Web Graphics Software Course Reflection

Even though taking classes during the summer isn’t the most exciting thing, I have actually really enjoyed this course. Throughout the summer I had multiple “firsts” of things I had never done before. Building a drag and drop website, creating a blog, and coding a brand new website are a few examples of things I had never done until this class. Learning how to code a website was one thing that was really hard, but it is so cool to look at all that crazy coding and then open it in a web browser and see the website you created. I can’t wait to learn more and practice to make better websites! I also really liked that we did these blogs. I thought it was kind of weird at first, but it really helps to put what you’ve learned in to words to share with others. The blogs also made us explore things for ourselves like how to use Pinterest for business purposes, what current web design trends are, or even what not to do when creating a website. I don’t think there is anything that I would really change about this course. The only thing that I might change is that I would take it in class instead of online, but I still thought it was great!

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Navigation Design

One of the most important components of a website is the navigation menu. According to Smashing Magazine, “Navigation gives you a window onto the website designer’s creative ability to produce a functional yet visually impressive element that’s fundamental to most websites” (http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/01/04/showcase-of-modern-navigation-design-trends/#more-22959). A few current trends in navigation design are 3-D Navigation, Speech Balloons, Rounded Corners, JavaScript Animation, and Unusual Shapes. “Navigation is a big focal point because you need to handle the shift between desktop to mobile in a usable manner” (http://blog.teamtreehouse.com/popular-web-design-trends-for-responsive-navigation). A few trends that deal with the shift between desktop to mobile are Re-sizing and Positioning, Select Menus, Overlay Dropdowns, Block Dropdowns, and Hidden Shelf Sliding Menus. One website that I believe has a good navigation design is SproutBox. This website has good navigation design because the menus are a light green box with rounded corners and dark green writing, but once you click on a menu it changes to a dark green speech bubble so you know which page you are on. Another website that has good navigation design is The Crazy Love Campaign. The navigation design in this website works really well because it is placed at the top of the page with the same background pattern as the rest of the website, but in a lighter shade. Also, the font is very different and gives it a unique look. One more website that I think has good navigation design is Think Up. The navigation links for this website are very cool and unique. They are crumpled post-it notes and when you hover over one it changes colors and when you click on one it brings it forward to see the whole note.

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Exploring Pinterest

Pinterest is a great and easy way to share things you like with others, even for businesses. It is very easy to set up an account and once you have an account you create “mood boards”, which are like your categories or topics. Then, you can either search for a specific top or browse the categories of the site to find “pins”, which are the links themselves, by others. If you like the pins you find, you can pin them to your own profile under each one of your mood boards. You can also use the “Pin It” button to create a new pin from any website that you find. I really like how easy it is to use Pinterest and to share things with others. The only thing I dislike is that some pins that people put on Pinterest do not link back to the website, so it is just an image. I think Pinterest is very useful to individuals and to businesses, and I will definitely use it again. I could use the board that I created to get ideas and tips on how to create an attractive and useful website for the client. The article, “How to Use Pinterest for Business” by Hubspot has a few suggestions for marketing: feature visual content, host a contest, add the “Pin It” button to your website, and add links in the descriptions of your pins. I really like using Pinterest and think it could be a great tool for businesses as well. Here is my Client Project Mood Board: http://www.pinterest.com/kymichelle_5/client-project-mood-board/pins/

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Trends for Typography

“Typography is the art and technique of arranging type in order to make the language it forms most appealing to transparent learning and recognition” (Codeboxr). Trends in typography are always changing and evolving, but here are a few examples of the current trends being used on the web. Larger fonts are being used because desktop screens are becoming larger, giving web designers more screen to fill and design. Another new thing with typography is that “bold” is no longer the only other font weight available. There are many different weights ranging from “ultra light” to “ultra bold.” Many web designers are also using the larger fonts and more letter-spacing to achieve a very minimal designs to get the point across without all of the fancy graphics. Web fonts service providers, such as Google Web Fonts, allows designers to use pretty much any font, which means websites can be more unique and eye catching (http://codeboxr.com/blogs/latest-trends-in-web-typography-2014). Google Web Graphics is one method that is being used to implement typography on the web, but there are other methods as well. A few of the other methods being used are CSS3 @font-face, Cufon Font Replacement, Scalable Inman Flash Replacement, Facelift Image Replacement, and Fahrner Image Replacement (http://www.hotscripts.com/blog/custom-fonts-on-your-site/). These different trends in typography and methods used to implement typography are drastically changing the way web designers use typography and are allowing them to be more creative when designing websites.

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