I’ve spent some time revising my websites ready for the final evaluation. They are now composed of two discrete groups: one explicitly MA related and the other not.
The explicitly MA related sites
I have used my MA logo as the primary MA identifier on these site. Each site (this blog, Unit 1 outcomes and Unit 2’s resolved body of work website) has its own identity but hopefully will be seen as being linked by the motif used. Here they are.
The aim was to let the work speak for itself and not let the blog or website format get in the way of people navigating, but I was constrained by each site in different ways. I could have increased by control over the sites by upgrading to a paid account but feel that these outcomes are quite acceptable – especially when considered in terms of cost effectiveness as all of it was completed without any direct costs to me.
The general sites
I also have four general websites, although in reality one (here) is a linking site to three dedicated sites. There are:
- A Paralysis Unseen Website minus any MA branding
- A Photographic Essay website
- A General Imagery website
Notwithstanding that, I have tried to make the navigation straightforward across and between each website by for example, using the same themes and its conventions to offer consistency, while using different colours to inject the sites with their own identity.
Site descriptions and meta keywords
I also created specific site descriptions for each site. However I used a more consistent approach in terms of meta keywords as this should help drive people to any of the sites. The keywords used are: pictures, photography, paralysis, illness, spectacle, photography, photograph, impairment, Peter Mansell, anomiepete, wheelchair, disabled, disability, art, fine art, fine art photography, landscape, seascape. This appears to have worked quite well as I searched using the most unusual keyword: anomiepete and my sites came up.
The use of multiple sites has its own strengths and weaknesses: in terms of keeping things “clean” and dedicated to a particular focus they work well, but this requires some careful thought in terms of back room organisation. For example, rather than reload some project images onto the dedicated website I have linked them to the original ones posted on the MA Unit 1 site. But this meant that viewers need to be able to easily get back to whichever site they were on just prior to clocking through to the project page.
So I used two approaches: firstly I made the page open as a new tab so they could easily close it once viewed without losing their originating point of reference; but I also offered two buttons at the base so they they could easily get back by one click.
This approach is different to that used on the non MA branded Paralysis Unseen site. Here I have used “next” buttons as each page should really been seen as akin to a book page and not read on its own, whereas the other two sites (Pete’s Photo Essay site and Peter’s General Imagery site) offer discrete sets of images.
I am sure that if I ungraded to paid websites then the flexibility afforded me would result in a substantial improvement in how they look but, in terms of cost effectiveness these sites are hard for me to fault. Moreover in terms of organisation and branding I think the work here has been well spent both in terms of my final MA evaluation and more generally.
What do you think? Can you suggest any improvements?
My goodness, that’s a lot of work! Just a suggestion – for the sake of brand cohesion, perhaps the main background colour of your two MA websites might be the same red?
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Thanks Holly. I will look at that (the issue may not be resolvable as is a WordPress Site and the other Weebly, and they offer limited themes and colours for free sites).