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Kirsty

Just a girl with a blog…

Month

February 2017

10.1.1 Focus Group Report

Questions:

Would you read any of these articles if they were published in a website/magazine? If so, why?

Replies –

“Read the conspiracy theory article and the Unidays article as they are interesting and relevant. Found them a bit long winded but some things could have been more in-depth/reduced.”

“Yeah because I like conspiracy theories and songs, so recommendations are always good.”

“I would like to see an article which further goes into some of the more famous and questionable conspiracy theories. I believe that true or false, conspiracy theories are really fun to read and also easily intriguing. I would also like to see the Unidays article in a magazine for I think it’s really helpful towards the target audience you are trying to appeal to.”

Please state if you believe the articles would appeal to the target audience? (16 -25)

Replies –

“Yes, as stated before they are relevant.”

“Yes because conspiracies are a big thing in our age range and music is something most of us like or interested in.”

“Yes, I believe that the articles would appeal to the target audience, more specifically the Unidays article. I agree with the articles point that most people our age are always looking for a discount and believe this article helps inform the target audience about one of the many possible ways to get these discounts.”

Did you find any of these articles interesting? If so/not Why?

Replies –

“The conspiracy theory article was interesting as it’s current and appealing.The Unidays one we would read but we know about it already so wouldn’t necessarily find it very interesting.”

“I liked the Unidays one, nothing like a good bargain. The music articles was also good because I can find new music from it.”

“The main article I found interesting was ‘Conspiracy In The Air’ article for reasons I had stated earlier.”

Focus Group 1

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Focus Group 2

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Focus Group 3

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Evaluation:

I found my conspiracy theory article to be the most liked among the group of people stating it was interesting and relevant for people of my target audience as it is a popular trending topic and might interest people of my age. Whereas, my listical on the top 10 Autumnal songs was not mentioned much showing it isn’t a large interest for my target audience however I did have a report which said ‘And music is something most of us like or are interested in.’ However, I believe it was not as well received as my other two articles as music is a very personal thing with personal prefrence. And finally, my Unidays article was also liked for the fact it would be useful to my target audience that does not know about students discounts available to them while being  a popular choice of topic for this age group.

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9.3.1, 9.3.2 Evaluating My Webzine

To prepare for creating my webzine, I had to consider the main theme of my webzine and research others which were similar to the end product I wanted to achieve. I wanted to create a beauty & lifestyle webzine and stuck with my initial idea throughout the creation of my webzine. When researching others alike it, I looked for the most prominent aspects of a webzine and the parts which made it different from a typical webzine to a beauty webzine. For the example the design aspects and the layout. I found many of the beauty webzines had menus for different beauty categories (for example, make-up, hair, lifestyle, etc) And also had more of a feminine layout to attract it’s majority audience with a ‘girlish’ font, logo and masthead and stereotypically featured a lot of pink and other bright colours on it’s pages.

I believe however I could have done more thorough research by  perhaps comparing more popular beauty webzines to more general ones to decipher between the aspects of a more professional webzine to a more amateur-created one. For example, a more ‘amateur’ webzine will have more of a blog-feel to it and may even have a section for personal posts unlike popular webzines which may have more than one admin, giving it a more professional vibe and takes away from personalising a webzine which a more ‘amateur’ webzine may do, as it is there’s alone. However, through my research, I can see that both types of webzine have many similaries with links to their social media, an ‘about’ section and a ‘contact’ page and will consider this when creating my own webzine.

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Through developing my webzine I learnt skills in developing a webzine which could be useful for the future for example, the use of logos. A retina logo is a higher- quality logo with more pixels typically used on a computer or laptop which gives a clearer view on your webzine’s logo. A mobile touch icon is also important as it gives the webzine an identity and allows for mobile and tablet users to identify the site quickly without the use of text with image and colour being the first thing people are typically drawn to.

