Learning the Other Side of the Internet

Naturally, as a product of my generation, I know my way around the internet. I know all the bookmarks and shortcuts to my preferred sites, the differences between all the little two- and three-fingered swipes, and can surf the web with the best of them. But for the final project, I have to now try to navigate a part of “The Internets,” to use one of my favorite Bush-isms, that I had not yet explored before—that of designing a website for world to view. While I’m not making a fully-functional, interactive website like that of ESPN or CNN, there is more going on than a simple sequence of essays which the reader views by just scrolling down.

Part of the struggle has been learning and understanding the possibilities of what I could do with the website in displaying the information aspect of my project. I’ve gone on several of past students’ websites, thought more about the setup and design of websites I use on a daily basis than ever before, and narrowed the options down to a few choices. Some of them had feasibility issues, and are way above my creative abilities. Some of the simpler options had their own problems—while a title page followed by a nice picture and the material content in sequential order makes it easier for a viewer to follow the natural progression, it’s pretty boring, and also is much more likely to be overwhelming and dissuade readers from even starting in reading my work.

On top of format decisions, I have never made a website before, and although I am definitely better off with the help of Wix, I have still spent many hours just figuring out technical aspects of my site. From making a menu bar at the top to getting the options on the menu to properly link to the corresponding site page, it’s been a lot of trial and error in putting it together. Through this process I’ve managed to solve most of the smaller problems, and my site is reasonably functional, but I have spent way more time on the technical aspects of the site than I had anticipated. This also meant that I have been more behind schedule in creating the actual content part of the project, which has made everything that much more stressful. On top of that, the more I work on the site the more I know that I will have more editing work at the end, which I also naively underestimated. In the end, I think I will be just fine, and although I will have spent much more time and energy than I initially anticipated, I think the project will be that much better and I will be more satisfied with my work for having spent that extra time and effort.

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