Assignment 8 – Online content for Grateful for Grace Lutheran Church The online content I want to create for Grateful for Grace Lutheran Church is a feature story in the form of a blog. The congregation is the target audience, although others will be able to access it also. The objectives are:
- *To form an online community
- *To educate the bloggers to the needs of the world
- *To encourage discussion about those needs
- *To connect faith and world issues
- *To promote action
The blog will look at different programs of Lutheran World Relief (LWR). This agency is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and tries to tackle the causes of poverty in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. Instead of providing an overview of the agency, this blog will attempt to explore a few individual programs of LWR and provide concrete examples of those programs.
Semiotic analysis helps plan content, Web pages and sites
When we design Web pages and sites we want to communicate something with relative ease and speed. Those who are accessing our sites give us seconds to connect with them. Signs help us to do that more efficiently. Signs, which can be words, pictures, music, sounds, and objects, consist of a signifier and that which is being signified. Yet signs do not have an intrinsic meaning. Humans assign the meaning. Oftentimes these meanings differ between different cultures.
One of the first considerations in designing includes knowing your audience. Being familiar with the signs audiences use, and how they are used, is helpful in developing an effective site, especially in a medium where people all over the world are able to access the site.
Colors mean different things in different cultures. Some pictures may be offensive in certain cultures, others are not. Music intended for one audience may be unsuitable for another audience. Saying what you mean through the use of signs is the ultimate goal, but saying what you don’t mean is also possible if you fail to use semiotic analysis. Marketers have used words to describe products in one culture that were inappropriate in another one. Choices need to be made when designing sites and understanding how people interpret signs is essential to making those choices.
Determining navigation tools for a site is another way semiotic analysis can be used. Icons, indexes and symbols have particular meanings in the digital world. Knowing what those are and using them effectively and consistently help assist the site user in positive ways.
Web site users rely on a concise, accurate and timely exchange of information. Analyzing signs, their meanings, and their use can enhance that process and subsequently enhance the effectiveness of Web pages and sites.