Seeing coding in a new light

Finally, after nearly two months, I think coding finally clicked for me. Using graph paper and discussing its role in web design responsiveness in class made me see the process in a whole new way. Before that, I didn’t understand ems or context or any of those things. Now that I get it (or at least I think I do), I’m ready to tackle some more coding tonight.

I tinkered around with my new sketch in Smultron to put my newfound knowledge to the test. It was all going great until I realized this new phase of the project would include a CSS reset. I plugged the code in for that, and my work suddenly wasn’t looking so good anymore. That’s ok, because I think I’ve made strides to catch up to this point in the semester. So tonight in class, we’ll get to work on our websites and I’ll feel confident and prepared.

In my initial design for my grid-based website, I wanted a main slideshow above the fold, followed by three columns of content beneath it. While stumbling around various technology websites for cell phone reviews yesterday (I’m due for a new one), I came across a site called Ars Technica. Ars Technica uses a layout similar to the one I envisioned for my own website, so I feel reassured that at least one professional organization feels this is a valid structure. I, too, wanted to put borders around the content and use mostly white. I like the orange on black logo, and, although we won’t be using logos for Internet and Writing Studies purposes, I am now motivated to experiment with different color schemes so my web page doesn’t look as bland as I originally wanted it to be. That small contrast looks like it can do a lot for a site’s look.

Although I’m not a graphic designer, I think I can make a website that will attract users. I won’t be able to go crazy, but I want to shoot for a sleek look, so when people visit my page, they think, “Wow, this guy knows what he’s talking about.” Of course, I want people to read my work, but, like we read in Aaron Walter’s “Designing for Emotion”, I want people to get that impression even before they start reading any text. Soon, I’ll have the rough outline of my new design online, and I’m eagerly awaiting showing the web the new tricks I have up my sleeve.




One response to “Seeing coding in a new light

  1. When it comes to HTML, CSS and grid-based designs and structures, it’s a wonderful feeling when you finally start to figure what it all means! I think what helped put everything in perspective for me was re-reading the Responsive Web Design book. The graph paper was a nice approach, but the books are an excellent guide. Ars Technica has a great web design. I definitely need to search around and look for comparable layouts for my own website. I look forward to checking out your re-designed website in the coming weeks.

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