The project that I chose to critique was Afro-Latin Americans. In viewing this project about Afro-descendants in Latin America, I could tell a lot of time and effort was put into this very elaborate piece. It is an interesting topic told in a way that draws you to each story and picture that is listed. I find it difficult to critique something that is that in depth and informative.
However, I can see that some areas could be altered or improved. For starters, the first page that you see when the site opens is a little overwhelming. There is so much going on and I really did not know what to look at first. The heading sounds simple enough to understand, “A rising voice: Afro-Latin Americans.” I was ready to navigate through the project but I didn’t know what I should do next.
Then, I am given almost 10 choices of places I can visit within the project. A huge map takes up most of the room on the page and a bunch of dots and numbers on it makes it interactive for me to delve into another aspect of the project. I think if the map was not on the first page I would feel more comfortable about all of the links to the stories that are listed. The map is a really nice feature and gave me a lot of information, but I don’t think it belongs on the first page.
I think the overview should probably be the opening page. If I was visiting this site on my own and not for class work, I may get bored and not so to other places on the page because the map page is a little time consuming and I feel like it should not be the focus of the page.
After I clicked on Part 1, I felt a little distracted by the yellow ad on the top of the page as well as my options on the left side. I wanted to read the story but I didn’t know if I should watch one of the two videos to the left first. Again, it was a little overwhelming and when I am reading a story on the internet my attention span is slightly different than when I am reading a book or magazine. My attention span when I am viewing web pages is a lot shorter, I want to know what is going on and why I should be investing my time in the content.
The following parts were similar. They were so detailed and were rich with information, culture, and facts. I would have paid attention to every word of this project, had it been in a magazine or in a documentary. The work here is phenomenal, all of the video clips, pictures, and stories within stories. There is so much information here that it is a shame, in my opinion, that it will never be fully appreciated.
I think that a story is told better through video sometimes and in this case I think that this would make an excellent documentary.
At the end of this project there were over 100 comments posted by readers. So obviously people are reading these stories. I am simply stating my opinion, I could not get through each and every fact and that I thought the layout could be changed to be a little less overwhelming. I think that if this was published as a magazine people may miss the experience that the video clips give. Music, voices, and background all play a key part in the experience. I think that the video clips that were used in this project were necessary in connecting with the culture and surroundings. I thought that the videos and pictures were excellent ways to keep my interest. The text could have been shortened. Although it was accurate and informative information, I think that the long blocks of text on the page is one of the reasons I may wander away from the site. I think that it this project could be more appealing by getting rid of some of the text. Like I said earlier, I know that people, including myself that would love to read all of these stories, in a different format, like a magazine, not online.