Free Website Tips
Recent Twitter Posts
An Elementary School Slice of History Arises
Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Julie who loved to draw. She loved art and painting as well. Little Julie enjoyed drawing animals like birds, horses, and fish. Sometimes Julie would even design her own creative animals. When Julie was in the 4th grade, her class was given an art project by Julie’s favorite teacher Mrs. Gatehouse. Mrs. Gatehouse told all of her students that they were to draw many animals and plants of different sizes on a large sheet of Manila paper. The class was going to make jungle collages. Julie learned from Mrs. Gatehouse that she needed to draw large animals and big plants for the foreground of her collage. Also, small sized vegetation and creatures were needed for the background. These differences in sizes were important in designing a collage that had depth and perspective.
After Julie had drawn all her favorite creatures, she carefully decorated them with colored pencils. She added spots and stripes along with fur and scales to all of her beautiful animals. Then at Mrs. Gatehouse’s direction, Julie cut out all of the elements of her nature scene. Julie minded the long animal tails and fine green leaves that she had worked so hard to design. Then Julie applied her small creatures and foliage to the top area of a black sheet of construction paper using a glue stick. She then layered her animals and plants according to size so that the large animals would stand out in the foreground and near the bottom of the sheet of paper.
When Julie had finished her project she proudly showed her jungle collage to Mrs. Gatehouse. Julie’s teacher was excited that Julie had designed such a magnificent collage. Mrs. Gatehouse was going to help Julie enter the design in a local art competition. Later that year, Mrs. Gatehouse hung Julie’s jungle collage in the art gallery that was hosting the festival. After her project had been on display for several months, Julie was invited to the gallery. After wondering among the rows of art with her family, Julie noticed that a ribbon was placed near her prized jungle collage. She had won first place in her category! Julie’s mother had the special jungle collage framed and it still hangs in a place of honor in their family room today.
As Julie grew older, she had less and less opportunities to do art projects. It seemed that her love of animals and plants was winning over her love of drawing. This pattern progressed up through high school and into college. However, Julie’s classmates often commented on the spectacular doodles of fish and birds and horses that danced in the margins of Julie’s note pages.
This story is a reflection and a tribute to my art teacher in elementary school. (Although I did not grow up in McKinney, Texas.) She taught me to be aware of design elements like depth, size, color, shape, and texture. Although these design factors seem elementary, they are the foundation for my love of art that I have today. I would say that these factors are now subconscious things that impact how I envision the final look of a website.
But since I have begun working with Covenant Design here in McKinney, Texas, I feel as if I have done a one-hundred-eighty degree turn sometimes. The website design part is great. But actually appearance of the website it is the secondary part of the website design process. Designing a fantastic website appearance and layout can be among the least daunting tasks.
What makes the website truly amazing? Content. The content and the words are the most important. Pictures and movies add pizazz. But you have got to present your information to your audience in a highly meaningful, highly accessible way. Most of the time, the more tight and logical the organization is, the better the website presentation will be also. When you lay the appealing website design blanket over this strong frame of website content, the site just glows.
It’s like some methods of basket weaving. We start with reeds all in a jumbled pile. Then we sort them and organized our reeds based on size, strength, and length. After we have organized our materials, we can weave the frame of the basket with the strong reeds. We can reinforce and interlace our basket so it will be durable and serve its purpose well. Next, when our frame is complete, we can weave the thinner strands among the established frame. Here in the walls of the basket, the pattern emerges. We can elaborate and embellish until the design is complete.
The basket needs both the strong frame and the decorative sides in order to be useful. The website needs both strong content and appealing design to reach your audience. The best part to me is that there are an extravagant number of ways that we can weave together content and design to yield a functional, beautiful website.