Storytelling with Surface and Sequence

I have changed what you are viewing to (hopefully) appear more inviting and more relevant. I have revamped this display to have a different header picture, to display a two column setup instead of one, renamed each post to take out the “Post 1, Post 2 and Post 3” before each installment and shifted the Pope Benedict image to center aligned instead of left justified. These changes were meant to have a few different impacts, which I believe will change the reader’s experience of my work.

The original layout seemed more intimidating, and the changes allowed for the information to be displayed with a more accessible layout. While each post had the entirely different content, each was displayed in the same format and in one straight block running down the page.

In regard to the images displayed on the page, I changed the header image from a picture of a bridge downtown near PNC Park to an image of digital reporting elements (an iPad, iPhone, etc.). Not only is it more relevant, but this image, juxtaposed with a background depicting a wooden table and paper, speaks to the differences between digital reporting or digital media and more traditional reporting or texts. Shifting the Pope Benedict picture to the center of the page also draws the reader’s eyes to focus on the image. Leaving the picture left justified runs the risk of the reader’s eyes scanning down the page onto the text and not focusing on the image itself.

The change to two columns breaks up the images on the page and strays away from the previously daunting block of text. Changing each post’s title to stand for itself, without the label of “post,” allows for the reader to approach the text topically instead of merely sequentially.  The primary text does remain the same in that the reader must scroll to read the different information, but this seems to work because the type of information that is present (primarily text-based and not image or video based) remains  fairly “traditional,” lending itself to a more traditional format. 

While discussing the mis-en-page, we studied how work on a page can be approached as a surface and not only as a sequence. The study of the graphic knowledge will impact my website design as it provided insight into how images and the layout of a digital or traditional piece guides a reader/viewer/user through the text or onto another page or entry.

I plan to create tabs for clear navigation, breaking my website down into important information about McKeesport and then a primary page with my general narrative. The general narrative page will have a flip through of pictures, and each other page with be headed with a different picture related to McKeesport or to each page’s topic. The other pages will include interactive maps, charts, etc. to fix the images that are displayed and make them a bit more concrete.
The different pages will allow the reader to have the freedom to explore as he/she likes with the drop down menus. These different pages, as we discussed, will create a type of “gutter” between the different sections. This will leave it up to the reader or site visitor to create, draw and attribute meanings from the pages and to the general narrative.
I want the layout to be inviting without being cluttered, and a lot of the layout will depend upon the information I compile and the components that I create. I believe that it would be helpful to open with a filmed piece to allow less of the stress/ pressure to be placed on the reader in terms of accessing the information manually. From there, the reader/user will be invited to explore. Most of my elements will be arranged with “invisible editing” to create seamless pieces that will present a topic and allow for the reader/user to explore, with less of my input and experience creating the website to shine through. 
Ultimately, I believe that the way readers are drawn between pages will allow for a more interactive experience into the idea that more traditional texts cannot convey.
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