I enjoy working on many different tasks but that means I often lose track of my work on this website. What follows are notes to myself and to curious visitors like you about the reasoning behind how this website is to be redesigned. Every time I come back to this page, I update it. This clears my thoughts and refeshes my memory about what I'm doing to welcome people to my world.
Re-designing a website
Websites should be simple to edit (so the author's effort goes into content, not mechanics) and easy to navigate (so the visitor's attention is on the content, not the mechanics). I find it difficult to stick with any design. Perhaps that's why, starting in September, 2003, I started re-designing my own website to allow for a photographic diary or blog. My challenge will be to create a design I can stick with for a year or more!
SEPTEMBER 14, 2003 - THE RE-DESIGN - As you can see
below, I start simple, with a page containing two tables, one above the
other. Both are 700 pixels wide. The top horizontal navigation is a one-row
table of seven cells. Each cell contains a GIF image. These cells can
be made into rollovers later, or not! Below this table is a another table,
one column wide and four rows deep. Two rows are there just for spacing.
Later, columns can be added to the editable region if I want to add an
additional left-hand navigation bar or have two or three columns of text
and graphics. Because this table is separate from the top, the columns
can be any width. The bottom row with its copyright notice and text-based
navigation will be standard on all pages. Eventually, this will become
a "library item" that, if changed, will change on all the pages
that contain it. The background color is 9F9599, a reddish-putty color,
light enough that this black type is easy to read, but
dark enough that white type can be used for emphasis. On 256-bit
color monitors, the background would appear as grey, 999999. As usual,
the page is centered in the browser.
28, 2003 - THE PHOTO BLOG
OCTOBER 10, 2003 - GO FORWARD, BRANCHING!- Stories and
diaries move forward in time but most weblogs move backward. That's because
most visitors want to see the latest entries, not the ones they've already
seen. This makes sense if most visitors come back every day to check to
see if something new has been added. Few if any visitors are so devoted
to this website, if only because new items appear so infrequently. In
any case, I don't like the reverse telling of a story. Blogs, like books,
are linear. The difference is that new pages are inserted. The challenge
is navigational, letting people start wherever they like and, when they
return, letting them pick up where they left off. The other challenge
is egotistical. Authors get tired of seeing the old stuff and want to
put the new stuff up front. Also, we all want our pages to look fresh.
But that does not mean that the story must be told backwards. When new
features are added to a blog, they can be highlighted at the start and
in a table of contents. Those features can change regularly.
OCTOBER 11, 2003 - CONTENTS AND TABLE OF CONTENTS - Because I am easily bored and so very multi-talented, I will want more than paragraphs and thumbnails on my blog. I will want it to branch off into pages like this one, off to whatever I happen to have added, not just photographs. Will that change the design? Can my blog still be linear in time? Why not? If I've just designed a new website or a new webpage, I can put a thumbnail of a screenshot in place instead of a photo, just like I've done here with a thumbnail of the Cathedral Choir School of Delaware's home page, which links to their website, carrying visitors to my website far, far away.
OCTOBER 14, 2003 - WELCOME OR WELCOME BACK? - Now I'm ready to re-design my Home page, which will welcome first-time visitors and old-time friends. Again, the first-timers want to see something comprehensible and inviting while the old-timers want to see something new and different.With the addition of the blog, I can start with whatever segment of the blog I've most recently added, perhaps using the narrower right or left side to provide links to the older sections for essays, photography and design as well as a link to the blog's table of contents. Let's try that!
All pages copyright 2000-2006 Danny N. Schweers