PasJaselle Productions: Design Proposal
Names of group members: Jasmine Chen, Janelle Fleming, Brian Passafaro
Beautiful Trenton is a movement that aims to engage and educate the people of Trenton while trying to inspire them to get out and vote. This website aims to do the very same thing by implementing content that has a sharp focus on the education of all aspects of the upcoming election. The 2014 Trenton Election website will attempt to bring the voting demographic together by publishing simplistic yet enjoyable content that sparks interest amongst anyone who visits the site.
What are your Communications objectives?
In a sense, every vote can help determine where the path of a hometown of many citizens leads. Every vote made after educated knowledge can elevate that path. The website aims to serve multiple purposes covering every facet of the 2014 Trenton election. Our website will serve as an informative outlook on the candidates and their backgrounds, while simultaneously conveying a message about how important partaking in one’s city’s decisions are, because that judgment will reflection upon the future mayor’s influence and care into Trenton. The website will encourage people to vote, provide insightful facts of issues, contenders running for mayor, and promote the beauty of Trenton that deserves a promising prospect.
What do we want readers to learn on your website?
Ultimately we hope that readers will become more interested in voting after viewing our site. We hope that they will gain some knowledge regarding issues in the City of Trenton and learn that they can play a huge part in making a difference in their city. Our website is specifically geared toward triggering emotion from the viewers using multimedia(i,e, videos, music). We hope that readers will also learn more about the candidates running in the 2014 mayoral election from our video. Also, learn about professionals whose job is geared toward making a difference in Trenton(i,e, our short interview with members of Beautiful Trenton) .Readers will learn some statistical information concerning major issues from our videos that will show some Trenton residents speaking on why they want to vote.
Who is our Audience?
The readers can include any American citizen concerned with issues mentioned, such as public safety or community control; however, statistics should ideally be a concentration in residents of Trenton as the focus directly concerns their livelihoods.
-Business owners: As successful businesses can hold some degree of financial power, business owners are in control of profitable assets. Such companies can contribute greatly to the economic status of a city like Trenton, and can become involved in local activities and issues such as promoting the arts and culture, and establishing more concrete policies working with the current or future mayor. There are various citizen profiles, and this website will aim to inspire all citizens, but particularly business owners who greatly influence or affect their employees.
-Students: Students, particularly high school and college students, are an absolute target of our website as they are at that point in their lives where they transition from an adolescent phase to adulthood. In the next few years, this generation will become responsible for the wave of impact technologically, economically, and culturally. Ingraining the practice of voting as a vital duty of theirs to care early on, can ensure that habit sustains the rest of their lives. The better the education, the better the future of Trenton.
-Working lower to middle class: As a quarter of the population in Trenton lives in poverty, this target audience is important because they make up a huge percentage of the population. Everyday these citizens experience the ups and downs of Trenton. A majority of the concerns debated by these politicians largely and directly affect this demographic; hence, they are one of the forefront groups that should be well-informed of the candidates.
What is the size of the audience?
The main target audience for our website are the citizens eligible to vote in Trenton. In 2012, Trenton’s population was estimated to be 84,447 people,with 63,500 of them being over 18. As of March 2011, 37,407 of those people were registered voters . These 37,407 people are our target audience . However, we also want to motivate the people who are eligible to vote, and haven’t registered to vote, to go out and do so. Of the 84,447 people who live in Trenton 23.5% of them are African Americans who own businesses and 12.6% of them are hispanics who own businesses. We are interested in this because business owners are a group that we want to specifically target with our website. A quarter of Trenton’s population are citizens living in poverty. These people happen to play an important role in the upcoming election as well and that is why they are also apart of our target audience.
What do they need?
Readers need a website that will not be too complicated to understand or read. A website that will be straightforward and do exactly what it purports to do and that is make voters aware of the 2014 mayoral election and give them reasons why they should vote.
Why will they be reading?
Readers will be viewing the website so that they can become aware of issues in Trenton and also so that they can gain valuable information regarding the 2014 mayoral election. They will be reading here so that they can have all of their information on one site rather than having to go to multiple different sites to obtain information regarding the election.
