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With the semester coming to an end, a lot of pressure is being put on us students to perform.  There are final exams, tests, group projects and everything else you can think of that professors are handing out at this point of the semester.

Specifically when we talk about, web design and layout, we have to remind ourselves of the basics, because without these much of our code and webpages will not function!  As final website projects are coming up, it is also important to remember the basic rules of css and html.  What tags go where, how they are used and when they are used.

Going even farther then, we have to remember what fonts, colors and layouts are most relevant and intriguing when designing a webpage.  People like to see things pop, but it also good to keep things simple and easy to navigate.

With just less than a month in the semester remaining this vocabulary and usage will be utilized to the farthest extent, in hopes of creating a webpage that is both nice to look at and also easy to navigate, and hopefully good enough for a pretty solid grade too.

5 Webpages with Cool Layouts

With final projects approaching there are a few websites that can help to provide a basis for interesting and cool layouts.  Some websites use different design elements better than others; here are some of my favorites (in no particular order):

1. abc.go.com

ABC uses a really cool automated slideshow to design its homepage.  Scrolling through the different options ABC uses this element to showcase their top television programs.  It’s very sleek, easy to comprehend and the very large images help for readability.

2. apple.com

Apple uses a really simple layout but it’s the simplicity that makes it work.  The main subject (in this case the iPad Air 2) is the vast majority of the page, with a simple image of the laptop and a couple links underneath it.  Everything is clear and displayed very vividly once you click on a link.  The background images are especially important and vivid, as well as the pop up text.  By scrolling down, the image is zoomed in and you realize that you’re looking into a display for the apple computer.

3. pizzahut.com

Pizza Hut also does a very good job for a restaurant chain.  They incorporate an automated slideshow to show various deals and their use of different colors to make certain important areas pop (start your order, deals) is an interesting characteristic that allows for quick access to these areas.

4. latimes.com

The LA Times utilizes a visual browse option similar to that of the aforementioned slideshows.  Random stories are showcased as the reader browses through the slideshow, each with an image, title and caption.

5. espn.com

ESPN probably has the best use of navigation toolbars.  They separate the sports by category, cities, and types of entertainment (radio,watchESPN and fantasy sports).  This use of navigation bars is extremely important for a website about sports and statistics.

About Me

With no actual topic to blog about this week, I’m just going to post a few things about myself…

For starters, I’m a 21-year old college senior at SUNY Brockport studying Journalism and Broadcasting and am on pace to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in May; finally.  Hopefully graduate school is in my future as well.  As for hobbies  I love movies, I’m a huge movie buff, I especially love Tarantino films but Seth Rogan, Alfonso Cuaron and Samuel L. Jackson are among my favorite, writers/actors/directors.  I’m really into cinematography as well, or the aestitics and camera work of a film, specifically from directors such as Cuaron (In films such as Gravity or Children of Men) and Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey).

I like writing and creating as well.  I see myself as a really creative person and love the challenge of dissecting a film or television show from camera work, to writing and anything in between.

I’m also really into sports.  If you want to talk football or basketball I’m your man.  I’m a big fan of Syracuse University basketball and football and also a big time Philadelphia Eagles fan #FlyEaglesFly.  So; that’s a little bit about myself, and what I like to do outside of this blog.  Have a great day and Happy Halloween!

Today in Design = CSS

CSS or Cascading Style Sheets are used as a part of web design outside of html, although they are closely related.  CSS is connected to html via a link in the coding that allows for a transfer of rules that are set on the CSS page.

Rules range from anything between, fonts, colors, font size, etc.  The “!important” rule always takes precedent over other rules that may have been inserted into code, if any overlapping occurs, the !important rule is the override.

Every html page that you want to use the CSS must have a link statement in the head.  Such as <link href=”default.css” type=”text/css” rel=”style sheet”/>

I myself am new to CSS but, so far so good!
CSS

The Digital Age Evolution

Since the late 80’s and into the early 90’s there has been a nonstop timeline of digital evolution.  From calculators, computers, cell phones, MP3 players and Ipods to HDTV’s, laptops and beyond our digital world has grown exponentially in the last twenty years.  Today the average college student probably owns at least a handful of digital items, many of us cannot go without a cell phone for even one day and with assignments and tests being put online and course lectures utilizing digital media; almost everything has become digital to the point of complete dependence.

As younger generations develop and grow older, eventually they will become the students in colleges across the country.  For these students their lives and coursework will most likely be completely dependent on digital media, whether it be e-mail, angel, or really anything involving advanced technology. This is not necessarily good news, as we all know technology cannot always be depended on to perform.  I worry that our culture may become so attached to our devices that we forget how to actually interact within a normal human society.

20 years ago e-mail was something that revolutionized the internet and life as we know it.  Today, e-mail is just a minute detail of the all-encompassing internet yet nearly everyone has an e-mail address.  This has become a trend in the digital world, whereas something becomes extremely popular and widespread only to be trumped by the next big thing.  This cycle is happening faster and faster as technology becomes more advanced and widespread across the globe.  The advent of Google Glass has now taken smartphone technology and the digital world to an even greater level as users use voice commands to navigate the smart-glass.  The IWatch is similar in that it uses smartphone technology but as a watch.

Digital technology is here for the long haul, and the next 20 years is going to show us a lot and it will be interesting to see where we as a society end up in this digital age.

Which is more important? Webpage Design or Organization?

Tricky question right?

They both have their advantages and disadvantages, which is why having both would really create a great webpage, but if you had to choose one… I’d choose organization every time.

An organized webpage will trump a well-designed webpage because the content is always more important than the look (in life as well).  If you create a webpage with the best design elements, pictures, videos etc, but there’s no way to find any of it then what’s the point?  Having a plain page with no elements but readily available content will still allow users to find what they need quickly and easily.

The best way to organize a webpage is through links, tabs and lists which can separate different ideas or subjects.  Angel is a great example of a webpage that has minimal design elements but is extremely organized.  Students can easily find their courses at the top left and announcements in the center, scroll down and you’ll find your e-mail as well.  The design elements of the page include a simple header with the school emblem and a simple green and white color scheme.

In few cases design may actually be more important than organization.  Typically when a website isn’t content heavy and may rely on entertainment or gameplay webpage deign can take precedent.

Ranking the Top 4 Social Networks by Design

Here is a list of the most popular social networking sites ordered by their layout and design features:

#1 – Twitter 

Twitter is recognized as one of the social networking sites with some of the most traffic.  There are millions of users that use Twitter everyday.  It’s website is easily navigable with few ads, smooth design and minimal clutter.

A user is allowed to create a personalized background and font color to spice up their webpage.  The online website also translates almost identically to the mobile version, which is good for commonalities.

#2 – Facebook

Facebook has had so many different designs over the years, it’s hard to keep track.  The layout has been simplified over the years to include pretty much everything you need on the homepage.  A list of friends who’re online, groups, events and posts are all available at your fingertips.

#3- Instagram

Of all the sites, Instagram probably has the most simple website of all.  A smooth scroll down the page displays all the photos the people you follow post. There is a link to your profile but that’s about it.  The mobile version contains much more, with an “Explore” tab and of course the photo/video features.

#4 – Reddit

Okay Reddit is just awful.  There’s no organization at all it’s like they just post whatever they want with no visual keys or design elements other than a picture next to a link.  It’s very cluttered and hard to find specific items.  Reddit has a good premise, but the website looks like trash.