Week 1: Web Design and Research

Mar 17, 2020

Part I
If you don’t have time to read the entire post, Please jump to Part II

Hello everyone,

The first week of my internship went well! I was introduced to the group that I will be working with and met people throughout the company. I engaged in exciting discussions with computer technicians and HR during lunch break. After finishing my first design project, a timeline, I moved on to the main project of my internship: perfecting the company’s website. 

In order to accomplish that goal, I first have to get familiar with WordPress (Yes, the one that I am using right now), but slightly different because I wish to learn both the theme development and designer sides of web creation, which will include learning basic PHP, HTML, WordPress Plugins, etc. After installing WordPress locally (so I could practice without ruining anything) on my computer through Bitnami, I created a local website while reading the very basics of Search Engine Optimization, which I will talk more about later. 

Due to concerns about the coronavirus, I will be Interning remotely starting this week. During the second part of the week, I began trying two of the more popular WordPress plugins: Elementor and Slider. I was genuinely surprised by how much there is to explore on WordPress. 

Part II

Unfortunately, since the coronavirus outbreak has hindered my ability to collect experimental data, I was not able to continue my individual research topic at this time. I do wish to continue the topic of colloidal suspension when the Lab reopens. In the meantime, I will be changing my individual research topic to something that coincides more with my internship: Web Design. 

Because of the sudden change, I only have a general idea of what I will be doing, but let’s have a look! 

Every font and color imparts a certain emotion. The color (hue, contrast), typeface, and functionally of a website could play a role in the customer’s purchase decision from the company’s website. I would like to see what websites in one particular industry do to attract customers by identifying commonality among the websites. There are five parts to my project:

  1. Data gathering
  2. Analyzing trend
  3. Reading literature to attempt to find a possible reason (hypothesis) for a given trend 
  4. Finding or building a comparison
  5. Test the hypothesis using surveys 

Through my research project, I would gather data on a random sample of websites from [one industry], let’s say [industry X] for now. 

These data may include 

  1. Typeface, font, color 
  2. Organization and functionalities (I know this is really broad. It should be narrowed down later. If you have any suggestions please leave a comment) 

Even though the first type of data could be easily gathered by automated collection, I realized that using a Spider probably would not be a good idea. But hey, I will go to your website if you promise not to sue me with a written statement :))

I will then be analyzing these data, most likely through R/Excel. An example of a possible trend could be: do a statistically significant portion of companies from [industry X] use Serif fonts over Sans-serif fonts? 

After identifying this trend, I would read literature to identify a reason for the trend. Maybe Serif fonts make you look smarter (this is completely made up) and more trustworthy, encouraging customers to buy your research materials. 

Next, I will attempt to find a group of similar websites to test the hypothesis. ( This is questionable. I will do my best to leave only one independent variable. If that is impossible, I will manually create two sample websites for [industry X] in order to control the variables.)

Through a survey, I will gather why participants made the decision to select one website over the other. For Example, the website seems more

  1. Trustworthy
  2. Comfortable to read
  3.  Professional 
  4. Etc

I realized I dug myself into a hole. It will take a week or two before I finalize my plan. I would Love to have any volunteers to take my survey at the end, for those of you interested, please let me know. I would also appreciate any suggestions. Wish you all a safe season.

Best regards,

P.S. I wanted to change my typeface for each blog, but Basis restricted the typeface.

4 Replies to “Week 1: Web Design and Research”

  1. Thomas E. says:

    Tina, I know that you have a passion for art and design, so it is great to see that your overall project focus has shifted more towards that. Keep us updated with the specific industry that you will be studying, and maybe a specific question that you will be answering.
    How ironic that you can’t change the typeface while talking about this project!

  2. Miller H. says:

    I’m excited to see your results! I wonder if it’s possible to draw a line between font shape and professionalism, e.g. roundish fonts are more playful while square-like fonts are more professional?

  3. Ethan H. says:

    I look forward to seeing the findings of your project! There’s no doubt they’ll be really interesting.
    Also, I’d love to participate in any survey you have. Good luck!

  4. hadleyrowland says:

    Tina – The study of fonts is one that will take you on a long road. I am all about sanserif fonts but the research will dive into graphic design and the love hate of Comic Sans – One that I love that many designers hate. So here is a place you can start or end – https://www.dyslexiefont.com/

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