In addition, the primary visitors should be attracted to this website because they already have an interest concerning their representation as a citizen in the Trenton community. However, the website’s goal will be to emphasize why voicing your presence through voting is important applies nationally regardless of which city the voting takes place in. Hopefully, the aesthetics and organization of the website will help to draw attention from non-members of Trenton as well in order to gain popularity in readers.
How will they be reading?
Visitors to the site can access any part of it as this Trenton info website will be public. Different aspects of the Trenton election will be divided into sections via navigation bar at the top, which will be accessible and convenient. Navigation bar will stay intact at the top as the reader scrolls down to view other portions of the blog-styled format, which with some design will have splashes of colored or aesthetic design. With the longer segments of information focus on each candidate’s biography or mini-profile, the candidate questionnaire can be seen further below. We can merge the other group’s slider and integrate our video into it as the first slide; once the visitor opens the page, the video will automatically start playing to grab attention.
Project Style: The Wireframe
This Wireframe uses a fairly simplistic layout that uses the color scheme inherent of the State of New Jersey’s main colors: blue and gold. There are only two fonts used throughout, one being Serif and the other being Kenzo, a Sans serif based font. The Serif font is modern and easy on the eyes while Kenzo is more formal in tone without straying too far from the straight forward theme. This website will use a static navigation bar that will scroll over the rest of the content on any of the pages. The main page displayed in this sketch lays out how a slider will be placed at the top of the page that offers a majority of the content such as the introduction video, polling map, candidate questionnaire and candidate profiles. Although this slider starts at the top, visitors are able to scroll down and see other portions such as recent news, election countdown, and community poll, etc. These more generalized pieces of content will remain on the main page while other categories like information on voting, the election, the candidates, and the issues are available through the navigation bar that is persistent throughout the whole site. Users are also able to post to social networking sites, get contact information and make their way back to the main page through this navigation bar. A simplified mobile version may be implemented as well that would carry the same theme and fonts.
Special Considerations and Special Features:
Mobile-friendly is almost an absolute necessary function for our website. So many of today’s forms of interaction comes from some type of mobile source. The market in technology and new inventions are exponentially expanding and improving; keeping up with the new generation’s methods of communication is vital in getting out any message efficiently and effectively. This is how social media such as Facebook pages, Gmail, Twitter, or even Memes on Tumblr come into play. The more community network-friendly aspects made available, the more appealing the website will be, and the more people it will attract. Ideally, bi-lingual sections of the site may hopefully include Spanish, the second most useful language in accordance to Beautiful Trenton’s feedback, as well as our demographic data stating that 33.7% of Trenton are of Hispanic or Latin origin.
Web site flow chart /Sitemap
Our web site sitemap shows how this layout will allow users to jump between different categories linked through the navigation bar that remains on the top of every page. With the use of a persistent navigation bar, the user is able to virtually jump between any of the pages at any time without having to dig through drop down menus or hunt through endless links. Each category will have everything that fits in that section, and each piece of information and content will be broken down into logical “blocks” like those seen on the main page (i.e. News, Countdown, Poll). This design is streamlined to make navigating easy enough for just about anyone who wishes to use this site.
Navigation bar buttons:
“Trenton Elections” – ‘Home’ button
“Voters” – Voting information i.e. poll locations, how to register, how to vote, etc.
“Election” – Overview of the election as it stands today
“Candidates” – Candidate profiles: experiences, ideals, etc.
“Issues” – Issues prevalent in Trenton, stances/quotes from Candidates on these issues, etc.
“Contact Us” – Contact information for the website for anyone who visits the site: citizens, reporters, campaign supporters or managers, etc.
