Structure and Layout

The reading this week focused largely on structure and layout and it has me thinking about the page from a new perspective. Generally, I think I’ve approached print media and web pages from a functional perspective; paying more attention to content and only distracted by form when it is… distracting.

The examples in Thinking with Type,  were  great because they reinforced the importance of layout and design, from both an aesthetic and a functional standpoint. The examples on pages 152, 154, 158-159, and 188 got me thinking about how we use footnotes on a page and how this may be made more or less effective as well as more aesthetically pleasing. I connected this with last week’s reading by Dr. Petrik, Scholarship on the Web: Managing FootnotesIn the same way that the physical texts described in Lupton’s book disrupted or divulged information in meaningful ways, presenting information on the web requires thought.

HTML & CSS built on this line of thinking and forced me to consider the users of a webpage.  Who do I want to visit my webpage and what do I want them to see when they get there?

My (potential) visitors are varied. There’s the people of this class (who are forced to look at this page), my parents (who google me for no discernible reason), and, hopefully at some point, other history scholars and prospective employers.

The first two groups, I’m sorry to say, are not my focus in constructing a website. Rather, I’d like a page that fosters discussion with scholars in my field of history, primarily deaf history. And I’d like to create something that showcases my (developing) skill-set. I’m still deciding, however, what that page would look like.

This week I commented on : Beth’s and Anne’s blogs.

3 thoughts on “Structure and Layout”

  1. I agree that the examples in Lupton were very useful. I think she illustrated the way a website has to be both pleasing to the eye and functional. The grid plays a very important role in this and while the grid makes it easy to create a nice layout, its also very easy to create something really complex and hard to navigate. One thing I think she didn’t cover which I kind of inferred from the reading was the importance of repetition on the grid across your site. So while the content may change the layout and the grid doesn’t. While I think many of these things seem like common sense when looking back on the reading, what I’ve realized over the last few weeks is that building a website takes a lot of planning and careful decision making. It’s easy to overlook little things in that process.

  2. Like you Jannelle, I found myself thinking about who I wanted to attract to my webpage after reading http://www.htmlandcssbook.com/. I found myself struggling with the seemingly “basicness” of it all (age range, gender, country, etc.)- until I realized that I had no idea who I wanted to attract to my site and that started to freak me out. People like me? Young historians who might be interested in digital history? Amateur historians who might be interested in the topic of my final project? There is an insane amount to think about I honestly had no idea where to start. So I think I’m going to follow your lead and build something that might foster discussion with scholars in my field of history or the field I am choosing to focus on for these projects. I guess I have to start somewhere!

  3. Chap. 8, HTML&CSS summarized the important things to consider about how to focus your target audience and that section was very helpful to me, too. Who your audience will be is something we have been thinking about since Clio 1. I think we should always ask ourselves the reasons why people visits to your website and their goals so that people will keep visiting your website.

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