carrying pages upon pages of things they don’t need. On the A Level and AS Level revision guides, there are links to different subjects like the GCSE section.
I found that the first thing I noticed when I looked at the A level and AS level content is the more advanced language. The language used was a lot less user-friendly. At the end of each revision section are links to ‘QuickLearn’ pages which are specially designed to help students understand different concepts. This is a good quality of an education site and it acknowledges that the revision might not be as straightforward as it seems. There is also an interactive test at the end of each revision guide. The user is presented with a form with buttons for answers.
The user fills in then submits the form and in return finds out how many questions were either correct or incorrect. There are also exam style questions where you think of the answer and then find out the correct answer in a popup window. This sort of interactivity is a good and common feature amongst education websites. The careers section of the website is an interesting feature. There are quizzes which try to match the user to a certain job, advice on finishing school, information on specific job areas, information on specific high-profile companies, and more.
All the content is laid out roughly the same as the revision material, and has links to external web pages and contains other useful information like contact numbers. The site has its own discussion group which acts as a forum for users of the site to post things and for other users to reply and comment. It is divided up into general discussion, subject discussion, university, careers and travel, and student health. The users can post their messages anonymously or using an alias. A links page contains hyperlinks to other websites, again these are all categorised.
The site even has a page dedicated to teachers and contains resources for them to use. There is an entertainments guide which allows the user to receive local entertainment listings, upon the input of a postcode. The information is actually pulled from another website – ents24. com. Although this is isn’t entirely related to education it makes a good quality for a website aimed at students. At the very end there is an articles section where users of the website send in articles on topics like going to university and health.
This kind of user submitted information is an excellent quality of a website aimed at student. It recognises that some of the best advice that can be given is from people that have experienced it. nike. com nike. com is the commercial homepage for the Nike sports brand. When you first visit the website you are presented with a box in the centre of the screen, where you are asked to select the language you want to view the rest of the content in. Combined with the modern looking styles this gives a good first impression and a really big corporate feel.
So when you enter the website you are presented with more options. On the European front page there is an amazing picture of the footballer Roberto Carlos, which is very eye-catching. I found that each time you visit the website, the picture changes. For example, there were pictures of runners and basketball players. Along the bottom of the box are links to information about Nike, privacy information, and the copyright notice at the bottom. This adds to the corporate feel. Diagonally across the page you have the links to Nike football, Nike Women, Nike Bowerman, and Nike Freestyle.
The links contain eye-catching pictures, and when you move the mouse pointer over them the image changes. This sort of interactivity is very intriguing giving a corporate feel and makes you want to continue to browse the rest of the site. If you browse to the football section, a new browser window pops up immediately taking over your screen. As this section loads you watch all the individual components of the site move into place. This is interesting to watch, and the section is given a chrome and futuristic feel. There are transparent images which follow your mouse pointer, trying to get you to click on them.
There are downloads to choose from, games, videos, and a showcase on Nike football products. On this section of the website, you can tell that a lot of effort has been put in to its creation, and a lot of technology must have been used. Together these help to create the commercial image. When you take click on the Women’s section, 3 windows instantly pop up. This is actually very annoying, but common among commercial sites, so it does help to create the image of a commercial website. The look is completely different to the football section.
The first impressions are good; the page takes up the whole screen and you’re presented with some striking pictures and colours. There are links to clubs, downloads, and shopping. The club and shopping links give the feel of a corporate website. As you move your mouse pointer over the images you’re presented with bars of colour that fill the window and complement each other. If you then go further into the content you’re presented with background music and revolving images. The amount of content and they way it has been presented in this section gives the website a definite commercial feel.
If you move on to the Nike Bowerman section, the first difference you’ll notice is how the page opens. It is not like the other 2 previous ones which try to take over your computer; this one opens in a single small window. The way the content is presented is also has a more serious feel. The dark grey background, and the contrasting text, in light grey, white, and orange all in uppercase gives it that feel. The main content continues this trend of uppercase text, accompanied by large images of runners. The links have sub-links which slide into position.
A balance is sustained between the hard rough feel of the site and some of the pictures and images. For example, the loading dialogue has a flower which comes apart and most of the pictures show amazing looking landscapes. This contrast gives the feel of a commercial site. If you browse to the Nike Freestyle section the first thing you notice is the link between the website and the latest advertising campaign. The website again is in full screen, and shows a large image of the “stick-man”. This “stick-man” is the new basis of Nikes recent advertisements on television. This definitely creates the identity of a corporate website.
This whole section of the site relates to the adverts, each different page has an image from the advert as its background. It is split up into 3 main sections, navigation, help, and the actual content. The font used has a “worn” feel to it, it’s not solid colour, and this goes well with the images. There are links to competitions, clubs, and videos. I think this adds to the corporate feel, especially the competitions, which are an easy chance to give away and promote their products. The competition will probably bring more hits to the website too, which is what every corporate website will want.