There is no standardized definition of Social Communication online but as far as my understanding, Social Communication is about talking to the people around you no matter who they are or what they do. However, there are natural barriers in terms of Social Communication in many aspects. They are physical barriers, psychological barriers and linguistic barriers, etc. (Michael K. Swan, 2009). Moreover, with the development of Internet Technology some people are getting more and more independent and isolated since they can see the whole world by just simply viewing news pages on a tiny laptop. “It has been suggested that shy and socially isolated individuals communicate more on the Internet because it provides some protection from social anxiety.” (Sarah A. Birnie, 2006) Thus, to some extent, letting people become familiar with each other via Internet is no longer an easy task.
At first stage our group was only focusing on the technologies used on Responsive Web Design since the term RWD was originally brought out by Ethan Marcotte for more convenient use of web pages when displaying on different devices. (Ethan Marcotte, 2011) However his intention was all about removing a wall between laptop and mobile when users view a website on them. The navigation panel may appear differently according to the size of the browser, which can be recognized as the size of the device as well. The video shows on the website may shows at a different position when viewing this page on another device. Users are typing in a same URL but the whole pages shows differently on assorted devices.
In order to dig something new from RWD and challenge the original intention when inventing this term, after our team’s brain storm a creative idea came out. Other than showing the whole page on various devices which is a way that traditional RWD would do, we focused on one aspect which is media-query to build our website. Moreover, we designed a game related to our site for people to play. Our responsive web consists of six different parts of puzzles and each puzzle could only be showed on one specific device such as iphone, ipad or mac, etc. People who play this game need to guess what device she/he may need to find the puzzle and answer it. However, if we do it this way, there would be a problem for people to find devices since there are so many kinds of devices and it is impossible for one person to hold them all. So teamwork is all needed. “Teamwork is the coming together of an alliance or group of minds to collaborate, co-operatively work on a project, solve problems, negotiate, resolve conflict etc.” (Lovemyaj, 2008) Just like we do this project by six people of different races, colors and we are from four countries in the world. Teamwork is essential to us and besides teamwork, nothing can be more important than communication. “One key element to successful teamwork is communication and communication is what bridges teams together”. (Lovemyaj, 2008) Due to media-query, we are able to control the display of every puzzle by defining which puzzle could appear under a certain resolution and other puzzles would display none. If they open our website on a device that is not on our design list, they would see hints for them to try other devices. Our big prize goes to the person or team who find all the puzzles and answer them correctly.
On the day we presented our project, teachers came and some of our friends came as well. They formed teams by themselves and competed with each other. As far as I know, two of my friends formed a team but they didn’t know each other before that day. Even though their team didn’t win the big prize, they got to know each other through playing this game. To find the right device for displaying the puzzles, they cooperated with each other and communicated in order to exchange thoughts together. One of them is my classmate and the other is from Sound Design. Although we attend courses in the same building and even have a same course this semester the two lovely guys don’t know each other. I am satisfied to see one of my friends becomes friend of another friend of mine through this project. The friend from Sound Design is talented in Music and instruments while the other is an excellent guy who is capable of writing any codes and a man of creativeness. There is a high possibility that these two people work together in other area to create something new and exciting since they are friends now. No one can deny the potential power of social communication resulted from our project. There is another way to expand the value of social communication from our project according to Prof. Martin’s suggestion. We could present this project in a way that people gather here with the purpose of finding a date. Moreover, this game could be brought as a game for icebreaking at the beginning of each academic year.
There is another aspect I would like to mention here about the communication between website and people. It would be a disaster when a puzzle is explained in a vague way. When designing my puzzle I made a mistake that I forgot to put “”diagonal“ after “horizontal” and “vertical” for people to guess how many words there are in total. This critical mistake had made people entered wrong answers.
So, the importance of communication both among people who play our games and between website and people who viewing it cannot be more obvious. “Only with communication will the project beneficiaries become the principal actors to make development programmes successful.” (Jacques Diouf, 2000) It is a big breakthrough for us to change the traditional routine of designing a responsive web and challenge media-query to make our presentation to be a way of enhancing the social communication among people.
Michael K. Swan. (2009). Barriers to Communication. FACTSHEET.
Sarah A. Birnie. (2006). Psychological Predictors of Internet Social Communication. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. 7 (1), 0.
Ethan Marcotte (2011). RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN. New York: Jeffrey Zeldman. 1,74, 128.
Jacques Diouf. (2000). COMMUNICATION a key to human development.Available: www.fao.org/docrep/t1815e/t1815e01.htm. Last accessed 24th Apr 2013.
Lovemyaj. (2008). How Does Communication Affect Teamwork.Available: www.studymode.com/essays/Does-Communication-Affect-Teamwork-160300.html. Last accessed 24th Apr 2013.