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Kelly O'Grady - A Professional Portfolio

Overall, I’m extremely excited about what I’ve created throughout the past semester. I have worked hard on image editing projects and am proud of how far I have come in the CSS realm of things. It’s nice to be able to give advice to those around me who need help and it’s so much fun to code and recode parts of my websites to make them look the way I want them to. It took a lot of time and work the past week or so to make my pages come together and look this way. I haven’t really been proud of much work I’ve done this semester because most of it is just going through the motions of school, but to see something that I’ve created is really rewarding.
The finished versions offer me two things: a place to send people interested in me professionally, and a place to filter all my thoughts about Relay. After finishing the professional portfolio blog, I’m interested in buying an additional domain name under which to host that for years to come. I graduate school in one year and after a semester of student teaching, am going to be looking for a job somewhere. If I were to have something with my name attached and have a place to send potential employers, I stand to benefit from the additional things they have opportunity to see (writing samples, lesson plan samples, etcetera). If I put more work into this additional site, as a plan to this summer, I will have a great resource for someone interested in hiring me and I would even go as far to say that I would hire myself. Not everyone these days has supplementary things to give potential employers. In a world that’s almost completely electronic, I feel that my work will be looked at more often online than if I presented an interviewer with a stack of papers to read through. The site is easy to navigate, listing all of its page classifications at the top and thus streamlines the experience for visitors.
As for my Relay blog and website, I’m very pleased with that as well. It gives those interested in Relay for Life at Mary Washington an opportunity to get inside the heads of the committee and gave my family and friends something to look at when I sent out emails asking for donations. It’s functional for a blog, but I am interested in working more with it to streamline it even more; things are tagged and some are even searchable. While it’s not a professional aspect of my life, it is very important to me. People interested will have the opportunity to see how passionate I am about this and may gain the understanding that that passion transfers over to much of what I do.

Homepage Screenshot: 
Design Process: 

I made alterations for two layouts for this final project. This is due to my original blog being focused on too specific of a topic to transition to a personal portfolio, so I created an additional page. There were very minor tweaks on the first page, and more extensive ones on my original blog. The CSS changes are as follows:
1. Header - I changed the header image on the personal portfolio page to something that better suits me. It's a softer image than the books that originally filled the space, and it's also a more feminine image.
2. Background color - I felt that stark white was too abrasive so I altered the rgb to a softer green color that complemented the new header image.
3. Pages - Lastly, I added pages to the navigation bar of the website. The added page links will take the site visitor to more specified places instead of leaving them to wander aimlessly around a blog. It succeeds in making this page more of a portfolio that houses my accomplishments and less of a blog that I use to house my thoughts and such.
4-9. Background-color – the background color on many aspects of this site changed. The original layout was sand colored and dreary and boring. To suit the needs of my Relay centered page, I altered the background-color to shades of purple and white, to keep it readable and not painful to see. The color changed in five spots - the header, footer, body, page/content, and the sidebar sections.
10-12. Borders – Borders on four of the aforementioned sections also changed. I added or subtracted borders on the sidebar, page/content area, footer, and header to divide the space within the center section. I felt that having it just as one, solid, block of white wasn’t beneficial to anything or anyone and that the division added something aesthetically.
13. H1 – header 1 changed in text color and font size. The text color needed to be different to suit the new background of the page. The size was a necessary alternation because the title of this site is rather long and I wanted it to fit nicely on the top two lines without overlapping and looking awkward.
14. & 15. Widgets – There are two existing widgets on my page – the calendar and the search bar. I had to make changes to both of those to have them suit the website. I felt that they were necessary to keep because they allowed easier navigation of the site and also provided visitors with access to the days that I would have posted. The coloring of each was changed. The calendar took more of coding prowess as I needed to change the background color, text color, and border color of each separate box entity (next, previous, month, days).
16. H2/H2 visited – The colors changed for these as well. They needed to fit the color scheme of the page and I felt that having a separate color for H2 visited would let those who look at my page know that they have seen that blog or at least looked at that entry.
17. H3 – The color changed on H3 to fit the color scheme.
18. Comment box – I clicked through pages to make sure that things weren’t missing when I was coding and noticed the comment box. I made sure to change the background color and border for the comment box so it fit in with everything else.
19. Lastly, there is a colophon type box underneath each entry explaining when it was posted and who posted it. I changed the background of this as well as the text color.

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