Group Members:

Victoria Bao:
Marta Szczepanskah.jpg:

William Thomas:

Our group created a concept map for the year of 1901. Upon researching, we found many interesting facts that took place in science, technology, politics, etc in the year 1901. For example, in technology, patents were received for the electric vacuum cleaner, the safety razor, and instant coffee. Many scientific discoveries were made such as the hydrogenation of fat, the theory of electromagnetism and Freudian slip. In political leaders, Queen Victoria died, President William McKinley was assassinated and President Theodore Roosevelt came into power. In art, Picasso began his blue period. Also, the first four Nobel Prizes were handed out. More specifically, the first Nobel Prize under the category of peace honoured Henry Dunant who founded the Red Cross in Geneva. The Red Cross is a “humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief and education” (Wikipedia, 2007).

This is the topic we would like to focus our attention on for the following reasons...
The Red Cross:
- is an organization that supports important causes
- is a team that works internationally, all over the World
- has existed for over a century
- is a group not many of our peers know the history and purpose of
- accomplishments are celebrated in March.

Information Architecture:
Our Red Cross website will NOT be a typical information oriented site on the Red Cross, as the web provides many such sites already. Instead, it will be a place that will attempt to CELEBRATE the accomplishments of the Red Cross and its existence throughout history, taking into account that March is the month that honours the Red Cross. This unique take on the topic will allow our group to be more creative and stylistic with the design of the site. We will try to avoid typical information site designs, for example The CBC website or copying the design of official Red Cross website, which is very information based.

Target Audience:
Another reason to make our website more creative is considering the target audience we are working for. Our group plans to target the website at our peers, University students. Therefore, a regular information site would be boring to the audience we are targetting it for. This kind of design might also be confusing and overwhelming to our target audience. We need to grab the attention of our peers and interest them in learning about the Red Cross. We will do this by taking on a fresh approach in presenting the topic. A modern, yet clean design will also reflect the growth of the Red Cross which has been operating for over a century.

However, the design of the site will NOT take away from its informational value. Although the website will have a fun modern design we will provide viewers with an extensive history of the Red Cross, its origin and work throughout the last century. The site will also include information on how the viewers are able to help and contribute to the Red Cross – by donating money, donating blood, donating tissue, donating time, and donating goods. We will provide viewers with images and examples relating to the content of the site.

We have thought of two designs for our website and are debating between them. Both will include a short flash presentation when the site is accessed and will remain in a limited white (used for background), black (used for type) and red (used for buttons, details, borders, shading, contrast, hierarchy etc.) colour scheme.

This design will include a top navigation bar with rollover buttons that will lead to certain pages of our site. (refer to Image 1 below) The buttons will have symbols on them associated with the themes of the pages that they lead to. We decided to use similar, example and symbolic representations for these button symbols. Since the Red Cross is an international organization with an audience base from all over the world, we want all individuals to be able to navigate our website, regardless of their culture, hence we will not use arbitrary representations for buttons. Some of the iconic representations we have brainstormed for buttons include a money symbol, a syringe, a gift box, a shirt and a clock. The symbols on the buttons will look similar to the symbols used on barecelet links. (refer to Image 2 below) or typical symbols you would find in public places (refer to image 3 below).

Image 1:

Image 2:

Image 3:

The second design involves much more work and skill both in CSS, as well as in Illustrator, that is why we are debating if we have enough time to finish it. We wanted to design the layout of our site as a giant notebook/journal on the screen that a Red Cross worker would use to organize their schedule... with scribbles about the different places and people that need help and with pens and other utensils surrounding it. (refer to Image 4 below) Within this notebook there will be division tabs (refer to Image 5 below) and each tab will be a button to access other pages of the site, for example history and donating.

Image 4:

Image 5:

We plan to have a wide and shallow hierarchy in our site – there will be a number of pages within the site with information on each page. Each page will also be accessible with the navigation bar along the top, as well as a smaller navigation bar along the bottom. This way a user will not have to go through many pages to get to a certain page. They will always have the option to return to the index page or the option of accessing any other page on the site from the page they are currently browsing.

We will use a hybrid organizational scheme for our website. The history of the Red Cross will be one scheme and the different ways of donating and helping the Red Cross can be organized into a task organizational scheme. We felt an ambiguous scheme would suit our information space much better because we know that users who view the space may not know what they are looking for. With an ambiguous scheme, users can explore all the donation options available.

The objective of our information space is to create a modern, clean, organized and easy to navigate website that honours, celebrates and educated the viewers about our topic. Our aim is to interest, through our modern and innovative design techniques, those individuals that would usually not take the time to read through a regular information themed website. Keeping in mind our target audience we want to create a space that they are comfortable visiting, navigating and learning from. At the same time, it is our pleasure and an ultimate objective to appropriately celebrate the success of the Red Cross through this information space in the month of March when it is honoured internationally.

Some of the sites that our group has already explored include the Canadian Red Cross or the American Red Cross. These sites were a great inspiration content wise but our group soon realized that we wanted our website to have a modern, yet clean look. We looked at various art and photography sites for design and organization inspiration, for example the photography site of Robyn Vickers. Keeping these kind of fresh design concepts in mind allowed us to brainstorm a number of concepts and finally narrow it down to two design choices. Also, the images below are the kind of images that really made us want to concentrate on this topic for our information space, especially in the month of March.

external image youdeliveredhope.jpg
external image diasterart.jpg

"American Red Cross." Wikipedia. 2007. 15 Mar. 2007 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Red_Cross>.

Image Source
"Sample1" MillionDollarWeb. 15 Mar. 2007 <http://www.milliondollarweb.com/samples/sample1.cfm>
"Symbols" TotalPromote. 15 Mar. 2007 <http://www.totalpromote.com/specialproducts/symbols.htm>
"Nursery" AIGA. 15 Mar. 2007 <http://www.aiga.org/Resources/SymbolSigns/gif_large/15_nursery.gif>
"Notepad" LiveJournal. 15 Mar. 2007 <http://stat.livejournal.com/img/s2preview/notepad/notepad.jpg>
"Notebook with Index Tabs" iStockphoto. 15 Mar. 2007 <http://www.istockphoto.com/file_closeup/what/specific_objects/everyday_items/816753_notebook_with_index_tabs.php?id=816753>
"You Delivered Hope." Red Cross. 15 Mar. 2007 <http://www.kck.redcross.org/index.php?pr=Financial_Donations>.
"Disaster Services." American Red Cross. 15 Mar. 2007 <http://http://hawkeye.redcross.org/emergency.htm>.

*other images were created or taken by the authors*