As I begin reflecting on my final project I come to realize that this is unlike any other project I have completed thus far in my academic career. When first learning about emotional design I had no idea that it could be applied to a website, but now after reading and exploring different sites I have come to learn that emotional design is a huge part of a site. The first thing I wanted to establish in my site was my color scheme. After reading about the psychological impact colors can have on people I realized this was a big decision for my site. I decided to go with a mainly white and navy blue color scheme. I wanted a clean look for my site and I figured a white background would establish that clean pure look. I chose the navy because blue is my favorite color and I thought it contrasted nicely. The blue throughout the site is an easy color on the eyes and not too distracting. Altogether, I think that my font choice, ‘Lora’ serif, and my color scheme create a simple yet effective design layout. Before doing some research I had no idea that the font you choose for your site is so crucial. After testing out several different fonts I came to love ‘Lora’ due to its simplistic and timeless look. During all these decisions, my audience was my first concern. How my site would appeal and appease them.
In terms of responsive design for this project I put a lot of focus on the three different media queries we had discussed all semester. I made sure that I accurately calculated the different widths, boarders, and measurements to best display my content, images, and videos. This time around I learned how using “containers” is great help, and effective in the long run. By using the containers and creating a max width it made adjusting the different media queries quite simple. In class, we discussed the importance of title tags and alt tags. These different tags are used to strengthen the accessibility on your site. I added these tags to links and images so that the visually impaired and a person with a disability.
My designs changed from my initial sketches in a couple of ways. One the main changes was my logo that I designed. At first, I had a navy anchor with my initials on either side and that was going to be the only images on the page. After some consultation I realized that my intial logo did not tell my audience anything about me or what my site was about. I still wanted my logo to be simple so instead I designed a logo that said my first and last name in a fun design. I kept this navy too. Now my audience knows who I am and gets a better understanding for my site. My sketches for my different layouts also changed. In the beginning, I had more boxes and less white space. Throughout the second half of the semester I realized how important white space is. I played around with my different sketches to ensure that I still had all the content I needed, but my site was not cluttered. The math portion of these sketches proved to be a little difficult for me, so my numbers and calculations changed frequently throughout the process. Below I attached screenshots of my original logo and some intial sketches.
When thinking about what I would like to add to my site to help make it more emotional and responsive, the first thing that comes to mind is a more inviting home page. I have a vision of this clean, organized, elegant, and simplistic site but I want to design a way that still emphasizes who I am as a person. I want my homepage to show case my personality and set the tone for the rest of the site. I can make these responsive by appropriately coding images or links to the front page.
When I look at my progress from the first project to the second one I do see progress in certain areas. For example, in project one the coding for the different media queries took me twice as long and were not as accurate. For the second project, I had no anxiety when it came to coding the different screens and the different measurements ended up working well. I think this is because I learned the importance of containers and applied those to my code early on. Like I said in my first reflection, had I had more time I would have worked on my home page a little more. I would have researched different codes to apply to home page. I wanted to make my home page more responsive and more of a statement to who I am as a person.
If I am being honest at the start of this second project I felt as if I was back to square one in terms of coding. I do not know if this is because of the three week break we took or if I just wasn’t wrapping my head around the idea of this project. I was slow to start designing my website, but I kicked it into high gear the last month of classes. I began to get back into the groove, and take an interest in what my site looked like. As I finish this project I feel the most confident I ever have in my coding. I was coding different things for the first time and they were displaying nicely on my site. For example, I was linking images, embedding videos, adding logos, and attaching PDF’s. When things were not going right I was able to spot the error on brackets a lot quicker than on my first project. I had a better eye when it came to coding for the different screen sizes and the math came a bit more naturally for me. Overall, since this project was more creative than the last I was able to use my imagination more and code more freely. I think that aspect made this experience a lot more enjoyable for me.
My advice for future classes would be to ask a lot of questions and play around with your code in your free time. I did both of these things and it took me a long way. If I did not ask questions I would have zero clue what direction to go in. Coding in my free time helped me because I did not feel like I was up against a dead line, and that way if I was confused about something I could come into class the next day with questions. Another suggestion would be to not compare yourself to other people in the class. Everyone learns code at a different pace and everyone’s strengths and weaknesses are in different areas. Set your own goals and go at your own speed. Lastly, have an open mind when it comes to web design. If you go into this class thinking that it’s impossible and boring then you’re only hurting yourself. Be open to learning this new language and think of it in a way that you’re challenging yourself and stepping outside your comfort zone.