Resume Reflections

no. 1

Writing for print vs. writing for the web are definitely two very different processes, however I would argue that the difference is not really overt. My observation in this course has predominantly been that the creative/content producing side of the writing itself remains the same going from print to web. The content or voice of the copy is inherently the same, as it's being carried out by the same author, however the markup portion of the process is where the two modes differ greatest. Markup is a step that is unneeded in creating offline content, making the process as simple as textualizing focused thought for the purpose of the piece. When writing for the web however, the additional factor of correct markup is arguably of the same level of importance as the content creating itself, and it is completely different in nature from the print writing process. Where traditionally writing is creative and grants a lot of freedom, markup is entirely linear and process oriented. This additional element necessarily segments web writing into two distinct processes as opposed to one; requiring first creative thought in terms of writing copy, style choices, and planning, soon to be followed by straight up memory with regard to tags and options, as well as extreme attention to detail and organization. Because of this, I personally approach web writing differently, and carry out the processes separately. As I said previously, the two require very dissimilar types of thought, and I find it best for myself to only approach the markup once I am happy with the content and planned layout. From there on out the process becomes only to correctly code the content, which is deceptively simple, but by no means easy. That being said, the additional knowhow needed to properly display a page makes the process all the more rewarding. Though there is something special about holding your own written pages in your hand, the power behind being able to craft an effective and attractive webpage, in my opinion, makes all of the extra effort worthwhile.

no. 2

To be completely honest, I am pretty pleased with my project, as well as my progress in the course so far. Before we really got into any of the class content or assignments, I was pretty terrified actually. I have had the unique experience of being a part of a family that had no technology in our house hardly at all, and then suddenly made a very big jump to the 21st century. We didn't even have tv's and then suddenly, in about a year long binge, my parents decided to get televisions, blu ray players, a desktop, game consoles, laptops, you name it. This was very strange as a 12 year old, and ever since I've felt like it only makes sense that technologically, I would be less advanced than my peers. Even after my household decided to modernize, about the only function I needed to perform was typing in my Apple password to access iTunes etc. The fact that coding has been coming to me with relative ease is nothing short of a miracle in my eyes. I would consider myself pretty far from a techy person, and at the start I was genuinely intimidated. In that light, I think my progress has been pretty good! I feel comfortable with basically everything we've covered so far with regard to both html and css, and in fact I've found it very enjoyable. Writing has always been a big area of appreciation for me, and coupling that with the ability to publicly display my work with styles completely of my choosing has made WDD an opportunity I am very grateful for. The professional statement as well as the aesthetic choices, and their implementation through css are what I believe to be my biggest successes with this project. The professional statement was another thing I really stressed over, however when I sat down and put thought into it, everything I needed to say was pretty evident to me. It felt good to try and express those values and aspirations, as I don't often reflect on myself with that kind of specificity. In terms of design, I feel that both my color palette and font pairings are cohesive, and work well together. I am pretty confident as well that my page aesthetic is fitting to me and what I am trying to express, to my best ability. In terms of comfort level, I'd put myself at around an 8/10. There's still plenty of work to do, but honestly I can say I'm looking forward to it.

Professional Site Reflections

no. 1

Throughout the course I tried to pay particular attention to the design principle readings, as I quickly found them to be very candid and intuitive. The sections were very digestible and I feel like I genuinely took something concrete away from each and every one of them. They were undoubtedly a huge influence for me when creating my initial design persona, which encapsulated my font choices, color palette, and intended personality. My number one priority for each of those design elements without exception was to remain true to myself in the philosophy. My goal was to create a site that had the same vibe and personality that I do, and in that I feel I was pretty successful.

The readings on color theory were particularly valuable to me as my color scheme was highly dependent on personal preference which is a slippery slope. I matched colors that I liked in what I feel is an appealing combination, but perhaps more importantly I made sure that the shades and hues were all in accordance with web standards for visibility. Beyond this I established a hierarchy of logical uses and prioritization for each color in my palette. This benefited me greatly as I didn't have to waste any time at all correcting or adjusting once my styles were live; what I was left with instead was an easily readable page that employed my color selections exactly as planned.

Typography was another matter of importance to me when designing my site, as font choice plays a big role in the appearance of a page and contributes largely to personality. I wanted to preserve a personal touch as well as informality in my design, but without compromising professionality and a clean look. Accordingly I selected two body fonts that were clean and straightforward, a serif for sub-heads, and a sans for copy. They both read very easily and complement each other in their considerable visual contrast. As an accent and navigation font I selected a script option with a more than passing resemblance to my own handwriting, and decided to color it the most vivid hue in my palette to make it pop wherever it appears on the page. This adds a very personal and artistic flare, and enough visual intrigue to keep every page interesting.

Because of these considerations, as well as the adaptable scaling for three common screen sizes resulting from the use of media queries on each page, I feel that my design checks out as both emotional and responsive. It appears similarly and cleanly over multiple browsers and devices which is a genuine relief. Looking back on my initial sketches for each page, I realize I was overly ambitious to say the least. My sketches were far more aspirational than practical, but that said my pages perform their functions to the letter and look pretty good doing it, which is more than I could have asked for given my level of proficiency with coding. Looking forward, if I was to make any changes to my design, hopefully it would be with java. I think my current layout is pretty well organized, but certainly would have a lot to gain from even more style control, as well as the addition of custom animation.

no. 2

Between the resume project up to the end of the professional site I feel that my progress made was pretty substantial. All along I have felt fairly confident coding, based primarily on the fact that it is so process driven and detail oriented. As long as you take the time to make sure everything is entered correctly, you shouldn't run into to many issues. That being said, fluency is where I really noticed the learning that had occured. The physical act of coding the resume, while straightforward as ever, required me to do a lot of quick scans of the text for tags to use, as well as frequent and brief google searches (particularly css related) to implement codes properly. By contrast, I had a far easier time coding the professional site, despite it being four times the pages. My level of comfort with the tags, selectors, and rules was apparent in that I hardly needed to look up anything at all, making the process far smoother and more enjoyable.

As it stands I am pretty happy with my site. Among my biggest successes I would definitely count my execution of my design plan as flushed out in my persona. I stayed true to the styles that I laid out for myself, and overall I think it looks very nice. I also feel successful in my selection of diverse but achievable layouts. My pages all display effectively at different screen widths, and though there isn't anything too flashy in the page organization, I feel strongly that it is the best that I could reasonably do, and it functions well to say the least. As I had mentioned before, there are many affordances of java that would really be capable of spicing up my page, ignoring the fact that that isn't very achievable given the time constraints and my level of knowledge. That being said, if anywhere down the line I happen to pick up the ability to use any languages other than html and css, I would certainly experiment with them in terms of adding page animations, as well as player customization for my audio files. The latter was actually something I considered trying to add to my site for this project, however upon even a modicum of searching I found that to be way over my head in terms of technical ability.

As surprising as this realization was for me in particular, at this point I feel really comfortable with my abilities to code and write for the web. This is a wide swing from my feeling at the beginning of the course. I felt legitimately underprepared in terms of my capacity for tech use at the beginning of the class, but this mentality proved misplaced time and time again this semester. I really never struggled to understand what was being asked of me, or for that matter how to actually do it. The straightforward nature of coding appealed to me right away, and that factor has fortunately stuck through with me until the end. Having completed the professional site assignment, I have never felt more confident in my ability to markup and code, or more knowledgeable when it comes to html and css. In sum, not only has this course given me great foundational knowledge and skills to create webpages, but it genuinely has opened up a new potential direction for me which is huge. I feel that's all that really needs to be said in the end.