Week two and today after the shared spaces lecture we are given paper and pens. We have to design an shared online space or virtual world with a group. Seem to just make a group out of the people around me and start trying to think of an idea. Silence. Must be something that gains peoples interest. Come up with a fighting game where police and gangsters have to try to outsmart each other. Manage to make some sketches that outline different levels. Things soon become quite complex and trying to define the purpose of the game seems to cloud.


Two weeks later and the group has changed and so has the idea. Following the presentations at the end of the first designing session, our group has taken on a similar theme to one of the other groups. Now we are designing a children’s educational site, with a phocus around language learning and the creation of online classrooms that will hopefully create a kind of international pen pal system. Much more scope with this project.

Manage to identify themes that could do with some expansion and promise to do some research.


Spoke to Bert about the best way to make visuals for mondays presentation and got introduced to Prezi. So much easier than power point and really visually accessible. Now just have to do all the hard work.


Day 1 Sorting out Trotter:

We meet at 10 and start to brainstorm the ideas that have been put forward and try to work out the structure of the site. Very difficult. Having to imagine navigating a site before you have any visuals is very difficult.

By the end of the day we have worked out that freemuim is the right model for our project, that parents and teachers will have their own separate interfaces and roughly how they will all interact (parents and teachers will have only an interface that allows supervision and encouragement through the issuing of tickets).


Day 2: Finance Finance Finance

Time to start learning how to use Prezi properly. Importing You tube videos, pictures and connecting sections with arrows. Also have to remind myself of how to make graphs in Excel. We look at the price list compiled by the group and find that it’s neither competitive or attractive to the customer in that it doesn’t off discount for loyalty. We number crunch and find competitor rates. Thinking that it’s important that we both under cut the competition and continue to get cheaper every month we come up with a sliding scale starting at £3.50.

Subscription Price List:

1 month is £3.50
2 months is £6.85
3 months is £10.05
4 months is £13.10
5months is £16
6 months is 18.75
7 months is £21.35
8 months is £23.80
9 months is £26.10
10 months is £28.25
11 months is £30.25
A year is £32.10

And for the graph that shows decreasing price over 12 months:

Trotter Prices plotted against Club Penguin Prices:


Day 3: Frustration.

We meet on the 3rd floor and continue to put together sections on safety, look and feel and muli-platform. No-one answers facebook messages or comes to find us. No-idea if anyone will even like how we are explaining the project.

Get sent some avatar customisation panels and the Prezi starts to look friendlier with images and original designs. Send everyone a message saying that they can continue to submit things online if they want them included for monday.


Day before presentation:

Prezi is finished and ready to go. Facebook everyone and ask them to take a section and think about what they’ll say against the slides. Only two people reply.


Formative presentation:

Goes really well and manage to take loads of notes from the feedback:

Some questions to help us develop our ideas for trotter:

Do you feel close to others who are online?
How are relationships with other users encouraged by our environment?
Who do you want to feel close to online?
When are your users going to be logging in?
What will this screen look like?

Our users will need to be able to leave things, photos, messages, videos ect. What functions can there be in Trotter that enable this kind of behaviour?

How commercially orientated will your site be?
Are we going to allow advertisements onto the site? If so, in what format?

Will there be a navigation aid that helps those who are really young to manoeuvre in the site?

What keeps people coming back?
Becoming king of the world? The uk?
What kind of hierarchies are there that give a sense of achievement?

Find other sites similar to ours to use as a benchmark for calculating statistics and figures – need more of this for a realistic pitch, not just club penguin.

How are we better than websites that are similar?

What would a typical user journey look like?

How will kids be able to customise the space – could we extend this to modes of transport?

Will there be a backing soundtrack?
Will you be able to switch it off?
What other sound effects will be applied?


Trotter modifications go very quiet over the holidays


Modifications to be made for the Final assessment:

We have a meeting on the first day back from term to decide who will be concentrating on which section of the presentation for the summative assessment. Some extra sections have been added, like introduction and conclusion to add some structure to the presentation. We also agree that everyone should make script like notes for the sections that they are modifying / presenting so that people make their points clearly with as little hesitation or meandering as possible.

• Platforms – Heather
• Look aesthetics – Aaron
• Parental – Ifram
• Market research – Heather
• Navigation – Jack
• Satistics/competitors – Amy
• Finance – Amy
• Safety – Open to anyone
• Social/I.m reader – Alfie
• Introduction – Bert
• Conclusion – Bert


Tasks to clarify my sections:

Add competitors to the analysis – one isn’t enough, there need to be four or five.

How many children use our competitors?
How much money is made?
How can we expand our business?

Add new graphs and modify projected worth of the site. Make these realistic.

Design part of a city or country in photoshop so that water marked images can be removed to avoid breach of copy write.

Time to start working hard again.



Spend half a day searching the internet for popular virtual world for children, adding myself as a free member if possible and playing the games to discover how educational they are / commercially orientated ect. After my investigation i decide that Barbie Girl, Club Penguin, Webkinz and Secret Builders make up a good selection to compare Trotter against.

I want to talk about trotter being an educational tool and set it off against sites which have been made to support or indorse a existing brand like Barbie Girl or Webkinz where access to the site is only gained by making a purchase.

An example of a Ganz toy which comes with a free years membership to the Webkinz Virtual World.


Researching Finance:

Now that i have a greater number of sites to make a comparisons against, i need to identify trends in the competition, which is the most similar and why we are better.

Screen shot of pricing schemes for Secret Builders. To be used as visuals for the comparison section.

Graph showing all of the competitor pricing schemes. Trotter no longer comes in as the cheapest after 12 months, however, i feel confident that the benefits of our site justifies a slightly higher price.


Most similar comparison: Secret Builders

A great example to use because Secret Builders brands itself as a fun educational environment. It has a school environment where users can study maths, art, geography, but it has no particular emphasis on language like trotter. It also has a parent and teacher user interface but they are less complex than the ones we hope to implement.

Example of the student and parent functions:

The school interface:


Updating Financial statistics:

The stats from the last presentation where a little ambitious, however they are valuable as an example of what the market in the uk could be worth. Start searching for stats on Secret Builders. I was hoping to find some numbers to show how many users are free accounts and how many are premium users but these seem unavailable. In fact i can’t find any stats on secret builders at all. However, Club penguin and Barbie Girl are easy to find and show an enormous market for successful virtual worlds, only problem being that they don’t help to make a reasonable prediction of how much money we might make. Add these to the presentation and we are ready for the summative.


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