As I look back from my first finished website project to this one I notice only about two things stayed the same: the colors. I was persistent to keep the colors the same because they match my blog’s theme and I liked the way they worked together. Blue is a very common color to use on websites because it goes with everything, is easy to see, and emits positive feelings. It is also common to see it on social media websites (think Facebook and Twitter) and with my work with social media I thought that worked well.

This is the final design of the front page from my first website project:

original-website-design-front-page

 

This is what my final project’s homepage looks like:

final-website-design-homepage

 

They are both noticeably different. For the first one I have my writer’s statement with a link to my resume on the first page. The thing you notice the most is a picture of myself. On my final design I have re-written my about page to focus more on my work and less on me and I have also  created a whole page for my resume without having to link it from the front page. I removed the picture of myself and installed a slideshow with screenshots of my work. The thing you notice the most is my the slideshow showing my articles — this is exactly what people should be focused on.

Another thing that is absent with the first design is the navigation bar. There was no navigation bar and the only separate page was my resume. The front page was everything. There were links for other things such as my blog and resume but it was a bit messy and hard to access. The final design features a navigation bar with custom CSS and pages for About, Writing Samples, Resume, My Blog, and A Contact page. I have also installed a Twitter widget on every page rather than linking it so that it will be easier for people to find my website and my tweets will be displayed and hopefully further encourage people to follow me on Twitter. People like to see what others tweet about and get a feel for them before they choose to follow them on most occasions.

I think I’m still a bit anxious when it comes to coding, but I’ve definitely come a long way. I was constantly afraid of breaking things or messing things up before and my anxiety towards math blocked me from grasping the concept of grid-based coding. I have since overcome a bit of my fears. Grid-based design is frustrating and complicated, but once you learn it it is not all that bad. I have also learned how to use comments in coding. This took me awhile to understand, but once I figured it out it proved to be useful in helping me to remember what different pieces of codes were. For example, I had many </div> tags in my codes and sometimes it got confusing to remember what exactly it was coding. With comments I could write exactly what they were doing. In addition, If I wanted to test something to see how it looked before deciding to drastically and permanently change it, I could just comment out the original code. This would keep the codes, but block them from showing up. I did this when I was figuring out how to use the slideshow. I blocked out the codes for the feature articles in containers I originally was using. Once I had my slideshow set and decided on using that I deleted the comments to clean up the codes a bit, but prior to that moment commenting them out proved to be immensely helpful.

If I had more time or skills I think I would’ve liked to explore the idea of using a carousel. I think the slideshow served me well, but I’d like to examine how a carousel would’ve been different and seen first hand which option was better. I liked how our class was focused extensively on hand-coding. Everyone I talk to outside of class about it finds it interesting because so few people can do it. However, I do wish we could’ve done just a little bit with dreamweaver or another program. I think it would have been neat to hand-code everything for several weeks and towards the end be exposed to dreamweaver so we could fully understand the differences and what makes hand-coding more unique or personal. I know about dreamweaver from tech friends that use it and I know a lot of companies use it but having no experience with it myself I don’t really know what it does or just why hand-coding is better except for what our textbooks say about it. It would be cool to experience the best of both worlds, but I agree that learning to do it by hand first is more important and beneficial for us.

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