Blog 11 – January 2017

The semester has come to a close, and I have created a nicer, more professional looking website through www.1and1.com! The web host has some good promotional rates, and I’ll see how it goes. I don’t know if I will actually take on any clients though, haha.

I’ve been on here for a few weeks, and I’ve gotten about three spam phone calls a day ever since, so it’s legit with my personal information.

Slowly but surely, I’ll have to begin posting my photos and video. I don’t have much video at this point, but I might be able to work on it. The positive side is I’m getting my name out there, and I’m using principals of good web design to make the web page more attractive.

Check out my website!!!

1and1

– James –

Lab 10 – Web Design

The blog for this week is open topic.

My group is starting to get to work on our final project, but as is with all my classes, it is a very slow start.

We were thinking about changing the website into a form of parody, but that was us just joking around. Regardless, we decided not to do a website on goodwill. We decided to change to building a website for the Graphic Design club on campus.

The graphic design club will be mostly a dummy website, and feature work from a couple of our group members. We are gradually putting it together.

My personal project probably has more pages to it right now, but not by much. I’m looking to build a photography website, and perhaps publish it, but the hardest part of that is finding the right web hosting service to use!

My personal website will need a Home page, and will basically work like a portfolio website.

  • Home.
  • About.
  • Contact.
  • Photography.
  • Video Production.
  • Graphic Design.
  • News Feed

Should I have as few pages as possible? I’m always worried it won’t come out as nice looking as my wordpress blog does. Or the web hosting service will cost too much or not work out well once I finally decide to get it up.

james-website

– James –

Lab 9 – Projects

We are approaching the end of the course, and that means looking at the final projects.

The first project is the final group project, where we must generate a website for a client group that we make up.

The second project is the personal project, where we must individually come up with a personal website that fits one of our interests.

– James –

Lab 8 – The Internet Is Boxes

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This week find 5 web pages that contain layout features that you like and may consider using in your projects. Discuss what specifically makes them useful/pleasing and include images.

Webpage 1

flickr

Flickr supports very high quality images. The website has a very appealing layout with images displayed in a way that is not cluttered. You can navigate a page, find images, and download them if it allows you to or get in contact with the person.

Webpage 2

ifl-science

IFL Science is a little more cluttered, but it supports a good layout for news articles, with other popular stories lined along the front and the top. There are links to share and connect with others as well. Despite the ads, everything you could be looking for is clear and easy to find.

Webpage 3

yahoo

Yahoo News is another good one. Yahoo links to several websites, and the mail, news, finance, sports options are all displayed along the left hand side. There is a catchy main article in the top middle, and every other article is along there as well.

Webpage 4

funnyordie

Funny or Die is all video articles, but the menu selection is displayed along the top, and each video comes with a catchy caption. There is only a little bit of clutter.

Webpage 5

bbcnews

The BBC is similar for news, there is a top menu and then the news articles are all displayed in a layout.

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– James –

Lab 6 – Fonts

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For this week’s blog post, write about fonting.

Find any fonts you find interesting and discuss their strengths, weaknesses, how they may be effective or ineffective.

Fonts can be a very strong design tool so discuss how we can use them effectively.

There is a font type called Papyrus, which a number of people seem to enjoy using. There are both positive and negative reviews. Some groups love writing in Papyrus, but it seems to have its own context for good use which gets misused. It has been noted that Papyrus has been used in subtitles and posters for the movie Avatar, along with logos for different businesses, but it’s actually said to be a poor font choice. “As with Comic Sans, avoid this typeface if you want to be taken seriously. Unlike other reviled typefaces, though, Papyrus isn’t bad because it is overused: it’s bad because it just doesn’t look good. Kitschy, cheap and vile, Papyrus has no place in your designs.”

I personally have always used Times New Roman font for my writing because it’s a standard for what my professors want on assignments, but there are many more choices out there. Times New Roman looks neat, and it’s easy to read. I enjoy using it with a 12 point font, but some of my professors don’t want us using 12 point with Times New Roman because it’s too standard or the text takes up too much of the page.

Dear professor, the war of 1812 was fought in 1812 and took the lives of many soldiers.

Just imagine writing a full paragraph like that.

Helvetica is said to be the best font out there. It’s a swiss made, realist design. The letter height makes it easier to read in small sizes and at a distance. Tight spacing between letters. Oblique rather than italic style. I actually see few downsides to it. It’s easy to see at 12 point font. In terms of a downside, some designers are said not to like it because it is too mainstream, and they prefer to experiment.

Further Reading – FontSpace

– James –

Mid-Semester Break – Open Topic

This week we have mid-semester break and the blog post is open topic.

Technology Changes With Each Generation

Why do the elderly seem to struggle with technology?

One thing I hope to look at is how each generation struggles with the technology of both the next generation and the previous generation.

As modern people look at ancient stone structures, they tend to blame aliens because they are confused on how the technology can be built so sophisticatedly, they fail to see how things might have been done differently.

With the rise of new computers and smart phones, the older generations struggle to learn how to use the new technology.

Part of usability is we are trying to design websites and products that can be used easily by people who are not as literate in technology, but this is a difficult process.

– James –  

Lab 5 – Web Interaction

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The blog this week is about interaction.

Using a website is not just a consumption task any longer. There are ways of submitting info, playing games, or generally enhancing the user experience past *click*, drag mouse, read some stuff…

Find a site that you feel has a unique interaction that improves the experience and discuss what you find. It is not uncommon for interactive elements to be distracting, so take that into effect.

Take a look at: ideama, fairphone

More importantly, it’s midterms week and this blog is purely voluntary unless it can be used to replace a blog I miss throughout the semester.

