Tag Archives: stuff is hard

Busyness: bunny blankie redux

Because I had an excess of yarn leftover from the first bunny blankie, and another baby-on-the-way announcement ringing in my ears, I decided to make another. But this time I would reverse the colours, just to be different!

…and this is where you need to trust the designer sometimes. Designer knows best. Designer has gone through all the different possibilities of colours and numbers of bunnies and styles, and published the one that works.

For some reason, dark brown bunnies on a tan background really drew attention to the fact that brown is…well…the colour of poo. Or as the Captain pointed out, as though the bunnies were turds on a blanket. Which, given that it’s for a baby, is maybe not the worst thing since babies are turd factories, but still, the blanket at this point is mostly for the parents and the last thing they want is to be presented with something so nasty lookin’.

Needless to say I ripped that sucker back and started over, with the colours specified in the pattern.

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Week six: wireframes ummm what?

I don’t even want to get into how long it took me to realize what a wireframe was. Suffice to say that I did indeed figure it out in time to do the assignment, which was find examples of three different types of navigational layouts and then create a wireframe of one of them.

For anyone who is ignorant like me, a wireframe is a sketch of a website’s layout. Wireframe is a specialized technical word for web design, which sends me down another trip down memory lane back to undergrad linguistics. Specialized technical language helps create communities of expertise and helps people in the same field identify one another and keep non-experts at arms’ length.*

At any rate, I chose a couple of faves: Smitten Kitchen for vertical and Knitty for horizontal. What really struck me was that many websites now have multiple ways of navigation. Which can be useful as it offers the user multiple ways of exploring the site; however, having too many choices can be confusing and ultimately as frustrating as having too few. One more for keep it simple.

In terms of finding an experimental navigational website, I had to turn to my old friend Google because all of my favourite websites are pretty standard navigation.

I then used Gliffy to create a very, very basic wireframe of Smitten Kitchen that I will not add here; suffice to say that I would much rather have the logo guru’s little Moleskin journal to sketch in. And also it’s kind of interesting that you always have to start from a sketch. No one can just produce something fully formed without a rough draft (bar Zeus/Athena). No matter how well-developed it may be in the mind’s eye, there are always multiple attempts and do-overs before it’s just right.

*My definition may be somewhat coloured by my experience of the sociolinguistics class, which may or may not have involved dozing off in the back row/gossiping with a friend.

Week four: To be content with content

Now that the course has forced my hand and I am blogging, I also need to have content for said blog. Tempting as it may be to stuff it full of links to other people’s content, that’s not really going to get me that far.

The creative brief exercise was surprisingly effortful. The clever thing to do would have been to create a blog that I could use professionally, adding it to my LinkedIn profile (rarely used) and my resume (ditto). But what on earth do I have to talk about?

I’ve seen library blogs and non-profit snarks, and they’re great, but I don’t think it’s in me to do one.

I don’t feel authoritative enough to have a tips and tricks site on, well, anything.

I don’t have some grand journey that needs to be shared.

Everything that I do is fairly small-scale. My hobbies are modest. I never get into anything enough to get all the gear. I’m a dabbler. And so there will be my blog: my dabbles, my fun, by me for me (and perhaps a select few family and friends to whom I will confess the existence of this blog).

And now for the links to websites that have content I love:

http://the-toast.net/

http://thehairpin.com/

http://geekologie.com/

http://torontoist.com/