Monday, March 30, 2009

Journal 43: Jeeesh

Well, Blue took hella longer than predicted (surprised by this? Not I at this point...). I just finished...twas a great experience...I picked up a couple tricks that should prove useful in the final battle (there's that poetry leaking all over the place again)...One of the things I wanted to do was to have scroll bars for the two divs that would have info...and as you can see in the sidebars of Blue, there is just that. the only problem is going to be figuring out the heights that I need...I think I want to make the page all above the fold and have separate scrollbars on the data (info) divs.

Just as a note...I am listening to Take Me Alive by Chris Cornell...trippy stuff for a guy at 1:26am on a caffeine crash...seriously.

I am a little dissapointed...I had to scrap my plan of having flanking menus with a fluid center...I got pissed the hell off frustrated and just resorted to absolute'll be interesting to see what happens when I'm not on a huge ass screen (the ones in the lib are the new Cinematic Screen Macs that are bigger than my TV in my dorm). I also wanted to put in a javascript that would make all the images in the sidebars scramble when the page reloaded...Whatever man...I'm getting what sleep I can since I have to go to work in 7 hours...fml


Journal 42: And he's off

So with much adieu and all that other stuff...I am officially putting my design to code tonite...I will shortly be writing the first bits of code of perhaps the rest of my life...well, I guess that's a little too much. I am also working on another site as a little warm's devoted to the color blue...well instead of just goin on about it, why not just look?

Will update as I go...peace fo now fool

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Journal 41: 3 Columns

I promise I haven't forgotten about my flow chart for users of GHBC but I have something I need to bitch complain about that is extremely frustrating to me...multi-column CSS.

For the last week and a half, my progress in this field has been increasingly frustrating and stagnant. I just can't get the damn thing to work right. I really don't want to resort to absolute positioning because I know deep down in my geeky, web heart that it's just not good practice. It feels like a cop-out. I know there should be some way to do it...but it's just not.


I FIGURED IT OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
zomgwtfbbq I am soooooo pumped right now. Byahhhhhhhhhhhhh

Monday, March 23, 2009

Journal 37-40: This seems really familiar

So now that I have my sobfest out of the way, I can write a good entry that actually has some meaning to it...hooray.

1) In the reading, "Design Decisions vs. Audience Considerations," Ragle - Davis states that, "If you know who your target audience is, you can tailor your site’s look and feel, content, and action areas to appeal to your audience and draw them in. If you know what your site visitors want, you can use that information to mutual benefit." She then proceeds to walk through an example of a site for a political candidate by illustrating her knowledge of who the audience is and what they want. How would you answer this for your final project site?

Well, my audience base is actually very wide. However, it is a unique little niche...seeing as I am designing for a Church, there is a certain look and feel that is expected by visitors...and a lot of the time, they have no precise definition of that idea. I do know that as a church site, it is important that the site makes one feel at home and comfortable...and a lot of the regular users are going to be people that don't have the best web skill-set,* so when I make my design, I want it to be very transparent (I am meaning easy to use and navigate here) and not a whole lot of navigation and as much pertinent information on the index.

2) How would you chart out your audience as Ragle - Davis did?

We're going to save this for another entry...let's just say current and prospective church members for the time being.

3) How would you categorize your content based on audience (as the Ragle - Davis example had action items and regular content)?

I have already made a Photoshop prototype of the site (see below somewhere)...I have service times, directions and contact information as a static box on the left which never changes no matter what page the user is on. This=good for potential members and anyone else that needs to contact the church. I will also be using a vertical nav bar with dropdown menus for church functions and more in-depth information about the church and the pastor.

4) In looking over the other readings for today, what suggestions did Verba, Rester, and Boulton provide you with that might assist you with your work on Module 4 and, potentially, your final site?

In the article about brainstorming by Boulton, I got some really good tips on getting feedback from the powers at be (currently PC) on how to proceed. I am hoping this summer after we get the first edition of the site up that we can sit down and take a look at what we want to do...and this article really provided some good insight on how to gather these ideas.

5) The readings for today all dealt with various aspects, including design implications, of usability and accessibility. How do you see yourself addressing these within your final project site?

I already answered this question in a previous post, but in short, I plan on keeping images to a minimum because many users will have dial-up and I am also planning on making 2 different page sizes to cater to users with smaller screen sizes.

