Self-Reflection: Option 2

In this report, I will be reflecting on the creation of my ‘Domain of One’s Own’ website by exploring the academic, technical and practical aspects, challenges faced, future developments and the skills I have attained through creating this site.

In the first stages of setting up my DooO website, I found installing the WordPress application to be technically challenging however I overcame this by using YouTube tutorials to help guide me into successfully setting up my domain. After installing the application, I was able to easily explore the site’s dashboard since the programme was displayed in a simplistic format, making it easy to navigate. One of the key set-up processes included creating blog posts; despite being a typically informal piece of fiction writing, I structured my posts into more academic pieces by using Standard English, paragraphs and appropriate punctuation rather than commonly expected internet slang. To ensure the posts were academic, I included references from reliable sources in my blog posts and all images were extracted from royalty free websites such as; ultimately enhancing my research skills to ensure that I was using appropriate sources and that my information was accurate.

During the customisation stages of the site, I frequently referred to development questions provided by tutors as well as a published piece by ShortieDesign that explored the ‘Top 10 Principles of Effective Web Design’ (ShortieDesign: 2014) to ensure I was creating a site that was user-friendly. My aim was to produce a reflection of my personality on a professional platform that would “cater to the needs of the user” (ShortieDesign: 2014) by being visually appealing to viewers and easy to navigate.
I initially decided to continue using the default themes however I felt other themes offered a variety of features that could help improve the appearance of my site in comparison. After browsing the available themes I decided to use AnnaLite since it had interesting features whilst still being simplistic. I wanted my site to be easy to navigate and by selecting my chosen theme I was able to keep the menu bar at the top of the screen and organise the layout of my blog posts. One of the key technical challenges I faced using my chosen theme was the set-up of the slideshow on the landing page. I overcame this challenge by using a variety of trial and error methods including exploring the theme’s setting, drag and dropping images onto the site and trying to add media through the customisation tool. Eventually I found each blog post had an assigned featured image that appeared on the slideshow and I was able to customise the slideshow accordingly. Although the difficulty was easily resolved, to quicken the process, in future development tasks I would use a tutorial video as guidance.

To guarantee that I met the criteria explored on ShortieDesigns site and the development questions I ran a focus group where I asked other university students to explore the website and to comment on any of the design aspects. A common improvement was the choice of colours and images used on the site; I initially used darker colours and photographs with dim lighting but after listening to the feedback from the focus group, I customised the site with brighter pictures and a lighter colour scheme to make the site more visually appealing for viewers. When discussing the site with the focus group, a common response was that the site reflected my personality on a professional level through my choice of images, menu organisation and content layout proving the site to be both user-friendly whilst simultaneously fulfilling its intended purpose.

For future progression of my site, as well as using WordPress I plan to explore other applications such as WebCalendar to add another feature to the site and MyBB to make forum discussions an effective aspect of my site. I would also make more use of, a university resource, to help add more complex features to my site and enhance my IT skills. Another future development I would make would be to include more media such as links to external videos and sites to show an expanding level of research skills as well as making the site look more creative. I explored majority of the features on WordPress but other aspects I would explore in future development stages would be plugins and tools as a way to improve my overall understanding of the application.

In conclusion, I have learnt to create a unique platform in which I am able to professionally present my academic work. The development of my site has introduced me to new software, which improved my IT skills and has encouraged me to enhance my research skills. Although I have curated a successful site, I would like to further explore applications to improve the overall appearance of the site as well as the features included.

List of References (2): (2019) Become a Web Designer [online] available from <> [8th January 2019]

ShortieDesigns (n.d.) Top 10 Principle of Effective Web Design [online] available from <>  [8th January 2019]

Unsplash (n.d.) Unsplash [online] available from <> [8th January 2019]

Digital Discourse Analysis: Option 3

The TV adverts Chanel No.5: ‘The One I Want’ (2014) featuring Gisele Bundchen and Coco Mademoiselle (2011) starring Keira Knightley, promoted two different high end branded, women’s fragrances. In this analysis, I will be using elements of multimodality to compare and contrast the design choices made throughout the construction of these adverts.

Multimodality focuses on how language interacts with “other tools or ‘modes’ of communication” (Jones 2012:29) to convey meaning. Excluding language, other aspects of discourse include “non-verbal communication, images, music and architectural structure” (Jones 2012:28), these modes work alongside language to help convey meaning in a constructed text.
In the adverts, the use of language is limited in comparison to other discourse aspects, at the end of each advert; a male voice over states the name of the brand. In the Coco Mademoiselle advert the female voice over has a French accent to subconsciously reiterate the setting of Paris whilst conveying the idea of female empowerment associated with the fragrance to the audience. In the Chanel No.5 advert there is no voice over restating the name of the fragrance however the standard male voice over saying ‘’ is still used. Although both ads promote female fragrances, the male voice over suggests the brand is luxurious and dominating. The minimal language used, shows the audience that the products are trustworthy and that the brand name alone is reputable enough to ensure the fragrances are sold.

