Jamie Griffith LI843XU Passey/Jones Assignment 3c. Web Portfolio Reflection Essay Introduction I spent many weeks on my Blueprint Blueprint Portfolio. Although I think it is finished as this assignment is concerned it is still a work in progress. I would love to hear any words of advice that anyone has – I am very open to criticism, and of course open to compliments. I stayed nearly true to my Blueprint Blueprint Portfolio but changed my mind on some aspects of the design. Those reasons will be cited as well as why I decided to use a CMS, the future plans for the Portfolio, and what I wish I could have done had I the time. Why I chose to use a Content Management System (CMS) As I mentioned in my Blueprint Portfolio, I was using a test website for my design ideas (http://www.jamiegriffith.weebly.com). I turns out I simply liked the layout that I had chosen for my site better than anything I could figure out how to do on Nvu. I like Nvu and think that it has its plusses and minuses, and am glad I know how to use that program as I think it most likely could be useful in a library setting. However, I liked the clean layout that weebly provided with a black design with accents of gray and pink. Another benefit of using this CMS is that the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are very easy to edit. I was able to expand the website to my liking – meaning I made the layout bigger rather than more compact. I could use this CMS to put up all the design elements and documents that I wanted to use. It also did not use flash – which was something I wanted to avoid altogether. I think the website looks professional and stylish. I can edit it now with a single keystroke and this gives me a lot of relief as I plan on possibly doing some major redesigning in the Capstone Class. This is of course yet to be determined. Boundless Wishes and Goals for the Portfolio We had plenty of time to work on our Portfolios, as I said previously I have been thinking about mine and designing it for weeks. But luckily we do have even more time, with our capstone class occurring next semester. As fickle as I am, I’m sure I can find some things to change over the months and years I plan to maintain this website. My true desire is to use Drupal to design and edit my site. As I said in a post on the discussion board I have a friend who is familiar with Drupal and has server space that I could use. Drupal is amazing in its versatility and its user‐friendliness (after you jump over the learning curve). I frankly don’t have the time to figure it out right now. After my Portfolio is finished after the Capstone Class; or if I have time in the Fall Semester (it’s my last semester so who knows how I’ll feel) maybe I can ask my friend to show me how to use Drupal. This is a skill I plan on mastering at some point in my life and I’d like to impress my library higher‐ups that I have these skills. Goals for My Final Portfolio I think this website right now serves a good purpose but I do have some work to do if I want to make this website available to show to perspective employers. As I will mention in the next section, there are some reservations my colleagues and friends in the IT/Web Design industry have regarding the Portfolio. I am a stubborn person and right now I like the way it looks but I know that I have to gear the website more towards perspective employers Also I want to find out exactly what Emporia State wants us to put on our Portfolio regarding their core values and philosophy of service as we have seen on other students Capstone Portfolios. Hopefully we will discuss this in class and I can have a functional Portfolio for both the career field and my Graduate School requirements. Other People’s Opinions In my Blueprint I said I would keep my library manager in mind during the design of the website. Indeed I did that and when I completed the Portfolio, I asked her opinion of it. She thought it was a bit dark (she may be right as the site is primarily in black with some highlights of pink and gray). She also thought the resume section needs to be in a “traditional” presentation with a white background with black text in Times New Roman font. I told her I had a PDF link to my resume which is in a more traditional format, just below the text of my resume on the website. She didn’t feel this was enough – possibly I should move the PDF above the text of my resume. She admitted that she’s an older lady and doesn’t like the bangs and whistles that are often associated with web sites and that maybe she could be in the wrong. I’m not convinced either way. I think I’ll ask for some other opinions from library professionals before I graduate. I also showed the Portfolio to a friend who’s an Information Technology professional. He really liked the design, but told me to rename some of my pages (i.e. the “LIS philosophy” page) to say something more specific and to remove library jargon. I changed this page to “SLIM/ESU goals” but it seemed this was still too full of jargon for my friend. I wasn’t sure if this was a great idea, because I think this website is and should be focused on the LIS world, but maybe if I avoid using too much jargon I can generate more interest from a wide range of perspective employers. Regardless, I took his advice. I added more generic terms throughout the website. My friend who’s a web designer thought the Portfolio needed more pictures. I wound up adding an interesting picture of books on every page. After a while it felt generic, so I removed all pictures except the ones of me on my personal page and the picture of library books on my front page. I am worried if I have a picture of books on every single page that it will look a bit sterile. My web designer still thought the pictures should stand. He described it as “opening a book in the middle and not knowing where you are”. I understand his point, but I think that if one focuses on what the content is per the page heading it will make more sense. This is another issue I’d like to address when I’m in the capstone class. Another major issue of contention is the picture I chose to put of myself. I left it up there for argument’s sake (I’m not too serious about using this Portfolio as a website for perspective employers at this moment). I showed it to everybody at my library after my library manager told she despised it. She thought it was “flirtatious” “unflattering” and “not Jamie”. I showed it to everyone else and they all hated it too. The curtains behind me were “too metallic”, my face is pointing downward which is an “unflattering angle”, the stripes on my shirt were “distracting”, and my smile was “unnatural” and so on. I am confused because I was trying to put up a semi‐normal picture of myself. I am a jokester in front of the camera and it is difficult for me to take a “normal” picture. Regardless I’ll think about it and try to find a photo that people seem to like. How I Strayed As per my wireframe and Blueprint document assignment, I do believe that I followed the plan I laid out nearly exactly as planned. I said in my Portfolio Blueprint that I wanted to be less chatty and more focused on design. I don’t know if I’ve followed that path exactly, I may need to work on my content more than using words. This is something I’m monitoring and will seek more input on. I said also that I wanted to follow a minimalist design; I think I’ve done that but I wonder if it’s too simplistic. Many people want a flash/bang/boom and I certainly have not employed such means but I think the design speaks for itself: this website is about a person focused on their coursework. I left out my “Programs I’ve Spearheaded” section for the moment on the website. I worked on this section for some time and just kept feeling fickle and/or unsatisfied. I have a lot of programs I’ve spearheaded in my job experience that does not involve the library but I felt I might need to include just library‐specific programs in this section. I wanted to wait for other opinions and see what my colleagues put for this section (if they choose to do so). Regardless it’s a work in progress and I know eventually I’ll feel comfortable with this section. I have not added a site map. I can’t figure out how to do it using weebly (the CMS I chose to use). I suppose I can create a site map myself and add it as a new page element. This would be quite easy as I have my Blueprint Document, which would perfectly lead easy construction of a site map. I wonder if it’s necessary to include this information. I want to view other Portfolios from my fellow students to see if they’ve included this element. Possibly my biggest deviation from my Blueprint has been the elimination of a search bar on every page of my website. Frankly I think it will look weird on each page! I also think the navigation is extremely clear and a search page is not necessary. The Salt Lake City Library System (http://www.slcpl.org) needs a search function because the website is loaded with information that can be difficult to find. I don’t think that I have that much stuff that could be unsearchable. I’ll leave this open for debate (whether between me and my peers or just me and myself). Conclusion In this class we’ve learned that web pages are fluid and evolving. This is the appeal of the web: we have information that is always exciting and interesting to look at. At this point I feel that I have made a nice website that satisfies the course objectives and my own personal desires regarding the presentation of myself as a person, as a graduate student and as a library professional. However, as this is a precursor for our Capstone Class I will be open to changes that may need to occur. I also am open to opinion from others regarding what works and what does not work. But in sum, it was a fun project and I feel that I have something tangible to show people if they are interested in more information about Emporia and about me personally.
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