Siobhán O’Dea’s Blog

Principles of Design

Today I’m going to discuss the four principles of design in relation to my chosen website.

The four principles of design are:

  • Proximity
  • Alignment
  • Repitition
  • Contrast

The website i will be analysing in regard to these principals is Youtube is a website which allows you to broadcast your own videos and allows you to view others.


For youtube, items relating to eachother are grouped together so therefore it looks organised and user friendly. Youtube displays even spaced tables making the collection of videos a visual unit.


Alignment refers to the lining up of the videos on youtube. In the homepage, the videos are left aligned, creating a clean, sophisticated look. The featured videos at the top are centered, to bring them to the attention of the viewer, but proximity is used between these two sections, to avoid confusion and creates unity.


The navigation bar and the borders on Youtube are all consistant in colour, size, shape and thickness. The text is also the same colour, which aids clarity for all these visual factors.


While the main tone of Youtube is blue and white, they do offer some contrast regarding their logo. Their Logo is Black and red, using the contrast of those colours along with the standard blue and white, to draw attention to the logo. Also the “Upload” button, which is the main feature for the site and which brings in all the revenue, is coloured yellow, to ensure the viewer has no difficulty finding it.

To Conclude, Youtube uses the four principals of design effectively to create a clear, user friendly appearance to aid the successful navigation of their website.


April 3, 2009 Posted by | 1 | , , , | Leave a comment

Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly

I felt his view on the fact that humans would become the catalyst of power with the impending technological transformation within the next decade was insightful. In my opinion, not only with this view does he address how the web will change within the next ten years, but also the direction that this power will shift to and our cultural change.

We are a generation that lives within the web and what he is saying is that not only will our technology advance but also our society and that the web will become a collaborative environment of millions of peoples individual intelligence.

I also liked how Kevin Kelly based his theories and predictions on what is happening in the past and present. How within the last ten years, we have sprung forward in our technological advancements and how we are becoming ever increasingly reliant on the web, choosing to look facts up rather than remembering them.

Based on how we currently go about our lives involving the web, I believe Kevin Kelly’s predictions are accurate. And when he says that over the next ten years, the ‘www’ will not just be the web, I believe him, for I believe that it will become more than just the web. It will become our lives.

March 26, 2009 Posted by | Technological Advancements | , , | Leave a comment

RTE Website – A Review

All websites need to be user friendly and I believe is an extremely easy website to use. It has many different sections which are very accessible for any visitors to the website. It is probably one of the better websites that the government has any affiliation with, probably due to the fact that it is Irelands leading media outlet and would gather a lot of daily traffic.

One of the things that impressed me on first glance at the home page is the vast majority of options that are available to you. The media, and more specifically, RTE, has a large number of areas that on some websites, could be quite difficult to locate. However, RTE has them clearly displayed at the top of the page to avoid any such confusion.

I think the layout of homepage is a little clustered and could do with some revamping. I don’t think the layout makes it easy on the eye for the viewer and it does look like everything that the website has to offer has been shoved into the homepage. I think they should consider removing links such as food, fashion and motors and leaving them just for the toolbar on top of the page where it already is.

There aren’t too many tools to tinker around with throughout the website. They do have a Google search engine as well as a which allows you to search for a certain type of shop, bar or whatever it is you’re looking for in your area. Being an Irish website that would be viewed regularly, I thought it was a clever bar to include on the website. Other though than that and the accessibility to the RTE radio which you can listen to, the website doesn’t have many other tools. But they are in easy to find and use.

The section page that most impressed me visually was the entertainment page. Not only was it displayed well but the layout allowed easy access to its various options. Its different sections, which included Gaming, Music and Reviews weren’t clustered together and made the page look more professional due to it being more divided. It also had a tool which allowed users to see cinema listings in their local area with a few simple scroll bars. Very easy to use and well suited for the page.

In conclusion, I believe that ticks many of the right boxes in terms of its ease of use, however, that is not to say that it couldn’t be improved. All its options scattered across the home page aren’t needed, it’s trying to make things too accessible when the easiest and neatest link is located at the top of the page where you’ll first see it. Keep the links to the top and remove the clutter and I think it would create a massive improvement.

March 20, 2009 Posted by | Website Information | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gallop Marketing Does not Complete the Race

Gallop Marketing


All websites, if to be considered successful and user friendly must have the 5 E’s, which are;

  • Effective,
  • Efficient,
  • Engaging,
  • Error Tolerant and
  • Easy to Learn

A lot of professional websites would have met this standard, understanding that a solid website is the basis of a solid relationship with any potential clients. However there are some websites that don’t tick all the boxes and in my opinion, Gallop Marketing ( is one of them.

