Category: design


Hello….again! I’m back to my virtual space of thoughts after a long hiatus…it does feel good to be back. Within that month and¬†half, I have been trying to experience my utopian world of exclusive family and work time. I call that utopian as before this time I could juggle a thousand things (internet research and development for example) and still be the perfect family person – the best of both worlds – real and virtual. Every phase is a unique challenge in itself and an extra pinch of effort creates the equilibrium again. ūüôā

So here I am!

I have been talking to various people in my field and a plethora of interesting, healthy discussions¬†have been a constant part of my evenings and weekends. A list of interesting people, links, bookmarks, references and research has come my way for the last two months, in my “real” world and I would like to make those a part of my “virtual” conversation as well.

  1. Relevancy of SEO on today’s dynamic technologically supported internet age.Are we really optimizing for search engines or are we optimizing for the searching users? What makes an SEO “expert” read into a person’s mind? (!!)
  2. Examples in internet history which have made vast difference to CTR’s for campaigns and website launches. Why some were successful and some were not.
  3. So what is so special about a landing page and why do you need to optimize it? The term, landing page, so often misused plays such an important role not only by SEO, but also in marketing (SEM) as well as the whole web development business process. What do you want the users to see and how you present it to them. Spontaneity has lost its charm in a way! ūüôā
  4. Emerging technologies – looking at HTML5, CSS3, QR codes, mobile apps, social media – how fast the internet world is changing and what impact it is having on the human mind. Life is definitely changing pace and how you can keep up is the key.
  5. Mobile apps – what is its direction and where is it heading. How relevant is ant kind of application to today’s world.
  6. A few of my own¬†experiments¬†and ideas with technology what hot, what’s not.

This all and whole lot more, more thoughts and discussions – from my mind to yours!

Till then,
Ciao!

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I consider weeks 6 and 7 contiguous with the website creation process. Being in the web development track is more challenging. Not only does your website has to have the design aspect (maybe not as much as a design track website) but also the development requirements have to be met.

I separated out the 2 weeks simply by putting design and content in week 6 and the development part in week 7.  This does not mean there won’t be tweaks, but a big chunk of it would be complete. This way, my process would be easier to work with. Week 6 was demanding РI had content but my template had to be worked on sufficient enough to get the child pages ready for content. There are essentially three main parameters to the corporate website design characteristic in the template.

  • One is the logo & the navigation bar.
  • Second is my right column which marks the important links for potential and existing clients who have visited the page in the past.
  • Third is a separate social media bar where Raltec Corp (the company name for which the website is being designed) is connected and wants to connect with different individuals/organizations virtually.

Week 7 would get the development side of the website in check. I have also been checking my website on different browsers and seeing some subtle differences.

http://browsershots.org/
http://www.browsercam.com/, or
http://browserlab.adobe.com which lets you see your website as viewed in many different web browsers.

It also helps to test your website on different computers. It definitely looks different on different monitor resolutions. For accessibility testing, Adam mentioned about Dreamweaver’s Link Checker, Browser Compatibility Check, and Validation features (all three can be opened from the Window menu) can help.

It is week 6 crunch time and all the knowledge we soaked in all those classes is coming to good use. That and more. I’m finding myself putting in a lot of effort in researching things I see in websites, the cool stuff – now it makes more sense to me rather than being just overwhelmed with it.

It is a wonderful feeling to see your baby grow…lol. It started with a lifeless yet brilliant one page flat design which eventually turned into a template. Now the template is getting the third¬†dimension¬†through links, dynamic pages and more. ¬†You have been seeing less posts and more of me commenting about my work as this is kind of it. We’ve done the research and we’ve done all the¬†preparation¬†for helping us to get to the design stage. I now understand how much goes into the actual website – even simple things need to be thought of in detail. Each part you design is seen by the audience. Nothing can be left unfinished or unthought of (for the purpose of this first draft stage).

It’s been a long silence on my side, I¬†apologize. We’re halfway down Project Capstone (50% of 10 weeks done) and now it’s crunch time!

I anticipated this taking a lot of hard work, but I guess I was mistaken when I thought it would take this long. I worked hard on the wireframe and the main composite of the design. A design background helps you there. I was happy to have the design ready by last weekend….piece of cake!

Now the fun begins!¬†How does this “design” translate into HTML – ¬†that’s still doable.
How does this translate into CSS?

