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hl2990's Digital Identity

For this final project I transformed my ordinary blog layout into a much more refined website. My goal in redesigning my site was to achieve a more professional feel and I wanted to keep the layout relatively simple. I did not create any floating boxes, though they are visually interesting and a more advanced use of CSS, I did not want my site to be confusing and cluttered. The challenge of this assignment was deciding how I wanted to represent myself. This site could be viewed by many people, but unlike my previous blog site where I could hide behind an anonymous username (New Beginnings) my name is in 60px font. I am taking note of one Doug Rushkoff’s commandments: Identity. The purpose of this Portfolio Project was to design my site in a manner that conveyed my digital identity.

In addition I wanted to show case the work I have done that I am proud of, but also show that I have certain skills that I believe are important to have. First I created a tab that displays my work using CSS; additionally I mention that I have used CSS to make tweaks to the layout of my site. Although it may seem strange that I chose to showcase my CSS challenge mode assignment, I believe it most effectively conveys my ability to manipulate code. Viewers can see what my goal was and how close I came to achieving it; it provides a base of comparison where as the other projects do not. Additionally, I chose to display my image project and challenge assignment to reflect my ability to use GIMP software to alter an image’s appearance. Admittedly I am not a Photoshop whiz; however I believe these samples of my work show that I am at least an adequate user. Finally, it was very important to me to include my Process Project since this was the assignment I feel was my best and that I am most pleased with. The subject of this project, Anorexia, is very central to my life, so it was necessary to include it in a project that is designed to capture my identity. However it seemed random to include a tab titled “Video Game Idea,” so instead I dedicated a tab to eating disorder awareness and I also included a research paper I did last semester on media pressure and the onset of eating disorders. This addition was extremely important to conveying my digital identity because eating disorders are a huge part of my life as a Psychology major hoping to pursue a license in Clinical Psychology and treat eating disorders.

I feel that four properties contributed to my site’s overall professional layout. The first and most obvious is the black background and the silver content area. These neutral colors enhance the refined feel I was aiming for. By changing the background from a soft blue to black the site immediately seemed less childish and more sophisticated. Another effective change was the switch from Arial font to Georgia; an immediate improvement was noticed when the site changed from sans-serif to serif, feeling less like a blog and more like a webpage professionally designed. The third significant change was the h2 bottom-borders. I chose to use a groove border and maroon color to add some depth to the page and make it visually interesting, I also feel that the bottom-border created a more clean and organized appearance. The final major change that increased the site’s effectiveness was not achieved through altering the CSS code, however it is still important to mention. The header image use to be a picture of Mary Washington, it was very important to change the image since my blog no longer will focus on school. Although the image of a flower, which now appears as my header, may not seem necessary, I believe it captures my personality and adds more color which brightens my website. Overall I am very pleased with my portfolio and I feel that it is an accurate representation of me.

Overall I designed this site picturing my target audience as a future employer who wanted to find out more information about me. Personally, if I was reading this as an employer I cannot say whether or not I would hire myself based on my site; I think that would depend on the job. I do feel that as an employer I would think this site was informative about the applicant, well organized, and professional in appearance, all of which are traits that I believe are valuable in employees.

Homepage Screenshot: 
Design Process: 

The 10 alterations I made to my site using CSS:
1. Changed the background color to black
2. Switched the font size to 14px Georgia
3. Made the content area silver
4. Created a bottom-border for h2s (8px groove maroon)
5. For the header I changed the color of the font (white), the font style (Georgia) and size (60px)
6. Changed link colors: a normal link is purple, hover is green and bold; visited and active links are maroon
7. I switched the top-border above the comment section from white and solid to silver and groove
8. Made the navigation tabs have bold font
9. Added borders around images (5px groove maroon)
10. Changed the visibility to hidden for the links on the right side of my content (it use to show a search box, and archives of previous posts)

The original layout of my site was based on the Twenty Ten 1.2 WordPress theme

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