When I thought about this final project, I had a really difficult time coming up with ideas. I am so used to instructors giving detailed guidelines and constraints, that it was hard to even fathom that I could do almost anything I wanted. I had a ton of ideas and it was difficult to narrow it down. Finally, I decided that if I will be spending so much of my time working on this project, I should probably produce something that will benefit me beyond passing this course.
Prior to returning to school, I was trying to start a small business making and selling crafts. One of my motivators for going back to school was learning new skills that would benefit my business. I don’t currently have time to make or sell things because of school and work, which is preventing me from achieving my goals. I propose that I will design a website for my business. This would allow me to achieve both academic and personal/professional goals at the same time.
I plan to build my website using Adobe Dreamweaver. I have never made a website before, except for one or two using basic html during my undergrad. I am hoping that because I am familiar with some other Adobe programs, I will pick it up fairly quickly. I intend to use online tutorials to assist me with questions. I have CS4 at home, which will facilitate my web design project.
I currently have a blog about crafts and an etsy shop. My website would pull both blog and shop into one cohesive domain. I think this will be really good for branding, since I will have more control over the aesthetics of my own website, than I would using the templates provided by blogger or the layout of etsy.
Wysocki’s essay has a lot to do with my final project. My current blog is very photograph heavy and word light. Because I am blogging about/selling crafts, it’s much more important for the reader to get the information through photographs than words. I don’t think anyone would read a blog about crafts that focused mostly on writing and very little little on photographs, videos, patterns, etc., and they certainly wouldn’t purchase something they could not see. On the Maeght CD Wysocki notes that, “the words have been designed to be as much a part of this screen as the art and the photographs, making the words photographs and paintings equally visual and equally visually weighted” (Wysocki 151). The non-text elements of multimodal projects are what makes them multimodal. Therefore, other visual elements should bring equal amounts of information to the project. I hope to find a good balance of different modes within my webpage.
Another point Wysocki stressed that seemed relevant to my final project was the concept of, “how the visual aspects of these texts work to compose us and how we go about composing pages and screen that encourage us to be responsible and critical readers” (Wysocki 159). I would like to think about being respectful to the reader when designing the site. Although one focus of my site will be selling a product to a consumer, I don’t want that to overwhelm other information contained there. I want to form a relationship with the reader beyond “please buy something.” I’m really passionate about handmade things. This is why I want a blog and a shop in one space. The blog would provide other information such as tutorials, interesting related links, and photographs.
I think I will gain a lot from this project. This is the sort of thing I wanted to do when I finished the NMS program. It’s nice to be given the opportunity to begin work on my outside goals while still learning how to best use this media.
Wysocki, Anne. “Impossibly distinct: On form/content and word/image in two pieces of computer-based interactive multimedia.” Computers and Composition. 18. (2001): 137-162. Print.