Web Development Life Cycle

digital-dreams-1155366-1280x960You’ve just met with a client who wants you to design a website for their organization.  You can’t wait to get back to your office.  Your head is abuzz with ideas.  Your fingers are itching to code.  But before you fire up your text editor, you need to stop a minute and reign your enthusiasm back in.

In Web Development, as with all things, the promise of a new project often has you bouncing in your seat, ready to flex your creative muscles.  But in Web Development, as with all things, you don’t want to dive head first into something and start coding like crazy.

What you need is a plan.

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Print is Dead / Long Live Print!

book

Is web publishing killing print?  (And yes, I’m aware of the irony of this post being published online).  I feel like this question crops up every time a new e-reader hits the market or a major newspaper goes through a series of layoffs.  As an avid bibliophile and self-professed book sniffer, maybe I’m biased when I say I have trouble believing the web and digital technology is killing off the printed word.  Or maybe I’m just in denial.

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Communicating with Clients — A Sense of Humor is Required

If you’ve ever worked in a job field providing a service to other people, chances are you’ve encountered those customers.  You know the ones.  They come in two distinct flavors — the I’m Open to Anythings or the Control Freaks.  There is no in-between.  They’re the reason why I have a board on my Pinterest site titled {GD} Graphic Design Humour.  Having worked in printing and being tasked with every graphic design job that came through our shop, I’ve had plenty encounters with both.

lies

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Is “Mobile First” so 2015?

The first hit I got when Googling “Is mobile first still relevant?” was a discussion post on Stackexchange.com.  The kicker: the year it was posted was 2014.  It seemed odd, given the rise of tablets, the proliferation of smartphones (do flip-phones exist anywhere outside of D.o.D. contractors and civil service?), and the soon-to-be-released Apple iWatch in early 2015.  Of course “mobile first” was still relevant!  It was 2014!  Devices were “it” and laptops were as ancient as desktop PCs.

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Promoting Your Website

When it comes to promoting your website, one thing is certain — everyone has an opinion about what you should do.  A Google search of the topic reveals countless tips, tricks, and the all-time favorite: checklists.  It can seem a little overwhelming, having one link promise to teach your 24 proven methods of web marketing, while another link can teach the same thing in only 5 easy steps.  Which one do you choose?  Do you take the time to wade through them all or play eeny-meeny-miny-mo and hope you pick the very best one?

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Drawing with CSS

When it comes to drawing, what’s the first thing you do?  Fire up your computer or laptop and launch your program of choice?  Or do you go the more traditional route and reach for pen(cil) and paper?

For me, I’d have to say it’s a little bit of both.  I like to have a rough layout of my design before I begin, and for that, I usually make a quick sketch with a pen and whatever paper is available.  Then I’ll launch Illustrator and begin filling things in.

I never once would have considered using code.

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Dreamweaver CS6 Resources

As a follow up to my previous post, I’m including a link to some Dreamweaver tutorials that I found helpful.  These are all delivered by the American Graphics Institute, which provides training and support for design, marketing, and publishing technology.

These tutorials helped me understand a bit more about Dreamweaver and how to use its features, such as the Property Inspector or defining page properties, for quickly editing sites in Design view.  When it comes to learning, I am primarily a reading/writing learner, so having the information in a text format that I can easily skim through to find what I need or read and follow along step by step is the most effective way I learn new things.

WYSI(not always)WYG — a foray into Dreamweaver CS6

I’ve been using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator for over a decade.  I’ve dabbled with InDesign and even Adobe Flash back in the day.  And there’s one thing I’ve come to expect when using Adobe design software: the tools palette — that thing that sits off to the side offering up easy option selection for newbie designers before finger muscles memorize keyboard shortcuts.

But the ubiquitous palette was sadly lacking when I launched Dreamweaver.

I was fully expecting to be able to draw a rectangle 1500px by 500px and assign it a header tag.  I was anticipating typing up content in a textbox and being able to place it wherever I wanted.  The common misconception with WYSIWYG programs, like Dreamweaver, is that you don’t need to know HTML or CSS to use them.

I clearly had my own misconceptions.

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Exercising Your Creativity

http://www.businessinsider.com/exercise-benefits-brain-creativity-stress-2016-11

A few years ago, I had the privilege to be a stay at home mom after my son was born.  I enjoyed that first year, seeing him grow every day, getting the chance to try out new cooking skills, and having the time to take care of the house.  The only thing that flat out sucked was the fact I had no income.  Or, I should say, no income that was mine and had been earned by me.  My husband and I decided to send our son to daycare after he turned 18 months, thinking the socialization would be good for him and thus freeing me up to search for a new job.  We agreed my job search would only last three months – if nothing came to fruition, I would go back to being a stay-at-home mom.  That three months turned into a year.  Well…eleven months, to be exact.  We kept my son in daycare, having realized that once you secured a spot, you didn’t let it go, and I did all I could to cut spending corners, which included learning to make meals from scratch.  Now, you may be thinking this post is all about that – my love of cooking – but it’s not.  My goal for this blog is to keep it as creative and design-focused as possible, and while cooking is a creative task, my culinary skills have fallen by the wayside since returning to work and school.  For this post, I wanted to explore something I discovered while I was unemployed: how exercise boosts creativity.

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