I consider myself to be relatively skilled at Photoshop and the other various software components we’ve been using. However, using it on such a regular basis and to such an extent has created some problems for me. Especially with Dreamweaver. HTML has always confused me and while I can successfully create code, it takes me a painfully long time. I would love to have more insight into CSS and HTML and all of those crazy acronyms that I really can’t stand.

website success.

April 18, 2010

What makes a website successful?

In my book, it’s not necessarily one element, but a combination of things. Easy navigation, clear instructions, colors that pop but aren’t abrasive. Creating a website is a delicate balance between a designer’s aesthetic, a customer’s needs, and the audience’s desires. In my opinion, websites that are really personal are always successful. Not in the sense that people’s ideas and opinions are all over the website, but the design choices, fonts, and colors give you a real connection to the person who created it.

5? yeah.

February 20, 2010

I visit The Washington Post’s website almost every day. And I love it. It’s easy to navigate, easy to search, easy to understand and comprehend.

My only issue is that it’s not very personalized. So many websites let you create a username and then create an individualized website of sorts that contains the articles or types of articles you personally enjoy.

I would love that. I love the current news of the Washington Post. I enjoy the politics section as well, and the art and living section. I wish I could select something that would, once I log in, make the homepage a bit more personalized for me so I wasn’t constantly wading through articles I will never read. While it’s important to be aware of everything going on in a newspaper, it is also detrimental to have so much information. Many people don’t want to spend their time scrolling through business articles just to get to the restaurant reviews.

Something to think about: letting your audience members personalize their news experience.

On issues of color/color blindness.

I’ve mentioned before that I am not a fan of bright colors on webpages. It goes past personal aesthetics. Take for example, perezhilton.com. Horrible website. Hilarious, but horribly designed. When looking at it on my laptop, it’s fine. The pink is a bit hard on the eyes, but nothing a 19-year-old, web generation kid can’t handle.

Looking at it on a monitor though is, frankly, quite grating. I can’t imagine what people with more sensitive eyes than me see when they look at his webpage. There’s a fine line between choosing a signature color and overloading your audience with it.

To fix it, I would tone down the header (currently a hot pink), and try to reduce the number of ads on the page. While I realize these are his sponsors, I’m sure there’s a way to display them so that there is not such a conflict of color and design all down the page.

On the Broken Window Theory…

I’m a fashion kind of girl. I look at the forums and read about the magazine editors and salivate over New York Fashion Week. And trust me, there are A LOT of forums. They all have really great information on topics that I’m extremely interested in, however, all the broken links turns me off to the entire website.

The upkeep of a website, especially a forum-style website, is difficult. There are a lot of links to outside sources and almost too many pictures to keep track of. But as a member of their target audience, I get extremely irritated when pictures are no longer available (so you get that weird little box that says it’s unavailable) and broken links that lead me nowhere.

This shapes a website because it shows that the administrators of said website aren’t maintaining what they created. It doesn’t allow people to actually enjoy the website, and it causes many people to turn away from it.

Blog Dos

February 8, 2010

I feel like websites are under constant pressure to be flashy in order to get the attention of their audience. If I could eliminate something that I see often in website design, it would be the constant use of bright colors and HUGE, LOUD, OVER THE TOP HEADLINES AND TITLES.

A little subtlety never hurt anyone.

I think it’s important to understand the value of good design and a good color scheme. When creating my own websites or blogs, I tend to go with varying levels of gray and black, along with an eye-catching header or something of the like. While people don’t have identical ideas when it comes to designing a website, it’s imperative to not overload your target audience with images and colors and distractions.

I want options and links, but I’d prefer they were in one location instead of all over the page accompanied by images and graphics. People know what they want and what they’re looking for. Why not give it to them in a clean and inviting manner?

For example, today I visited People.com and Perezhilton.com. Talk about graphic/visual/color overload. Both websites use bright colors (people – blue/pink, perez – varying shades of pink) and both have images all over the page. Sidebars are filled, as are main columns. These two websites could benefit from a design tone down.

Blog 1

January 25, 2010

I love designing. I love to draw and plot and create lines and columns and ideas out of nothing. In writing, graphics are a top priority. I would say they are equal to, if not more important than, the writing itself. Graphics draw the audience in, and in this day and age, graphics translates to design, which translates to the world wide web.

I have one issue.

I don’t know how to create a website. I can edit basic HTML, and from my years as editor of my high school newspaper, I’m relatively fluent in the strange language that is Photoshop and InDesign. Creating a website or a design from scratch on a computer scares me out of my mind. I doodle designs and ideas for pages all day long. My notebooks are filled with thoughts that would look great on a computer screen. I don’t know how to get them there.

The most important skill for me to learn in regards to this class is understanding the process that is creating web pages without pre-designed templates that only need editing in order to personalize it. I want to be able to put my writing and drawing to good use through web authoring and design. It’s imperative to understand web authoring in the field I’m going into. My heart is that of a writer, but I would be lying if I said I just wanted to write in a spiral notebook all day. I want to create pages and ideas that contain my personality, my doodles, and my words. I want to be able to represent everything I put my name on, and learning how to design and author web pages is an integral part of that.