Tag:challenges

a rethink of design

A Total Rethink of Design

I first started tinkering with websites when my roommate in Glasgow wanted me to write some product descriptions for his website. From there, I learned WordPress and then eventually started to teach myself to code through trial and error and some of the many free online courses that the internet has available. I remember spending hours in my room, staying up late into the night building and fine-tuning projects that would never be hosted, just for fun.

That was way back in 2017 and although I’ve built many websites for myself since (Ecommerce sites and Business pages), I’ve never actually built or maintained a blog. For this course, that is exactly what I must do.

I’ve decided to repurpose part of my photography website. built during lockdown, for this project. I’ve made it distinct in style and content so you can easily tell the two apart. You’ll notice that I’ve inverted the colours of the menu and changed the links when entering the blog, allowing for ease of navigation and to allow the user to know they’re in a different part of the website. All blog posts and related pages will follow this style. I’m lucky that WordPress allows for this function as it saves me so much time in having to code myself! To make a separate menu. one that differs from my homepage, I had to use the ‘Customise’ tab, available from previewing any page and navigate to the menus from there. To change the style of the menu and allocate my blog/uni menu to the correct pages, I have to manually select it at the bottom of the ‘Edit’ page. This is the same whether I’m editing a blog post or page.

Whilst I love the aesthetic of my photography homepage, high-quality images filling the width of the viewer, this wouldn’t suit a the UX needed for a blog with many posts. I think images speak much louder than words and have a stronger impact than endless rolls of texts, that’s why on the blog homepage, you’ll still find high-quality images. Each image relates to a blog post, with the most recent being first, and includes a short expert from the post itself.

 

 

Next, I had to decide what pages my blog must include. I had to think of the UX here and didn’t want to overload the menu bar with many different links, I also didn’t want to ruin the balanced aesthetic that an even number of menu links give. I thought of the most important aspects of my blog and went from there. Reading through the class notes given, I decided that it would be best if I had a link that went straight to all the blog posts that were assessment topics, an About section which will eventually include more than just one post as I tell anecdotes and stories of my life to practice and develop my style of writing, and a link to the digital artefacts that will also go towards my grade. These are also included in the assessment topics section but I want them to be easy to find. I’ve also included a link to the blog home page as the title of the page links back to the main home page, something that I cannot change.

Classical garden

 

Another design aspect that I’ve not had to think about before, although I am familiar with it, is the sidebar. I’ve never been a fan of the sidebar as my personal preference of aesthetic is very classical. Think about garden designs in the 17th century. If you drew a line down the middle, both sides would mirror one another. This is in part, why I like banners that fill the screen and why you’ll find throughout my blog a balanced look. I feel as though it’s easier on the eye and makes the UX easier. But I do understand the function that a sidebar can offer, allowing users to quickly navigate to certain pages or important topics, so alas, I have one to accompany all my posts. I’m still working on the best layout and design for it, so this is something that may continually change with time.

I’m sure the design of the blog will change as time goes on as my personal preferences change, feedback is given and I find things that I can improve upon. If there’s anything you can suggest, leave some feedback in the comments!

highlighting the setting i chose

This screen grab indicates the settings that I use to make the page layout of the blog distinct from the one I use for the photography website.