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Mystery Dodged, Not Solved

I found it. Kinda. My logo, that is. My original plan was to have the vertical strip of my logo down the left of the screen like my about and updated image assignment, while i worked on building a header with the logo and nav included to go at the top of the page, rather than at the bottom. So. Because of the mysteriously disappearing logo, I moved straight to the new header. Which you can see here. And while there’s still some clean up to do, I rather like this.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2011 in Project

 

Comments – Color, Space, Blood and Fog

This week I’ve commented on Erin’s, Laura’s, and Kellie’s posts. Mostly about color and spacing and such. It may not seem like much, but I noticed the past few weeks teeny tiny little things are the things that will either ruin everything or make everything awesome.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2011 in Comments

 

The Mystery of the Disappearing Logo

The Design Assignment, Rockwell’s Rosie Redux, is DONE. To a point. More accurately, I am done. I redid the text assignment and applied the advice I got when it was critiqued. I moved the image higher on the page, so it’s now part of the header, and it hangs down through the subhead and into the container. I found new fonts that really give a 1940’s feeling without screaming MILITARY!!! and WAR!!! I went for a much bigger font size, and a little bit of text decoration on the first letters to give it a little pop. I stuck with my vermilion, using it as a border, and also as my visited link color. My pretty navy, pulled from the painting, is the color of the pullquote and the unclicked links. I spent 2 hours wrestling with my nemesis, the proper alignment of footnote numbers. I got that squared away – I’m not happy with the sizing but since everything is on the same line, I’ll live. There’s even a link back to the portfolio page, and I added a link back on my about page. And my father told me to put my name on my about page, so I sucked it up and did it. (Because, yes, I do still listen to my daddy.)  I didn’t adjust the header on the portfolio site. I KNOW High Heels is way too far away from & Howitzers (but thank you to everyone who mentioned it, I know you’re looking out for me, but there’s a method to the madness). I did that because I had a plan to put screened out images of the shoe and gun that became the logo, but it’s too much, too busy, too bright, and I fought with it for weeks. Since I have now started a NEW portfolio page, following the new design for the final project, I haven’t changed the home page all that much. But yes, I am aware it’s a problem. It will NOT be a problem on the final project.

But. But but but but but. My wonderful logo, that I managed after several weeks of wrestling with PhotoShop, my ideas for the future project, and that neatly conveys my site without being too busy or colorful and therefore detracting from the rest of my site (meaning it’s not too noisy) – that wonderful logo for some reason simply will not appear on my design assignment. It’s on my about page, on my fixed up image assignment, even on my busted-as-hell portfolio page. The code is precisely the same – but there’s a cascade problem somewhere. When I found myself yelling at the code “Why aren’t you working????”, I figured that was the point to call it a day. Or a week, as it were.

Anyway – it’s done and up.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2011 in Project

 

Small Victories

I’ve been playing with my image assignment and about page in an attempt to actually understand what I’m doing, instead of fumbling around in the dark. I wanted to actually have images of high heels and howitzers on the site. I found awesome pictures of a shoe and a howitzer that were oriented so that the shoe would run on the left and the gun on the right, and both would point into the site. (Cool, huh?) I also really really really really really want to have a clickable image for “go home” that is a red ruby shoe. Because there’s no place like home. Since that wish is evidence that I have clearly gone round the bend, I spent Saturday working my mad magnetic lasso skillz to take the image of the red high heeled shoe and the howitzer and turn them into silhouettes. I put them on the same background and made myself a logo!

I played with the image assignment and about pages this weekend because they have the simplest CSS, having been hand coded (about page) or seriously modified from the original template (image assignment). I now have a vermilion border offsetting the headers and my logo running down the left side of each page.Next is to fix the background of my logo. It’s white. The background of my site is that lovely silvery gray, #F5F5F5. (Yes, I memorized the hex number.) I would like the logo to blend right in with the rest of the page. Erin suggested I redo the silhouette with an original background of #F5F5F5 – which I haven’t tried yet. Hopefully that works.

