My CAT274 Journey

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Week 6

I cannot believe how much information I have been learning.  I am so excited about this class.  Yes, lots of reading and lots of work, but its all worth it! 

Some of the links from our reading this week are:

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/breadcrumbs.html

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/familiar-design.html

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/dreamweaver/articles/dwmx_design_tips.html

February 25, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Final Project Proposal

Name of the business, organization, etc., that you would like to work with;

The 2 businesses I am considering are:  Dominant Force Athletic Training for Kids and YNOT Entertainment. 
____

How you are affiliated with the organization;

Both businesses are just getting started, so I currently help them with their graphic design & administrative services for free. 

Dominant Force provides leadership and athletic training for kids from 5 – 18.

YNOT Entertainment provides leadership and music industry training for young and upcoming music artists.
____

How you would gain information, photos, and content for the website;

To gain information, photos, and content for either site, I will have to interview the owner.    Dominant Force has photos; however, will have to take photos or use stock photos for YNOT Entertainment.
____

Anything else that would be of interest;

I am also interested in building my own website called Dream Merchantz.  It is a non-profit organization that teaches others:  how to find their purpose in life, how to believe in their dreams, how to create visions, and  how to put effort in activating their purpose, dreams and visions.  Their only requirement is to pay it forward by teaching someone else.

February 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Week 5

Seems like we just started class.  Week 5 already?  At least time is traveling fast 🙂  I am really enjoying this class.  Lots of reading, but worth it.  I understand so much more than I did when I first began this class.  Of all of the things I have learned, understanding  HTML code would my greatest accomplishment.  I have been helping a friend keep up with the weekly schedule on their church website, but every time I came accross an HTML issue, I ran from it because I just didn’t understand how to manipulate the code.  Well, last Sunday as I updated the info, I faced the code head on and was successful!

This week’s reading from “The Principles of Beautiful Web Design”

This week’s reading was on texture.  I am one of those people Jason talked about that keeps forgetting that lines are not just about dividers, borders & stripes.  Line is the foundation of art, drawing and design.  The chapter really opens my mind up about the use of line in my designs.

Websites from “The principles of Beautiful Web Design”

Creating Rounded Corners:
Creating Custom Corners and Borders: :http//www.alistapart.com/
Thrashbox – http://www.vertexwerks.com/tests/sidebox/
Nifty Corners – http://www.html.it/articoli/nifty/
Spiffy Corners – http://www.spiffycorners.com/

Whimsical Cartoon Style
http://www.yesinsurance.co.uk/

Building Texture
http://winamp.com/skins/whatis.php

Childlike
http://www.letsplaymusicsite.com

Gradients
http://www.mozilla.com

Advanced Photoshop Book:  The Photoshop Anthology: 101 Web Design Tips, Tricks and Techniques

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Week 4

Wow, what a week with all the snow we have been getting.  I just heard that another big storm (3rd one) is approaching.  I really need to move back to Atlanta, real soon LOL.

The most interesting element I have learned for the week is the use of color and the use of Fireworks.  Fireworks will help to save a lot of time from switching back and forth between vector and bitmap programs.  Can’t wait to learn this tool!

My Navigation & Usability Comments:

I chose Sprint’s website since it is a major wireless company.  http://now.sprint.com/widget/

I must say I was very surprised that Sprint would not have put more thought into this design.  My first impression was the starter page took too long to get to the point.  The next page really blew me away.  I was all over the place and didn’t know where to focus first.  There are way too many links on this page.

Websites from some videos and tools this week are:

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/learn-fireworks-cs4/getting-started-01-understanding-fireworks/

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/learn-fireworks-cs4/getting-started-02-the-fireworks-interface/

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/learn-fireworks-cs4/getting-started-03-importing-and-exporting-images/

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/learn-fireworks-cs4/getting-started-04-smart-guides-and-tooltip/

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/learn-fireworks-cs4/using-kuler-color-themes/

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/learn-fireworks-cs4/understanding-styles-and-symbols/

Interactive Advertising Bureau

The IAB is an association dedicated to helping online, Interactive broadcasting, email, wireless and Interactive television media companies increase their revenues. The IAB sponsors initiatives, such as standards, research, advocacy and education, that benefit the membership as well as the industry as a whole.

Color Matters

Colorstrology

Color In Motion

Kuler Color

WEBSITE: Vincent Flanders

Webpagesthatsuck.com – by Vincent Flanders;

Flanders has been writing for years about website that, in his words, “suck”. He identifies sites with useability problems in his own, comical, no-holds-barred way. He’s published books, written case studies, and invented terminology.

He has an extensive list of videos under the section titled Navigation Issues – Review the videos.

He also features a video short about a ridiculously bad example of navigation: http://www.vincentflanders.com/videos/gnn.html

Mystery Meat Navigation

The term “Mystery Meat Navigation” refers to elements of navigation that don’t explain or make obvious that they are navigation items (ie, buttons with no labels, just obscure icons) and only change when the User’s mouse rolls over the navigation.

This type of “hidden” navigation is problematic for a number of reasons. Flanders posts some examples of Mystery Meat Navigation under the appropriate heading on this page. Watch the videos to learn more about MMN, as he refers to it.

Annual Suckers

Vincent is famous for his Annual Worst Websites, a list where he compiles the worst websites (through nominations) and summarizes them at the end of the year.

February 11, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Week 3

After reading the first chapter of “The Principles of Beautiful Web Design”, I learned that there are many elements that must be used to build an effective web site.  A web site must be both beautiful and usable.  Whitespace is VERY important in designs.  White space helps our designs to breath and give balance for both negative and positive space.  Repetition is often used in web designs to show unity over the entire website.  Using a grid to design will help to line objects on pages properly and help with proportion of sizes as well.  

A few websites to help designers to think outside the box are:

CSS Zen Garden:  www.csszengarden.com
CSS Beauty:  www.cssbeauty.com
Stylegala Gallery:  www.stylegala.com/archive/
CSS Vault:  www.cssvault.com
Design Interact Site of the Week:  www.designinteract.com/sow/
 
Below are links to videos from this weeks lectures regarding Dreamweaver & Fireworks:

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/learn-dreamweaver-cs4/getting-started-05-styling-text/

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/learn-dreamweaver-cs4/getting-started-04-adding-text-and-images/

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/learn-fireworks-cs4/managing-design-suite-workspaces/

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/learn-fireworks-cs4/getting-started-01-understanding-fireworks/

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/learn-fireworks-cs4/getting-started-02-the-fireworks-interface/

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/learn-fireworks-cs4/importing-files-into-fireworks/

February 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment