Jenny Reeder

Prelude to a final project…
April 30, 2007, 9:01 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

So I have something. It’s a start, but it’s up, here. I have links up, and I’ve started adding in the biographies and material culture icons on the links. There are three or four up on each page (roll over the poster), and you can keep checking back for more. I know you’ll be dying with excitement and joy.

It’s actually been quite exciting for me to figure out how to add roll-over images and text. I owe a world of thanks to Ken for showing me how it’s done on his own site and for helping me figure out my math for my relative and absolute placement. I’m still working through some issues–I think by the final I’d like to actually click on the roll-over hotspot and have a whole new page come up. I just don’t get enough room for the text I want in a complete biography when I roll over. But one thing at a time.

I feel like I’ve learned so much about design in this class–millions of miles further than I was when I first started in January. And yet as I pull together this final project, I worry that I haven’t adequately used my HISTORY. I yearn to spend more time on the content rather than the design. I want to fine-tune my footnotes and my explanations. I want to add links to other sites. I am itching to really fix the history–and yet all my energy has to be spent on the format, the design, the links, the CSS. I feel Misha’s frustration as I, too, become bogged down in the tools rather than the content. I know we have to learn the tools, but can’t there be a better balance? Now that I have a semi-functional website, is the content good? Is it appropriate? Is it accurate? What is most important?


8 Comments so far
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Jen – I checked out your project site this AM and have only two minor comments. The HTML badge is aligned to center on the home page (it is floated left on the other two along with the CSS badge) and the pull quote is also hanging off the bottom of the main content. Other than that, it’s a fine site. I like how the poster is rendered – it’s detailed enough to be visually significant but it doesn’t crowd the text out. I saw the other pages but these didn’t have any text. The header, as I said during the Design review, is great.

Comment by John Lillard

I really think this is a great site, and a really creative and valuable use of web design for history. Based on John’s comments above, it seems you need a little explanation of where to rollover or something, but I guess this is what you’ll do for the final. Also, when you get more space for those biographies that popup when you rollover the image, I would recommend making some differentiation in your relative font-size and style: her name should be a bit bigger, like a heading, I think, in order to differentiate her name from the bio blurb below. That way, at a quick glance, your viewer can see who they’re looking at.
One other comment, remember that this class is about designing for history. So, in this class you are supposed to focus on the design. I know it pains you to put up content that you feel is incomplete, but it is your design that should be complete this time. When you’re done with the class, then, hopefully you’ll be able to focus on the history, and when your history work is complete you can create your design. Learning and solidifying your design skills in this class will help you do that in the future.


Comment by Laura

[…] also commented on Jenny’s blog that: (1) I think her design is great and a very good use of the web to present historical content […]

Pingback by » Blog Archive » It’s better when you have content

Great looking design Jenny. I think since you’ve cracked the code on how to do a lot of different things on the web, you can fill in content from here on out. Hopefully this is a horse you can ride and add to as you research more and take other courses. Maybe even provide a base for your dissertation?


Comment by Bill

Jenny, I think that Laura has the right take on the class. Some humanities pundits opine that “putting things on the web” can be learned as a sideline. Just whip up a website on a weekend. As you know, putting together a website is a great deal more difficult. In Clio 2, you have the luxury of learning how to do all this over the course of an entire semester. That being said, Clio 2 is very much pitched toward design for the humanities and history, in particular. In a traditional web design class, you would not work on techniques for doing a footnote, think about the problems involved in preparing an engraving for the web, code for exploration of a historical image, study type for history, or any of the several other topics that we’ve discussed. In a traditional class, you would be working on shopping carts and form validation.

Comment by Prof. P

I have to add, since we spoke, Jenny, that I do think you are learning to design for history. As Prof P mentioned, you are learning a set of design principles that are indeed good design principles but they also apply to designing for history. As I said in person, I think maybe you just don’t see it yet because this is the only design you know and it isn’t always spelled out as explicitly FOR history. For example, things like making your headings different from your main text, something that we’ve talked about in class, is both a good design principle and very important for history websites. Using historically appropriate type and colors and images. I do understand your frustration, but I believe you will feel better about what you’ve learned in retrospect.

Finally, I think you can definitely be proud of what you’ve learned. You’ve done some great things, worked hard, and produced some nice artwork and websites.

Comment by Laura

Jenny, I just love your web site! I think the colors, placement of images, content, and everything else fit very well within what I would imagine to be a very appropriate design for this subject. You should be proud of what you’ve accomplished. And keep in mind too that sometimes you can do this based on your own instincts…only you’ll know exactly what the right thing to do is, and we can only hope to guide you to those good decisions when you are having trouble. I heartily applaud you for all your hard work and dedication!

Comment by Jennifer Levasseur

Like you, I am starting to doubt Ron’s commitment to Sparkle Magic Click

Comment by rosastanley26211

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