Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Response to Palmquist Ch. 17 Reading

Personally I have little to no experience designing web sites, so this article was very informational for me and I think I will be a helpful resource for me during Project 3. As Palmquist points out at the very beginning of the article, in order to be a successful web designed it is most important that "you must have some familiarity with the range of websites you can create, such as informative websites, articles for web-based journals, magazines, and newspapers, business websites, personal home pages; and blogs, to name only a few of the genres that can now be found on the web." I think this article will absolutley be helpful for me as a begin to familiarize myself with the ins-and-outs of web design.

The first main concept introduced by Palmquest are the 4 primary characteristics of websites: Purpose, Audience, Design, and Style. As he expanded upon these four characteristics, he makes clear why each is critically important in creating a good, well-functioning website. I felt the best point that he made in this section was about Style and Audience, which I actually found to be interconnected ideas. He states that in designing your webpage your style "must reflect standards of the sponsoring organization and the characteristics of the target auidience. Voice and tone range from informal to formal." I felt this a valuable piece of information, as I feel that in designing a web page, the writer must always write in a style that is in complete coordination with their target audience at all times.

Next Palmquist discusses in detail the primary elements of digital design that set digital design documents apart from print documents. These key elements he lists are: -Links - Informational Flags -Pop-Up Windows -Digital Illustrations. I agreed with alot of what Palmquist was saying in his discussion of the function/proper usage of these four elements in web design. One point he made that I agree is a critically important component of any web page are pop-up windows. One of my biggest pet peeves web visiting a particular website is when I click on a link on the main page, and it navigates me away from the original page completly. I agree with Palmquist that Pop-up windows are important. I also agree with him that informational flags are extremely helpful too. I have always really liked websites that offer a preview of any parituclar part of the page by simply scrolling over it with the mouse. I feel this contributes to the overall efficency and ease of use of any website.

Next Palmquist discusses at length the three main organizational structures used in web design: 1)Liner, which is similar to a series of pages in a book 2)Hierarchal, where pages are linked together according to their hierarchy 3)Interlinked structure- Page is linked to most/all pages in the site. Palmquist makes a good point in stating that "each organizational pattern offers advantages for writers, depending on their specific purposes and their readers needs or interests." He also states that there is a fourth structure that is commonly used in web design, which is the Combined Organizational Stucture, which is essentially a combination of the first three structures mentioned. I feel that most major, complex websites employ this style.

What I found to be the best part of Palmquists article was the checklist at the very end. Here he essentially tied together everything he stated in his article and provides the reader with a clear-cut, easy to read checklist that outlines what are the essentials in creating a good,functional web site. I know for a fact that during project three my group and I will be referring to the checklist asd a guide.

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