If you take a look at the ideama website, its very colorful and pretty, yet some of the icons are strange. It can almost be hard to discern the available logos to the links to other pages. There is a lot of movement as the icons re-arrange themselves across the page. The page itself is written in some sort of strange language that I barely understand, and maybe that creates a sort of bias as a user. I clicked on a tab for “The Works” and it shows all the different options such as Packaging, Advertising, Social and Web marketing, which is neat in a sense. Overall ideama has some great qualities to it even though it feels like it’s too busy of a website.

– James –

Lab 4 – Images

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In this week’s blog post find 6 images from any Creative Commons sources that you find inspirational and could see yourself using in a website.

Post these images in your blog with the url where you found them, and describe how they are inspirational in reference to a website you could make.

Image by Boris Laporte

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  • This image could be good for a website about travel, because the color scheme is very bright and beautiful. There is a visual pathway that leads the audience down the hill to the street and the person on the motor cycle.

Image by Stillbild

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  • This image shows the bay and the factories, and it could be good for advertising the town or city, or it could be good as just a background piece as you see the water and the skyline.

Image by Matt Gibson

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  • This image shows a good visual hierarchy in terms of distance as the bikers are coming towards the camera, and that would be a great association with an athletic competition, or with the purchase of bicycles.

Image by Matt Gibson

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  • This image reminds me of something i’d see in someones blog post, it has a welcoming feel to it, with the magazine and the pen and paper, the books.

Image by Diana Rendina

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  • This image looks like something used for a school webpage, as the woman looks like a teacher with a positive and caring attitude, and the space around her is covered with creativity.

Image by Diana Rendina

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  • This image looks good for either a blog or a webpage about a coffee shop, as it has a visual appeal between the coffee and food element, along with a relaxing atmosphere.

– James –

Lab 3 – Website Analysis

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The blog topic for this week about analysis.

Find a website that you like that has been around for at least 5 years and undergone at least one redesign and analyze the changes.

Are they good or bad, what motivations do you think were in play, would you have made different decisions?

Use the internet archive Wayback Machine.

I decided to take a look into the history behind facebook. I found out that the url used to belong to a website called AboutFace which is owned by Atlantic Media. AboutFace was the worlds first electronic directory, with a very basic setup of htaboutfaceml and a few ads.

We are the premier producer of electronic facebooks (online “names and faces” directories) for the business and academic communities.”

By 2004, the website was greatly updated to include a layout that would appeal to both schools and businesses, along with the addition of a header image and color coated text.

By 2006, facebook had been bought up by Mark Zuckerberg and changed into a website available to children at school, where they could keep in contact with their friends.

By 2008, the facebook website became available to all people and began to incorporate groups such as Microsoft for advertising,  “On July 20, 2008, Facebook introduced “Facebook Beta”, a significant redesign of its user interface on selected networks. The Mini-Feed and Wall were consolidated, profiles were separated into tabbed sections, and an effort was made to create a “cleaner” look. After initially giving users a choice to switch, Facebook began migrating all users to the new version starting in September 2008. On December 11, 2008, it was announced that Facebook was testing a simpler signup process.”

Facebook has continually looked to make improvements every few years, with the addition of different services, and here is where the public opinion comes in.

  • Facebook operated with it’s users having a news feed to view their friends stories and a page called a “wall” to post their own things, and when facebook did a re-design to introduce the timeline as the profile, users did not immediately find the changes to be useful.
  • Facebook consolidated it’s chat window for people sending messages to make it more user friendly and keep every ones messages in one location, and eventually it required people to download the separate messenger app for mobile devices.
  • Many of it’s users have left facebook in response to concerns over privacy, as the targeted ads, hackers, and policy changes have become a burden.
  •  Users have also left facebook in terms of media addiction, as they feel the constant activity takes up too much of their time.

Overall facebook has become somewhat of a web giant, it has taken over the internet. Users go there to follow their friends and family, they keep up with the latest news and information, and you can even send people money. The changes are a good thing because they have made facebook more user friendly and connected people all over the world. The downside to this is that facebook puts too much information out there for people to see, and there is a huge profit motive to that.

– James – 

Lab 2 – Open Topic!

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This week the blog topic is open, meaning that you may write a post about anything that pertains to web design and our class.

This may be ideas of what you might want to create, websites that have features or design ideas that you like, or just some musings about web design.

Anything you like. There is no word count or assigned length just be thorough. Start your idea and explore it thoroughly.

For this week I was looking at one of my emails from Quora on a topic called the dark web. It went into how there are parts of the internet which are hard to access.

“”Deep web” is distinct from “dark web.” The “dark web” is the encrypted network that exists between Tor servers and their clients, whereas the “deep web” is simply the content of databases and other web services that for one reason or another cannot be indexed by conventional search engines.”
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While I myself have never ventured into such a zone, I find the idea to be pretty cool! So the search engines can’t document or access certain websites, and part of this is because the servers run off a hidden IP address. The only way to gain access to such encryption is through the use of a Tor browser or an I2P browser.

“Infamous examples of Dark Web sites include the Silk Road and its offspring. The Silk Road was (and maybe still is) a website for the buying and selling of recreational drugs. But there are legitimate uses for the Dark Web. People operating within closed, totalitarian societies can use the Dark Web to communicate with the outside world. And given recent revelations about US – and UK government snooping on web use, you may feel it is sensible to take your communication on to the Dark Web.”

The dark web can be a very dangerous open space to be, because the websites you find are often operating off illegal activities and your computer can be hacked and scammed through such means. On the other side of it, people in places like North Korea, China, and all over the world are using the dark web as a safe form of communication with the outside world – so it still serves a good and noble purpose for society.

– James –