Justification of Design Decisions
for the Coach Industries Web Site
The objectives of the Coach Industries web site are to:
Attractively advertise Coach Industries as a major distributor of high quality health supplements.
Advertise the products Coach industries sources and distributes.
Give information about the products sources, ingredients and integrity.
Create a platform for Coach to build upon its current market share and develop a wider following in the supplement industry. top
The delivery of the Coach industries information is through a web site made available to current customers and indexed via search engines by its product lines.
The main users of this site will be people in the health products industry such as:
Health Food stores
Consumers of health products
These consumers will already be educated as to what the products are. They will primarily be looking at the quality portrayed by the company advertising, product lists, sourcing information, manufacturing information, and contacts for pricing information. The main point of the site is to communicate an attractive advertisement that inspires confidence in Coach as a source of high quality products. top
Message Design Philosophy
The philosophy behind this site is to effectively communicate Coach Industries as a leading international company that sources products from around the world.
The site will suggest an Asian influence and this theme will be repeated via graphics, such as images and font styles. The reason for this is that Coach is a Japan based company whose main product is CoQ10, a synthesized nutracuetical that assists the treatment of circulatory diseases, was developed, and is currently produced only in Japan. Further, it is important to communicate a sense of high quality and integrity in the company, as these are health related products.
The site is congruent with my instructional beliefs primarily in the aspect of a “marketing” message design. A well-designed and attractive site will lend authority and integrity to Coach as a supplier of high quality products. Thus it is extremely important that the site be user friendly, attractive, easily navigable and credible. The consumer should not have to search hard for information, and the products links and ingredient research should be clearly communicated. top
Instructional Beliefs Statements
I believe people learn what is relevant for them and that instructors have a responsibility to communicate relevance to learners.
Users of this site will already be motivated to research the site, and be familiar with the materials.
I believe people learn best when they are emotionally and intellectually engaged.
In this sense I also believe people are motivated to look and learn at what is esthetically pleasing. I hope to make this site attractive to users.
I believe that a good-humored attitude and interaction are skillful ways of engaging and challenging learners.
This is more appropriate for class interaction.
I believe one of the most important lessons an instructor can communicate is their own passion and interest in a subject.
In this facet we will be communicating the commitment to distributing high quality products.
I believe that fun and empowerment are the rewards of learning.
The given information will empower consumers to make comparative decisions.
I believe metacognitive insights are valuable tools to encourage in learners.
Though I can’t think of too many insights here except in terms of understanding product information. top
Principles / Guidelines Exemplified in Website
1. Winn 2.6a p. 71 – Information is processed and remembered in
chunks that are hierarchically organized according to user interest, product name, method of creation such as extraction etc. or ingredient, as well as a time framed manufacturing history of Coaches major product CoQ10
The format is clear, user friendly, and integral for reference purposes. An example of this is that the menu bar is clearly identified and anchored in the same place through out the site pages.
The menu bar’s topics are given in an anticipated order of users interest.
Links are intuitively grouped for product information. In this sites case the Products page is categorized by Amino Acids, Vitamins, Botanical Extracts etc. and then alphabetically indexed. In the CoQ10 page the information is relayed in a linear time frame showing the history of the development and testing of CoQ10. Distinctions are made in coding between domestic and foreign events.2. Lohr ch2 p74 Figure/ground
Helps the learner to select important information and reduces the amount of required memory.
Winn, pg. 59, Lohr, pg. 68
Distinguishing between figure and ground is one of the most basic perceptual processes.
P75 the contrast in figure/ground is essential to differentiate one element from another (Mullet & Sano 1995,p52)
Robyn Williams CARP principles for Contrast.
Adequate contrast in figure/ground exists between the background, menu bar and graphics. Context colors assist users in identifying the sites content effectively and easily.
Contrast between the background and context colors assist users in identifying the sites content effectively and easily.
Use of the table on the Products page showing the product tests CoQ10 has gone through, is highlighted in blue, in comparison to competitor’s brands, shown in dark gray.
3. Lohr chap 4 Type-Font is easy to read, “ bolding” when appropriate for drawing attention to the navigation.
Mata type font is utilized in the sites menu bar to aid navigation, promote memory of the company’s cultural background, and provide advanced organization of the web sites content.
