Monday, November 2, 2009

Coalition of Historic Trekkers
In the footsteps of history

Sunday, November 1, 2009

EPJ: Multimedia Critique 2

The Marlboro Marine - Mediastorm

Photojournalist Luis Sinco’s project on a marine’s life who had been in Iraq and back from the war in 2004 is presented in a simple and beautiful multimedia project in Flash on Mediastorm website. The project is 16 minutes long, which for some might be very long, but the theme of the story justifies the length of the project.
The overall design of the project is kept consistent with the design of the Mediastorm website. When the thumbnail for the project is clicked, the pre loader appears, showing that the project is being loaded. Soon after, the main screen of the project in the form of an image appears. The video and images of the project cover the central part of the screen. The large size makes the visuals pop-out and that is what the designers must be looking for viewers to focus on. The images move very quickly, almost video like initially and then as the audio starts, the images gets slower.
Navigation is kept simple. All the buttons are kept right below the images. The progress bar slides smoothly as the project proceeds. Next to the bar is a timer which shows the time where the project has reached. Along with that is a text showing the total length of the project. There is an email button and full screen button as well below the images. These are great for making the project more interactive. The viewer can view the slideshow on full-sized screen and leave comments through the email button. There is no play button and the slideshow starts on its own as soon as the project is clicked up in the menu section. All the navigation buttons are in grey, and when one hovers over them, they change to blue which makes navigation easy. The positioning of the buttons in one line makes it easier for the viewer to control the project without having to search for buttons.
The audio is kept low, keeping the theme of the story in mind. The project starts with eerie silence and then the voiceover of the subject begins. As the project proceeds, different audio, like slow music begins, which helps to separate the content of the story. There is a button for audio as well for the viewer to control the audio.
One of the negative points of the flash project is that there is no gallery where the viewer can view each image individually and read the captions. Also, there is no heading in the project, except for the intro underneath. A clear, short heading would have made it easier for the viewer to know which project he is viewing rather than having to look in the menu section.
The font is not given much emphasis as it is kept consistent with the font of the Mediastorm website. This makes the images get all the importance and that is the focus of the project anyway. He banner on the top shows the different projects and the home tabs which makes it user-friendly. The viewer can click any project or go back to home page without having to search it.
Overall, the focus is the images and thus the Flash project is kept simple which works very well for such viewer interest stories. I think I have learned how to make simple flash projects work by looking at the multimedia projects on the website. This will be incorporated while I design my Flash projects for my website.