5* Reviews

Interactive Communication Design

5 star reviews

Brief

‘Develop criteria and systems for the written evaluation of a minimum of 5 very different interactive media products within a given/negotiated.’

For this brief I will be review gaming websites.

For the reviews that I will be doing I will be accessing each one on the following criteria:

Interface design – Here I will be reviewing what the website looks like; does it look professional, is it easy to understand, does it have navigational buttons etc.

Usability – Here I will be reviewing how easy the website is to use; is it easy to navigate, can you find what you’re looking for, do you understand what you’re looking at.

Content – here I will be reviewing what content there is in the website; is the content related to the type of website, does it have visuals to aid a post, what type of different content is there.

Reliability – Here I will be reviewing if the content is reliable – is the content updated frequently, are the people posting it reliable, do they have reliable sources of information.

Target Audience – Here I will be talking and reviewing the different types of audience each website I think will be viewing the websites.

Eurogamer.net

euro screen

As gaming websites go, eurogamer pretty much has everything you need or want to know. If you want to see game reviews, previews, news and forums then eurogamer is what you will need.

The way the website looks is quite simple in a way, there is a simple and easy to read menu bar at the top with links to different parts of the site. The eurogamer site has a nice feature along the left hand side, which is a tick box; you can tick what game consoles you want to hear news about. For example, if you tick the PS3 and XBOX 360 boxes then only the news for them consoles and the games on them will show up, but of course if you want to specifically search for certain content then you can just use the search bar in the interface. If you are new to the website then it could look quite jumbled and confusing, as there are large advertisements along the top and side, but if you can see passed them then it is quite simple and easy to understand.

Using the website is easy if you know what you’re looking for. If you search for something via the search bar and you don’t find what you’re looking for, then in most cases the website will not have that content. There are lots of links that may divert you to separate websites, but they open in a new tab, which is good because it can get annoying if they open on the same webpage. At the top there is the ‘Eurogamer.net’ title, clicking this will redirect you to the homepage of the website. Down the right hand side of the home page are recently published posts, when you first look at this section it can look quite jumbled; it could do with a few less posts so it doesn’t look as jumbled.

All the content on this website is all about video games and consoles, which is what you would expect from a gaming website. Each article is spaced out evenly with images and videos, so you can understand what they’re talking about with the visuals they are providing. There is actually quite a bit of content on the ‘Eurogamer’ website, but the good thing is, is that you don’t have to read every single piece of information… unless you want to of course; Just finding and reading or watching the posts that interest you if usually the idealistic way of doing things on games websites.

If you are looking for a reliable and honest website then I think eurogamer is one of the best sites that you can go to. ‘Eurogamer’ is a well known company across Europe, probably one of the best places to go to for your European gaming know how, so a company like this will have the best experts telling the viewers their views on certain things. The website is updated daily, so it is definitely reliable in that sense. If you want to find information from a few months ago then you can do that as well as viewing the newest articles.

As for the target audience for this website, the main audience will be the European gaming community. As the information provided on the website is for games that have been released in Europe. There will be a lot of different type of gamers on this website, male, female, old, young, hard-core and casual; there are posts for everyone and all sorts of video games. When reading the game reviews, the experts that are reviewing them, give the viewer a real in depth look into the game; allowing the viewer to visualise what they are saying is their heads.

Overall the ‘Eurogamer.net’ website is a great place to get your gaming information, can be quite confusing at times but once you’ve been on it and looked around, it is quite nice.

Interface design – 3.5

Usability – 4

Content – 4.5

Reliability – 5

Target Audience – 4.5

Overall – 4.3

4 3 eurogamer rating

Kotaku.com

kot screen

If you are the type of person looking for random gaming news and information then I suggest heading over to ‘Kotaku.com’. When I say random I mean all different sorts of gaming news like gaming art, cosplay, rumours etc.

Well for the look of the website, it is nice and simple with the pink and yellow colours. The way the interface is designed is first with the top stories from the gaming world, this is situated at the top of the home webpage so you can see what gaming news is popular. Along the side of the top stories, is a latest stories section, this is a great section if you want to hear all the new stories and rumours to tell your friends. Towards the bottom of the page, it gets slightly confusing in terms of categories, it just seems to be quite jumbled and confusing.

