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Michael Cournoyer
Mr. Herz
Web Design 1B
18 January 2012

The Digital Market Economy

Walking into the computer lab, for my third year in a row, I could not wait to learn more about the interesting world of computers. This time, I would be enrolling in Web Graphics and Design, a class where I would learn enough of the html programming language and a lot about website design and animations, ultimately creating a website of my own. And indeed, my final project was to create a live website. To do this I had to first learn about html language and what it does. The .html ending that one sees at the end of a file means that the document is coded to be a web page. This code explains the tables, font styles, pictures, links and more that will be used to create the page. For an example, if a word is colored red, it most likely has a CSS, or cascading style sheet, behind it that includes the color code #FF0000. Next, I learned how to create a simple Flash animation, using Adobe Flash Player. For this, I created objects using a drawing tool, filled them with color, and then added motion paths for the objects to move on. An example of this might be a small blue ball, representing the Earth, creating a circular path, or an orbit, around a larger yellow ball, representing the sun. Finally, I learned all about the real web page maker, Dreamweaver. It allows the user to create many web pages, link them together and add titles, pictures, and text within a table to produce a real live website. While mastering all of these abilities, I gained good background knowledge of how the internet functions, using links and embedded style sheets to make its infinite library both functional and appealing. I had to use my organizational and artistic skills to create a series of tables that effectively placed pictures, text, and white space in an easy-to-read manner. If a website did not have these visually appealing touches, it would not attract many viewers, and the company sporting the website may not succeed in this new digital world.

Before I started creating my website, I had to determine who the target audience was. Since my topic was a vacation event for families, I directed it to middle-aged parents and young adults. I then made a flash for my introduction page. This Flash would run for about 15 seconds, and relate to my websites topic, the Winter Carnival in Quebec. My flash promoted the Bonhomme, the mascot of the carnival, by showing him skiing down a slope, and then welcoming the user to the website. After this was completed, I created my website, defined a folder for it, and created about six pages with the same table format on them, for consistency. In these tables, I put photos, information, and global and local navigational bars for users to read and click on for more info about the Carnival. Most of the difficulty that came with creating my website originated from the Flash animation. I found it hard to get my object, the snowman, to move very lifelike. After using the motion path to make him ski down the hill, I wanted to make him talk. In order to do this, I had to animate his mouth to stretch up and down constantly as I used a textbox and words, lasting many frames, to create the appearance of speech. Once I had finished, I then had to import the Flash into my Dreamweaver table. For this to happen, I first had to make my Flash.html into a movie.swf, add it to my defined website folder, and then use the Assets panel in Dreamweaver to import the clip. Some errors occurred with improper links and picture imports, but I was able to adjust and fix all of these within the scope of one class period. Completing and seeing my live website has definitely helped me understand how companies and businesses create their web pages. By knowing your target audience and possessing basic skills in Dreamweaver, one can create an appealing webpage to promote their commercial name in any subject area. Web Design is a combination of art, code, and organization that has been the basis of displaying information to the public for decades.

The Creating a Website task has helped me make a connection between the visual arts and modern technology. People in the computer world work in teams because there are many different aspects that go into making websites. There must be research, proper coding, consistent organization, perhaps animation, and eventually an aesthetically appealing product. Having a ground-level understanding of all of these aspects will allow me to be successful in any future website development plans. Perhaps one day I will have a business of my own, and I will need to create a website that attracts customers and is appropriate for whatever age group I expect to be viewing it. For example, my sister took a class similar to Web Design many years ago, and later on in her life, she had used these skills to create a website, www.theanchormotel.com, to promote our family’s business. I hope that I will be able to retain my current knowledge for when it becomes necessary, allowing me to be self-sufficient in the digital market economy.

 
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