Week 4 Reflection: Project Revision

For this week’s reflection we were tasked with revising out fictitious business websites that we created in week 2. Using the feedback I received from my instructor I was able to make some changes that I feel really bring about a more professional website.

The revised Perro Mi Perro site can be found here.

Home Page

For the homepage I added a white background behind some of the text that was sitting on the woodgrain backdrop to make it more legible. I also changed some of the bulk text fonts to a more legible font.

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I also removed the contact page all together. I put the phone number in the header and the rest of the contact info is available in the footer. I also relegated the testimonials page to a sub-page below the gallery. I felt that it was unnecessary to have it’s own tab in the navigation bar.

 

About

The changes to the about section were similar to the homepage. I added a white box behind the bulk text to make it easier to read, along with changing the font to something with more spacing between the lettering.

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Services

On the services page I made the same font change as in the previous pages. I also took away some of the unnecessary space in between the page title and the rest of the content, trying to keep as much content as I could above the scroll bar. I also changed the alignment on the grooming services title, keeping the alignments unified as much as I could.

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Gallery

The gallery page didn’t need too much changing. I simply moved the page title alignment to the left, as the rest of the page titles are left-aligned. I feel that this helps unify the feel of the site overall.

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Overall the changes I made to my site were mostly to aid in a clearer perception of the information available. Before, the viewer was working against small fonts and dark colors to read any of the information. Now with a better contrast I feel viewers will be more likely to spend more time on the site. I also made changes that increased the uniform feeling of the site. By keeping alignments, colors, and fonts the same, I ensure that the viewer never feels that they are being taken out of the Perro Mi Perro ecosystem. Finally, I got rid of some of the more superfluous pages. By keeping the options minimal, a viewer will be more likely to see everything there is to see on my site.

Week 3 Project: Portfolio Skeleton

This week we were asked to create a website to house our portfolio projects. I chose to use Wix again as I had an excellent experience creating a website with their program last week.

Here is the link to my portfolio website.

 

Do you feel confident in your understand of the MCBS portfolio requirement?

I understand and value the MCBS portfolio requirement because it has us working on projects that are at a professional level. Once these projects are completed we are then able to use them as examples of the kind of work we could provide to a potential employer.

Explain how the 1 and 2 star projects you are completing in your MCPP courses contribute to the requirement.

The 1 and 2 star projects that we are completing in our MCPP courses should be, after revision, at a professional level. By completing and submitting these portfolio projects we are not only contributing to our overall goals but are also acquiring skills that will be extremely useful in our career.

What areas of the skeleton site do you feel are the strongest? Why?

I feel like the skills section and the portfolio section are the strongest areas of the portfolio website. I’m definitely looking forward to increasing the amount of quality work on my portfolio, but I’m happy with the amount of portfolio projects that I have completed up to this point.

What areas do you feel need the most work? Why?

I feel like the home page and the about page need the most work. Unfortunately I tend do become too humble when I’m writing about my own skills and I shy away from talking about my accomplishments. I also feel like I could concentrate my work on the portfolio by increasing the amount of quality work and taking away some of the work that is not of the utmost quality,

Are you proud of what you created here? Why?

I am proud of my portfolio website. Outside of a few areas that could have used more TLC I would definitely use this as a resource for potential employers to understand what I do and why I do it. I think it is a clean example of the kind of person I am and the kind of work that I do.

Week 3 Exploration: Digging Deeper with Diigo

Why did you choose each particular article?

 The three articles I chose were “Creating a Successful Online Portfolio” by Sean Hodge, “Social Media Manager vs. Community Manager: What’s the Difference?” by Michael Patterson, and “10 Qualities of an Effective Community Manager” by Ryan Lytle. “Creating a Successful Online Portfolio” seemed like a good place to start as that is the main drive of our assignment this week. I’ve always felt that a community manager would be a rewarding and interesting job, so the other two articles are all about gathering more information about that. One is helping to define what a community manager is while the other lists what qualities should be highlighted in a community manager portfolio.

 

Identify 3 points of interest from each article – What did you learn?

 In “Creating a Successful Online Portfolio”, the first thing that caught my eye were some tips from one of my favorite writers. The article states that you should have clarity and focus throughout your portfolio. This is hammered home with a link to some tips on how Hemingway, famously known for writing the shortest short story, cut the fluff out of his work. The next point was that you need to keep your navigation simple. I’ve always thought about making an interesting, unique portfolio, but I will need to make sure I don’t go too overboard and make something off-putting. Finally I learned to model your portfolio to fit the industry in which you are seeking a position. I had always thought of a portfolio as a thing that you kept and updated over time, but now I see that the structure and design of the portfolio should change to reflect your market.

