11: On a wonk

This week I’ve been feeling like I’m running out of time, but at the same time not quite having the required skills to actually do the job I’ve been tasked with. It’s a frustrating mix, but I’ve ploughed on all the same and am starting to produce something that vaguely resembles my design (if you squint).

Here is the top half. It’s not too bad but the white gaps between the sections are annoying me and I can’t figure out why the ‘Hello, world.’ text won’t centrally align. I’ve tried various things and everything I try seems to improve one thing but break something else, which is very frustrating.

Screenshot of the top half of my first stab at creating a website
Gaps galore, not to mention a wonky bit.

I’ve also had no end of font problems as I couldn’t find one in Google fonts that was similar to my design so I’ve had to settle for this one for the time being. It lacks a bit of impact, particularly in the navigation section, and would probably be hard to read on a small screen, so I plan to find an alternative once I get some of the other parts fixed.

Here is the bottom half, which is all over the place, and I haven’t even attempted to add the images or anything yet:

Bottom half of my first attempt at building a website
Where did the beach huts go?

To get this far I’ve found the W3 Schools website absolutely invaluable, particularly for the CSS styling. I’ve also spent a bit of time reading posts and responses on Stack Overflow but to be honest I’ve found that less useful as those cases can be very specific and I can’t always see how to apply it to what I’m doing. There are also often differing opinions about the best way to achieve something too and I end up finding it all a bit confusing. Duckett’s HTML & CSS book has become my bible too, although it doesn’t always go into the depth I need to fix the problems I’m bumping into, but it explains the broad issues really clearly. I’m mainly relying on a bucketload of trial and error to be honest, but I guess that is probably the best way to learn. Although sometimes I’m not really sure what I’ve done that’s made something work (or break). I’m sure (?) it will become clearer in time.

The class topic this week was usability, accessibility and copyright. I’ve already studied quite a lot on the topics of usability and accessibility (not to mention attending the week long NNG conference) but Marcus also shared some handy resources that will help with checking my site like this accessibility checker from Achecker and this mobile friendly test from Google.  I also downloaded the NNG accessibility report to pick up more guidance on things to look out for. One of the key points they make is to follow the basic rules of good design as they work for everyone, regardless of disability, which I think is an important point to make. I’ve also made sure that all the images in this blog have alt text added to be as accessible as possible.

The copyright issue can be a bit thorny but I’ve tried in this blog to give picture credits on every image I’ve used. A useful rule of thumb to follow on what to include in accreditations (as provided by the Creative Commons organisation) is TASL – title, author, source, license. I will do my best to adhere to this wherever I use images or other copyrighted materials on my site. In the main I’ve sourced my images from copyright-free websites like Pixabay so I haven’t needed to include links or anything but I’ve given them a picture credit anyway, even though it’s not really required. I’m sure they’re over the moon.

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