The usability of the website is pretty difficult if you want to find news on a certain subject area, as the website doesn’t seem to have a proper category section or I can’t seem to find it if there is. If you enjoy reading up of the latest and most popular news stories then ‘Kotaku’ is a great site to go to as the information is just there when you open the website. If you do get really stuck when trying to find news on a certain thing then there is always the search bar situated at the very top.

As for content goes for gaming websites, I think ‘Kotaku’ has some of the most interesting but some of the most random gaming news stories I have seen. You will not only get some reviews or previews of a certain game but you will sometimes get news on how it was made, why it was made and a look at different things about a certain game; which I think is a very good thing if you really want to know more about a game that you’re excited for. As for something’s, it is sometimes quite difficult to navigate and find the subject matter that you are looking for, it is sometimes just too random and confusing for someone new to the website.

A lot of the posts are created and posted by professional writers and gaming professionals, so we know content is reliable in a lot of the cases. But there is also a lot of rumours within this website which also makes a lot of the content rather opinion based instead of the news being factual, but who doesn’t love a little rumour now and again. Also the website is updated daily with lots of different posts about many subjects covering a wide range of gaming news.

There is a lot of different types of gaming news on ‘Kotaku’, so I think this website is more aimed at the older generation of gamers who love to have a good read about the art or the making of a game rather than just the preview or the review of one.

To conclude this review of ‘Kotaku.com’, I think this is a great website if you love random and different gaming news but it is very confusing and jumbled when you are trying to find certain pieces.

Interface design – 3.5

Usability – 2.5

Content – 4

Reliability – 3.5

Target Audience – 3.5

Overall – 3.4

3 4 kotaku

Ign.com

ign screen

When people want to read game news or view videos on games, I’m sure the majority of people would head over to the ‘ign’ website, this is because it’s probably one of the most popular gaming news websites, it is definitely the most popular from the 5 websites I’m reviewing.

When you first get on to the ‘ign’ website, there is a news slide show telling everyone what new posts there are and some of the top stories. At the top theres a menu bar with all the many different categories like PS3, PC, iPhone, reviews, tech etc; this is showing the user how many different features and shows the wide range of news that they cover. Further down the page you will find what you expect from a gaming website, the top stores and the newly posted stories. Then even further down the page is a nice little feature that I like to see from a site like this, a ‘Top games out now’ section; this just basically shows everyone the top 10 games that are out and shows the review rating that ‘ign’ has given to them.

The ‘ign’ website is very easy to use and understand in my eyes, navigating is really easy; if you want news on the latest and top from the Xbox 360 then just click the button in the top menu, if you want trending stories that are being read of the site then that is just on the homepage waiting for you. The website is very easy to look at and understand, things are spaced out evenly so you don’t get confused at what you’re looking at. I thought I’d do a little test to try and find a certain piece of content; I thought I’d see if they had a detailed log of information for the first game that popped into my head. Which was ‘Pokémon Crystal’, so I typed it into the search bar at the top and it brought me straight to it, with lots and lots of information about the game. I did this a few more times with different games and it just came up with detailed information about each game that I searched.

Finding content on ‘ign’ is super easy, if you want news on the Vita or the Wii U, then there is plenty of it. If you don’t want to read about games for a minute then you can read up on movies, tv and comic posts. There will probably be no worries if you’re trying to find specific stories, ‘ign’ are bound to have something to tease your taste buds. Nearly every post has images or a video to show an even more in-depth view of a game, they will even do videos about videos; take the ‘Rewind Theatre’ videos for example. In these videos they will do a second by second review of what’s going on on the video so people can get a proper glimpse of what’s being shown.

After sifting through a few different types of posts on ‘ign’, I realised that they are all written and published by industry professionals, which is what you want and expect from such a well known gaming website. With them being such a well known company, they can get exclusive interviews and personal views from important people in the gaming and film industry. Everyday ‘ign’ is updated with lots of different posts, this can be from the professionals themselves or just users of the website giving their own personal opinion.

‘Ign’ has a wide range of different audiences, it seems like they try to target mainly everyone that enjoys games, even if they’re male or female, old or young; there are articles and posts about nearly everything, all written in a simple and imaginative way. The website will even get the users that love movies, tv programmes and comics because they have categories dedicated to them.

