December 2008 Archives

Where to Go From Here

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Goals for the Final Release:
  • fix the faulty links that are bold and mess up the page
  • fix the positioning of my side navigation bar
  • adjust the positioning of the heading of the individual pages
  • put credit information for the pictures I used on the site
  • combine my last two inner information pages into one
  • conduct another usability test before release to check if I missed anything
  • fix the errors found in the final test
For my term project, I am creating a website dedicated to educating visitors on what Click to Give sites are. My hope is that after browsing my site, users will come away with an understanding of what Click to Give sites are. I am aiming to gain more users of Click to Give sites because these sites are set up for donations to reputable charities.

After the alpha testing, I realized many things could be changed about my site. Many of the issues were with the links on my page. The heading for my navigation bar was underlined, leading users to believe that it may be a link to a separate page. I was trying to set the heading apart not thinking about how the links within the navigation bar would also be underlined. One of my testers requested that the explanations of the inner pages on the home page be links to those particular pages. It was an idea that I had thought of but had not gotten around to. My testers also pointed out that some of my links were broken.

The main point of the page is the information it contains. While I had not added any information to a few of my pages, I knew that I had to edit the writing I had completed. Some of my writing was not in the right format for the internet. I had to cut down on the amount of writing and add bullets that made the text easier to read.

Finally, the last thing I had to focus on concerning my page was the design. Most of the page is in black and white, so I wanted to add backgrounds that would add color to the page. The titles themselves were pretty boring. I decided that I would add a border to each heading.

Between the alpha release and the beta release, I changed a few things. Andy critiqued my site as part of class. From his comments, I was able to better a few things on my site. I changed the headings, so that the largest heading on the page stayed the same. I then added a smaller heading exclusively for each individual page. I changed the navigation bar so that the link to the page the user was currently on would be inactive and bold.

After I changed all of these things, I conducted a beta test. The version I released for the beta testing was pretty close to being done. The results I got from the beta testing were taken from two students in class and two people outside of class. I received many of the same comments from the four individuals. The most common thing I heard was that all of the links were messing up the page when hovered over. I have the links set to become bold when hovered over. When this happens, the rest of the font on the page can flicker and change position. All of my testers thought that it should be changed. Another problem my testers found was that the side navigation bar is vertically centered. This becomes a problem when the page is longer because the navigation bar seems to disappear when it has really only moved down the page. The testers thought my content was good though because it was short and to the point. They also liked the overall design of the site.

So far, I am pleased with how my site is coming along. I think I have enough time to make the changes I would like to.

More Than I Hoped For

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It's over. Those two simple words now describe my Writing for the Internet class. This class was much more than I was expecting and hoping for. When I walked in to sign up for classes on my orientation day, they sat me down at Dr. Jerz's table. He walked me through choosing a few classes I had to take, and then he introduced me to a class of his, Writing for the Internet. I decided to take the class. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but it definitely was not what I got.

These are some of the main things I got out of this class.
  • Blogging - I was not expecting blogging. I'm not sure if it was mentioned, or if I chose just to ignore it, but I don't remember having to blog being in the description of this class. At times it frustrated me, but I really did enjoy the blogging. It was such a great way to respond to the reading and assignments. I felt that I could say what I wanted, how I wanted to. It felt much more personal than writing a three page essay response.
  • Web Design - I didn't think we would be designing and uploading websites. I've had a bit of previous experience with HTML, but nothing like this. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that HTML really is writing for the web in it's basest form. If I can't code a page, there's no way I can put my writing on the web without using someone else's coding. Writing code is what writing for the internet is.
  • Web Appropriate Text - This is all that I thought the class would cover. The tips and corrections I received in this section of class were great. Reading on the computer is much different than reading an essay, a magazine, or a book. There are so many different techniques that people use when reading something on the Internet. Knowing that most people don't scroll unless forced to, that they don't read huge chunks of text, and that they find bulleted lists helpful are all things that I did not realize about writing specifically for the internet.
  • Usability Testing - I never knew what usability testing was, and now I realize that it is a vital part of designing a website. Without this testing, no website is ready to be published on the web. Knowing how to conduct usability testing really helped me in my final project.
  • Creative Hypertexts - This was such an interesting part of the class. I've never encountered stories on the web in this format or interactive fiction. While I got frustrated with both quite easily, it was interesting to have the chance to code something I'd never even heard of before.
This final portfolio covers my work for my term project. For my term project I chose to write a website that explores Click to Give sites. These blog entries covered my progress through my project.
Through this project, I also helped with the projects of others.
I gave suggestions and encouragement to
I was a tester for
  • Jessie - I tested her game for the alpha testing.
  • Andy - I looked at his site and then gave him individual suggestions.
  • Aero - I looked at his site after he e-mailed me the link and sent him my critique.
  • Jed - I played his game for beta testing.
  • Dani - I used her site for alpha testing.
  • Denamarie - I did the same for her site that I did for Andy's.
I think I liked this section of the class best. We each chose what we wanted to work on. Then we all helped each other to come up with the best final project possible. I thought it was a great display of classmates helping each other and working to our potential.

Other's final thoughts on the class.

Term Project ... A Final Look

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After completing my
  • alpha testing
  • Andy testing
  • beta testing
  • and what I would like to call my brutal friend testing
I feel that I've truly completed a good website. Each step of my testing and editing brought new aspects to my site that enhanced it in some way.

After my presentation I realized that I had forgotten to mention a few things about my site. Overall, this is what I worked on.
  • My side navigation bar. I had to adjust different things about the links and I had to move it to the top.
  • The writing. I worked on keeping my descriptions and explanations short and to the point so that each page was not filled with text.
  • Choosing the right font. At the beginning of the process, I had a lot of difficulty with this because I like fonts that look different. Finally, I settled on using Arial for the body. It is a common font because it is easy to read. I chose a more interesting font for the headings and titles.
  • Tables. Because I had lost all of my coding for previous sites on my flash drive, I had to start from scratch. I had not used tables before in making a website, but I chose to employ that technique for this site. At first, it was hard to understand, but once I got the hang of things it made my site easier to edit in the long run.
  • Research. I had to do a bit of research on Click to Give sites so I could understand how they worked. I knew of a few sites that I used, but I wanted to find more to recommend to my readers.
  • Color. The main design of my site is black and white, so I wanted to add some color in somewhere. I attempted to used light colored backgrounds, but it didn't look right. Finally, I settled on adding color to the main and individual headings.
My final project. Enjoy.

Click to Give Update

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After last class, Monday November 24, I got a lot of help to better my website. Because Andy reviewed my website for class, he gave me a lot of tips to make my website better.

After hearing Andy's critiques, I changed:
  • the navigation bar
  • the headings
  • the links
Reviewing Dena's and Andy's sites also gave me more ideas for mine.

I know there are more changes that would improve the site.

My Term Project

December 2008

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