In the beginning of the semester when we first discussed emotional design, I knew that would be my strong suit rather than the actual composition of the website. You can be the most talented coder in the world, but if you do not have an understanding of emotional design, your site will not appeal to users. My goal in terms of emotional design was to make my website reflect me as a person, and I believe I achieved that. In my class notes, I wrote that we should think of our websites as people, and we should think, if they were a person, how would we describe them. My website is sophisticated and serious yet personable and not too stiff, which is how I present myself in a professional setting. The content and copy I included reflects that as do the images and design. I included a logo that my friend designed for me, and I believe that is a good first image for users to see, as it presents my name and personality though its simple design. I've designed my website to reflect myself as well as to subtly imitate the design of a newspaper, as I am primarily interested in journalism. I set out to show users that this is journalism-centric without copying the New York Times or Washington Post website outright.
In terms of responsive design, I enjoyed comparing the different layouts that are produced for mobile, tablet, and computer-sized devices. My content changes where it needs to for each screen size, for example, in font-size and floating of my portfolio page. I always get annoyed when a site is difficult to access on a mobile phone, so I am happy to have been able to design a website that I myself would want to visit.
The only areas my design ideas changed were within my homepage and portfolio. I love how my homepage turned out thanks to the code we were given. The friends I showed it to were impressed by it, because it looks cool and professional. I did not have much of an idea of how I wanted my homepage to look, so this was certainly a good change. The vision for my portfolio was for it to be rows of photos that linked out to my stories.
I changed this idea so I can provide a description of the work I'm presenting. I realize that it is definitely necessary to provide context for people viewing these stories, but I wish I could have still kept the layout I wanted. If I had more time and skill, I would have coded it so when the user hovers over the photo, they're given a description before being directed to the actual link, or I would have created a separate HTML page for each story that included the description. The issue there would be that I wanted to direct people to The Hawk website, and I wouldn't be doing that if the story was on an HTML page. That is the only change I would make to my website if I could. Other than that, my website is responsive and conveys exactly what I want it to, which is me.
Looking at my progress throughout the course via my story of learning makes me proud of myself, as I can see how much I improved from coding my first index page to my resume to now, where I have a five page website that is responsive and accessible. My favorite page on the site is my homepage, because I think that photo of me represents a time in which I was my best self (when I was abroad). I've been having a rough semester being back, and seeing that photo of myself each time I open my site reminds me of how great life can be. It sounds corny, but it's true. I love my navigation bar and my name over the photo, and I think it is a very professional looking homepage. I wish that not everyone's website looked the same way, but I also would not have been able to do that myself if we had not learned how to do it in class. I like my about page, because it's simple. I know that no one wants to read my whole biography as much as I'd love to put it out there. Again, the photo displayed was taken in Ireland and looking at the photo makes me happy. I also love the placement and design of my logo, because I had trouble with placing it at first. Finally finding where everything fits best is a great feeling. My portfolio page turned out well, which is good because it was the page I was most focused on. I feel that it is successful in describing the importance of each article I included, and I like that users can click on the photo and be linked straight to the The Hawk website. As I was writing this reflection, I realized that I should indicate that users can click the photos to be linked to the stories, or else they will not know to do that. As I mentioned in my first reflection, I wish I could have had a layout that featured only photos, but I know that presents problems in terms of understanding what the purpose of each piece included is. Also, I did not take a lot of the photos, and it would be making it seem as though I did. Overall, I'm proud of how it came out, because it proudly displays the articles I've worked so hard on.
I am fairly comfortable with coding, though when it comes to troubleshooting, I tend to be unsure of what to do next. Finding coding solutions on the internet is harder than I would have thought, so I find I've had to direct each problem I've had to Bill. He's been helpful, but I wish I could have figured out certain issues myself. I've been tasked with re-designing The Hawk's website over the summer as the publication's Digital Managing Editor, which I'm excited about, because this course has taught me how to design a website aesthetically as well as technically. I am very confident in my ability to lay out how the website should look, and I think I will be able to bring this vision to life through code, especially since it is being done through Wordpress and I have experience in coding my own site from scratch, which is considered more difficult. While I'm glad we learned to code from scratch, I wish we could've explored Wordpress a little bit. I know how to use it mostly, but I hope I don't have too much trouble figuring out how to build a website using it. My goal is to possibly win an award with this site, so I'm pushing myself to be successful.