30 Sep

Idea Generation

It’s really odd being given a brief without a subject.

“Anything you want, within reason.” is quite a difficult task. There’s so many options and yet finding one that feels perfect takes time.

I know I wanted to practice my coding skills – HTML, CSS and JavaScript being the top 3 I’m interested in. Structure, styling and functionality are necessities for every front-end developer. I also wanted to combine the things I’ve learnt in other areas: usability, branding, maybe even a little SEO and marketing (why not?).

It’s very rewarding (and self-indulgent) to look back over the last two years and see just how far I’ve progressed. That’s one of the lovely things about this blog too. It’s very helpful to be able to remind myself of some of the tools I have at my disposal. No one has a perfect memory, and looking back at old work shows how I overcame certain issues in the past, saving energy and a lot of time spent on stackoverflow.com.

So after flicking through my old work, I created the following mind map (always a great starting tool) to expand on the following 4 points:

  1. What do I want to make?
  2. What do I want to learn?
  3. What am I interested in?
  4. What skills make me employable?

Initial mind map

I wanted to pick something that would combine an interest with other beneficial elements. There’s no point wasting time repeating old stuff exactly as I’ve done it before when I could be learning something.

Two ideas I pursued:

idea1

 

idea2

After some brief initial research into the two ideas, I decided to select the second for my degree project: an online allotment planner. It has endless possibilities, and hasn’t been perfected in a workable in-browser format yet.

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23 Mar

Web Dev: Skeleton Boilerplate

I decided to experiment with Skeleton, a responsive CSS boilerplate.

It is extremely simple to use, and comes with a 12-column grid making it a perfect fluid layout template.

Skeleton's 12-column grid layout.

Skeleton’s 12-column grid layout.

I was able to quickly put together a starting layout, based on some sketches I mapped out previously. My initial sketches are below (taking the grid layout into consideration) followed by the initial desktop layout and a mobile version created starting with Skeleton.

layoutSketch

ScreenShotDesktop

ScreenShotMobile

I developed a system of blocks, that include a ‘border’ section of colour, and a white section to hold the text. As you can see, it is an extremely quick way to get together a responsive design. I’m going to work on gathering and creating the content with the client before I progress much more with the coding, but I’m happy that this is going to be a viable tool to build on and develop further.

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11 Mar

Portfolio Project: WordPress Research

As part of my Portfolio Project, I wanted to research the best way to integrate a separate portfolio section on this WordPress blog. It has to showcase my best design work, and allow me to write ‘case study’ information about each element.

I initially came across a portfolio plugin, but it has very mixed reviews and still seems in early stages of development.

I then searched WordPress plugins for portfolio-style galleries, and came across the Codenovo Portfolio plugin. I found it very simple to use, and integrate with my existing site. I edited the CSS to match my colour scheme, aiding continuity between the blog and portfolio sections.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 20.15.35

I then added a few of my works to this, to see how it would look. So far, I’m very pleased with this, and will continue to add design work over the coming weeks.

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