Monday, February 4, 2013

Pick-a-little, fix-a-little

Today, little criticisms and suggested tweaks:

• For the first time in a while, the photo rotator module in the top left corner of home page was empty this morning. Because it's the page's principal visual element, that should never happen. Fix: Have a photo or story scheduled for that spot in the event breaking news is not available.
 • Has anyone else noticed that the round Orion logos turn into stop signs on Facebook? Not a signal (however subconscious) you want to send to readers. Fix: Resize the logo and resubmit it.
• Using the original newspaper page art for the opinion icons on home page is a good idea until you don't have any art. In that case, the icons are boring gray squares with titles. Fix: Use the columnists' faces instead (and don't forget to tag those faces with the writer's names so Web surfers can find them).
• The sound quality and audio levels in the webscast are getting better, but they're still too variable. Fix: The Final Cut Pro user's manual suggests setting a common peak value for all clips; iMovie has an even easier process available through the clip editing function.
• Ambient sound was a problem in today's webcast during the interview with the Chico Animal Services manager. The sound of a car engine starting and running ruins the actuality. Fix: Be conscious of unnecessary background sounds when you record and re-interview when necessary. Natural ambient sound at low levels is fine, by the way, but distracting noises aren't.

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