Overall, I think the design and theme of my webzine meets my specification with my webzine being primarily aimed at a female audience ages 16 -24 interested in beauty and lifestyle. I believe the simplistic layout which is similar in style to other beauty webzines make my webzine easy to navigate which will make it easier for users who may not be used to the internet or easier for mobile and tablet users which have smaller screens which would show less area of the webzine. The side bar makes it easier to categories the type of article a person may want or if they are looking for something specifically such as the archive (which makes it easier to find certain articles or issues of my webzine) or contact and about me information.

I also tested my webzine on multiple search engines such as mozilla firefox and internet explorer to ensure that it would work on multiple options of search engines that people may use and give my target audience a larger opportunity to use my webzine with minimal effort from their part.

 

9.2.2 Product Design

Research:

I decided to research similar webzines to my own which focused on fashion and beauty to get inspiration on which design features are most commonly used among these webzines which will give me an idea on how to style mine to make it look to my audience more like a  professional webzine such as these examples. I am able to see from these examples that webzines will have sidebars with different categories of information. I also noticed that webzines will use certain aspects to stand out such as a masthead which will make a statement and stand out amongst the colourful articles and a main focus article as you click on the website which is the first thing you would see.

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I then started to build my website on ‘ThisisTap.com’ and I started by using the theme ‘Genie’ which was founded on ‘Themeforrest’ to create a more professional look to my webzine and create a more polished look. After this, I started to adapt the appearance by creating a left sidebar which will hold categories and also put in a fake logo to have an example of what it may look like once it has it’s real logo.

I also added one of my related articles to give the webzine a more real look and am able now to adapt my archive and move around parts of my webzine and think about how it would look with my masthead, logo and colour scheme to give the webzine more of a personality and am able to build my webzine to fit the look of a typical webzine.

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I then started to design the basic parts of my website to give it more of a personal taste to mine and how I would like the page to look. For example, I changed the font and it’s colour to give it more of a pastel look and represent the type of content I am creating with the colours appealing to my target audience of females between 16 – 25.

On the sidebar, I also have an archive which means people viewing my webzine will be able to view past issues which will give them a view of my older articles, interviews and etc.

 

9.2.1 Plan & Development of Webzine

My theme for my webzine will  be quite soft-looking with minimal pastel colours and silver and gold detailing with my logo inspiration reflecting this. I picked logos that had very intricate but small detailing as I hope to have this detail in the background with a main pastel colour focus and black font to contrast against the soft background. I also picked a font which had a quite ‘un-done’ hand written look to it to make it look more like a journal giving it a sense of intimacy and personality. I hope because of this, my target audience – the majority females aged 16 – 25 -will feel more involved in the webzine and feel a sense of comfort and trust when reading.

I plan to product a webzine based on beauty which will include tips, hacks, reviews, ethical beauty and interviews with beauty lovers and professional make up artists.

I decided to use the name ‘Pixie’ for my website as I think the name reflects my webzine content well. Pixies are often seen as cute and fun but also caring and soft which are traits I hope to interpret into my webzine content and design.

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These are some font and logo ideas I researched for my initial design ideas for the logo, masthead and background. I looked at various pictures with things from the images that I would interpret into my own logo and masthead such as the outline of a pixie and detailing in pastel colours of the flower for an ‘X’ and vine designs to use as a border.

 

 

9.1.2 Interpretation

From my own research on webzines, I have gained an understanding in what a webzine is and am able to identify characteristics of a webzine such as the difference between a website and a website – a webzine being a magazine with scheduled issues of content being produced on a schedule of the creators choice.

I hope to apply the knowledge I have learnt from my research and create categories for my webzine as I have noticed this is an effective layout for people to be able to locate information they want and a popular way to display information amongst webzines by using sidebars. Sidebars are the most helpful and effective way of keeping multiple categories in one specific place while keeping the webzine from looking overcrowded and busy and aesthetically pleasing.

The use of categories means subcategories can be used when the website contains a lot of different types of information and I will model my own webzine like this. I also learnt that creating an archive helps myself, and visitors of the website to find specific issues of the webzine from specific dates or months quickly and helps to keep tabs on what I have created so far.

