5 website evaluation

I chose to analyse five music websites that all share the rock genre.

The first thing that I noticed about the rock genre is that whether they are online, magazines or interactive magazines they all share a house style. This happens to be achieved by the colour themes used. Red, black and grey. The connotations of red being love and death and essentially the same for dark shades such as black. Therefore the colour fits the genre perfectly, this feature is conventional and almost becomes iconographic to rock magazines target audiences.

The five music magazines I chose are – Kerrang, NME, Q, Rolling Stone and Mojo.

In light of making my personal website using Wix I have explored all different aspects of these music websites and made a list of likes and dislikes.

Firstly I researched the Kerrang website. I really like where the brand identity is placed on their website. It’s almost like a headline, playing the leading role as the biggest object on the page. The brand being at the top of the page, in the middle and an extremely large font is eye grabbing. (The other four websites do this to.)When the audience visits the website it’s the first thing they will see. As these music magazines are widely recognised the first thing the viewer should be greeted by is the logo. When the viewer sees the logo they decode it in terms of semiotics. For that reason I have chose to use this technique for my website. However, the other four websites use this technique to and so do many others. For example ecommerce websites such as ‘EBay’ and ‘Amazon’.

Other functions of the Kerrang website is the search bar. It is in a  very clear medium-sized font, having searched for some things to test Kerrang’s search bar I have come to the conclusion that it has a good filter and takes you straight to the page that you have searched for. For instance i searched for the band ‘Bullet for my valentine’ and it navigated me straight to a page that had information on cd releases, interviews and pictures. NME, Rolling stone and Mojo also use search bars. Their search bars seem to be as in depth too, I tested this by searching bands that they was advertising each week such as The killers and Franz Ferdinand.

Each of these five websites use different layouts. However, they all use a picture or video to grab the readers attention. Kerrang uses a slide show that shows pictures of the latest band photographs and whats up coming such as tours and branding. Wereas NME have a video idea were they put the ‘Hottest video’ up every week. I like that it shows the hottest band videos of the week as it is a great way to get people into different types of music. Magazines like Q just have a large news feed on the left hand side of the website. It is  very clear and  shows upcoming events and interviews which appeal to their target audience. At the moment they are celebrating their 25 year anniversary so therefore have a selection of videos to promote themselves further. I prefer the traditional look of an online magazine which happens to be the approach that the Rolling Stone and Mojo has taken on. They purely show the current issue which is a very basic approach but this technique happens to be very effective as it shows the audience exactly which magazine is out at the moment and increases sales as more people tend to buy the hard copy after visiting their web page. Therefore I have decided to keep my website plain and use a slide show of pictures I have taken and use several pages to display my work instead of cluttering the front page.

When studying Kerrangs layout they was only one thing which stood out that I didn’t particularly like, which was the amount of writing on the front page. I felt like there was too much going on as a consumer and it actually made me not want to purshase a copy hence why I would like to keep a clean website as then the audience can navigate to which ever page they choose rather than forcing it upon them straight away.

I also dislike the use of adverts Q magazine, NME and Mojo all use on the left hand side of their websites. I feel like advertsing for companies is a little irrelevant as their brands are already well established enough to not have to advertise. This maybe take their audiences attention away from their website. For instance Q magazine are not only advertsing for Blackberry but have started a promotion off with Blackberry. I particularly dislike this because not everybody is interested or own a Blackberry.

In conclusion, I feel like a plain website is the best approach for a music magazine. That way the audience can see what is happening this week and navigate to other pages if they want too. The colour schemes that seem to run through music magazines being red, black and grey have an amazing impact on sales because of the brand identity. It is conventional and as a comsumer if you logged on or purchased a rock music magazine that was yellow and green it simply wouldn’t work.

This assignment has also made me realised that search bars play a huge role in web. The more intricate your search bar is the happier your audience become. I took this into account and applied this idea on my blog and webiste. I removed all my catogories and made pages so that anybody wishing to view my websites could find exactley what they are looking for straight away.


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