This past Monday could not be described as a Moody Monday since I was enjoying my time away at the beach. However, tomorrow I must face the reality of going back to work and starting life once again as I know it . . . once again, we will also take the time to learn more about web design. This week's Graphics Lab project was a true test of what we have learned over the past 4 weeks. Creating our own collage became more challenging than I would have imagined compared to the other projects; none the less, it was a great learning experience.
The project this week got me thinking about all the people who start creating web sites thinking, "I can do this quickly and it will be easy!" It can be but many just throw something together because they don't want to take the time to use the creative side of their brain. Letting just anyone create a website is NOT always a good idea; its almost like receiving junk mail in your Sunday paper . . . I only want to read what I am looking for so you better send me something that catches my eye or I am not wasting my time reading it. "What's the point?" My point is, the creator of the web page must take into consideration his/her audience and the usability & accessibility of the web site itself. It is a big mistake to confuse usability with accessibility. Don't think that one is less important than the other. Optimizing a site's usability will help to make it more accessible for a wider audience. In the same breath, making a site more accessible will welcome the usability of that site. So what have we learned?
Accessibility can be defined as the ability to access the functionality and possible benefit of the website by as many users as possible (including able or disabled persons).
Usability can be defined as the effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction of the website by it's users.
"So what's the benefit?" The benefit of creating your own website is simply money! It's much cheaper to do it yourself because you could end up paying someone thousands. This is especially true if you are very particular to what you are looking for in the website. Even than, there are no guarantees on what you will receive for the money you spent so if you have the time, patience, creativity than do it yourself. "But I don't know HTML code as well as a professional!" Lucky for you, technology has come a long way and there are programs out there that can help. By using these website tools, the code is embedded for you as you place graphics and titles. This allows the designer to learn the code that goes into the website design. Even when writing this blog, I see the tab to edit the HTML. When I click on it, several lines of HTML code appear from my web blog. If I want, I can manipulate the code that is already written to enhance (or deform) my web blog.
As you can see, each week we assemble another piece of the puzzle to create our own web page. We are learning how to use tools provided to us by technology in order to create a beautiful web page for our last week of class. Hopefully we will take that education and apply it to our every day lives.