Competitive Analysis

3 05 2011

Criteria for analysis

Since the website I designed for COMM 3533 is a game art portfolio website, each website I will be analyzing must contain the following items:

  • It must be a portfolio;
  • It should be targeting potential employers or creative professionals;
  • The site should be public, contain a résumé, and display artistic works;
  • It must be search-engine friendly, and reflect a designer’s creativity or ingenuity.

Competitors

Robert Moreno's Site

Robert Moreno's Game Art Porfolio

  • URL: http://www.latinmessiah.com/index.html
  • Audience: Mr. Moreno is obviously hoping to attract potential employers.  This site matches perfectly the genre and target audience criterion.  The potential employers are in the video game industry, and are of some influence in the hiring process (e.g. managers or lead artists).  Prospectors could also be Human Resources departments, hiring agencies, and even artists looking for a way to break out in the industry themselves.
Public: 4.0
Contains Résumé: 3.0
Search-Engine Friendly: 4.0
Creative: 2.0
  • Analysis: Obviously, I chose one of the first search results from Google (search term: “game art portfolio”).  Mr. Moreno gets a 4.0 from me because his was the very first result listed.  Clearly he knows quite a bit about SEO (or at least his site is often linked from other sites).  His website also contains a résumé, which potential employers will find useful.  A game artist-hopeful, like me, also finds this useful, as it details the skills necessary for the industry.  However, the reason I only gave it a 3.0 is because the résumé lacks any sort of creativity.  It’s formatted as if it’s been pasted from a paper résumé.  The website also doesn’t contain any flash animation for essential content, making it very search-engine friendly–hence the 4.0.  Finally, creativity got a solid 2.0, and I was being generous.  Given that this is the portfolio website of a technical artist with many impressive game titles under his belt, I would have expected much more from his personal website.  This website has nothing ingenious or creative about it.  Not to mention, his website address is very unprofessional.  I hate to be so harsh, but if I were an employer, sifting through the portfolios of candidates, I wouldn’t have even gone past the first page before clicking through to the next candidate.

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Matthew Martin Game Art Portfolio

  • URL: http://www.gurumatt.com/index.html
  • Audience: Mr. Martin is hoping to attract the attention of potential employers, or people of influence in the hiring process.  He has his portfolio and résumé available for viewing, which indicates that this is a portfolio website.
Public: 3.5
Contains Résumé: 2.0
Search-Engine Friendly: 4.0
Creative: 2.5
  • Analysis: For public exposure, since this was also on the top-10 first results for the search term: “game art portfolio,” I gave this a 3.5.  Mr. Martin got a 3.5 simply because he was the 5th portfolio on the website (1st – 4th spots receive 4.0, 5th-10th receive 3.5, and so on).  Concerning his résumé, I think it was poorly executed, which is the reason for the 2.0.  First, he had it under the “Contact” tab, instead of having it as a completely separate tab.  Second, instead of having his résumé on an actual page, he attached it as a document–and a Word document at that.  He is a technical artist, meaning that he knows more about computers than the average person.  This means he is also aware that Word documents are not always compatible.  If he doesn’t care to take the time to code his résumé, at the very least he should have put it in a universal format (e.g. a PDF).  The point of a portfolio website is to make everything as easy and as quick as possible to access, so potential employers don’t have to take any extra steps.  With that said, Mr. Martin’s site is very search engine friendly.  He has designed it in such a way that the site contains no essential content in tables or flash, and his source code contains the proper meta-tags to help search engines index his site.  No doubt that this is the reason it is in the top-10.  For this, Mr. Martin receives a 4.0.  Regarding creativity; I scored Mr. Martin very low for a specific reason: there’s nothing there.  In his efforts to keep the website simple, he oversimplified.  The “3D Work” section contains some of his works, but these should have been brandished in some sort of gallery, rather than sections of links.

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Christopher Powell Game Art Porfolio

  • Audience: Christopher Powell is using this impressive website as a means of showing off his knowledge and skill.  This is clearly aimed at potential clients and employers.  I feel like I’m beating a dead horse with audience description, but for the sake of clarity: the audience has experience in the game industry, and is likely in a position of influence in the hiring process.  The audience will be in the art-side of the game industry, so they’ll be very aware of the terminology used on Mr. Powell’s website.
Public: 3.5
Contains Résumé: 4.0
Search-Engine Friendly: 1.0
Creative: 4.0
  • Analysis: Again, this website was in the top-10 search results, so for that he receives a 3.5 (number 10).  He meets the mark as far as potential exposure.  He did an amazing job at providing his résumé in an easy-to-read format, and didn’t just link to a paper copy of it.  He provides all necessary information, including the who, the when, and the what–all vital to a successful résumé.  He also provides references from past clients.  For all this, Mr. Powell receives a 4.0.  The one major problem (a large problem) I have with his website is that the entire website is one big Flash movie.  This is VERY BAD for search engines.  They cannot legally index a Flash movie (since it would require decompiling).  The only reason Mr. Powell didn’t receive a ‘0.0’ for search-engine friendliness is because his portfolio is in the top-10; and the only reason it’s in the top-10 is because he added proper meta-tags to his source code (e.g. keywords and description).  Last, the website is incredibly creative.  I see in his credentials that he has experience in Flash development–it definitely shows.  Potential employers will take note of his creativity in displaying his artistic works.  The only issue I have with the creative portion is that, given his experience with and extensive use of Flash, he should have displayed his 3D models in a navigable fashion–that is, you should be able to orbit the models, zoom in on the models, etc.  This isn’t essential, but would have given him even more of an impressive stance.  Creativity receives a 4.0 from me.
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