Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My First Web Design Project


The first web page I had was mostly created by a friend of mine, back in 2003 when I was just getting started with using the internet. She had me make a sitemap/basic layout for the project, but she did most of the work. (She had the patience of a saint because my directions and preferences were extremely vague!)

At first, she did most of the updating for this site, but gradually, I started working on more things as I picked up more HTML and learned how to use ftp clients. I did not have Dreamweaver or any other web design software at the time. What I used was the “hand code everything into a text file, change it into an html file but save it as text” method. (I was frankly, a little bit scared of Dreamweaver at the time, and also, I could not afford it.)

The first design was very clunky with a very “personal home page with gifs” design. It was mostly organized with tables, because I was very hesitant to try using CSS. (And by hesitant, I actually mean that I was even more terrified and confused by CSS than I was by HTML, which I found to be extremely confusing.) There were also some readability problems, because I was using red text on a black background or white text on a black background. (If I recall correctly, I was also using Comic Sans. It kind of embarrassing how much I liked using Comic Sans back then.) It was a very 90s webpage.

The second and third editions followed the same format, though I dropped some of the images I had been using, and changed the font. The second edition was mostly a color overhaul where I concentrated on making things as readable as possible. The third edition, which I never really completed due to school, was the first time I started using CSS.  

What I mostly learned from these experiences is that planning and organization is extremely important! My first website was a fan and writing site for TV shows I was watching. Because I didn’t have a clear idea of how to create a site map, I had to keep revising the navigation for my web page every time I added a show. (By “didn’t have a clear idea,” I actually mean I didn’t think it was necessary because I didn’t think the website was going to be that big!) I think I was able to successfully apply what I learned on my own when I was in the Web Design program, even though I was (and still am) a little shaky with my HTML and CSS skills. (This is something that can be improved by practice. Now if I knew what I wanted to do by way of practice...)