The first thing that stuck out to me in “Social Media Manager vs. Community Manager…” was a simple distinction between the two positions: a social media manger deals with people who have already heard of the brand while a community manager tends to reach out to those who haven’t heard of the brand. I learned that a good place to start looking for a social media manager position is on social media and via internships. I also learned that if I were to seek a position as a community manager I have a list of online resources and communities to help find job postings and opportunities.

In “10 Qualities of an Effective Community Manager…” I learned that empathy is a necessary quality for a community manager, as you will be dealing with a large variety of people who may or may not be upset or confused. Next I learned that organization is a key factor in communicating with as many people as possible. Finally, I learned that the community manager is responsible for creating a voice for the community, and to enable them to reach the people in the company that they need.

How can you apply the insight gained to the portfolio skeleton you are building this week?

 I learned a few key things that I will be applying to my portfolio. First I will create the navigation and look of my portfolio to match the industry that I am trying to break into. Next I will impart a sense of empathy and organization through my portfolio. Finally, I will specifically target the community manager position, instead of the social media manager position.

 

The article I’m choosing to add to the WDC resources is “A Day in the Life of a Social and Community Manager”. (http://ukie.org.uk/blog/ukie-richie/2015/01/day-life-social-and-community-manager). This resource is good to break down what a community manager does on a day to day basis, and may help people decide if that’s something they are interested in pursuing.

Week 2 Project: Site Launch

This week we were tasked with creating the website that we made the proposal for last week. This was slightly trying as the 2 week timetable was pretty aggressive, but I really enjoyed the assignment overall.

Here is the link to my site: http://icetrey466.wix.com/perromiperro

Were you able to meet all of the provisions outlined in your proposal?

For the most part I believe I delivered everything that was promised in the original proposal. I purposefully left out features that I had suggested such as a live camera feed and other services because they didn’t seem to fall in line with what my client wanted.

 

Did you propose or promise something that you couldn’t deliver?

As I said, I didn’t deliver the feed and services that I proposed in the original proposal. I feel like this version of the website better fits what the client wanted and expected.

 

What was the most challenging part of the process for you?

The hardest part was trying to maintain a consistent font, font size, and color on all of the pages. I definitely wanted any viewers to never feel like they were being taken out of the site, and I feel like I accomplished that pretty well.

 

Where would you like to go deeper?

I would like to actually create the social media sites and put a synergistic social media campaign into action to bring in more site traffic. I would also like to pursue some of the proposed features in my original proposal.

Week 2 Analysis: Site Launch Feedback

This week we were given feedback from past WDC students’ websites. We were tasked with looking over this feedback and taking note of what pitfalls and errors we can avoid moving forward.

 

What struck you most about the sites reviewed?

What immediately struck me was that none of the sites reviewed were for the Perro Mi Perro dog grooming and boarding company. Perhaps this choice was not as popular as the other options available. What this means for me is that I feel like I have more uncharted territory to work through. This is good and bad; it’s good in that my ideas and site has more potential to be original and eye catching, however this leaves me with fewer concrete examples from which to pull inspiration.

 

Identify 3 specific issues discussed – how will you avoid the same mistakes on your own site?

Two of the main issues that seemed to be constant sticking points were consistency among colors and using a consistent font. It is really important that a visitor to the site always feels that they are staying within a certain ecosystem. This can be achieved through consistency in layout, colors, and font. I will make sure to keep these factors consistent in my site. Redundancy also seemed to be a common error. Once the viewer has moved past the home page they are invested. Thus it is unnecessary to keep repeating large logos, pictures, and banners.

 

What do you need to spend more time researching?

 I need to spend more time researching data on site maps. Specifically: what is the most common flow of a visitor to a website? And how can I create and organize my site to best fit the habits of as many people as possible. Once I have this I can improve the efficiency of my sitemap and website. I also need to research what the owner of Perro Mi Perro wants for the site, and better understand her goals.

 

What will you do differently as a result of seeing this feedback?

 As a result of this feedback I will definitely re-think the way I was going to use pictures in the layout of the site. I was planning on having pictures of many of the guests at Perro Mi Perro at key points on the website. This feedback, however, has made me change what I consider those key points to be. I also will change the amount of time I allotted for in my proposal. I was confused, at first, as to what the proposal was referring. I will adjust the time for the proposal down from 2 months to 2 weeks, as this is how long the assignment will take.