6) Now that we are two-thirds of the way done with the semester (time is FLYING by) what are your thoughts on the definition and role of web authors? Are they the same as coders, or "code monkeys"? Why or why not? Is your definition of web authors the same as your initial thoughts when you signed up for or started this class? Why or why not? Use evidence not just from this week's readings, but from previous readings we have had in the course including Zeldman.

My definition has never changed...we are the people that make being on the web enjoyable and useful. I see my role as a facilitator. I am not, and will never be a 'code monkey' because that assumes that the person is just regurgitating what they are given...the monkey see monkey do principal. I will fight to my last breath to change that image about web designers.

*that's a gross lady at my church that was interested in contributing pictures to the gallery absolutely refuses to keep digital copies of her photos...and does not and will not learn to use a flash drive...oh the horror

Journal 30-6: Epic Fail

Hello world!! I am the biggest procrastinator at Michigan State it seems. I have managed to avoid any semblance of work until 5:30 am on a Monday morning. And now I have to write for a half hour on what I have done that is digital in nature.

One major update on my site project...I have been gathering pictures for the gallery and now have 2 albums, 2 envelopes filled with pictures and approx 8 cd's of pictures about WTBJ with possibly more on the way...wonderful...this simply means that I have about 5 hours of tedious, mind-numbing photo-filtering looming in my future. fml

fun Chuck Norris fact: Chuck Norris once kicked a horse in the chin. Its descendants are known today as Giraffes.

I was also relieved to see that our CSS project is not due until next Friday...this week was going to suck so much balls I didn't even want to think about it...I have a test in about 7 hours followed by another test and a hefty amount of homework due on Wednesday. Not that I'm in the clear at all for this class...I have to generate 2 layouts for an in-class exorcise (guitars...), find a house for the summer so I don't have to live out of my car and bathe in the Red Cedar when I am working for the State News this summer, possibly find another job to pay for said house and car and booze, schedule summer courses, find time to get my(fat ass)self to the gym, clean my room, get a haircut, do laundry and on top of it all, I've got to get some sleep...

But in all truthfulness, I may complain, but I love what I am doing and accomplishing in this class. What with learning how to make 3 column layouts and color schemes.

State News update: It's awesome! I have learned sooooo much there already it's ridiculous. I actually have this sense of good and bad layout now! I also know how to use Adobe Illustrator. And on Friday, I was introduced to the magic of alpha channels and non-destructive editing!

Another Chuck Norris factoid: There is endless debate about the existence of the human soul. Well it does exist, and Chuck Norris finds it delicious.

With that note, I am going to bed and wishing Sunday was indeed today and not wasted on yesterday...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Journal 28-9: Review

Yeah, so I didn't do anything whatsoever over spring break academic or otherwise. That includes writing in my favorite online journal...yeesh. Well, really I can't say that I had a spring break seeing as Monday, I was gifted with a nice foot of snow...and it just went downhill from there.

So, where we stand on the whole website...I talked with PC and we are rolling ahead with my original design...maybe a change in font seeing as I think Helvetica looks too clean in comparison to the rest of the site and PC thinks whatever I think is just dandy. I am still waiting on content for the site so I'm going to have to move ahead with filler text...ugh.

I got a bunch of pics from the congregation so I can start looking through those and making a photo gallery. That should be terrible and I will want to die fun...

In other news, I am currently down 17 journals...go me. This week is going to be terrible and I will want to die great fun.

I still can't figure out what exactly I'm going to do about the 2 columns...I think iFrames would make it easier for my dad to do maintain the site if I don't have the time...but just having fixed columns would be soooo nice.

You know, I don't think I like having a spring break*...I really don't see the point in taking a week-long break where profs feel no remorse in giving a weeks worth of homework and sending the students on their merry ways. I certainly didn't do anything, and I was sitting on my ass at home...what makes anyone think that the people that actually went somewhere did anything more? And now I have a shitton of things to do to get back into the swing of things including unpack, do homework and start piecing my schedule for the summer and next year together. Why can't we just get done a week early and call it good?

*I will most likely be eating my words once I actually go somewhere over break rather than twiddle my thumbs on my couch surrounded by snow

Monday, March 02, 2009

Journal 27: It's like coffee-energizing

I got my first test of JavaScript this weekend. I went online and found some code for JS alerts. I set several alerts to show up when the page loads up and seeing as my site had several videos, I made it so that when you mouse over one of them to pause it (they autostart too), it gives you an alert and you have to go thru a painful process of trying to pause the movies and acknowledge the alerts at the same time. I've also been looking thru stuff on W3C schools learning the minor stuff on JS like conditional writing and stuff like that...more when I can actually explain it