I have also noticed many webzines use large cursors to scroll through their page so phone users are able to find things easier. Some webzines will create their cursor to match their logo or theme of their webzine for example, a website called ‘Sketchy Business which uses a sketch-like image of a pen for a mouse cursor. Reference  I like this idea as I believe it will give my webzine more character and life.

I also researched different logo variations and designs to get inspiration for what I may want to design for my own webzine while considering the colour scheme, font and extra detailing.

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I liked these ones as I think the styling, detail and colour scheme suited my webzine name ‘Pixie’ And wanted something very minimal and soft-looking. I believe the name of my webzine being called Pixie influenced me to think of very minimal and feminine-looking logos that matched the name.

 

 

Unit 9 Checklist

1.1 Analysis of Webzine – Research the characteristics of webzine and compare to other similar products which allow for the publication of online content.

1.2 Interpretation – Based on research and identification of webzine characteristics write a proposal on how you to intend to use the knowledge to create your own – What will you publish?

2.1 Plan and development of your own webzine – this can be done via digital sketchbook which is essentially a place where you store photos, inspirations, logo/masthead designs, layouts and record software use.

2.2 Product design – This is where you make your webzine within the software – record with screenshots to prove competency and knowledge with association to planned goal.

3.1 Evaluate your webzine – Does it comply with the characteristics of your product you researched.

3.2 Reflect on what you have learnt and how you can take that knowledge through to your other projects.

Drugstore and High-End Cruelty-Free Make up

As years go by, I believe we are becoming more aware of cruelty-free and ethical options when it comes to make up and are actively trying to improve the choices of brands that do not test on animals and use vegan-friendly ingredients.

However, not everyone is aware of which brands are cruelty-free, especially at drugstores such as Boots and Superdrug where you wouldn’t give it much thought and is not always clearly indicated.

Even higher end brand counters is stores such as Debenhams, John Lewis and Selfridges don’t make it clear for people who may be interested in ethical beauty and staying cruelty-free which may be important to know when spending more money on products.

Here is a list of brands available in the drugstore which are cruelty-free so you can save the bunnies on a budget.

Brands available from Superdrug & Boots:

  • NYX
  • Barry M
  • Collection
  • Sleek
  • Soap &  Glory
  • MUA
  • Seventeen
  • NO.7
  • B.
  • GOSH

Here are some other alternatives on cruelty-free make up from other stores and available online:

  • ELF
  • Milani
  • The Body Shop
  • L.A Girl
  • Lush

Here is a list of more higher-end products so you can get the best quality products without harming animals in the process:

  • Urban Decay
  • Too Faced
  • Milk Make up
  • Kat Von D
  • Becca
  • NARS
  • Hourglass
  • Tarte
  • Illamasqua
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills

You can easily find many of these brands on their own website however, you can check Beautybay.com to find these brands that ship to the UK which are usually only available in the US.

For caution, if you are looking to avoiding non-cruelty-free drugstore makeup all together, I recommend avoiding these brands as they support animal testing.

Non-cruelty-free, drugstore make up brands to avoid:

  • L’Oreal
  • Maybelline
  • Rimmel
  • Revlon
  • Max Factor

Non-cruelty-free, high end make up brands to avoid:

  • MAC
  • Benefit
  • Clinique
  • Make Up For Ever
  • Bobbi Brown

It’s easy for companies to sell out and become non-cruelty-free as they allow themselves to be owned by larger companies such as L’Oreal which is sold in China which has no laws about testing on animals. And although this company is not directly testing on animals, it knows about it, allows it and pays for it. “China’s $32 billion (£20 billion) beauty market is a huge draw for many companies, but the law means brands who are completely cruelty-free cannot sell their wares there.” (2016)  Quote

However, there are still many more brands out there that are available in the drugstore and high-end that If you want to find out more information on cruelty-free drugstore and high-end brands, try using ‘Crueltyfreeinternational.org’ to find out more information on vegan and animal-friendly brands which include household items as well as beauty and make-up brands.

 

 

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