4. Winn, pg. 65, 1.6
The horizontal / vertical pattern is fundamental to perceptual organization. There is a tendency for people to partition images into left and right fields from western cultures left to right reading patterns.
Objects aligned vertically and horizontally appear more stable. The stable left menu bar leading with the Coach logo on the top and then across the consistent orange band and down to the site content subtly reinforces the let to right processing of the site information.
5. Winn 4.9 p. 95 – Color can serve two purposes: to illustrate the colors of things in the real world, and to draw attention to the sites content.
Lohr Ch 6 p192 Color, for use of warm colors to welcome and enrich the look of the products in the site.
In this sites case I use color to invite readers to the site with a warm orange and yellow on black. Yellow communicates a sacred and regal color in Asia and is considered an enriching color The orange is continued throughout the site via the menu bar and orange detail bar underlying the pages title. The colors in the site are warm and draw the users attention to the underlying theme and message of the company and its products. The Asian and international theme of the graphics contain similar colors and communicate the background and international sourcing of the company. In the other site pages the colors lend a warm background to the text figures. This allows for easy reading of the site information
6. Winn, pg. 63, 1.4c; Lohr, Williams, Proximity. The placement of separate elements is influenced by the physical proximity of the parts to each other, in time and space.
Attempts should be made to place perceptual units close to each other in the display so that the parts of a message that are perceived as being close together will be seen as one entity In the sites Home page the various separate graphics are fused together to form a new compelling image communicating an international feel with an Asian influence that Coach Industries wishes to portray.
7. Lohr ch5 Shape p149
When we create web images, the 640x 480setting for the display monitor should be used for the pages. The designer should consider the screen size settings of the user’s monitor, which may not be large enough to avoid scrolling. The Home page image was built to this standard and all the pages were made to fit into the 640x480 settings.
8. Winn, pg. 66 & 67, 2.2, Williams CARP Principles, Lohr - Action, Repetition of elements impacts perception. Repetition is used with visuals by repeating the color scheme and navigation menu, and orange horizontal bar in all of the sites pages.
9. Winn, pg. 67, 2.3a,
Attention is drawn to the parts of a message that stand in contrast to the others. Such contrasts can exist in just about every aspect of the message’s content, organization, and modality. Bold headers on each page identify the content, so that user’s can easily find what is relevant or not relevant to them. In this case the contrast exists in the black on yellow font. In the home page the graphics stand out in contrast from the black background
10. Winn, pg. 69 2.4c
The sequence of the sites message is influenced by the relative attention-drawing capability of individual items, and by devices such as lines, and the message’s graphic composition.
In the case of the Home page image, the graphic items in the site, such as the hand holding a vile of CoQ10, the background fan, and the buildings (Taj Mahal, Prague house and Great Wall of china all communicate the sites international and Asian influence.
The orange band, font, and menu bar also impact the sites message sequence.
11. Linda ch6 p209 space can direct learners’ attention and create symmetrical or asymmetrical balance I tried to create asymmetrical balance by having the orange menu bar graphic be on only one side of the page with the content on the right to promote interest in the content. Placing “Source” opposite the menu bar on the Home page created the symmetrical balance.
12. Linda ch10 p 331
Symbols and metaphors communicate culture and an industries underlying theme that
Show learners the big picture. How the parts are related to the whole provides harmony. The sites Home page image communicates both an international and Asian influence. The graphics are elegant and suggest richness and warmth. This is the image Coach wishes to communicate to its customers. The additional pages of the site continue that message through the orange and yellow colors and the font of the menu bar.
13. Lohr, Gestalt, p 339. Case studies provide deeper thinking and help the learner process the information. Case studies of the research performed on CoQ10 and communicated on the CoQ10 page assist the customers in identifying the Coach products as having integrity, which is important in the health/nutrition market.
14. Lohr, Graphics, pp 46-49. Graphics can be used for such things as symbols attention, decoration, representation, organization interpretation and transformation to get attention or to motivate the learner. The graphics in the Home page provoke attention, add decoration to what could be a dry subject, and transform it to one of compelling interest that motivates the customer to explore the site more deeply.
15. Use of both upper- and lower-case letters aids learners’ comprehension (Lohr, p 132) I used both upper and lower cases in the text fonts.
