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2 steps forward; 6,124 steps backward April 17, 2007

Posted by McStorian in Uncategorized.


 Seriously, what the hell?  Why is it that half of this process doesn’t make any sense?  I create a beautiful website in dreamweaver, frequently preview it in my browser, validate it, then post it online . . . and it looks nothing like the previews in my browser – even though it’s the same damn browser!  It bears repeating: Seriously, what the hell?  Despite my supposed javascript hack, my .png files don’t show up being transparent (yes, I use IE – just like everyone else at my agency), and the background image doesn’t load.  I had several break-through moments in the past couple weeks where I thought I actually understood something for once – but that was usually followed by hours of trying to understand mundane details that somehow greatly affect my site – like how my header, background, and footer don’t line up properly even though they’ve all been positioned using the same numeric parameters. 

 But, onto other style notes – since design is what this assignment is about: I need some advice on what to include on the left side of my page.  I don’t like the idea of having a traditional-looking nav bar because of my 3-column content layout.  I’m breaking the project into 3 parts as explained on the homepage, and feel it’s unnecessary to have any further navigation.  Yet, it feels kinda naked without something over there.  Any advice?

 Also, any advice on how to get my right margin to line up properly?  Right now it’s unacceptable but have given up on trying to fix it for now.

Formatting my anchors has also proven to be difficult, especially when trying to assign specific classes.  Point being, I’ve still got a lot to learn before the final project is due!



1. Laura - April 18, 2007

I really, really like your site design. I mean, you’re lucky to be working with such cool images, but you also came up with, I think, a rather creative horizontal layout. It’s a little different and it works. So, to your design question: I would keep this design. I would consider making the columns wider so that the three cover the whole body section adn there is no troublesome gap on the left. Your photos at the top and bottom are excellent. I have a couple of comments that may help.

1) Try making the background color of the whole page the same color as the light color in the header so that it blends.
2) I think the three different fonts you use in the header and then titles just below are distracting from one another. Try repeating the top one in the titles below, and make those your “buttons.” I would also take out the links in the paragraphs and the text that essentially says “click here.” Instead, I would make what you currently have as link text into a subheading, like “Overview of the Corps of Engineers’ involvement in the Canal Zone.” Make it slightly smaller than the title but larger than the main text. The title and image should be clickable, but I would not add a link in the text.

As to your development issues with Dreamweaver and IE, I would download Firefox and use that with its developer extension, so you can see where your troubles are. Then, check it in IE after you’ve gotten it where you want it in Firefox, and do damage control.

Let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to help.


2. veprek.com » Blog Archive » Design Critiques - April 18, 2007

[…] because I thought she did a really great job and the critique got a little carried away, and on James’ blog. Perhaps I’m saying this because I know that for this project, I worked nearly non-stop on it […]

3. Misha Griffith - April 18, 2007

Amen, brother, you are preaching to the choir! Ten years from now, designing sites and browsing them will be a WYSIWYG affair, and we will all laugh at the gyrations we are suffering. But yes, our assignment is due in just a few weeks. Aside from what you think are problems, I thought your site, on the whole, was one of the best we critiqued. I love your choice of title font-very period. And I agree with Laura-make the site three columns across and skip the buttons. It is an introductory page, let it be so. I totally disagree with Dr. Petrik about one-word buttons–if only because I had a terrible time navigating with them on our assignment to use the screen-reader. Your concept has an old fashioned elegance to the problem. They feel like “calling cards”. Those were specially embossed cards the wealthy Victorians carried to announce themselves when visiting. The really special ones had photographs on them. I think it is where we got the modern tradition of business cards. Anyway, I would give the navigation statements a different look than just underlining. Another font, perhaps?

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