Following a number of decisions regarding what to, and what not to, include on the site, this is the final outcome that I will be presenting as my exhibition piece.
After watching people use the site, I realised that I had to make it a bit more easy to use than some of the older drafts, I also decided to keep text buttons and the navigation bar to a minimum, predominately the site is navigatable through interaction with the image elements. There are also draggable elements that offer a sort of ‘useless’ interactivity with the site, I was interested in a comment from the gap crit, made regarding the passivity of the user when interacting with the site – I like this passiveness, especially as the information that I present in the videos is usually found as part of a system of hyperlinks but in my work is presented as more of an object.
The homepage welcomes the user home, and offers them a number of gifs and icons that they can drag around for customisation. The ‘cute quote buttons’on the right hand side act as hyperlinks to 3 ‘poem pages’ and one advice page. The top quote about asking for help opens up the help page. Initially I had a help button in the corner, but after user-testing I realised that this was not seen as a clear part of the site – only something to be used if the user came into difficulty.
This is the page activated through the help quote, it gives three question options that are linked to the three main videos.
These three pages are each linked to one of the buttons, they each include a draggable virtual assistant that narrates the search results relating to the lyrics of the song. The tiled backgrounds are selected from image search results relating to the overall theme of the page. I initially was planning on presenting these videos by layering them onto images of hands, however, I felt that this detracted from the content of the video, and confused the page too much, I much prefer the videos being clearer to view and the main focus.
Three of the buttons on the right hand side of the homepage will open up one of these ‘auto-poem’ pieces, each poem is narrated by the virtual assistant.
Opening the ‘About Me’ option on the homepage will bring up this video of my avatar set on a ‘skin’ background. I wanted to keep an element of the physicality of the human body within the piece and explore the manifestation of this synthetic personification that acts as the host throughout this encounter with the web. The character says ‘Who I am isn’t important’ on repeat, this is the reply that Siri will give when you ask her who she is, and is also a nod to my own considerations surrounding the artist’s voice in a post-internet age. The skin once again creates a strong physical textural quality that comments on the attempt made by the interface to replicate something of what it is to be manifested as a someone or something. The skin is also interactive when it is clicked on the ‘Human Touch’ video is presented with a pair of hands (I liked the idea of the hands, and the literal presentation of the videos, this would not have been a strong look if used with every video but relating the ideas of human touch, I think it works) and plays automatically. The assistant once again narrates the video.
I am actually really pleased with how this has come together, I have had several comments from people passing as I’ve been developing the work that have been intrigued with what the work is about and really wanted to interact with it. I’m really pleased that its engaging, and I am excited to see how it will be received within the exhibition itself.
Unfortunately, it will not be ready to be launched online in time for assessment, but I will try to work out compatibility issues over the coming week.