Web Design Typography

I think one of the weakest points in my work is the use of good typography. I understand that typography is a very important part of web design, and I intend to put a lot of work into studying this. The correct use of font sizes, colors, and font types can greatly improve the look and layout of even the best web sites. I have been doing some out of class research, and will be contacting professionals for additional tips.

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For this assignment I decided to look at a few articles on typography. The first one is 20 Do’s and Don’ts of Effective Web Typography that seemed like a cool checklist.
http://webdesignledger.com/tips/20-dos-and-donts-of-effective-web-typography

KC Painter

November 10, 2011

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Thanks for the great article. I am trying to focus on typography for my website, and had a fast question. Do you have a font size scale that you use? Or due you use a different scale for each project?

Thanks,
KC

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The second article I looked at was Web Design is 95% Typography and it was a cool place to find a number of resources.
http://www.informationarchitects.jp/en/the-web-is-all-about-typography-period/

The contact page was broken so I couldn’t copy my message. 

Website Proposal – A Friend in Need

Web Site Proposal

Animal adoption is a very important issue as well as something that I care very much about. There are countless animals here in the DFW area that are in need of a loving home and family. This site will be feature animals in near by animal shelters that are up for adoption, as well as provide an online community for pet owners. This site will focus on the adoption of dogs since I myself have rescued one dog already, and plan to continue adopting all of my future animals.

A major problem with animal adoption is that many people that are interested in getting a new animal either don’t know where to go to adopt an animal, or don’t want to look around for the specific breed they want. By having them all in one location, and by offering a search feature with multiple filters, we can help owners find their perfect pet. I also want to create an online community for new and experienced animal owners to be able to share information and ask any questions that new owners usually have. I will also be providing a great deal of general pet owner information sections for first time owners ranging from training tips to medical checklists and time lines. This is something I was unable to find when I first got my dog, and would have helped me immensely.

My target audience will be middle aged men and women who are married and have a family, and who either rent or own their home. The majority of people who adopt a pet either have a family already, or look for one once they decide to settle down and start a family. Most pet owners also live in homes instead of apartments to give their pet adequate space to live and play.

Since my audience will be mostly family oriented people middle aged peopel, I will keep this site very straight forward and as user friendly as possible. This site is intended to help animals in need of a home and pet owners in any way possible, as well as create a community for pet owners to share information and ask questions. Features like a search  between agencies, the information and training sections, user generated tips and suggestions, and many others will help separate us from other similar sites.

Preliminary Outline:

I. Home
II.  Find a Friend – Search for a pet in a local shelter in our internal data base.
III. Owner Information – A section of information for new and long time pet owners
     A. Training Tips - A section containing a number of different training tips. each page               will contain a number of sub categories
          1. General Training
          2. Potty Training
B. Medical Information
 - A section that contains a number of medical tips
          1. Vaccination Information 
          2. Flea/Tick and other Pests
          3. Nutrition
     C. Breed Breakdown - A section that describes dog breeds in detail, including                       behavior, dieting and any breed specific information
IV. Community - Our online community
     A. Blog - A Blog section of current success stories, events and other information
     B. User Tips and Suggestions - A user driven section of training and nutrition tips                 organized by categories
     C. Success Stories - A section where we feature newly adopted animals, as well as               owners who wish to be featured
     D. Adoption Board - A user driven page where current pet owners can feature their               pet on our adoption board, and look for a new home for their pets
     F. Find a Shelter -  A section of local animal shelters along with descriptions and user           driven reviews of each
V. FAQ - A section for general FAQs
VI. About Us - Short summary of our company along with why we started, what we want        to accomplish, and how people can volunteer
     A. Contact Us - A short page with contact information, and an online comment                         submission area

Content Strategy

DEVELOPING AN EFFECTIVE CONTENT STRATEGY by Christopher Butler
http://www.newfangled.com/examples_of_a_creative_agency_content_strategy 

This was also a very good article for Content Strategy. This one was much longer, and went into great detail in areas that Kristina Halvorson touched on briefly.

Thank you for this article on Content Strategy. I am a current college 
student studying web design, and this is a new concept for me. I
really like what you said about specialization is a good thing.
It seems logical that by really focusing on what your company does,
and what your users will be coming to your site for, that generating
relevant content would be much easier. As I am very new to this
concept, any direction is a good thing.
Thanks again,
KC Painter

Complete Beginner’s Guide to Content Guide to Content Strategy
http://www.uxbooth.com/blog/complete-beginners-guide-to-content-strategy/#comment-217435

This article did a good job of breaking everything down into smaller pieces that were easy to understand.

