What have I learnt from this web design process?
I think the first thing that I have learnt from this process is that planning a website out in detail before you begin to work on it is essential. It is really important to have a clear and consistent theme and layout from the off, as this makes developing pages easier and more efficient. I had to change a lot of aspects of my pages and maybe if i’d produced a more accurate plan of the pages beforehand this wouldn’t have been the case.
The second thing that I have learnt is that there is a lot of help out there for budding coders and web designers! There are some really great websites which will have posts to answer any questions about coding that you may have. There are also some excellent websites with collections of web design theory and examples of well designed websites. Here’s a re-cap of some of the websites that I have found particularly useful;
- http://www.webdesign-inspiration.com (a selection of brilliantly designed websites)
- http://webdesignledger.com/inspiration/19-inspiring-examples-of-text-over-images-in-web-design (really good if you want to combine text and images on the same overall graphic – which I did)
- http://webdesign.tutsplus.com/sessions/web-design-theory/ (has tutorials on everything from coding to web design theory)
- http://sixrevisions.com/web_design/a-look-into-color-theory-in-web-design/ ( all about colour and the web)
- https://kuler.adobe.com/create/color-wheel/ ( a really good website allowing you to generate your own colour scheme)
- http://www.siteinspire.com/websites/1874-salt-films ( this website is an excellent example of visually interesting an engaging design)
The website above is an excellent example of design which allows a reader to interact with it. This is something that I’ve tried to achieve with my own images, in order to make scientific facts and statistics more appealing and use these statistics to tell a visual story. on this website your mouse cursor becomes the arm shown below. You can run the cursor/ arm along the salt shakers and pick them up in order to select the page you want to visit. I am definitely not at the stage where I could do this on my site – however, it provided inspiration and showed me that it was possible to couple elegant and interesting design with functionality.
I had constructed a timeline for the completion of my website, which pretty much went to plan. The only aspect that I would change is that I would allow more time for troubleshooting and making any other changes that would visually improve my website.
Overall, I think that my website has achieved the goals which I set for it. I think it does the job of combining information and visual images in a way that is user-friendly for a lay audience and is not too text heavy. Maybe if I were to develop the website further I would think of a way of explaining the infographics and the overall areas of science behind them. For example, the ‘Food’ page may include more infographics laying out the background to food production issues in the world today. However, I am pleased with the amount and quality of content that I have been able to generate and incorporate into my website in the time available to me (especially as I had never coded or used Dreamweaver or Illustrator before).