Here’s the heuristic:
- To what extent does this project convey a clear message?
- Does this project have a substantive, controlling idea?
Form and Content
- Do the project’s structural or formal elements serve the conceptual core in an effective and efficient manner?
- Are the project’s design decisions deliberate, controlled, and defensible?
- Is the project accessible and usable under reasonable circumstances?
- To what extent does it engage the intended audience?
- Does the project successfully and ethically integrate borrowed information?
This Is Scholarship.
Core: This media obviously has a controlling idea: scholarship is valid even if its presented in a digital format, yet there seems to be a stigma against digital scholarship. This idea is clearly expressed in the work.
Form and Content: This project is accessible under reasonable circumstances, it’s structure is effective in presenting the apparent problems of validating digital scholarship, as well as the opportunities that digital scholarship provides to scholars. It seems that there is a deliberate technique being employed here; I am not sure the text slides within the video affects the message of the piece in the way the creator would have liked, but I think pretty much every artistic choice is defensible in this piece.
Audience: Audience engagement is low here. We’re supposed to pick up what these guys are putting down and then say, “Yeah man, that sucks and we should switch it up!” Which, I guess, calls for action, but it doesn’t ask for audience engagement within the media.
Ethical Issues: The site clearly cites all of its referenced works, and in fact is presenting a somewhat ethically fueled argument: It’s wrong to disconnect digital scholarship from “academic” scholarly works.
Overall, according to our heuristic, I’d say this is an effective piece of digital media.
The Steam Living Room
Core: There is a clear idea being presented within the media: “The Steam Universe is Expanding in 2014”. This idea also seems to control and direct the content: the first button shows the new SteamOS, the second shows the new Steam consoles that will run the OS, and the third shows the new Steam controllers used to play the Steam consoles that run the Steam OS. The ideas are linearly presented, but they work to show an overall thought.
Form and Content: Accessibility is no problem here. Regarding the presentation of the media, it seems that the design choices are deliberate, from the button macros on the title page to the infographics on each of the subpages. I would argue that the structural/formal elements of the work serve to present the controlling idea in the most effective way possible.
Audience: The audience is not really asked to engage here. Though they can click through and see all the media presented, user interaction is not a possibility beyond moving between pages. However, Valve also presents the Steam BETA within this media, which is entirely driven by community interaction, so it could be argued that this piece encourages audience engagement in that manner.
Ethical Issues: Regarding ethical issues, I can’t see what sort of issues could arise from this piece of media; there doesn’t appear to be any licensed IP used besides what Valve itself owns.
It seems that this piece, as well, passes our evaluation heuristic.
For both of these pieces, I’d argue that the most important factor in evaluating the work is the focus on Core. If there is a controlling idea that, through Form and Content, is kept as the focus of the piece, then the piece seems fluid in its presentation, and the audience never feels lost or confused about what is being done.