Contemplating Web Design.

I’ll admit it. This week’s reading made me totally embarrassed about the appearance of my blog. My title, the layout and design I chose, it’s configuration. It’s all just… terrible. (But it can be fixed!)

But it also got me thinking about what it could be, who I want to share my work with and what I want people to see. One of the take-aways from this collection of readings was that the construction and configuration of a site matters, and it matters a great deal. Putting thought and effort into that process returns great rewards in terms of impact. 

When I think about this process (and my final project for this class) I’ve started contemplating what the possibilities are. Given my research interests and the academic community in which I am engaged, accessibility and audience are chief concerns of mine.  In considering the form and function of my site, I’ve gathered inspiration (obviously completely outside of my skill set, but inspirational nonetheless) from two sites that handle language and access in an interesting way. 

  • The Deaf Studies Digital Journal – This is a peer-reviewed journal that is experimenting with the combination of American Sign Language and English in several ways – Journal articles are presented in American Sign Language, accompanied by pdf articles/transcripts in written English (Note: even the navigation menus provide ASL access)
  • Deaf Magazine – combines print and web to provide German Sign Language videos to accompany written content.

As both these demonstrate, the term “accessibility” can mean much more when we consider the unique web-usage of community members. It also sparks some reflection for me about low-vision/deafblind individuals and the complexity of providing accessible web experiences. 

4 thoughts on “Contemplating Web Design.”

  1. It is interesting, since many of us don’t have TOO much experience with design. What is considered good design? How do we ultimately know? In my opinion, you will have an interesting task with accessibility for your project, and I am fascinated to see how it goes!

  2. In class, we’ve been discussing how to make our sites accessible to the visually impaired through adjusting meta-data, etc, but we haven’t mentioned too much about how to allow for ASL access. How is that accomplished? Do the hearing impaired have something like the equivalent of readers? I would love to be able to learn a little more about this if you have any suggestions for articles that could help illuminate me.

  3. Same here! I was totally embarrassed of how my blog looks after reading about the design in our readings last week. (But I think your blog is pretty.) I also realized how hard it is to name the title for your blog. I love how many of our classmates comes up with cool titles ever week.
    Audience is my priority, too. And I really like how you challenge “accessibility” to the low vision/deafblind audience. Hope to learn more. See you in class!

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