Archive for the ‘assignments’ Category

final research

ok so sorry for the late post on our site related research rather than just stuff I liked. I said before there are not alot of wake boarding sites out there, and the few that exist are.. well ok.

all are mostly local or some sort of forum or combination of the two. there are a few good ones.

The list of sites is:

The one that stood out to me most was wakeboardingmag.com. It tends to fit well in the “target market look.” The one that I would say came in second is wakeworld.com. It is the one that I would say that covers the “informational” aspect of what I am wanting to do. Another that I like is dallaswakeboarding.com is mainly a forum but does have a few other pages. One being a rider spotlite but it focuses on local riders rather than a pro wakeboarder. The others, with out trying to be rude, are almost not even worth taking a look at. They are rather dated or mostly filled with googleAds just to make a buck.

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Project Research

Wakeboarding Informational Site – Expanding The Sport of Wakeboarding

Problem – The problem I am addressing for this site is that wakeboarding is still a rather small sport in comparison to football, baseball, basketball, ect. I am addressing this problem as if a major Wakeboarding Manufacturer or possibly the Pro Wakeboarding Tour (PWT) wants a web site to help expand and present the sport to a mass audience.

southcreative
• I chose this as one of my sites to model after because I think it is any incredibly beautiful design. It flows well and all the information is extremely easy to read and I find that the information is laid out and a manner that is pretty intuitive. I chose this site for styling ideas
• This particular site is their portfolio site but this is the best example of their style of navigation. I understand it not their stand-alone idea that nobody else does but I feel they do it brilliantly. It huge easy to read and access and I really have no other way of saying it but its just flat out sexy. And its pure CSS no JavaScript or flash.
• I personally have been trying to find a good style of navigation that fit all these criteria. So I will probably try to adapt their style of navigation for my project.

ljworld
• I chose this site because for layout ideas. I think it is a job well done of getting a lot of content one page without making it “too” crowded. I also admire this sites navigation. I is done with CSS as drop down but it is not your typical drop down navigation. I will be looking to this site for layout ideas for a possible news section to my site.
• I would personally like to try to mix his style of drop down menu with the style of the SouthCreative sites style menu. I think the two could mess well together and live a happy home in my site.

djangoproject
• This is another one of Crofts sites, as I do my research I am really finding my self attracted to his sites. I chose this site again because it does another good job of getting a lot of information on to a page without too much clutter. This is another site I will be trying to model my heavily populated content pages after.
• If you play around with resizing the window of you browser I really like how his site handle either expanding or shrinking the window size.

jeffcroft
• This is Jeff Croft’s actual portfolio site. I chose some others done by him, I guess you could say I really like his style. I chose this site because after looking around for a while I think he is “thinking” out side of the box I like stuff that is extremely out of the norm but still functional and useful. I a mostly talking about the “branding/nav” section of the site. You don’t usually see a vertical branding on a page or much less one that works, nor do you typically see nav stacked in the manor he did. So ultimately you could say I chose this site for styling ideas
• I like his typography and his use of links spread through out the page. I find that that is one of the weaker parts of my design is giving links diversity while still allows for anyone to know it is a link right of the bat
• I am not certain that I will use and one specific feature of his site in my design but I want to try and adapt his “out of the box” yet still in the box functionality to my site.

teehanlax —- johnhancock

• I am looking to this site as just another example of out of the box thinking. I like how the whole front page is almost handled as their navigation. It is not content heavy by any means but it give you access to almost the entire site with a fairly simple main nav.
• This is a good home page in my opinion just because with the subject matter at hand the do a great job of simplifying it as to not overwhelm the user.
• This is another site Im not sure if I can use one specific example from this site for mine but I want to adapt their strategy of taking the content and making it easy for the users to absorb.
This is by no means the end of my research but I it is getting late on Friday and I wanted to share what I had already I will try to add the rest by the end of this weekend but I want to be sure to get my 5 sites up because I was late last week. So enjoy tell me what you think and check back for a part II.

-shane

* note that this is kinda of old and I have some more I plan to add here as soon as I get a chance but i just wanted to make sure I got something out there for you guys to read and see what I liked..

semantic markup

Semantic markup was the topic of choice this week. Also considered meaningful markup.  Looking around for a while I came across a blog post on 456 Berea Street titled POSH – Plain Old Semantic HTML. This really helped me understand the concept of putting meaning behind your code. It is important not only to us as users looking for useful information, it also allows search engines to better know the topic of your site and whether or not it is relevant to the users search. I also came across a good post by Robert Nyman at Robert’s Talk . This post did a really good job of explaining Semantic Markup and why you benefit from using it. It now just seems illogical not to use semantic markup, it kind of seems like one of those “win, win” situations. Another posting I found was at Digital Web Magazine by Richard MacManus and Joshua Porter. While this one I found to be a decent read I found it last and it seemed like the previous two post had explain the topic rather well and were a little bit newer as to not feel so outdated. Only three years but still.

