Thursday, 13 January 2011

Screen Based Communication 2 Evaluation

For this Unit I was expected to design and create my own website on Dreamweaver.
I had used this programme before, but on a very basic level and learning from tutorials on the internet. I found that being taught from scratch in our sessions gave me much more confidence in building my web page.

My aim was to make an online portfolio that reflected me and my work as much as possible and that above all had an easy navigational system. In my opinion, it’s not worth having an over complicated website if people can’t find their way around it. Keeping it simple was the way of thinking that led me through all my design process.

Initially I had thought of branding myself with a font that I had created, but I soon realized that I wasn’t going in the right direction. I carefully analysed my personality and work and started developing designs from there. I came to the conclusion that I wanted to design a website that was structured and organized, whilst looking creative and professional at the same time.
Even though I like using quite a lot of white space in my work, I decided to get away from the common white background and design a layout that is simple, but in a more creative way.

My layout is centred as a strip in the middle of the page so there is still quite a lot of white space around it. The content is organized between two columns, which not only balances it out visually but also keeps the information nicely organized.
One problem I came across with this layout is that on a very small screen resolution, the bottom white part gets cut off so the layout appears to only have white space on the top, which wasn’t my intention. I changed the height from the top of the page to percentage rather than pixels and although it improved the situation, it didn’t completely solve it. 
The branding is on the top left and the three buttons (about, portfolio and contact) are directly to the right. 

The navigational flow chart was harder to plan than I had initially imagined and took quite a lot of thought and consideration.
The homepage works as the portfolio, where my work is neatly presented. In my opinion this is the first thing people look for on designers websites, so I wanted to make sure it wasn’t too many clicks away. I experimented with several layouts before finding one that I thought worked well.

The portfolio consists of eight thumbnails, which contain different projects. When clicking on one of these, a title appears, making it easier to make a choice. These thumbnails lead to a separate page, which contain five thumbnails related to a specific project. 

The ‘about’ section has got a very small introduction about me and explains which areas I prefer. There is also a link which enables people to see my Curriculum Vitae. I‘ve put a photo of me drawing on the right side as I think it
The ‘contact’ section is also quite simple. Initially I was going to put my contact details on there, but I think a contact form is both safer and more professional.

I found working with Dreamweaver quite challenging in the beginning, but I soon managed to work my way around HTML. Initially I had intended to use ‘Lightbox’ for the image slideshows, but I decided to use a more simple way that is only HTML based. 

I am happy with the outcome of this project and feel that I achieved my aim. I think the layout reflects my work and me as a designer and also looks consistent and professional. From the beginning my intention was to make a simple but sophisticated layout that would show my work off at its best.

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