Website Critique and Reflection

In The Beginning…

As if anyone didn’t already know, my professor for my publishing for the web class; Prof. Olin Bjork requested that all students create a website. Considering the fact that I had no prior experience whatsoever, I think it is safe to say that I have progressed. Not that I can now build whatever I want, but I now have the basic groundwork. I can work with HTML & CSS. This is a HUGE feat. I am thankful to Allah that I took this class. It has thought me so much.

WEBSITE PROPOSAL

In my first proposal, I posited that I was going to make a website that would track how words are created and disseminated.  It was supposed to be able to enable people to be able to create words, track its movement  online and by word of mouth. Every member on the website would have had to catalogue their words and put up a definition and at least two examples of its uses. My professor proposed that it was too huge a project. I concurred. He gave me suggestions which I approved. This new website would discuss  strategies to assist people in tracking words, discussing how new words become popular and make it into dictionaries, and introduce good sources on etymology can be beneficiary to the English language. To some extent it has fulfilled that role but it needs extensive work regarding the one example I gave. I was going to add a wiki for people to add in words. This idea did not come into fruition because I was unable to find a free wiki that would enable members to total over at the very least 6 members. In the end, i decided to change my idea and have  a reference page rather than a wiki page.

WEB DESIGN

Web design is hard. First you have to learn it. Yeah. It was hard to learn, mainly because I didn’t do the exercise in the textbook. I spent countless hours in the library figuring out how to use Dreamweaver. It was grueling work but in the end I learned.  My Original site diagram looked like this.

Site Diagram Below

It was supposed to have a homepage that led to several new windows. The current site has that. It was also supposed to lead to member sign-in pages, a reference page (Link for Dictionary), two tracking systems (How to track words & How new words usually spread), examples, Wiki, FAQ and Profile page. My new website doesn’t have all of this. This is my current homepage.

Current Homepage Below

As you will note, there is a homepage, a tutorial, examples, references, extra, about me and FAQ menu. It is vastly different from my original plan. There is no profile page or member sign-in page, there isn’t a How to track words & How new words usually spread tab. There is however the FAQ and dictionary/reference page. In my current page, there is a About me and extra tab that isn’t present in the site diagram. The wiki was sadly too much for me to handle. I had imagined all these amazing things that didn’t some to fruition either because I didn’t know how to do it or because it was too huge a project for the semester.

TEMPLATE DESIGN

Here lies my template design and my actual website draft…

Site Template Below

Site Template

Site Draft Template Below

The site template has a search box, the website draft doesn’t. The proximity of the vertical navigation tab compared to each other is the same except for the margin on the website draft. They both have a horizontal navigation bar that is more or less the same. The banner is certainly larger for the draft while the template’s is smaller. The template has a promotional sub-banner, the draft doesn’t. There also isn’t a new section in the draft. The footer of the template is not present in the draft. The website draft is austere compared to the rich, full template.

WEBSITE PEER REVIEW

My professor assigned to the class peer review partners. Mine was Justin Mueller. He had quite a bit to say. He recommended that i put titles for my webpages, something I originally forgot to do as I copied my Index page in order to duplicate and edit webpages. I gratefully took his advice. Since I had initially wanted a wiki and did not not in fact get one, he proposed that I change the name of the ‘Wiki’ tab to references since I only had references there. My initial banner did not have a clear pictorial element and he mentioned that which made me add one. My horizontal navigation tab was not delineated from the banner because they were the same color, he advised me to change it and I did. He also advised that i have links supporting my examples page, I did and he didn’t catch that (Ha!){lol}. He also felt that my contact and about me pages were small and that my FAQ was redundant. Although i already felt these things, it was particularly painful to hear it from him. At the end of the day, I changed things around and he was right {I did not admit that!}.

WEBSITE RUBRIC

As a teacher, my professor of course had to grade my work. He had a rubric. The criterion included Correctness, Content, Design, Deliverables and Specifications ( Page number, Audio/Video component, HTML, CSS, Markups, Title/Headings, Banner, Navigation, Links, Text are and Image area). He has asked me to grade myself. I mean what better way to catch a mistake than to make my feel-guilty, don’t lie persona grade my self (And they say teachers don’t catch things!). With my correctness, I think I had correct grammar and proofread my work diligently. I would give myself a 9 1/2 out of 10. The .5 being for a margin of error. As to the content, I will give myself a 9 (Ok. 8.5 :() out of ten. I din’t give enough exploration into my topic, something i hope to correct when he gives us revisions at the end of the semester. I will give myself a 10 out of 10 for the design. I love the improvement i made. The banner is beautiful and the fonts and navigation tabs compliment it.  As for the deliverables, i think i did 10 out of 10 also. I attached a style sheet, my markup is validated (I think), I have two videos and several links to other sources. Last i checked, all my links work. So awesome on the specifications too! I definitely need to improve on my content though… Definitely.

Website Design Mistakes

Undoubtedly, i must have made some of the mistakes I discussed in my last website about the top ten webdesign mistakes. Fist thing that pops to mind is not having a search box. Oops. Now people can’t search my site :(. My font was specified using CSS. I hope people know how to Ctrl +. I shall have to fix that as soon as i can.

The End

So yeah, it was a roller-coaster ride  
I can now safely say that I am better at web mark-up and design than when I started this project. I have learnt my limitations and I am better for it. Hopefully when that revision comes, I will be ready.

Now…The End 

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