Overall these are some pretty good posts to sway you to the right side and away from the “dark side”. I will defiantly be trying to use proper semantic markup in everything that I do from here on in

Intermediate Scripting — learn me!

I tend to be one of those types of people that will never turn down an opportunity to learn something, especially if that something interests me. So when people start talking in this industry I find myself trying to listen tentatively, but at the same time I am still a youngling and most likely still trying to learn all about the last thing I overheard or read. This is particularly why I think I like web design and development so much because you will never be doing the exact same thing day in and day out, and from the looks of it, someone is always trying to push everyone in the industry as far as they can go. Its just one of those things that I like because there is a proper way to do things but there is no one right way to do it.

I had to sit and think for a moment to formulate into words all that I actually wanted to learn during this quarter and then narrow it down to 5 main topics.

  1. Troubleshooting: “Weird things are happening to my code and I don’t know what from!”
    I know this will mostly come with more experience and practice but I am eager to learn the typical steps for troubleshooting in any given situation when I am getting an unexpected out-come in my code. What I mean by this, is lately when I have come across something not happening that way I think it should in my code and I ask for help it seems to be just a simple fix that I didn’t even really know to look for. This is also why I am interested in the reset code we will be making for ourselves. It tends to be some weird inherited quirk that is the problem most of the time and this can save me a lot of time I feel. I found a tutorial giving tips for making your one reset file at nettuts.com-reset.css, but have been pressed for time and haven’t had the time yet to actually sit down and make one of my own.
  2. Efficiency: “I just spent an hour trying something then learned how to do it in 10 seconds.”
    I wish I had a more specific example to share but off the top of my head I cannot think of one, but I equate it to knowing how to do something in Photoshop and doing it that way for a while only to be shown by someone later that you can do the exact same thing with a hotkey or keyboard shortcut that saves you a lot of time. In this industry “time is money”. The faster you can get something done, and then turn around and hand it to a client, the more money you will be seemingly earning. That is a big thing I would like to learn this quarter is how to work more efficiently and not spend time doing stuff that can be done in an easier way.
  3. Hotspots: “wait… wait… what was that site again?”
    One thing I am trying to do more consistently is expand my Personal Learning Environment-(PLE).  It has been 5 quarters since I first took Fundamentals of IMD, where this term was first introduced to me. I was an even younger youngling back then just simply trying to make since out of the industry and trying to figure out where to go, weeding out the bad information from the more relevant. I still don’t have it down as well as I would like but I am making progress. I tend to frequent sites such as digg.com, nettuts.com, alistapart.com, but I feel that’s only a fraction of the ones I should be looking at regularly. My problem early on in Fundamentals was, due to the fact I always want to learn interesting things, I seemed to always be pulling in too much at once for me to handle and I end up becoming scatter-brained, and am all over the place.
  4. Proper CSS syntax: “You know, you don’t really need this and that, you could just do this, right?’
    Well I find myself constantly asking someone to look at my code and sure enough I have done something that isn’t considered proper, or it is just flat out wrong. I want to take some solid ‘proper’ CSS skills form this class. I know it is something addressed in the syllabus but it has been something that has plagued me since Intro to Scripting.
  5. Organization: “Hold on… I know it’s around here somewhere!”
    I don’t know if this is something I plan on learning in this class, not that I won’t be paying attention to how others organize there sites, but it is something I feel I know and will be working on tremendously this quarter. I guess you would call this more of a goal than a learning objective. I frequently find myself getting too excited about a project and wanting to get into it right away rather than take the time to set up a proper directory system. Then I end up having to try and organize stuff on the fly and waste time doing that or looking for something that should be in its certain place but instead is elsewhere. So if I can pull this off, which I plan to I just need to calm down and be patient then I think this will help me a lot with my #2.

That is just a short list of the things I would like to learn and accomplish during the course of Intermediate Scripting. To quote a favorite song of mine right now “I’m not a know it all, I know I’ll never know it all” but I want to know a lot! =)

Shane M.