Putting this site together was more of a challenge than I expected. Confidence and excitement waned as I realized how little knowledge I had of the material I was working with. I used the template I had from the HTML/CSS quiz, and without that I would likely have been lost. Initially, I was terrified to delete anything; I didn’t know what I would need or if I could recreate it. There was simply too much to look at, so I started taking things out to see what would happen. I looked at previous students’ sites and found a lot of guidance. I struggled getting a border to go around the body of only one of my pages without affecting the others, and eventually had to accept defeat. I also struggled with how to get images precisely where and how I wanted them. I used a resizing website to size the images appropriately, but I couldn’t get the background transparent for the ones I wanted to use on my homepage. I’m not sure how I got it to work, it came down to perseverance. The moment I saw the “moth moon” picture in its current place was a victorious one indeed.
I had low standards when it came to the look of the site. I knew I didn’t have the time or the knowledge to create something cutting edge. Something visually pleasing but practical was my highest goal. However, I was anticipating having more time to showcase more aspects of myself. I wanted a page for my writing, my thinking, my dog. Maybe some recipes. My biggest limitation (other than persistent confusion on the mechanics of the “wrapper”) was truly a lack of time. What I know now is that it would have realistically taken me the rest of the semester to achieve something like what I envisioned.
The modes I aimed for were the ones that seem the easiest to do well. Visually, I used pictures that would draw in the eye and look interesting. On the home page I used the “moth moon image” to reinforce the idea of dreams present in the title and icon. These elements paired with the font ideally invited the reader into my work with a similarly whimsical mindset. I used the spatial mode in the placement of my text. By having everything aligned to the center, I aimed to draw attention to my words. By using padding and margins I tried to create space underneath my text to avoid the impression that what I wanted to say was hiding at the bottom of the page, and therefore less was important.
The design strategies that I most consciously aimed for were contrast and proximity. By using a light background color and a dark color for my header, I intended to accentuate the playful flow of the font while also emphasizing the presence and impulsive qualities of titles that echo of “now.” I also used images that created an interesting contrast with the surrounding elements. Particularly in the “Now Watching” page, I chose an image from “Twin Peaks” that evoked a different tone. Dale Cooper in his dark and bureaucratic suit, the black and white floors of such structure, and the rich red of the curtain of the Black Lodge worked together to provide a contrast of sharp lines and deep colors, while supporting the dream theme (is it too late to rename my site?) that I tried to embody. I used proximity to ensure my site was easy to use and made sense. Placing the brief introductory text about the navigation bar took a little extra time but was a necessity. Otherwise, the phrases in the navigation bar would appear disembodied and incomplete and would give the impression of meaninglessness and distraction to the reader.
Ultimately, this was a delightfully frustrating and exhausting victory. I look forward to an opportunity to play with these skills when I can do so leisurely.