Sunday, July 12, 2009

Expressions of a Road Trip Website

Well, where do I begin . . . it's been an exhausting week on the open road. This includes trying to complete our website project while spending time with family I haven't seen in months. I now understand why and how website designers can spend months on a website . . . sorry to say, I am not completely satisfied with my website despite the countless hours I put into creating it. I won't bore you with my insanity to over analyze my work, instead I will just get right to the point.

Using the free web site, Webnode, I created my Web 2.0 website; It was pretty straight forward compared to creating a new website in Microsoft Expressions. Microsoft Expressions is like Frontpage on steroids. When comparing the two, Webnode has many limitations if you are an experienced web designer or are looking to put your website on the map. For the amateur web designer, Webnode is a great tool to get started. The website allows you to pick from several creative templates and modify the templates as necessary. Keep in mind, there are limitations to Webnode. If you are looking for specific fonts, be prepared to make adjustments. I used Papyrus for the titles and Palatino Linotype for the text in MS Expressions. Neither was available using Webnode so I selected Georgia for both the text and titles. I opted to use a template in Webnode that was designed using a better color scheme and layout than the one I created in Microsoft Expressions. The problem I ran into using Webnode was formatting the layout to match the one I created in Expressions. Some of my photos had to be redesigned to use them in Webnode. Though I used the same photos, not all of the photos are exactly the same size or layout.

Microsoft Expressions allowed me to create a website from scratch but time and patience along with a little experience (which never hurt) would have helped critique this project. I started creating the website in Expressions by creating my own buttons. After further investigation, I decided to use template buttons instead. Trying to create the color scheme I was looking for was taking more time than I anticipated because I was over analyzing the entire project from the beginning. I was struggling with the tables in the beginning but started to get the hang of it as I moved through the project. In Webnode, the layout was rigid and straight forward which made my decision making simpler.

Two entirely different websites were created although the theme was the same. I liked how the Webnode site turned out but didn't like the limiting factors for fonts, sizes, page layouts and resizing & laying out photos. With more time, I am sure that my website in Microsoft Expressions could have much more flash. I did reference the Frontpage book on several occasions which helped me work through Expressions.

I have learned so much using Photoshop, Expressions, Frontpage and reading through the course books provided by the college. I am definitely interested in purchasing Photoshop and MS Expressions so that I can critique my current skill set. Tomorrow night, don't be disappointed with the presentation, I believe I have the basic concepts down, just need to refine my skill set.

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