Justification of Web Layout

Posted on April 7, 2011

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Euclid Group’s online presence consists of two elements: the 3D printing website and the 3D printing project Twitter feed. We selected a website address and Twitter handle that were obvious and related to our subject matter to facilitate user recall. The goal of our website is to share up-to-date news on 3D printing and the deliverables of our CCT 506 project. We use the centralized news feeds to post information on a regular basis in order to exhibit the frequency and prevalence of the technology in the news. We want to keep the information fresh and relevant through maximum visibility. The posts range from interesting advancements in the technology, to new utilization of the technology, to implications on the use of the technology.

Another primary goal for us is to keep the design intuitive and appealing. We chose the Tumblr format for the website, because it is easily customizable and was not cluttered. The background of the website and the image used on the Twitter account should give users an idea of what the technology can accomplish and how it’s used. In this case, the use of 3D images helps users to visualize the technology. When possible, we have included previews of videos, articles and links in order to keep the content interesting and offer a quick view before opening. The layout of the pages within the website are the same font, size and in close proximity to one another, making it easy to view the content within the website. The prominently located search function at the top of the page allows visitors to quickly locate content, and the title of the site and all the individual pagers are hyperlinked to allow for quick navigation back to the home screen.

As a blog format, the content is mostly written in a format accessible to our classmates and other people just learning about 3D printing technology. Specifically, the literature reviews serve as a means to elucidate dense concepts and synthesize them to create a broad view of 3D printing technology. Using Tumblr’s template, we kept the format of the text, fonts and spacing consistent to maintain a clean look. We formatted our bibliography neatly to mimic academic publication style. For easy access to the sources, we included hyperlinks when possible.

For our purposes, the blog format affords enough opportunity for a user to engage with the website, but should we want faster direct communication we use out Twitter account. It is connected to the blog, so any post is automatically tweeted. This keeps the tweets fresh and sends information directly to our followers. It also helps us gather information from others via their tweets.

In the future we might decide to include even more specific information on individual pages. As an example, we plan to share a timeline of significant developments in printing technology in order to show the progression that led to 3D printing. We might add a section that specifically shows this timeline as a way to introduce the information we have gathered on 3D printing. We might also decide to share links to businesses or research facilities utilizing 3D printing. Finally, we could add more dialogue around the project and the technology in order to chronicle our progress.

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