December 2008 Archives
In the beginning of this semester, I never thought I would be able to create a website from scratch; however, for my final project in Writing for the Internet, I decided to create a website rather than an Interactive Fiction game.
Creating a website allowed for my creativity to come out not only with the layout and design of the site, but with what topic I wanted to create a site about. The ultimate goal of this project was to not make a website filled with content, but being able to put the knowledge I gained from class and the HTML books we used. With this project, I was able to work on the site outside of class and be able to have my friends perform usability tests to see how effective my layout and information was.
My website isn't to fancy because I feel that distracts the reader from the useful information I provide. My idea was to create a website
specifically designed for single fathers raising daughters. I wanted to appeal not only to the fathers, but to the daughters as well for they can gain some knowledge and insight of how difficult it is for a single father to raise a daughter. The information
provided would be from my own personal experience which would be more
beneficial than a psychologist's opinion on a situation they probably
While doing the alpha testing, I was able to get ideas from other classmates as well as get tips on how to do something to my own site. While my site right was in the process of becoming visually attractive with fonts and backgrounds and other images, I still needed to fix the headline color because during my beta release, many of my classmates told me that the pink color was to distracting and overwhelmingly bright. I asked a question on my alpha testing blog about whether or not I should include a page that describes my personal experience with this subject and they all agreed that including my personal experience with this sort of situation would show a "success" story.
My goals for the final release of my site were to:
- find a better background picture - used a family-like background of father and daughter holding hands
- finish the "Awkward Situations" page - this was hard to write, but I was able to come through
- create a biographical page - originally it was to be short, but I couldn't stop talking about myself
- change the color of the headlines - changed from a bright, obnoxious pink to a blue
- clean up long paragraphs - used bullets to cut up the information
- and to appeal to both fathers and daughters - I hope so
I have succeeded in achieving all my goals. The hardest part was creating the biographical page about myself. I don't think you realize how hard it is to write about yourself.
Without further ado, Dads Raising Daughters is complete.
Here are blog entries about my progress of the term project:
Term Project Idea
Progress after a couple days of work
And finally, my BETA release
Let me start off by saying that this is my last blogging portfolio of my college career. :(
This class has been incredibly helpful not only with my writing and communication skills, but with my technological skills as well. As I begin looking in the job market, I have noticed that there are many jobs in the writing field for technical writers that have experience with creating and rebuilding websites. This class has taught me many skills that would not only help me with technical writing, but with Public Relations writing as well.
I think that now I'm going into my last semester of college, I really take in what I have learned from my classes and reflect on them so I can see what I can take away and bring into the professional world.
The one skill I will walk away with from this class the most will be HTML. Not only was this fun because I was able to create my own site and appreciate and understand formats of websites, but this skill will help me get a job over someone who has no knowledge about HTML or websites.
Even though I disliked Interactive Fiction, this portion of the class was eye opening. IN PR, you are to write for the client and not for yourself. This is an example of that. With IF, you are to create an effective game. You need to predict what the player will do within your game, you want to make sure that you satisfy them by not giving them an incredibly easy game, but having a game that they will understand to the fullest without any lingering questions. With IF games comes usability testing. Like I stated earlier, you need to create an effective game and in order to make sure that the game is understandable, you need to incorporate usability testing.
Usability testing is where I learned a lot about HTML and writing for the internet. I was able to test users to see what was difficult to find on my site, what was confusing about my IF game, what they didn't like about only the layout of the overall site, but the colors, the fonts, and the way the text was organized. This skill will be used by me in the future. While writing a press release or anything, I want someone who knows nothing about the topic to read my writing and see what they didn't understand so that way I could build upon that and make it clearer. The basic idea of usability testing is to try to satisfy as many readers and users as possible.
Here is my progress of my Dads Raising Daughters website:
Beta Progress Report
My Final Rough Draft: Almost There
Sometimes, I am my own worst critic when it comes to my work
Term Project: My Initial Idea
Interaction with my classmates:
While doing the alpha testing, I was able to get ideas from other classmates as well as get tips on how to do something to my own site. While my site right now is becoming visually attractive with fonts and backgrounds and other images, I still need to fix the headline color because during my beta release, many of my classmates told me that the pink color was to distracting and overwhelmingly bright. I asked a question on my alpha testing blog about whether or not I should include a page that describes my personal experience with this subject.
Many classmates told me that I should and even proposed ideas that maybe I could get other women's experiences to put on the site that explain their experience with being raised by a daughter. I still have not created a biographical page about myself or about others who have experienced this in their lives. I have decided to just write about my own experience and not about others. Chelsea viewed my site during the alpha testing and explained to me via blog that she thinks that I should put my own story in my site because if a father came to the site, he would be able to see a success story so he knows that, 'Yes, this actually can work out'. This is the main idea for my final release of the site, to give single fathers some confidence and a relatable source and website to turn to for advice. I am slowly but surely working on this page. It’s harder than you think. With this website, I am trying to include helpful information to those fathers who are raising daughters alone.
With my personal experience, I feel that my advice is more helpful than a doctor's. I want to appeal to both the fathers and the daughters. Even though my sight is small and only 5 pages deep, I think I was able to include enough information. I still have some lingering questions before I can finally say my site is complete. I want to make sure that my site seems appealing to both the fathers and the daughters. Not only does the father need advice, but the daughter could read about another girl’s success story of growing up with a single father. I have also been confused as to what I should make the background. I wanted something subtle and friendly. As of now, my background is a picture of a father and daughter holding hands. I think that this picture works well with the theme of my site, but sometimes I think it is too forced.
As I look over my site, I noticed that some of my pages have long paragraphs. For my final release, I plan to make these into bulleted lists and clean up the overall format to make it sufficiently effective. I want to make the pages shorter so that the reader doesn’t have to scroll down my pages to finish reading my advice. Within the next couple of days, I will be cleaning up the site. I think that at this point, everything is pretty much done; I just need to fix some things up a bit.