Over the last few weeks, I’ve started reviving my portfolio, as it’s been sitting rather lonely for a while. I’ve realized, however, that it’s been a while since I’ve done a revamp of a non-blog website; for a while back (maybe three-odd years back?), non-blog websites formed the bulk of my designing and revamping.
I’ve realized that designing for non-blog websites is something I actually miss, as it is quite fun. I can compare blog vs “brochure” websites to something like making wallpapers vs making icons and avatars.
On the whole, blogs are fairly straightforward, with your focus on making sure that the content is well-presented no matter how long (or short) it is. You theoretically have a lot of space to play with and move about in, but you also have a lot of space to fill. You think about readability and getting the most fresh content out there.
Brochure-type websites give you a little more leeway with creativity on how, and how much of the content, to present. You theoretically have a more compact space, even if you don’t stick to a single-page style. You think about grabbing the visitor’s attention, in order to intrigue them enough to want to dig deeper.
I don’t know which I prefer at this point, but I know I’ve missed doing smaller websites. <3
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit in a web accessibility sharing session with Victor Tsaran, our in-house web accessibility guru. I’ve always thought I tried my best to make sure things I could influence and create were accessible; but this was an amazing, eye-opening session.
You cannot fully comprehend how much web accessibility (specifically the lack of it) can impact your users until you’ve seen someone work it out. We all know about not using display: none because it won’t be available to screen readers, or labeling forms properly. We know about the alt attribute and the need to correctly mark up the page.
But personally, after actually seeing how someone who is reliant on screen readers browses the web, everything looks different, more meaningful, somehow. To me, it was something like the first time I opened up the HTML file regurgitated by Microsoft Word in Notepad: so this is how it is! Your HTML document is simply that: a document. It has meaning, it has structure.
A form without labels? “Edit text, blank. Edit text, blank. Edit text, blank. Choose one, popup button. Choose one, popup button. Choose one, popup button. Submit button.”
This year, NaNoWriMo ended up being rather interesting for me. I’ve “won”–I reached 50,000 words, and it’s definitely a more promising story than what I had when I last won in 2007.
But will I go back to this story this December?
But that doesn’t mean, though, that I feel I’ve “lost” again this year. In 2007, I came out of it pretty much the same as I went in, just with 50,000+ words of a story that was unfinished, with no real desire to finish it.
This year, I come out of it with only a little over 50,000 words, half likely crap, of a story–but with better writing habits and better belief in myself.
Additionally, remember when I said I didn’t have the longevity to write a novel? I think I’ve just had proof that I don’t. I was thinking about this for a while this morning, and I’ve realized that I am generally not a marathon kind of person. I’ve always competed in sprints back in school; I loved web development because there were no long compiles and the UI was just there and easily built up. I like sprinting. It’s what probably drew me to NaNoWriMo in the first place: a novel sprint. But that doesn’t always work out well, because a novel is a long and involved process.
Does that mean I’ll give up ever writing a novel? No. But not now.