Interactive Media Work main site (dashboard)/web author blog. Smile and interact?

Lesson Activity Diary

UPDATE: I’ve moved the TV Idents diary to my TV Idents blog since it was getting a bit cluttered here. From now on I’ll be posting the diaries on the blog they apply to. This here will still be the home of my web design diary and diary specials. So don’t freak out (though why on earth you’d be freaking out I’ve no idea).

This will be officially the first diary of any kind I’ve ever written- unfortunately it will also be scrutinised by Edexcel so I wouldn’t be putting anything non-lesson based here. But just as well because learning is just as exciting as life stories (and I mean that in the most non-patronizing way possible).

Web authoring 07/09/2012

”Coding will be mind-blowingly difficult.” A phrase I repeated several times inside my head before starting the course. I suppose I’m right in most respects but it turns out HTML coding isn’t a terrifing language that only a programming whizz can do.

HTML tags can do anything. Make text bold, link images, make coffee. Okay maybe the latter isn’t true- not yet at least.

Is only the basics for now but I’m quite proud of it. Though it wouldn’t pass for a professional website. Must study more!

Side note: I found an awesome website that, while it’s focused on blogger, contains a load of pre-made codes and an administer that actually answers your coding queries:

Another awesome site for tutorial and other news on the web and web development:

The astronomical amount of research, money and time spent making this: is it reasonable or ludicrous?

Web Authoring 10/09/2012

Learning about how the internet works was always going to be a slightly messy procedure, so after staring at Kerry and listening to her explanation of how the internet works (well that and looking up diagrams on Google) I’ve finally grasped it:

  1. Client goes on a website.
  2. The information is sent to the mordem.
  3. Then it goes to the router before information travels to the network provider.
  4. Next it travels to the DNS (domain name sever that acts like aphonebook of the internet) where the IP address of the website is obtained.
  5. Via the IP address the information is finally sent to the host web sever which answers the request and allow your browser to bring back the web page. Phew.

All this happens within a second- unless you’re unlucky enough to have the worst internet speed on Earth.

Web Authoring 23/09/2012

You can make you own CSS selectors? Well not exactly but I did learn that you can assign specific styles to a specific element. All you have to do is give the element an id (i.e. para1) and then use # to define the id in CSS along with the distinct style you want (i.e. #para1 {text-align: center; color :red;}). There’s quite a lot you can do with CSS (actually ‘a lot’ might be an understatement), one day I learnt that you can create weird coloured fonts and the next I discovered that you can code some nifty borders.

Who needs a passport when you have an id selector?

Diary Special: Benjamin the illustrator

A professional illustrator came in on 25/09/2012, letting on a much needed insight into his work. As a freelancer illustrator he gave us tips on how building a portfolio is more important then a degree in his industry, as well as the difficulties of finding a job when the economy is down. The income varies for a freelancer sometimes you get a lot sometimes not so much (commercial illustration pays the most it turns out). He also talked about the usefulness of having an agent and that at times he can even get bored of his job.

Click the above screenshot and prepare to be dazzled or hiring if your a company/a bad drawer with dough.

Diary Special: Appsworld

The most interesting aspect of apps world was listening to an indie developer on his work and being indie. Turns out he hired an artist on twitter for free. You can also get support from the likes of Microsoft for things such as free software. So if I ever go indie I can also incorporate these techniques!

Our group came up with a load of great ideas and in the end we went for a device and app for the blind called good dog and nav dog respectively. I would make a joke about my face here, but no. Taken on BIMA day.

Web Authoring 10/10/2012
Two employers from codegent came in today to help in a bima (British Interactive Media Association) competiton/workshop and talk about what they do as a company. It was extremely fascinating to find out about their work environment (cosy and friendly thankfully) and the kind of websites they design as well as the process. Of course hearing about their wages (thanks to Tokyo’s question) was insightful too. Web design as it turns out requires not just brainiacs typing columns and columns of code but also a lot of research plus idea generation beforehand. Something that surprised me a little when David Hart said that some clients were dropped because they were too fussy and not worth codegent’s time. Thinking about it though that’s probably a reasonable thing to do.