Use representative pictures
“The purpose of representative pictures is to show what something looks like.” (Lohr p.300) I used the vial of CoQ10 held I the hand of the Home page because CoQ10 is such a warm and attractive color and helps the client to see the product.
17. Don’t Make Me Think, Steve Krug
Ch 6 p66
Always give the user the opportunity to go Home. It is reassuring so they don’t get lost in the site. Even though the site is small I think the anchored menu bar with Home as the first rollover as well as titles on each page is a consistent reminder to users that they know where they are and where they can go in the site.
18. Winn Ch 2 4.1Pictures are more memorable than words. The Home page picture promotes memory of Coach Industries and it’s products through its attractiveness.
19. Winn 6.3 Block text to organize ideas. Line breaks should show sense or flow of text rather than just using up space. Paragraph structure can help group information. Ex Figure 2.23 Old Testament quote. Use margin headings and annotation to organize material. I used block text aligned to the right to provoke interest and draw attention and balance to the right hand side of the image.20. Don’t Make Me Think, Steve Krug Ch 2 p22
Web pages should be like billboards advertising it’s content in an easy to read layout that people can skim as they browse by. Enticing them stay and linger. I think the Home page would make a good billboard. It graphics relay a fast and interesting message that draws the viewer to look further and explore the site.
The below table lists the problems and feedback describes by the evaluation experts. As they noticed similar things I have summarized their feedback together. top
Formative Evaluation Results
Very fast, no problems.
Occasionally took the main image a second to drop in after text.
Menu bar took longer to download than content.
Made rollover images Gifs rather than Pngs to speed load time.Browser and Operating system used
Home page image split in Netscape because of the inlaid type tables.
The coding changed in certain Netscape/PC combinations on the CoQ10 pages.
Some of the colors shifted depending on the machines settings. Revised Home page image so that it wouldn’t split up on Netscape.
Will change code to graphics later.
Will leave colors alone as shift wasn’t unattractive.Graphic Images
The overall gestalt is very good. The Home page image is attractive and provokes interest.
The image needs to be bigger.
Some of the headings were different fonts,
Break up pages to avoid scrolling on CoQ10 page.
Back to top anchors different fonts
Liked the colors
Liked the menu bar
Liked the orange horizontal bar
Should put bar on each page
Need designers name and copyright
Made image a little bigger, though it still fits standard screen size.
Standardized all the headings.
Standardized “back to the top” anchors
Will leave CoQ10 page alone.
Put orange bar on each page below name. It jumps around a bit between browsers but I’m going to let that go.
Put in web ad graphic designers names and copyright.
Navigation is clear and strait forward. Liked the simplicity of the anchored menu bar and the titling of each page.
Liked the chunking of content, organization etc.
Liked the Product grouping.
Liked the CoQ10 history page.
Like the Mata font in the menu bar and the bolding rollover.
Information clear and helpful.
Information grouped well
Sites message clear
Some of the CoQ10 and product information provided was updated and edited by the SME’s
Updated and changed information relevant to the SME top
I learned the importance of justifying my designs with message design principles. It was a good exercise to go back over the course materials to see what I had learned and how I had applied it, at times intuitively. Checking my document against principles is a good way to both discipline my design work and provide objective feedback.
While going back over the course material, I was surprised by how many principles I naturally apply to my designs. Some are more substantiated that others, and I think at times it would have been better to have created a more instructional web site to test more of these principles. It was also challenging in many ways to think more in terms of marketing. Though it helped that I work in the TLT lab and get to see these instructional principles in action on other projects. Really I’m glad I started small, as the site was challenging enough already for me.
I added a lot more principles, drawing from the ones that best seemed to apply to what I did. I rethought some of my justifications and had to back-track to justify what I had done intuitively.
Demonstration of Competency 1
Continued improvement of professional practice that requires critical inquiry, professional development and reflective practice.
This web site was created through the ILT message design and web authoring class. As my first site, I had to correlate and justify my work to design standards and principles researching and explaining my decisions. This process met the Competency by requiring a high level of professional practic,e and the site use by a multi-million dollar company has further enhanced my professional development as a designer.
Demonstration of Competency 6:
Uses incisive and relevant assessment techniques
In the Coach project I performed a formative evaluation, collecting information and improving the site as an effective marketing/information tool through reflecting on both assessment and message design research.