Thank you for this article. I am new to the concept of a content
management system, and this article helped me understand it more.
I like especially like the section THE CONTENT LIFECYCLE where you
broke everything down into smaller parts and analyzed them in detail.
Thank you,
KC Painter

Content Strategy for the Web
http://www.verticalmeasures.com/content-strategy/content-strategy-for-the-web/

I really liked the way this article showed the relationship between content strategy and SEO.

Thank you for this article. I found it very helpful, especially the
way you tied in part about SEO at the end. These are both fairly new
concepts for me, and this both helped link them together and show how
important one is to the other.

Thank you
KC Painter

The Discipline of Content Strategy

This week we read an article called “The Discipline of Content StrategyBy: Kristina Halvorson. This was a relatively short, yet very important article with a lot of valuable information. I’ll be honest I was a little grey when it came to where content came from for Web Sites.

I was under the assumption that the client gave me information, and I fed it in. I think this is a very generic and lazy approach to Web Design, that leads to very poor and useless web sites. In this article she says: As a community, we’re rather quiet on the matter of content. In fact, we appear to have collectively, silently come to the conclusion that content is really somebody else’s problem—“the client can do it,” “the users will generate it”—so we, the people who make websites, shouldn’t have to worry about it in the first place.

This is a very poor attitude that I see a lot here in school. To me it’s simple, Why spend the time to create an amazing design if you don’t care about what’s on the page? Pretty and shiny things only keep people’s attention so long. It’s the information, or content, that compel people to return and suggest your site to others. This is something that I will focusing on greatly this quarter with my project.

If you are reading this, and especially this far down, hopefully you listen to what I think as well as go read the article for yourself.

http://www.alistapart.com/articles/thedisciplineofcontentstrategy/

Search Engine Optimization(SEO)

For this assignment we did independent research on search engine optimization. We also were to find two blogs talking about SEO and ask the author a few questions. Below are my two questions to the authors:

  • Writing by Nick Stamoulis

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Thank you for this article on SEO. I am a current college student studying web design. SEO is a new area on study for me and I had a question for you.

    I thought what you said under missing the big picture was very helpful. It seems much more important to me to know what your target audience is using for search terms.

    My question is: Do you have any tips to research what my target audience is searching for?

    Thank you,
    KC

    ________________________________________________________________

    http://www.businessinsider.com/10-basic-seo-tips-everyone-should-know-2010-1#keywords-keywords-keywords-2
    By: 

    posted by KC Painter

    I am contacting you in regards to your article “10 Basic SEO Tips To Get You Started”. I am a current college student studying web design. SEO is a new are of study for me and I had a question for you if you wouldn’t mind.

    In your article you said”You should be conscious of placing appropriate keywords throughout every aspect of your site: your titles, content, URLs, and image names.”,but later said “Putting ridiculous amounts of keywords on your site will get you labeled as a spammer, and search engine =
    spiders are programmed to ignore sites guilty of “keyword-stuffing.” Be strategic in your keyword use.”. As I am new to SEO I would just like to know what you think a ball park range for the “correct” number of key words to use in a site? I would appreciate any return information you could share.

    Thanks,
    KC

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    http://www.searchenginejournal.com/55-quick-seo-tips-even-your-mother-would-love/6760/
    BY 

    posted by KC Painter

    I am contacting you in regards to your article” 55 Quick SEO Tips Even Your Mother Would Love”. I am a current college student studying web design. I am new to SEO and had a question for you.

    In your article you said ” Links from .edu domains are given nice weight by the search engines. Run a search for possible non-profit .edu sites that are looking for sponsors”. My question is what are the different weights recognized by search engines? You mentioned CEO input and non-profit organizations. What other aspects affect search engine weights?

