Concept & Overview
My website is called The Style File. The concept behind my site was to create an editorial take on beauty, fashion and health. I took inspiration from magazines like Vogue and Allure to guide my content. The main focus of my site however is primarily on beauty, educating and creating a place for people who love the beauty industry. Throughout my posts on the website I’m endorsing Australian products in hopes to educate and make people more interested in buying products from their own society, to support local businesses. Australia does not have an online platform that purely focuses on editorial beauty, which is why I decided to create this website. The editorial aspect of the design also allows the website to be much more sophisticated, allowing a bigger audience.
My intended audience is towards fashion and beauty lovers, mostly females but some males as well. The content created does not constrict nor confine who should or shouldn’t read the content. The age demographic ranges mainly from 16 years old – 45 years old, however the information shared may be read by an 80 year old makeup addict as beauty does not have any rules. My audience influenced what content I created – leading to content surrounding trending topics in the beauty, fashion and health industry as that was what intrigued my audience.
Visual Communication and Design
The design for my site was inspired by minimalism which is why I decided to keep a monochromatic colour palette for the text and background of the site. The simple font that I used makes reading the content easier. Likewise, the contrast between the positive and negative space adds interest to the design, creating a polished website similar to the editorial magazines that I drew my design inspiration from. The charcoal boarder surrounding the site makes the white background pop and bring the viewer’s attention to the content. Whereas, the only colour on the site is provided through the images or when you select a post, a highlight pops up.
This allows the focus to be on the photography , allowing the readers to gain insight into how products apply/look, advertise and promote products and enhance the editorial feel of the site. The photography featured on my site was inspired by avant-garde editorial photography. The influence of editorial magazines impacted on the layout of my posts and how many images I included in each post, compared to the amount of text. In each post there is a comments section for the readers to interact and discuss what they thought of the post they read. My targeted audience are very visually based and are attracted to lots of images included with text. Each article had a header image as well as photography featured throughout the articles, which can be seen in an example below.
I kept the font styles and typography simple to maintain a sophisticated minimalist design. This enhanced the editorial feel of my website as well as appealing to my target audience. I included the tagline “Je ne sais quoi”, which means “I don’t know what” in french as no one can truely predict what will be trending in the beauty industry before products are released.
User Interface Design
The design of my site was something that I messed around with quite frequently. I found that after many different templates I liked the look and layout of the template that is currently influencing the set out of my site. The template allows a lot of focus on feature images, negative and positive space which all appealed to my target audience, as well as creating a modern, minimalistic editorial vibe to the website.
My home page shows the most recently uploaded posts, in order of which they were uploaded onto the site. This allows my readers to easily determine what they have already read and what is new. Each article posted also has a read more selection to entice the readers to view the articles created. Below is a screenshot of my home page.
Each post is categorised into either Fashion, Beauty or Health which further enhances the ease to move around my website. This appealed to my target audience as they could go to specific categories if they only wanted to read about beauty for example. The categories are available to select in the menu at the top of the website under the logo, as well as under each article’s title the posts are labelled as what category it is labelled as. Below is the menu:
This is an example for the category being labelled under an articles title.
Each category has all the specific articles created tagged in that specific section. For example:
At the bottom of each page on my website is my social media menu, which can be accessed via clicking on the plus symbol and the widgets for my social media show up, allowing my readers to go to my twitter and Instagram.
As you click or hover your mouse on a widget a highlight pops up, allowing the viewer to see what they are selecting – leading to them being taken to my Instagram in this example shown above.
Also at the end of each article is a comments section allowing the readers to communicate with me what they thought of the article, what they liked and thought about the products as well as communicating with me what they would like to see written about. This was extremely important to both my intended audience as well as the design of the overall site; as most editorial platforms do not get this kind of interaction between their readers and themselves. That is why creating an online editorial platform was unique.
