Monday, 4 April 2016

Mobile Responsive Web Development Multimedia Project

 Image 1: Home Page  'Go West' news website
A large part of the course work in the HDip in Creative Multimedia one project was to explore techniques to make websites responsive and mobile ready. In semester one we were taught the basics of designing websites and the correct usage of syntax and mark up. Using forms and classes such as pseudo classes (ie for use in hover states) were also implemented in some simple web layouts. Semester two is focused on how to make website responsive by exploring different techniques to execute designs by manipulating HTML 5 and CSS3 to render pages in different views. Some techniques we have explored include media queries, the flexbox model, fluid grid layout and bootstrap. The first assignment was to build fully a responsive website and design a news type website. I chose to design a website highlighting trips on the Wild Atlantic Way as an additional source of material for the tourist or native traveler to the west of Ireland. It was exciting to dig out photos and video from last year and develop stories that would interest a user.
 Image 2: Home Page  'Go West' Iveragh Penninsula Page
For this assignment a lot of research went into how news type websites are built and also how travel bloggers approach the design and content delivery of their sites. I wanted a site that would hold the users attention and offer unique photographs. The website was kept simple and to echo the sentiment of reading a newspaper. The inspiration for the site layout was the simplicity of the New York Times and the BBC news websites after the article is clicked into, 
Image 3: 'Go West' zoomed out footer area 
The assignment was a challenge and it works responsively. This was done with media queries. Images were embedded in CSS as well as embedding them (traditional method) in HTML. A form was also created and froms are always a challenge especially when changing viewing widths on screen. From articles I have read SASS is a good tool for developing for mobile but there is no time this semester to explore this option. 
Image 4: 'Go West' news site zoomed in footer area  
Some time was spent using bootstrap to see if it was a good option for this project but this was ruled out early as my preference was to learn about semantic mark up well and this using good HTML5 was interesting and made me realize about more serious issues of web development such as usability and legal tag usage.  
As you can see from the designs all of the photography and advertising designs are original as well as the text. It is full filling to produce creative projects that are generated by my own hand. As part of preliminary research eight Americans and one Canadian were enlisted to fill out questionnaires to see if the content was viable as a project and it was a difficult task to get people to really fill them out and be honest. It was interesting how the opinions swung! Persons from other countries were chosen as they would be visitors and using the site to research their trips to the west of Ireland. 
The next step is split up the pages and to implement additional functionality by programming parts of the html with embedded php to be readable and editable using the framework CodeIgniter. The next step will involve using functions and calling them up through the view first, to the controller and finally the model and passing the data back to the user. This is sure to be a programming challenge from finding errors and bugs to hopefully getting the MVC working. It will be exciting to see the website come to life and loose its static qualities!
Image 5: 'Go West' news site mobile media query of footer area and navigation
Note: images are responsive 
Image 6: 'Go West' Mobile ready navigation width approx: 200 pixels wide

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