Why is it a website?
The reason this proposal is a website is to mimic how my dissertation will function. A website format for my dissertation allows for greater accessibility, sustainability and control over my data. With the current COVID-19 situation, you can see why being able to use and access a website is so important.
Website building is relevant in showcasing my work; specifically, through virtual exhibitions. I want the dissertation to reflect my current practice and being on a website helps situate my written work within my practice. Producing a written document accessed in chronological order feels forced, additionally it doesn’t visually represent my studio. However, using a website allows me to use interactive content, which can engage an audience.
Expanding on how websites allow for better control, “Students have lost control of their personal data” (Udell, J. 2012). Controlling our online data and presence builds an environment where art students can display their work entirely on their own terms. When creating your own website, you can choose how it functions. My dissertation can function as a written piece, a portfolio and an online exhibition of my practice all in one place. I can edit and respond to the world and continuously allow the website to evolve with my practice. Traditionally formatted art essays quickly become stagnant once finished, although they tend to be looked at again, rarely are they re-edited and used alongside practice continuously.
Accessibility relates to how easy something is to use/navigate, creating equal opportunities for everyone to experience. Websites are readily available in comparison to a physical exhibition – providing there is a place with internet access, it can be viewed anywhere in the world, at any given time. Making it fully accessible for everyone to view would include making it understandable for people who are blind, colour-blind, dyslexic and deaf; to name a few. “That’s why it’s better to use short paragraphs that express one idea . This is because dyslexic users need more breaks between ideas than non-dyslexic users” (Anthony, 2011). A website can be hard to navigate for any audience, or the viewers’ attention can be lost if the presentation is not considered. Breaking up large amounts of text into manageable chunks will assure that the site is accessible for any audience. To enhance my accessibility, I will use the accessibility bar by Userway (Left). Userway enhances viewers experience while maintaining different types of content (Userway, n.d.). Alongside this bar, I will provide subtitles and images to support the main body of the text.
How will it function?
I want it to be clear that this website, as well as the dissertation, doesn’t have to be accessed in a chronological manner – with the use of hyperlinking from specific texts or images, information can be accessed between pages to have a more holistic understanding of the text. This way, it can make the accessibility of the bibliography far greater, where the specific reference can be viewed immediately. These differences allow the text to function on any website format; however, it’s vital that information on the website can be understood as simply as a traditional essay.
This proposal imitates an example of how the text could be presented, for instance this website relies on the menu bar for site navigation.
However, I plan to utilise a timeline (similar to this) in place of a full menu. The timeline will function as a contents page – showing the different chapters throughout my dissertation.
The chapters will be on the timeline represented by a picture; the chapters are the most predominant times in my practice. The image will hyperlink you to the text for that chapter.
Using hyperlinks in a contents page creates content that is easily accessible. Opposed to a written document, viewers can instantly navigate through the sections. An example of this would be to click HERE to view the preface of this proposal.
Although the timeline will function as the main navigation, there will also be side menus. These menus will include aspects of the dissertation which are more necessary such as a preface, introduction and acknowledgments.