Structure

After listening to the critiques in class, I made some changes to my portfolio page. I changed the width of the container from 900px to 775px. I added a 0em bottom margin to my subheadings in order to decrease the space between the text of the headings and the text of the body paragraphs.  I moved the pull quote away from the top of the page in order to decrease all of the clutter, and put it down with my second subheading. I also changed the margins around the pull quote to 2em on all four sides, so the text of the paragraph won’t be too close to the box. I increased the line height of the text. Since the font size is currently .92em, I changed the line height to 1.84em. My portfolio still needs a lot of work before it is actually finished, but I feel like it’s slowly progressing in the right direction.

Structure was the theme of this week’s readings. The chapters assigned this week in White Space is Not Your Enemy provided me with a crash course in design basics. Their list of 13 common mistakes made by web design newbies was insightful and I found myself grateful that I didn’t commit too many grievous errors in my portfolio. The chapter on the elements and principles of design was particularly useful to me as I’ve never taken a design course, let alone a higher-level art class (I stopped taking art after middle school, so when I say design is a challenge for me I’m not in any way joking).

Ellen Lupton’s chapter on digital publishing was my favorite of all of this week’s selected reading assignments. I found myself largely agreeing with most of the statements Lupton made. The ePub format does indeed favor the linear argument, because it is difficult to flip around, browse, etc. on an ereader. This is the primary reason why I try not to use digital editions of books I have to read for school. Google Books is one of the few accessible digital reading interfaces. As Lupton notes, Google Books includes links to sellers of the books, libraries, and book reviews. Additionally, Google Books is fully searchable. Hathi Trust has a similar interface to Google’s, and includes sections with bibliographic information, copyright, which libraries nearby have available copies, and is also fully searchable.

I found Nielson’s “Guidelines for Visualizing Links” to be confusing, since each guideline had various exceptions. I thought I would apply his guidelines to my own portfolio page and see what I came up with. To begin with, I can remove the underlines on the navigation menu but not of the links I have within the body text. If I’m using colors like red or green (which I don’t think I will) I must underline the text in order to eliminate any confusion for color-blind users. If I want my portfolio to be easily accessible for users with poor vision or poor motor skills, I should continue to use underlines for links, and I should not place links too close together. I should not underline any part of my site that is not a link, and I should stick to using color only for my links and not any other text. Different colors should exist for visited and unvisited links, although they should be variants of the same color, and visited links should be duller in color.

My comment on Ben’s post

2 Comments

  1. Eric Gonzaba

    Hi Alyssa,

    I totally agree with your assessment of Nielson’s “Guidelines for Visualizing Links.” He could have been much more straightforward. Like you, I did come away thinking of issues like accessibility, though for something that that, we almost need a more thorough explanation about disability and website design as a whole, not just about links.

    RE: your post from last week, your portfolio looked great!

  2. Hi Alyssa!

    Guidelines… made for people like me who have no idea of when enough is enough! Also, quit being so hard on yourself for your portfolio page! 😉 For someone who has never created a site from scratch it looks pretty dang good! I have a feeling that a lot of our portfolio flaws had less to do with structure and more to do with just not knowing how to make our sites look the way we wanted. Oh HTML and CSS… hopefully we will learn soon!!!

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