Watkins Web 3: Blog

Project 1 Sketches/Wireframes

Quick reminder: your sketches/wireframes for Project 1 are due Monday, February 6. A good place to start would be sketching the design of the home page, a single post (aka permalink) page, and the complete archive page. And you should have some sample descriptions or images that represent the kind of content you will be posting.

We’ve been doing a lot of code exercises and review over the past few weeks, which will of course be necessary for you to build your site. But right now I’d encourage you to put all that aside and think more generally about structure and visual presentation.

  1. Think critically about the form and content of your blog and the way the two will interrelate. Will your site be an all-purpose notebook to which you add any and all images and text that interest you — a sort of online stream-of consciousness in the manner of Tumblr? Or will it be a more carefully curated and written site, where you publish less frequent but longer posts that guide the reader through a theme with text and images?
  2. What kind of design “moves” will contribute to the goals you have for your site? Should the home page put your reader directly into the full text of a recent post, or does it make more sense to let them choose from the 10 your recent posts? If the latter, should the choice be a visual one (a grid of thumbnail images) or short excerpts from the post text (with “Continue Reading →” links). Is there a role for a icon-drive or color-coding system to help organize your site? What about tagging?
  3. If you are inspired by a website or techinque you’ve seen elsewhere, don’t plan to lift it wholesale for your site. Think about how you might re-invent or change it to suit your needs, and in what ways it will support the “big ideas” behind your project.

Finally, remember that this semester is more about you taking the initiative to explore your own ideas with design and code than it is about completing a pre-defined set of tasks. PHP, HTML, CSS, and Javascript are the tools, not ends in themselves. So above all, choose an interest or set of interests that you will be most enthusiastic about translating into an online project.