Web Authoring 19/10/2012

I’ve finally dabbed my hands into creating a schedule by making the infamously disliked (judging from the groans from several classmates) Gantt chart. It was quite strange staring at the amount of work I have to do, it both scares me and excites me. Thank goodness I picked a course I enjoyed. Anyhow it made me feel like a professional when creating the chart and also sympathise into what web designer have on their hands all the time- then again they’re paid for it so…

My beautiful gantt chart, click on the picture to view a bigger version. I made it on Tom’s Planner in case you’re wondering.

Web design 9/11/2012

Some clients especially those who are unfamiliar with web design, will just say ‘go make a website’ and expect no further input from them.  I felt the full force of that when I met up with my client (my parents) about the wireframes  of the site. They were pleased with everything. Now this is a very good thing because I don’t have to do it all over again and I have a lot of creative freedom. Yet it felt a little empty when no criticism was given. My tutor’s feedback is always tough but fair when it comes to my work and I learn from it. Even so I suppose in industry you have to be prepared for the mellow ‘do anything’ client and the serious ‘I want it exactly like this’ client.

Web Design 16/11/2012 

Copyrighted images was always going to be a problem for me and it was. After googling medical stock photos I thought I was safe, until inevitably the price was revealed to me. Looking at how much they would charge for these royalty free (no money free) images has given me business ideas; seriously is not a small amount for a couple of uninspiring images. Luckily Google didn’t let me down: after more searching I found another stock photo site, the largest on the internet in fact. Of course stock.xchng (try pronouncing that) doesn’t have everything so I’ll probably have to make some images up myself.

There are some genuinely quality photos on SXC.

Diary Special: Escape Studios

Today two workers (or wardens if we’re going to go down the pun route) came in from the acclaimed motion graphics company Escape Studios. They showed off their former students’ (aka escapees) show-reels, talked about what their academy offer and an interesting view on how universities and degrees are not as important as your portfolio. You can cynically argue that they are just trying to sell their courses but I can see what they mean (plus they weren’t sprouting predictable PR speeches, rather it felt like they were talking out of person opinion and experience). Though our tutor Kerry was quick to remind us the benefits of Uni in future career changes and her own opinion of why university is worth attending (and it had nothing to do with drinking, which is strangely what people associate with Uni these days, I’d prefer enjoying the course and Ribena thank you very much). Anyhow I’m looking at both options: special courses or Uni. Making a decision will be no small feat. I’ll  need to think carefully and research thoroughly. And spam my tutors with questions.

Escape Studios

Web design 10/12/2012

I’m now partnered with Kunle for interactive media. In other words we’re work buddies! So whatever problems we have with the course we help each other out- without spamming them with irrelevant questions. I will need plenty of help with coding. One thing I found extremely complex about web coding is actually making sure everything works. If you miss out a speech mark or a braket the whole thing goes bannas. Being a perfectionist and paying attention to detail is crucial to being a designer, now I know why.

You're probably wondering what this is. It's the phrase-long solution to my week-long frustration.

You’re probably wondering what this is. It’s the phrase-long solution to my week-long frustration.

Web design 18/1/2013

Ever wondered why the content of your page is always jumbled up with either your footer or header? Well after stressing over this for ages I’ve discovered a solution. Put all your page content in a <div> tag (I’d suggest <div class= “content”>) then in your style sheet (CSS) define its width and height and add some top and bottom margins while you’re at it. It may seem silly to tell the browser your content’s overall width and height but anyone who’ve delved into coding will know that computers are really thick. Anyhow remember  that defining width and height is key to prevent jumbling- also make sure that your header and footer are both ‘position: static’, is the default positioning of any element but any accidental changes can cause a whole load of mess to occur.

Web design 25/01/2013

As we near the end of web authoring  I have a couple more testing left to do. It’s during these session that you realises the silly mistakes you made in terms of spelling, grammar and little details such as a missed out information (my dad properly scolded me for missing out the post code on his website). Strange how bad spelling can scar a beautiful website.

Spelling and grammar: my number one foe.

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