What this website is, above all other necessary characteristics, is error tolerance and ease of learning. There’s nothing complicated about it and anybody viewing the website will have searched through it in its entirety in a matter of moments without too much complication.

The website looks pleasant and sharp, however, from the moment you log on, you are greeted by unexpected blaring music that forces you to frantically search for the mute button for the first few seconds of your visit. After a few minutes of exploring, you find that the content isn’t that engaging.

In fact the writing reads like it isn’t actually informing you what Gallop Marketing is or what it’s about, but more of a glossed up version which immediately turns you off, that and its complication navigation of the site, prove its unfortunate ineffectiency and ineffectness.

What is also not an efficient or effective aspect of the website is the lack of information that it delivers. What you gain by reading what it has laid out for you is an understanding that it is involved in the marketing sector….a conclusion I arrived to by the name of the website. Its portfolio, a section which it should be proud of in its attempts to win any viewers over, is no more than ten words long and offers no information other than a few other companies it has associations with. Hardly Effective marketing on their part. But perhaps the blaring music won you over and you’re interested in a career with the company. Well there is a careers section for you to view, but at no point does it inform any of those reading it what the potential careers actually involve.

So, in conclusion, Gallop Marketing is not a website worth racing towards in my opinion.


March 13, 2009 Posted by | Website Information | , , , , | Leave a comment

Douglas Engelbart

Douglas Engelbart

Douglas Engelbart

Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart


                Throughout the years, technology advances have been made that have furthered our civilization and pushed our society into new technological fields and past barriers that at one time never seemed possible or even fathomed.  These notable notches in our timeline of history stretch back throughout the ages, yet if we wind the clock back just over 40 years, 41 to be exact, one man that made his own mark was a Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart.

First Ever Computer Mouse

First ever computer mouse

                       Perhaps not a familiar name to many, yet his contribution to our society is used on a global scale.  For in 1968, it was the computer technician, Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart who had a notion of developing a way that would allow computer users greater control as well as greater ease.  And all through small corresponding hand movements.  It was him that invented the computer mouse; the device that is commonly used and taken for granted, yet without it, working with computers would be close to impossible. His invention made computers accessible and user-friendly for the general population.

               But this wasn’t his only contribution, and it wasn’t his start.  Everything and everyone has a beginning and Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart is no different.  He was born in 1925 on the 30th of January in the U.S state of Oregon as the middle child and moved when he was ten after his father died.  He graduated from High School and was halfway through College when he was drafted into the Navy.  It was at this point that his life was beginning to map itself out as he found himself positioned as a radar technician, which granted him exposure to technology. At this point, he read an article which fuelled his interest and inspired him, the article was titled “As We May Think” ( which discussed and predicted many types of technological advances, including hypertext and personal computers.  On his return, he completed a Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering.

                He jumped from position to position for a short time before finding a home at Stanford Research Institute (SRI), a place that allowed him to pursue his vision and ‘wild’ ideas.  It was here, with his team of researchers, that they developed the mouse, hypertext, bit-mapped screens as well as becoming involved with the ARPANET which is the precursor to what we know as the Internet.  He was reaching one of his most important goals; to make the world a better place. 

                Unfortunately, all those that go up must eventually come down, and it was no different for Engelbart.  With the majority of his research team leaving for the competitive rivals, due to different views on the future of computing, and the new generation of technicians not sharing his views, Engelbart started upon a road of misfortune that eventually led to obscurity.

                However his role in setting the ball rolling in many respects for what we enjoy today with our level of computer technology is not forgotten and since the 1980’s, his work has been noted for its importance and honoured by many different individuals and organizations.  This includes the awarding of the National Medal of Technology, which was presented to Engelbart in 2000 by President Bill Clinton, and is the United States’ pinnacle honour in technology.


Here you can watch the first demonstration of the computer mouse, by Douglas Engelbart, 09/12/1968.


March 5, 2009 Posted by | Technological Advancements | , , , | Leave a comment

Hello world!

Hello bloggers!

My name is Siobhán O’Dea, I am a student of Cork Institute of Technology, studying Business Information Systems.

I will post a new blog every week as part of my Multimedia course. Please feel free to check back every Friday for more interesting posts to come.

– Siobhan

March 3, 2009 Posted by | Random | 1 Comment