‘Why We Vote’ Trenton 2014 Video:
In such an important time to reach out to voters, video is a form of media that is widely accessible and easily presentable for almost everyone to experience and understand. Much like the website we are working to create, this video will be designed to be viewed by any and all demographics living in the capital city. To achieve this goal, a broad stroke will be painted over Trenton, the issues it faces and those who have declared their candidacy for the next mayor of this city. Using images of the candidates, footage shot in and around Trenton, and elements created in the Adobe Creative Suite. Our video will aim it’s sights directly on the voters as soon as they land on the page. Be it that the video will be the first visual embedded in the eye-catching slider, we believe that this will grab those that are looking to find out more information on their city and the next potential mayor. This video will be compiled with the intent to establish an introduction before the visitor is inclined to access the more in-depth portions of the website. We hope to impassion the voters through the emotions evoked and the information relayed in this video. Although the viewer will be free to skip past the video if they feel like continuing on, first time visitors will be encouraged to take a brief moment to watch and take in the ‘spirit’ that the website seeks to capture. One that presses all the people of Trenton to get out and make a difference for the betterment of their city.
Using WordPress would create substantial limitations for the creative freedom available for this project. WordPress uses fairly strict themes and plugins that only allow monetary control of the overall layout and design of the site. This is the old WordPress, ‘WordPress.com’ that is. There is the WordPress that we use, ‘WordPress.com’ and then there is ‘WordPress.org’. The ‘.com’ is minuscule compared to the scope and scale of ‘WordPress.org’. “WordPress started as just a blogging system, but has evolved to be used as full content management system and so much more through the thousands ofplugins and widgets and themes, WordPress is limited only by your imagination” (“About WordPress”). What this means to the proposal of this website is that using the current version would mean that we would have to conform to the standards of the WordPress blogosphere. Blogs usually stand like online bulletin boards for content to be posted on and stacked over time; the more recent post appears first. This also means that older posts may have information that is still relevant but it becomes buried underneath newer posts. So, if the new and improved ‘WordPress.org’ is utilized to it’s full potential, this website could be designed anyway we see fit.
Develop infrastructure of website (Oct 20- Oct 26)
Design the look and feel of the website (Oct 27- Nov 2)
Generate content (Nov 3- Nov 9)
Finalize content and prepare to publish (Nov 10- Nov 16)
Publish website (Nov 17- Nov 23)
Overall, the development of infrastructure and implementation of design will take precedent over most of the content. Therefore, a substantial amount of time is necessary to get the coding and the look and feel down before content can be created to fit in the layout of the website. The layout itself will take about two thirds of our time, which would mean dedicating roughly about four weeks to code and two weeks to design. After the layout is in place, the remaining three weeks could be used to generate content that exemplifies each category. All in all, this development would take about nine weeks and an additional week could be used for publishing the website and testing quality assurance, making this a ten week project. This timeline is based on the amount of time allotted by the class’ schedule.
The sustainability in this website comes from the ability to use the power WordPress offers to create and host our own content. “WordPress combines simplicity for users and publishers with under-the-hood complexity for developers. This makes it flexible while still being easy-to-use” (“Features”). We will be free to update at will and one way to make it easy to generate new content would be to integrate the traditional blog style used in ‘WordPress.com’ into the news portion of the site. News content is generally catalogued by date and time therefore the most recent news will be at top of the page versus news that’s been posted earlier. The blog format does not meet the accessibility standards of the rest of the site due to those limitations. The content outside of news posts will be updated on an individual basis. Whether it is the candidate quiz or any other piece that needs services or revisions, this code will be available as a separate entity to be changed and reposted when necessary. This means that the main portion of the site remains relatively the same while specific content can change if and when necessary.
The Trenton election WordPress site should use a Google Analytics plugin such as the aptly named, Google Analytics for WordPress created by Joost de Valk. Once embedded in our WordPress site, we would be able to see how many people access our page each day and click on the links leading the visitor to other portions of the site. Using the YouTube tracking system, we will be able to see how many hits we generate each day from the viewing of the video. If we compared the two, we could see how many visitors watch our video as opposed to how many just skip past and go to the different portions of the site. YouTube also gives the viewer the ability to have an open conversation about the video itself as well as some of information it addresses. If we tracked this data, it may give us an understanding of the impact that this opening video is able to communicate. These results will determine if we have successfully delivered our message of how important this election is and what this site aims to achieve for those out there who are undecided on the issues and the candidates.