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The Official West Side Story Website

The Official West Side Story Website

I found this website while writing a dance research paper on the musical West Side Story. While I found some useful information, I found browsing on the website difficult. In addition, many of the tabs listed on the site were empty once clicked. The background, in general is harsh on the eye, and the fonts are often too small to be easily legible. As you enter the homepage, an abrupt, noisy video about the musical begins playing. As the homepage is scrolled, important information is easily overlooked as it falls below a photomontage that is poorly executed. While coming shows should be the main draw to the website for the company, its placement on the website shows it is a lower priority. As the official website for what is considered by many a timeless musical, this site is in dire need of an overhaul. 

When words aren’t enough…

When words are not enough and pictures do not exist, infographics are an appropriate and eye-catching alternative for conveying information.  Infrographics are used to convey large portions of information in a way that breaks it down for readers into digestible pieces. An infographic should be used when the following conditions exist:

  1. There are five or more statistics
  2. When statistics could be better represented in a pie graph
  3. When there is no accompanying story to an interesting group of statistics
  4. When attention can be captured better through statistics than through reading an article
  5. There is no accompanying story to a group of statistics
  6. There are no actual photographs to a group of statistics
  7. If the information is something that could or should be saved and adhered to by readers, i.e. readers desire to cut out the infographic and post it on their refrigerator or in their office for reference
  8. When reading can be hastened through graphics
  9. When information can be better processed through graphics
  10. When the information from the infographic can translate into a variety of different stories
  11. When the infographic can use images that spur childhood memories
  12. When images are more recognizable than words, i.e. logos, brand fonts, etc.
  13. When there is additional space in the paper

When three or more of the above conditions are met, adhere to this style guide.

A picture is worth 1,000 words

ImageImageBoth of these images capture extreme emotion during fleeting moments of time. The first is of a father of a victim of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack and the second is of an Occupy Los Angeles protester who was arrested by police officers. Alone, both of these pictures are able to tell immense stories that cannot be conveyed in the same manner by words alone.

I’d like to thank the Academy…



An Oscar spotlight I particularly enjoyed was one done by the LA TImes. The newspaper’s website featured images of the Best Picture award winners from the show’s inception to the 2012 show. This montage was a unique means of both highlighting one of the most anticipated awards of the event and providing an informative look at the history of the winners. Because the timeline is told through photos, readers are more inclined to continue clicking through the tabs all the way to the last image. Innovative and entertaining! See more here:

The Gestalt Principle: Similarity and Closure


Black and white and read all over


A splash of…gray?


Typography..saving minds from danger


I chose this image because it effectively sends a message that education is more powerful than any weapon. It is an attention grabber because of its shape as a gun and particularly engages the reader because of the smaller font size used for the word “education.” This message is a discrete means of encouraging education while discouraging gun use. While not stated, it is a distinct reason why the typographer chose to use a gun rather than some other weapon. This image could run either as a standalone ad or in accordance with a story on education and gun statistics. 

Gone Phishing.

How many times have you checked our Facebook accounts and seen that a friend had either A) commented on a status with “Omg have you seen this video posted about you? It’s hilarious! or B) received a message from a friend about how they have “made thousands of dollars working from their home computer and you can too?”

It has certainly happened more than once to me. Phishing and spamming are everyday encounters for the frequent Internet and social media user. From herbal enhancements to new feline cancer treatments, spam messages filter their way into our accounts and onto our browsing screens.

Now, imagine a world where the websites you frequent most such as Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn could eliminate phishing.

An article called, “Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Bank of America team to whip out phishing,” published online by Computer World on Jan. 30 states some of our favorite companies are working to get rid of those emails, messages, and hacked statuses we so frequently encounter.

What makes this headline eye-catching? This story stands out among the conglomeration of Internet news because it begins with sites heavily frequented, which initially draw us in. It is succinct, intriguing, and especially relevant to Internet news browsers who inevitably become phishing targets. Further, it succeeds in drawing in its target audience: Internet users by offering adequate information and encouraging further reading.

Let’s just hope the information contained in the article actually comes into fruition and saves us, and our friends, from Internet phishing.