I have continuously been working on my website, considering layouts and the ways in which I can link each page together. I have also been working with technical demonstrator Matt Leighfield, as well as a Computer Science PhD student to seek advice on making my website interactive. I have come up against a number of issues whilst developing the site, and have had to find ways of addressing them.
- Sourcing equipment – in a Mac-dominated environment, sourcing PCs has been difficult. I have eventually gained access to three computers with 24inch monitors. It was important for me that I worked with PC’s rather than Macs as my whole project has been undertaken through a PC, and I felt that I would be happier to continue to work in this format, especially as the way in which I am working, my slight mimicry of personal, virtual assistants, has become a prevalent concept in my work.
- Inclusion of iFrames – initially I had wanted to embed external sites within my own site, but issues relating to the use of the computer within an exhibition context has prevented that. The use of iFrames would have allowed the user to move outside of my site and so would have been a potential risk. As well as this it could have been quite harmful to my work, as it may have meant that when a user came to interact with the piece they could have been confronted with a site that was not my work and possibly walked away from it.
- Online? – I had though that within the exhibition space the site would be displayed live, however, it was suggested that I show the work locally – it would make no difference to the website, but would make it safer and more secure. I have to ensure that the site is never closed, I will achieve this by setting the site to full screen every day and disabling the right click setting so that the user can only navigate the site itself.
- Compatibility issues – due to my limited experience in web design and development, I am struggling to make my website compatible across multiple sized screens. I had hoped to launch the site online before my assessment, however I don’t think this will be possible. I will look into a way of creating an online presence for the show itself, but at the moment the website is acting more as a prototype, designed specifically for the monitors it will be displayed on for the exhibition.
Here are some screenshots of the website so far, it is still in need of some tweaking and formatting. I also need to ask some people to use it in order to examine how intuitive the site is.
The site offers a slight resemblance to frequently used websites, but I am playing around with making this a bit more of a literal experience rather than the usual figurative one. For example, when confronted with the home page, I am taking this language literally and displaying an image of a ‘home’ (one of the top images under a search of the word ‘home’). I am also keen to make use of the texture of skin as a nod to frequent attempts to humanise the digital experience, as well as this I am incorporating the virtual assistant – in doing this I hope to explore the false sense of physical space that is created digitally. I have also looked at presenting the videos on top of an image of outstretched hands, once again to extend this conversation with the human body and physical presentation, taking this presentation of data as literal. As well as the videos I have decided to incorporate some of the ‘poem-generator’ pieces, I felt these would work quite well alongside the song pieces as they would further extend the idea of a disruption of the poetic, romanticised language that offers a familiar, expressive reflection on the human experience.