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Archive for the ‘Weekly Summary’ Category

Here are some of the links from this week’s readings.  I’m playing catch-up, so everything is going to be out of order for a bit.  I just hope I can catch up quickly before I get too far behind.  Right now, I feel like I’m having to go back and redo a bunch that I already did, just because I was so spaced out for a week.  I guess heavy medications will do that.  I feel like I barely remember anything.  I just have to take a really deep breath and collect myself, I think.

Difference between ID and Class – This explains the difference between the two, why when need them, and when to use, or not use, each of them.

CSS Typography – This is an article from Digital Web Magazine on how CSS can help you with typography and why typography still matters in web design.

We also read another chapter in our textbook “The Principles of Beautiful Web Design”.

Links that others may find useful that we were referred to:

One of the coolest typography websites out there – www.ilovetypography.com.  I’ve linked to this on my old school blog for well over a year.  This website is just awesome.

Other articles:

As far as assignments, we were to work on the banners begun in week 5, an animated .GIF assignment, and our resumes.  I am still somewhere between week 6 and week 7 in trying to figure out where I am and where I’m supposed to be.  I hope to hear back from my professor within the next few days, because I don’t like feeling so clueless and brain dead.  I am now at day 4 of only ibuprofen.

I will catch up.  Somehow.

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This week we discussed navigation methods and consistency.  We also started to delve into CSS a little bit.

With website navigation, consistency is key.  If there is one type of navigation and another type on the second page, you will confuse your users.  They won’t think it’s clever, they’ll be irritated.  Let’s face it.  When you build a website, it’s because you want people to visit.  If you irritate your users, you won’t have repeat visitation.  Therefore there are a few items you need to be aware of when designing a navigational scheme.  These are placement, design, readability, direction and hierarchy.  In addition, you must consider the navigational method you will use.  Your choices are images, rollovers, text links, or drop down menus.

CSS,  Cascading Style Sheets, are a set of predefined rules that affect a document.  They allow you to make mass changes within a document, or over a group of documents.  It is important to be specific in writing CSS.  The three main parts in a CSS rule are the selector, the property and the value.

Here are the links to various websites and videos that we visted and/or watched this week.  If I have any additional comments, I will put them with the link.

On this page, Matt Brown of Adobe, talks about good website design.  He lists several links at the bottom of the article that are also good resources – except that one is no longer valid.  Obviously he needs to take some of his own advice about usability.  I’m including the three that I found most helpful.

These two, also from Jakob Nielsen, were directly assigned.  I’d never heard the term “breadcrumb navigation” before, but I’ve seen it used and it’s something I greatly appreciate, particularly on large, complex websites.

Examples of Traditional Navigational Styles:

Column based navigation with text links:

Dynamic Drop Down:

Basic Navigation with subnavigation menus:

CSS-driven text navigation with subnavigation menus:

Breadcrumb text navigation:

I need now to finish up revising my banner assignment, plus adding a couple things to my resume.  I haven’t got a couple of the things asked for, though, so that may pose a problem.  Additionally, I broke another tooth earlier this evening and it is killing me.  Time to call the dentist.  I’d hoped nothing would happen until my next appointment, but that’s 2 weeks away.

Meeting with Mimi Stoops at 9am on Thursday.  I do not like this.

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Week 3

It seemed to work pretty well last week, so I think I’ll just copy over my preliminary notes.

Absolute v relative links:

  • Absolute links include the full website address.  Relative links usually only include the final bit and are dependent on the directory structure of the website.  They can be viewed locally on the computer (offline) as well as online.  They can be just about any type of file, though only some of them can be opened in a browser.  Other types of files will be downloaded

An IMG tag is the most common way to add graphics to an html page.  Web standard for graphics is 72 dpi.

There are 2 main types of files used.

  • JPEG – joint photographic experts group.  Compression is “lossy”, which means that it throws away subtle colour differences.  The larger a file size, the better the quality, and vice versa.  It’s important to find a balance between quality and size, but you have to remember that once an image has been compressed (and saved), the compression can’t be reversed.
  • GIF – graphic interchange format.  It uses a compression algorithm and it is a lossless compression.  It’s better for type, vector, flat or hard-edged images.  It can also handle animation.
  • PNG is less standardized, but is becoming more common.  They’re larger than GIF files and do not always display properly in older browsers.  This means you have to create 2 different files to substitute an alternative.

I have an article and a book chapter to summarize, which I post separately.

We’re also getting started with Fireworks this week.  Fireworks is something I knew absolutely nothing about, but it’s really cool.  You can work with both vector images and bitmaps in the same program.  That’s just crazy talk there.

Fireworks CS4 can import Photoshop files and still maintain all of the information, including layer hierarchy.  I’m stunned.  This is going to take a little while to process.

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Week 2

This week I took notes while I watched some of the tutorial videos on lynda.com.  By the way, if you have a need to learn just about any type of technical or creative software on the market, check them out.  There are some free videos available or you can subscribe to their service.  Considering the cost of purchasing training videos or taking an actual class, the cost is quite reasonable.

Anyway, back to my notes.  I’ve decided to just post them as I wrote them, with some slight editing for spelling errors that happened due to the speed at which I was typing.

  • When you put an image on a page, or link to another file, Dreamweaver puts code on the page which then tells the browser where it can find the file or image.  If you move things around outside of Dreamweaver, you would have to make any changes manually.  If you do it via the file panel, Dreamweaver updates all the links automatically.  It also updates the links on other pages that link to that page.
  • You can create new files and folders through the Files panel.  If you create a new file, always remember to add the extension, such as .html.
  • It’s possible to change the Document Type Declaration if you mess up or if you bring in a page from an old website.  Dreamweaver will change the coding so that the page will then have the correct standards for the new DTD.

This is really just the tip of the iceburg.  I had yet another root canal, making me a bit fuzzy headed again this week.  I’m still on penicillin for the abscessed tooth, but even so, I think everything is really starting to sink in.  I may enjoy this class yet.  My main hope is that I will no longer fear coding, and so far, it’s looking a little less scary each day.

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Week 1 Summary

I’m starting off at a slight disadvantage. I’d forgotten just how much it hurts to have a root canal – and I had two of them on Thursday. I’m not exactly sure how much I’ll retain from the readings this week. It’s a good thing I read quickly, as I’m sure I’ll have to reread everything.

Speaking of reading, here are two of the articles we read. The first is a review of 25 coding editors, including Dreamweaver. The second explains FTP software.

I still need to build my first webpage that isn’t a blog.

As part of our class requirements, we needed a subscription to Lynda.com. This is a site that Deke McLelland is always recommending, and I’ve taken advantage of several of the free tutorials on the site before. I definitely suggest checking them out. There is an enormous amount of information there on everything from the Adobe suite of products to basics like Excel and Word.

One of our tutorials suggested that we check out W3C – the World Wide Web Consortium. On this site, you can find out exactly what xHTML is and why it’s better than HTML. Under W3C A to Z are most of the topics that one would need for this or any other web design course.

Oh, and before I sign off, remember, the internet and the World Wide Web are not the same thing. The Internet is basically a whole bunch of networks. The Web is the documents, or pages, contained on those networks.

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