Quoting Adam after bugging him with my in-progress templates:

Alignment w/ CSS is definitely one of the more challenging things with layout out a page.

So true. My tryst with CSS has not been the greatest experience but after a string of online tutorials and trial-&-error testing helped. Long hours trying to work with different properties and values do get the results you want eventually but I’m still searching for an effective way to resolve the CSS issue. There has to be an easy way…….

On a positive side, I am learning and discovering how presentation in CSS makes a whole lot of difference.

This week we looked at analyzing Keywords Рbelow are the links for keyword research tools

Free: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal (very useful)
Free: http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook/index.php
Free: http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/suggestion/
Paid Service: http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/

The challenge was the placement of your keywords in your text content. A fine line between whether you’ve used too many/very little of your keywords. The title tag is your heading provides the additional extra benefit for your keywords from search engine optimization.

Text content: Very relevant, yet cumbersome to gather and even more tough to get those keywords you shortlisted into it.

Her are some fun links I encountered on my adventure of writing my text content:

http://www.clickz.com/3623058

http://www.whydev.com/blog/how-write-good-web-content РThis one was very relevant as it talked a little about content, keeping a company website in mind.

It is also important to know how a user read on the web platform, hence the below links:

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9710a.html

http://www.sensible.com/chapter.html

http://websitetext.com/

Generating¬†the text content is slowing putting the pieces of the puzzle together. I have already started designing my template and it now makes sense to sit down and composite the collage – you now have the text, you’ve gather a range of images (you may/may not use) and you have the functional requirement document in front of you. This should be easy, right? ¬†:)

The challenge now lies in design. I have an art background, but my goal is not to have the best looking site here. These are baby steps for me and my objective is to gather my knowledge and make this a workable website – using my web¬†development¬†knowledge and skills. Not that the beautifying does not matter, functional and presentable are the words I am looking for, for the first take. I’m sure I’m¬†going¬†to be tweaking this even after Capstone is done!!!

Hop, skip, …………. JUMP¬†onto Template-Design !!!!!

Times just whizzing by…so much to do and so little time! I’ve been sneaking-a-peek at this book from the library, Build your own database driven website using PHP & MYSQL by Kevin Yank. I am liking what I am reading – the language is simple. It provides what the author quotes, “a hands-on look at what‚Äôs involved in building a database driven web site using PHP and MySQL“. I’ll provide updates as I cover more of the book.

More on the articles Adam provided:

http://www.seochat.com/c/a/Choosing-Keywords-Help/Choosing-Keywords-Wisely/

http://www.avangate.com/articles/keyword-research_40.htm

I enjoyed both articles – a special mention to article #2 (16 Rules of Thumb)¬†for how to choose keywords effectively. Today’s world of websites is aiming to use search engines¬†optimization¬†from the beginning, for new websites, especially like mine. It was harder a few years back but with technology like Google AdWords and Analytics, the internet is becoming an easy tool. For the older websites, it’s still a good insight into what recovery measures can be undertaken. SEO is becoming a powerful¬†industry¬†by itself and what made the articles worthwhile were the use of keyword terms like density, ¬†localization, placement, conversion rate and primary & secondary¬†keywords.

I¬†also¬†looked up and tried my keywords in¬†Google Trends. Google Trends also shows how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and in which geographic regions people have searched for them most. If you have a global market¬†which¬†is also a potential market for my website, it was fun to see what kind of words/terms were used differently in different countries and how that would also help framing my website’s ¬†content.

Coming to the “Content” part – here were the list of articles –

http://www.clickz.com/3617566
http://www.clickz.com/3625220
http://www.alistapart.com/articles/zombiecopy

You would be amazed to think that content does not have to be only thought of from the client’s perspective, but also from an SEO one! Your website is not yours anymore – this is what you get for current trends in internet marketing and globalization…lol. P. J. Fusco, the author of one of the articles quotes:

Good content contributes to a site’s overall visibility on a page-by-page basis. It engages users and provides an optimal path for easy navigation throughout the site. It stays on theme and naturally accrues inbound links over time.

Great content maintains all the essential elements of good content but produces higher conversion rates. It’s action-oriented in that it inspires users to make a purchase, request more information, sign up for a newsletter, make a reservation, or set up an appointment.

It calls for the ability to Analyze, Implement, and Measure content. We also need to keep in mind that people don’t read every word of your content, keeping it concise helps. I really wish I had the skills of a copy-writer, right now ūüė¶

Wish me good luck!