Web Proposal Detailed

Summary of the Project:——————————–

With the end of my student life nearing its end, this is my last chance to do something important while studying at Birmingham City University, and with this in mind for my production proposal (next semester) I wish to create a Virtual Community in which offers students the ability to upload their CV (or portfolio of work/ to advertise their personality) to the internet, the ability to communicate and discuss potential media enterprises with one another, to find users who offer technical abilities required to fix or address a missing gap in a potential job (photographers, coders, graphic designers etc…), job opportunities and company review forums (to tell others of their experience while at a company,) with the aim of advertising themselves to potential employers. So consequently in a supportive environment, job opportunities can be passed from specialist to specialist, recommended by users or just generally skills can be searched for as required by potential employers to help build up a virtual community of online media employees. 

This project is very large for just myself to produce, and with this in mind, for this Web and New Media module I proposal to create a simple mock up of what potentially the website could look like. As I have little knowledge of Apache, PHP and MySql before starting this module, I am requiring heavily on the skills learnt within this module for the project to work, therefore the development will be less on what the topic is about, rather then, what I can create with the coding. Within this module I will be able to gain a larger insight into what is possible and what isn’t within PHP and MySql, and use it as a springboard into the final development next semester.              

———————-Target Users——————-          

 My target audiences consists of students wishing to become more recognised within their field, and potential employers or entrepreneurs who wish to search for particular skills or talents they require to help in their projects. Other target audiences could be Universities trying to raise their post grad- job aspect ratios, employment agencies who wish to fund/ advertise or sponsor the website, to help in the promotion of their own. Therefore the colour and theme of the website need to look professional (to attract employers etc) yet also eye catching and appealing for the student market. 

———–Colours and Themes————–        

 Although I have proposed a customisable web page for each user, I feel in order to attract employers (seeing as some users on websites like Myspace and Bebo have no eye for colour or style), the customisable features will be limited similarly to Last.fm, which offers two different coloured style sheets for users. (More will probably follow with added customisable features.) The theme needs to be modern and up-to-date to illustrate the type of users to be featured within the website. A clear metallic or marble effect is currently popular with the likes of Microsoft Vista and Media and Apple I-pod and Website displaying futuristic modern looking features. (Appendixes 1) .A 3 colour scheme is going to be used within the whole project, which I am currently favouring Black, White and Red (if you are being pedantic then Black and White are shades.)   

——————- Market Research:——————-  

Competing employment websites include the likes of Monster.com, Unitemps.co.uk, and Jobcenterplus.gov.uk. I am currently approaching Monster.com for their opinions on the project and to see if they have any issues, or can help on the development of the project, however I have yet to get a response. Websites like these offer users advice about writing CV’s, interview techniques and covering letter advice, as well as bulletin boards with job opportunities on. This aspect leaves little for the users to do but search for jobs, instead of individuals for the jobs. These websites lack (or limit) the communal, supportive atmosphere virtual communities offer, through the CMC (computer mediated communication) of users. The advice sections I feel also needs to be included as it is key in the development of those individuals within the website, thus making it feel like we are helping in their professional development. 

However competing coding websites (websites in which i would like to replicate), I feel include the likes of Myspace.com, Facebook.com, Last.fm, and Bebo.com as they all offer a form of online community in which users use forms of CMC to interact with one another. All these websites feature internal Email systems, bulletin boards, customisable web-space, wall-to-wall comment system and forums. These are areas in which are vital to developing a thriving CMC community. Devientart.com and Fotix.net are also competing markets, as users upload portfolio content and can gain responses from alternative users through a comment system. This is important if I decide to built a portfolio aspect of the website, in which users can upload their own content/work. I have also approached a number of Media and Arts students from across the country asking if they are generally worried about the competetiveness of their industries and whether they feel they are able to compete within it. Most said that they have had little work experience or forms of contact, within the industry and thus are generally worried about getting a job within the industry in the near future. The website should hopefully help more university students follow their dreams, and point them in directions of extra courses, or skills needed in which to gain the jobs they require; instead of dropping out or in constant fear that their course will lead no-where, and therefore never reaching their potential. 

——————Production Plan:—————-                   

As this is a mock up, with the final outcome only having to be a prototype, a feel I have a free rein over how and what the development will entail. Within this module I am planning to experiment with these areas I have yet to cover, therefore sections may be included or scrapped depending on whether they operate or function successfully. The first weeks of the development will entail myself designing, re-designing, market research sourcing and planning, however the main bulk (4 weeks) will be spent on the development of the coding and CMS system and if there is time left optimising and fixing accessibility issues. 

Marc

Http://marc.izonedesign.co.uk (Appendixes are not included within this blog however they are in the printed word document)

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