The reading for this week was pretty light, but I found it to be very informative. For the past few weeks, I’ve been so consumed by writing the code for my web pages, that the design basics stressed by Robin Williams in The Non-Designers Design Book and Rebecca Hagen and Kim Golombisky’s White Space is Not Your Enemy slipped my mind a bit. I didn’t realize how difficult it could be to code, design, and create content evenly throughout a site. It’s taken a lot of energy to manage all of these aspects of my page and, based on my portfolio and type pages, I have a ways to go. I do feel that I’ve made good progress to this point, and incorporating the readings from these books is a good reminder to think about the design of my site.
This week is specifically focused on using colors appropriately. As I’m sure many of my classmates noticed, we have similar taste in color. Variations of off-white were a common theme for many of our sites (my specific background color is “cornstalk”). While Dr. Petrik urges us to be more adventurous, I’ve been finding that to be harder than I first imagined. I’m looking for a color scheme that reflects a murder in the 1850s, so it’s taken some time to figure out what that might be. I’m happy with the “cornstalk” background color, but I agree with Dr. Petrik that I need to spice it up a bit. The reading from Williams this week might be the answer. Her basic discussion of the color wheel is actually very helpful. Just thinking about complementary and analogous colors has helped me think about some new combinations I can incorporate in my site. The images Williams provides were helpful because she literally showed that two or three colors that might not seem like they would work together, actually do. Too often I think of a color combination and dismiss it without taking a closer look. In the upcoming weeks, I plan on making more of an effort in developing my overall design with a special focus on the colors used.
That is, assuming, that I don’t forget everything as I dive into Photoshop CC. Just as with Dreamweaver, I have little working knowledge of Photoshop. I know it can manipulate images. That’s about it. I’m glad Lynda.com took to time to create another excellent tutorial focusing on how to use Photoshop. It’s a long tutorial, so I haven’t gotten all the way through it yet, but based on the first hour I feel confident that I’ll have a better understanding of Photoshop by the end. One important aspect of this tutorial is the discussion of user devices. I take for granted all of the different devices available to view websites. I use my phone all the time to look at different sites, but as I’m creating my own site I’m not always thinking about the user on the mobile device. My main focus is typically on creating a site that would look good on a computer. That’s something that I’ll have to change if I want my site to be user friendly, and I think that should be a goal for all web designers. From what I can tell, one way to address the variety of screen sizes is to use breakpoints. These were mentioned in an earlier Lynda tutorial, but I didn’t quite understand how they worked. After watching part of the Photoshop tutorial, it’s clear that breakpoints can be a big help in allowing my website to adapt to different types of devices and screen sizes.