I want my whole site to have a cohesive design…I’m conflicted about the text assignment page. I think what’s happening there is that I worked SO HARD on it, and I was really pleased with the final project, despite the obvious issues, and I am really loath to change it. It’s not that I fell in love with my own work, it’s more that I am Bound and Determined that my hours will have been wisely spent, and changing the design seems to throw all of that out the window. I need to get over that.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2011 in Class, Project

 

Comments – Digital Fluff (of all types)

This week I’ve commented on Erin’s and John’s posts.

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2011 in Comments

 

Moderately Moderate Moderation

There are so many things I’ve seen before or I was already aware of brought up in the readings and web visits for this week, but there are other things that I never thought of or just weren’t on my radar. I appreciated the information in the CSS3 video from Lynda.com, and it was nice to hang out with James for a few hours. And this time he didn’t teleport or stutter…much nicer viewing experience at 9 am on a Sunday. I have to remember that. He made a point early on that was borne out again and again in the movie: that, while CSS3 can be a powerful tool, it’s not always the best one. It should enhance the site in some way, and should not be included just because it’s there. I keep thinking of the line from Jurassic Park: “You were so caught up in what you COULD do, you never stopped to think if you SHOULD.” Granted, I’m not genetically engineering carniverous dinosaurs as a tourist attraction, but still – can and should are two different things.

Jakob Nielson – I am rapidly developing a nerd-crush on him. Having seen the 90-9-1 rule play out in my favorite blogs, I found his description and solutions spot on. Yes, this is a democratic medium. NO, there won’t be equal use or participation. And NO, you can’t unequivocally base conclusions on the 10% who talk to you.

The solutions for solving this problem seem so simple, but like I found with my image assignment fix, sometimes the simplest solutions are the hardest to find. The easy Netflix ratings system is one example of low cost feedback. In my previous life as an office drone, while waiting on hold I would cruise Netflix rating movies and getting recommendations. Easy, low time investment, and a good payoff – all things that will get a lurker to contribute. Promoting quality contributers is another great idea, and I think it’s well expressed on The Chronicle of Higher Education’s fora. All users get a post-count, including guest posters. Those who register get rankings and stars based on the level of activity, and can customize signature lines and tag lines. It’s simple and immediately rewarding.

The 90-9-1 rule is also why I only visit blogs that are heavily moderated. It seems to me, though, that the example of heavily moderated blogs would challenge Nielson’s conclusions, although I can’t be sure of that without knowing WHICH blogs he included in his study. Blogs like The Rotund and The Pursuit of Harpyness both have extremely tight comment moderation policies. EVERY SINGLE comment is reviewed. Even if you’ve already commented earlier in the same thread, your comment is snagged for moderation. We, as users, agree to the tight comment moderation so we may have a space without the kind of foam-at-the-mouth misogyny and hate-filled comments unmoderated sites can draw (See Also: Another reason I don’t read Jezebel). I find new commenters on a regular basis on the heavily moderated sites.

tl;dr – all things in moderation, whether it’s CSS3 or user participation.

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2011 in Class, Readings

 

VICTORY IS MINE!!!

I DID IT!! I fixed my Image Assignment! And it was such a tiny little thing – I built a container around the whole thing and put a fixed width large enough to accommodate all the images, with enough room for my nifty staggering to look right. I also fixed the weird type at the bottom of the page. It appears my “h” key is getting fussy, and my closing tag read </2>, not </h2>. I thought it was PEBCAK until I was writing an email and wondering why THE kept appearing as TE. But not all the time. So while I celebrate my nifty (and FIXED) page, I will also offer sacrifices to and entreat my 14 month old laptop: Please, please, please, please, PLEASE don’t die in the next 5 weeks! Just get me to Memorial Day!

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2011 in Project