Following on with the “30 Day Song Challenge” with a “song from your favorite band”. I abosolutely love Florence & The Machine and am desperate to see them live. Their album “Lungs” is pretty amazing. I love to sing along to this record and try my hardest to convince myself that I can sing as well as Florence. I really can’t. This song is one of my favourites from the album.

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Just noticed I forgot skipped Song 9, so here it is: a “song that you can dance to”. I’ll use ‘dance’ in the loosest sense possible here, because quite frankly, I dance like an old man. This is probably more a song I like to dance to on a night out rather than one I can actually dance to.

Song ten from the “30 Day Song Challenge”, a “song that makes you fall asleep and feel relaxed”. I don’t often fall asleep listening to music because I usually end up with my headphones wrapped around my neck! However, I do sometimes make an exception for Mumford & Sons album ‘Sigh No More’ because it is absolutely stunning record. This album is also one of my driving CDs, which considering the fact that it helps me “fall asleep” is probably not a good idea. This is one of my favourite songs from the album.

Following on with the “30 Day Song Challenge“, with “a song that you know all the words to”. I’m not very good at learning the words to songs. I have over a thousand songs on my iPod, but I’m not sure how many of those I actually know ALL the words to. In spite of this, there are some songs from my childhood which I can recall from memory. Unfortunately, this is one of them.

I know I’m not the only one who knows all the words to this. I’m pretty sure all 90s kids have a mixture of S Club 7, Steps and the Spice Girls ingrained in their memory!

Carrying on with the “30 Day Song Challenge” with songs 6 and 7. I’ve found these two the hardest to answer so far!

Song 6: “a song that reminds you of somewhere”. I’m sure there are many other more appropriate songs that I could answer thiss with, but I can’t think of any right now. So, Lostprophets “Rooftops” reminds me of Reading Festival 2007. It was quite a warm weekend, they were one of the best bands I saw that weekend and really got the crowd going. When I hear that song, it really takes me back to that weekend.

Song 7: “a song that reminds you of a certain event”. This is quite a random song, I’m pretty sure it was a one hit wonder. This song reminds me of Summer 2008 and an old friend I’ve since fallen out with. Although I’m going to point out here that the song lyrics have nothing to do with me and my friend! The event that I’m reminded of specifically is travelling to Hitchen Festival, squashed in the back of my friends car with her, her sister and her sister’s friend, singing along to this song, even though her parents were in the car and didn’t find it as funny as we did. A lot has changed since this ‘certain event’ but I still have good memories of this day. The song is “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked” by Ida Maria

Songs 4 and 5 from the 30 Day Song Challenge.

Song 4: “a song that makes you sad”. I don’t think there’s many songs that make me sad to be honest, or have some kind of emotional reaction in that way. Saying that, Adele’s song “Someone like you” gave me chills the first time I heard it on the Brits 2011.

Song 5: “a song that reminds you of someone”. This song reminds me of my old housemate, getting ready for nights out and a certain downstairs room in Lava. It’s not really my cup of tea, but it brings back good memories of being at university and I think that’s all that matters.

This probably isn’t going to work as a “30 Day Challenge” maybe as a “when I remember” challenge. So, songs 2 and 3.

Song 2 – “Your least favourite song”. Sorry Justin Bieber, maybe if I was a few years younger I’d understand the hype. Alas I’m confused as to why people like you.

Song 3- “A song that makes you happy”. Currently, is this song by The Strokes. The Strokes had dissapeared from my awareness for the last couple of years. I heard this song when it had its first airplay in the UK on the Zane Lowe show a couple of months ago and fell in love with it on the first listen. It just has such a happy melody to it.

Or, “procrastination is my enemy” or “I don’t fancy spamming my friends on Facebook with my questionable taste in music”. Pinching the title (and content) from this Facebook page, I’m going to try and follow this challenge for the next 30 days (which considering my dissertation is due in on the 28th is unlikely, but still). So, song number 1 my “favourite song”:

The Libertines “Don’t Look Back into The Sun”, which is one of the best songs ever written. FACT.