    Thank you,
    KC Painter 

Competitor Site Critiques

http://dallasanimalservices.org/
Pros:
Overall I would say that this is a nicely done website. I think they did a good job correctly labeling navigation. Each Link is what I expected when I clicked on it, and the information is organized in a logical way. I also like their “Find a Companion” search feature. They provide a number of filter options to help narrow your search, or allow you to browse all current pets. This is something I will be incorporating in my web site.
Cons:
Although I do not think that they did a bad job, I think the design in very simple and more could have been done with it. It is also limited mainly to adoption only with little other features.

http://www.petfinder.com/
Pros:
As far as features I think this site does a great job. They have a very efficient search engine that filters by animal type, breed, and distance. They also include a number of other features such as a blog, local events you can search by area, learning centers with training tips and tutorials, and a number of other features. I would like to add a blog section and the advanced search options throughout my site.
Cons:
My main complaint with this website is also design problems. The colors and backgrounds looks like it is geared towards women and it might limit their audience a little. And although I like a lot of their features they incorporate, and the site becomes kinda cluttered. Also it is fairly hard to find certain things in the navigation as there are way too many options.

http://www.spca.org/
Pros:
This site also does a good job at incorporating a number of different features. I think they do a really good job organizing their information and labeling their navigation menus correctly as well. They also did a good job on the overall design of the site.
Cons:
I also don’t like the fact that they have two separate navigation menus. I didn’t even notice the top one for a while. Also on some of the interior pages the home navigation goes away and you are only left with a home link.

http://dognkittycity.org/
Pros:
I really like the overall design of this site. Most of the sites I have seen so far are very basic and plain, and this one is a nice change. I also like the fact that they offer a variety of information about local events, training tips and a donation page to help the company for those that can’t adopt a pet but still want to help. They also show recently adopted and recently added pets. The local events and training tips are something I would like to bring to my site, as well as the recently added and adopted pets.
Cons:
Overall I really don’t have a lot of complaints about this site. I really don’t like the featured animals on the side bar, but that might just be a personal choice.

http://www.adoptapet.com/adoption_rescue/70141.html
Pros:
I like the fact they incorporate many elements in this site. There is a lot of very important information they give the user about adoption and maintaing an animal. The blog section is also a nice feature that I would like incorporate in my site.
Cons:
The thing I hate the most about this site is that the navigation options change on different sites, and it also moves to other locations on the page.  I also didn’t even recognize that it was a navigation bar for a while. Some of the pages on this site were too long and could have been organized better.

http://www.operationkindness.org/index.php
Pros:
This site does a good job branding themselves on the home page. Even tho I normally hate drop down menus I think they did a good job with their’s. The different colors for each menu item looks good and helps separate them. Their adoption page is very simple and easy to use as well. They also have a supported links page with a lot of important information.
Cons:
I do not like that there was no home link on the navigation menu. I understand that clicking the main image takes you home, but others might not make that connection. Their page is also not centered, something that bothers me very much.

http://www.citypetrescue.com/
Pros:
I really like the dog jigsaw puzzle they added in as a fun feature. I really like the Success Stories section of this site. This is an amazing feature I am going to add to my site. The success stories can be encouraging and help establish some reputation.
Cons:
I think that the adoption gallery is really plain, and the formatting is uneven and has alignment problems. You also can not click on an animal to get more information or start an adoption process. The design isn’t horrible but still a little basic.

http://www.humanesociety.org/
Pros:
This is my favorite of all the pet adoption sites that I found. The design is very appealing and clean, and the site is organized very well. I like the way their news section is layed out and organized. They also do a very good job with their company branding, by bringing their logo throughout the site. I also like the way they created an illusion of depth with their layout.
Cons:
I really don’t like the fact that the videos section is completely different from the rest of the site. Not only did the design change, but the entire layout was different including the navigation menu.

http://www.animalshelter.org/
Pros:
I like the featured pet feature on the right side on the screen that shows a picture with a brief description. This is something I am going to consider for my site.
Cons:
I don’t like the fact that the page expands with the window. To me this is kind of annoying. There is also way too much content on some of the pages and it gets very overwhelming.  The search a pet feature was very bugged and didn’t work at all sometimes.

Advanced Client Side – Final Project Ideas

Caliente Construction – A construction company located mainly in the southwest region of the United States that is based in Phoenix. I would be completely remaking and designing the site from scratch.

Dallas Area “Adopt a Child” – Am organization that will allow people to “Adopt a Child” here in Texas. This site will feature pictures of orphans for users to choose from. Once adopted user’s will be able to purchase gifts, clothes, and food to donate to their child.

Texas Animal Adoption Website – An interactive website that allows people to adopt and rescue animals in Texas. On top of the traditional animal rescue sites, this one would include a user feedback section along with videos of the animals playing.

Right now I am leaning towards the Animal Adoption Website. I think it would be a fun way to help the world doing something I care strongly about.