Since the two adverts are forms of visual communication, the “semiotic resources are used to communicate things that may be more difficult to express through language.” (Machin and Mayr 2012:49) A key resource considered when constructing TV adverts is the colour and lighting used in the text due to their varied connotations among audiences. The colours used in the 2011 advert were predominantly variations of beiges and pinks. The direct connotation of the colour beige is typically mundane but despite being used as the overall colour tone throughout the ad, it projects sophistication whilst simultaneously promoting the brand’s luxuriousness. This typical association of ordinary juxtaposes Knightley’s daring behaviour shown through the intimacy between the photographer and herself and riding a motorbike further suggesting the idea of female empowerment and self-preservation of women that can be achieved when using the product. A popular connotation of the colour pink is femininity and is subtly used throughout the advert to subliminally remind the audience’s focus should be on the pink coloured fragrance bottle. The designers chose pink to show that traditional femininity is still empowering for a modern society, reflected through the fragrance.
Unlike the 2011 ad, the 2014 ad used a contrast of different colours and lighting to promote the fragrance as a product for women from all lifestyles. Independence and free-spiritedness are connotations of the colour blue, used when middle-aged model, Bundchen, is surfing and ultimately promoting the free feeling associated with the fragrance. The dimmed bulb lighting effect used in the night scenes has the association of fame and enigma thought to be desirable attributes. The dark night setting when Bundchen drives over the bridge provides an enigma to the audience about her motives suggesting that the use of the fragrance will create a daring and mysterious allusion.
Roland Barthes’ ‘Readerly/Writerly’ theory justifies that readerly texts “hide any element that would open the text to multiple meaning” whilst a writerly text allows readers and audiences to view the text “from an external position of subjectivity.” (University of Waterloo: n.d.) The use of colour and lighting in both ads make them writerly texts helping the audience follow the narrative but also extract their own interpretations regarding the impact of the fragrance on their own lives.

Another key semiotic resource is the effective use of music synonymously to the camera shots. In the 2011 ad, the non-diegetic song is ‘It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World’, ironically used as a juxtaposition to enhance the empowerment Knightley portrays. The lyrics “a man’s world” are sung during the extreme close-up to the photographer’s lens to allude that the male photographer is controlling the situation. The lyrics “won’t mean nothing” are played over the intimate close-up shots of Knightley and the photographer suggesting that a man’s world is incomplete; this interpretation is further supported when the lyrics “without a woman or a girl” play when Knightley leaves the photographer through the window. The lyrical timing of the music and on-screen images suggests that in a patriarchal world, the fragrance allows women to feel more powerful and dominant over a man.
Contrastingly the music in the 2014 ad, ‘You’re the One I Want’ juxtaposes Bundchen’s representation of both a career and family orientated woman. The lyrics  “you better shape up” played when Bundchen focuses on her hobbies and career suggests that she is neglecting her lover whilst prioritising her passions. This is further implied in the shot of Bundchen’s lover with the lyrics “cause I need a man” solidifying the neglect her lover feels, suggesting a feeling of compulsion to fulfil her responsibilities to her husband. On the other hand, an alternative interpretation would suggest that the music choice provides Bundchen with a desire to fulfil her commitments to both her lover and career implying that a powerful woman is not compelled to choose between the different aspects of her life. Both interpretations of the impact the music had in the advert, enhance the fragrance as being targeted to women who have multiple commitments.

In conclusion, the multimodal analysis of the two Chanel adverts shows how the designer’s particular use of semiotic resources, effectively conveys meaning to the audience. Although language is relevant in the construction of adverts, the minimal use of it promoted the brand’s luxuriousness and allowed more focus on colour, lighting, music and camera angles.

List of references (1):

Jones, R.H. (2012) Discourse Analysis. Oxon: Routledge

Luhrmann, B. (2014) Chanel No.5 TV Commercial, ‘The One That I Want’ Featuring Gisele Bundchen. [online] available from <> [30 December 2018]

Machin, D., Mayr, A. (2012) How to do Critical Discourse Analysis: A Multimodal Introduction [online] London: SAGE Publications. available from  <>  [30 December 2018]

Renck, J. (2011) Coco Chanel Mademoiselle TV Commercial Featuring Keira Knightley. [online] available from <> [30 December 2018]

University of Waterloo (n.d.) Roland Barthes: Understanding Text [online] available from <>[30 December 2018]