Overall I think ‘uk.ign.com’ is a fantastic place to get your news and views of the gaming world and also the film world. Easy to use and understand with lots of different types of content.

Interface design – 4.5

Usability – 4

Content – 5

Reliability – 5

Target Audience – 4.5

Overall – 4.6

4 6 ign

N4g.com

n4g screen

The interface is quite easy to understand with categorised links at the top and a nice colour scheme. At the top, it shows the hottest news by showing the heat of each post, which I think is a very nice feature for a gaming site, it shows new and old users what’s hot right now in the gaming world. On the right hand side of the homepage there are many lists like top users, hottest games, last commented and top cheats codes; which are all pretty good features to quickly look at if you’re interested.

Navigating can be quite tedious, when trying to find some certain posts on a game, it will come up with other games that have no relation to what you’re searching for. When clicking on a post it will bring you to a link page with a comment section below it, this makes for easier navigation because you don’t have to click the link and find the comment section on that website as it is already on the n4g webpage ready for you.

Content is a bit different on this website, the posts don’t belong to ‘n4g’; they show posts from other websites and redirect you to all the news from different gaming websites. For example, if there is a post talking about a new PS3 exclusive game, click the link and it will redirect you to the PlayStation website; it is like this for nearly every link. It is like a central hub for gaming news, which is good if you like all your different news in one place but some people just like going to them websites individually.

Although ‘n4g’ sends you to other websites, it sometimes seems difficult to rely on their own content as nearly all users of the website post everything. Some of the links that are posted can send you to websites that are not reliable what so ever, websites people have never heard of.

I think the target audience for ‘n4g’ would be people who don’t like going to lots of different websites but instead enjoy having a central hub of posts that will open up in different sites, this can save users a lot of time in a way.

Overall N4G is a great place for users to go to if they don’t enjoy going on many different websites and finding what they want manually, when they can visit this website and find lots of different stories with external links.

Interface design – 4

Usability – 3

Content – 2.5

Reliability – 2.5

Target Audience – 3

Overall – 3

 3 n4g

Joystiq.com

joy screen

As it was one of the first times I had been on the ‘joystiq’ website, my initial thought was that it looked quite professional; with it’s simple yellow, white and grey colours. All the links and buttons were mapped out nicely, in a simple way with all the console news at the top to choose from. On the home page there is a nice feature that is down the right hand side, this is Network Statuses, this shows the viewer if the PSN, Xbox-live and the Nintendo Network are online or not; which can be handy if you want to go online. Also on the homepage, in a column down the page it shows the joystiq featured news, which is a good thing as it shows what people are talking about at the moment. What I found was that it rarely shows information or reveals on the featured list, but you have to search for it elsewhere; which was rather annoying in my eyes.

The navigation side of it was quite frustrating, sometimes I had no idea what I was looking at and where I was looking. For example, simply trying to find some information on far cry 3 became a 10 minute thing when it really should only take 1/2 minutes top. After a while you got the hang of it, but only with help from the search bar situated at the top right of the page.

All the content gathered on ‘Joystiq’ seemed to be very well written and interesting to read, with nearly all the articles about all different sorts of games news; news about indie games, old retro games, reviews on games and so on. Even some of the writers personal views on games and their top picks of 2012 was interesting to read, as I could read and get another person’s view on games I enjoyed playing over the past year.

The posts that I had found and read where all written by professional writers that had been writing gaming stories for years, so I found that the content was very reliable; it came from a professional and it didn’t link me to some messy unsafe website that’s filled with rumours.

I found that the website would be directed at mostly everyone that loves to read personal views on games and bit and bobs. Also it wasn’t biased to other consoles, there were stories about anything and everything to do with games and consoles, which is good as it brings in more and more viewers.

Overall, I found joystiq to be tedious to navigate and find what I wanted but when I did find it, I thoroughly enjoyed to read that followed and I could compare views on what was being said.

Interface design – 4

Usability – 3

Content – 4.5

Reliability – 4.5

Target Audience – 3.5

Overall – 3.9

 3 9 joystiq

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~ by reeceharry on January 2, 2013.

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