User Experience Design across Digital Platforms
For my website and audience I focused mainly on using Instagram as that is where my target audience really looked for content that I was creating. Although I would also post on Twitter when I had written and uploaded a new article on my website to promote the content.
When I was posting content onto both Twitter and Instagram I included hashtags, which ended up gaining me new followers to both my website, as I had included my website in my profiles as well as to my social media accounts. The hashtags also led a New York high fashion magazine called Elucid Magazine to like my post and follow me on Instagram. Below is the Instagram which caused them to like and follow my content.
Elucid Magazine were able to find me as I hashtagged my photo as #editorialmakeup, this also lead to makeup artists following and liking my content.
My Instagram and twitter enhanced my original content on my website on WordPress by posting more content that I created leading to cohesive social media counts to the content on my website.
My audience was mainly gained via Instagram as that social media website was were my audience mainly searched for content like mine. Social media allows brands to advertise their content quickly with mass outcomes: “Five constructs of perceived SSM activities of luxury fashion brands are entertainment, interaction, trendiness, customization, and word of mouth. Their effects on value equity, relationship equity, and brand equity are significantly positive.’ (Kim & Ko 2012) Instagram has become wildly more used by people than twitter, which is why I mainly used Instagram: “In 2015, Instagram surpassed Twitter with 400 million active monthly users. Its popularity makes it a natural choice for businesses looking for new ways to market their products. Indeed, Instagram’s advertising revenue for 2017 is projected to reach $3.6 billion.” (Myers 2017) Social media has changed the way people interact with each other, and as many social media are able to be found as apps on smartphones people can interact online without having to use a computer. (Pittman & Reich 2016) In a recent study, conducted by the Pew Research Center it was found that: “fully 91% of smartphone owners ages 18–29 used social networking on their phone at least once over the course of the study period, compared with 55% of those 50 and older” (Smith 2015) Due to being able to interact easily online now more people are able to reach new content, leading to my audience being able to find my content: “In terms of platform popularity among young adults (18–29 years old) with Internet access, 87% use Facebook, 53% use Instagram, and 37% use Twitter” (Duggan, Ellison, Lampe, Lenhart, & Madden, 2015).
On WordPress I have three followers who receive notifications of when I have posted on my website, and viewers coming from the UK, the USA and Australia being able to view my content. My maximum amount of viewers that view my WordPress site each day is 11 people. Whereas on Instagram I have 22 followers and on twitter I have 25 followers. Due to my use of hashtags and promotion of my WordPress site I gained more traffic of people viewing my content.
Future Directions and Development
In the future I would upload more onto my WordPress site, creating more content which would lead to new content being posted on both of my Instagram and twitter accounts for The Style File. I would also create youtube videos on tutorials on how to create certain makeup looks, then linking the videos onto both my WordPress site as well as my Twitter as that would create more traffic and interest to my website. I would also maybe move my content onto a different platform instead of WordPress as I found it very difficult to use, leading to a more minimalistic design.
Duggan, M, Ellison, N, Lampe, C, Lenhart, A & Madden, M 2015 “Social media update 2014” Pew Research Centre, viewed 2 June 2017,<http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/09/social-media-update-2014/>.
Kim, A & Ko, E 2012 “Do social media marketing activities enhance customer equity? An empirical study of luxury fashion brand” Journal of Business Research, vol. 65, no. 10, pp. 1480–1486.
Myers, L 2017 “A picture is worth a thousand material-connection disclosures: endorses, Instagram, and The Federal Trade Commission’s endorsement guides” Duke Law Journal, vol. 66, no.6, pp. 1371-1405.
Pittman, M & Reich, B 2016 “Social media and loneliness: Why an Instagram picture may be worth more than a thousand Twitter words” Computers in Human Behaviour, vol. 62, pp. 155–167.
Smith, A 2015, “U.S. Smartphone use in 2015” Pew Research Center, viewed 2 June 2017, <http://www.pewinternet.org/files/2015/03/PI_Smartphones_0401151.pdf>.