Final Term Project Report

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As this semester draws to a close, I never thought I would be doing a website as my final project. I do, however, much like the fact that there was no written final exam. This class has taught me to really reach into the creative part of my brain and apply what I want to do, with what is required of us as students in EL236. Doing a website made me feel more confident in my html skills which is ultimately the goal of this project for me; not necessarily making an awesome website with tons of content and things to do and see, but more so just being able to do the basics (plus a little more) on my own. Usually I have a question every step of the way or need someone to "hold my hand" while I type the next code, just to make sure I did it right. Luckily I had some pretty patient people to help me out, but near the end, I forced myself to use time outside of class to see what I could do. I was pleased with my own results. I made things work, with a couple tries. But more importantly, I was able to pick out my own mistakes and then conjure up an answer.

For those that I tested who were not familiar with how to create a website, they found GovWorld impressive. I see it as nothing special in the website world because I know what my classmates are capable of. Feedback from my classmates wasn't too painful. I pretty much just got some issues with formating and appearance, since the content is pretty much my own.

Well, with that intro said and done- here are the changes that I made since the beta testing of my website.

  • background- I did not change the picture of the flag, but made it black and white and spaced it larger so that it stretched to the whole screen (which actully made it a little blurry, but I like the effect).
  • margins- Andy (one of my class testers) told me that the writing was stretched out too far across the page and made it look harder to read. I tried creating a margin on both sides but found that everything was too centered. So I only added one on the right side so that my nav bar and headings would still be aligned left, but the writing was centered.
  • spacing- spacing was quite an issue for me. I mostly had problems with pictures and tables. From a few of my outside beta testers, they noticed that not all the pictures were in the same format. Those things seem minor but are actually really hard to fix! Some of the images were too close together, while others were too far apart. It took some keen eyes and small changes to put them to the distances that I wanted.
  • links- My websites definitely needed links within the pages. I knew I needed to do that at some point and got word of it from many of my testers. It makes the website more interactive for the user and gives them the option of navigating to other sites for more information. So I created links to words in the content that provided more information on the same topic. They were also the sites where I got the information while making it.
  • credibility-After I created the links, I thought I should add some sort of a works cited page. I overheard some conversations in class about making sure to credit the sites where you got your content and images from. So I made what I thought was going to be a works cited page. But, Dr. Jerz pointed out that I would need to create some sort of MLA format in the text of my website where I put links to other sites. So instead of going through all that work and making it an annoying experience for users, I made it a useful websites page. Now users know where they can find other helpful outside sources on the content that is in GovWorld.

These are most of the changes that I made after more testing was done and from the feedback I recieved. There were still several problems that I needed to fix but those were things that I found wrong with the site (i.e faulty links, same font styles, uneven pictures, placement, etc.)

I enjoyed creating this site because government is something I am interested in and that I care about. At times I wanted to give up on this project, but I think because it was content that I liked, it kept me motivated to finish.


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