Girls Aloud are one of the biggest selling girl bands of the 21st Century with pop classics such as Love Machine. But it is the stylish fashionista’s themselves that have been in the spotlight recently as the band continues its hiatus.

Cheryl Cole has repeatedly won accolades as being one of the best dressed women in the country. But I have to disagree. I believe that her band-mate, Nicola Roberts is seriously under looked in the best dressed department.

Moving on from the fake tan and slightly trashy clothes days, over the past couple of years Nicola has adopted a classy and modern look that I’d love to steal! Nicola manages to effortlessly wear new trends without looking as if she’s tried too hard. Below are some examples of her wearing some of 2010’s trends.

Not many people can carry off the long socks look without looking like an over-grown school girl, but Nicola still manages to look cool by wearing hers with a pretty dress and a leather jacket.

Double denim is another tricky look to pull off. So far I’ve still been too afraid to try it, but Nicola here shows how it should be done. By wearing two different coloured denim, she has avoided the cowboy look and dark denim is always flattering on legs. In addition to this, I’d love to steal her shoes!

Finally, the cropped jacket. Perfect for those English summer days when it is too hot for a proper coat and too cold to go without a jacket. Definiately the next item on my summer clothes list.

So who do you think is best dressed?

It is important for a website to be easy to navigate in order for users who have the whole internet at their finger-tips to stay interested and not go elsewhere. I have analysed the Times Online, website of the Times newspaper in order to discover its usability.

Searchability

Using the key words “The Times” I visited the search engines; Google, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves and Bing to test the searchability of the website. The Times Online website was the top result in all four. This shows the popularity of the website and makes finding the website easy for people who are interested in the newspaper. In addition to being the top result, on the results page there are also smaller links under the main heading allowing the user to go to different sections of the website without having to visit the main page, making searching for articles easier.

Usability

From exploring the usability of the Times Online website it can be seen that it is technically stable. I was unable to find any broken links or pages that no longer existed. This is good for a website that has been running many years. The items uploaded fully, however at times pages were a bit slow to load. This was especially noticeable when looking at the archive pages on the website and may be because the content has been scanned onto the website from the original newspaper from before the internet was available.

Design

The website design is simple and uses a clear font type, which helps make the website easy to read despite the amount of information that is available on one page. The website sticks to a monochrome colour scheme with additions of blue for story headlines, and green for the permalink headline on the page. Sticking to a few main colours, results in the website, which contains a lot of information being easier to read. There are also a few advertisements on the right hand side of the page, which could be distracting to some users.    

Navigation

There are ten main links on the navigation bar, with the most important links at the right hand side, such as news and links of lesser important such as Arts at the left hand side of the bar. When a link is chosen the bar underneath it changes so that more relevant links are shown to the user. This again makes navigation and finding relevant information easier.  Also, when a different link is chosen, the home page of the website also changes and links to relevant stories. On top of this, underneath the navigation bar there is a separate bar that states whereabouts in the website that the user is and again allows the user to navigate back to the home page.

User Interactivity/User Generated content

Times Online users are encouraged to interact online using comment boxes that are underneath every story. However, users must first sign up to the website in order to do so and this may put off some users from sharing their opinions.

Users also have the opportunity to bookmark and share the article that they have just read, for example to their Facebook or Twitter page. Users can also easily print or email the article. This is important for the Times Online as it means that more people will be able to read the articles once they have been shared, which could result in more traffic for the website.

The website could benefit by adding more user generated content to the website. For example adding the option of local news, where people can upload news that has happened in their town or search to see what is going on if they are out of town. The BBC website has a good example of this. By using this tool, Times Online would gain more users who want to find everything in one place without having to browse the internet for more information.

Conclusions

Overall the website is easy to use, with no apparent broken links or dead pages. Information is seperated into easy chunks and the page does not seem overloaded with information, despite the amount there is available to read. The search bar also makes finding articles easier. The website could improve by adding more user generated content mentioned above in order to keep traffic at the website.