Friday, March 30, 2012

Project 3: Redesigning the Contact Page

While creating the original site map, I’m starting to see clearly what needs work. In addition, one of my responsibilities for the project is to redesign the contact page. What may seem like an easy task for this project is actually quite difficult and complex. A typical contact page for a website contains basic and brief information, such as a phone number, maybe a fax number, an address, an email, etc. The contact page of the website we’re redesigning is anything but brief. In fact, it is more of a lengthy essay, with complicated instructions of how to make an appointment. Moreover, it’s somewhat repetitive with the idea of instructions- just worded differently. First, it says to call a certain number from a landline phone- it cannot be a cell phone that doesn’t have ID information, because they won’t answer. Then it says when you call the number they provide, you will be given another number to call to make the appointment, “so make sure you have a pen and paper handy.” In addition it says you can only call between 9:00am-10:30am if you want an appointment… An 1hr ½ to make an appointment? I’m not sure if it’s typo, but if it’s not, I really don’t know how this place gets any business. The whole contact page is very sketchy and it’s nothing like a well designed website contact page should be like. I am going to have to eliminate most of this, simplify, and clean it up. I will provide the only number they have, even if it’s not the only number they have to call (Clients will figure it out when they call the first number). I will also include their hours, appointment policies, and a helpful tip they give on the original, which is probably the only good thing they have on that page. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Found a Website in Desperate Need of a Makeover

My group and I decided on a website to redesign for project 3. The website is This website is absolutely AWFUL- it’s perfect! Everything about this website needs work, such as the tacky graphics, the color scheme, the organizational structure, and the list goes on and on. Clearly, we have a lot of work ahead of us!

Getting Started with Project 3 (redesigning a website)

I think this website redesign project might be the most challenging project we’ve had so far in the course. It’s a pretty lengthy assignment and will involve a lot of hard work. In order to prepare myself for this project, I’ve been exploring the best and worst designed websites on the Internet. I’ve been taking notes on the design elements that make a website well designed. I’ve also been analyzing poorly designed websites and seeing what to avoid when redesigning a site. I’m eager to get going with this project. Although it may be challenging, I think this project will be a great learning experience in the end. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Where in the World do I Write About?

Picking a location for my Wikitravel project turned out to be more difficult than I thought it would be. I considered the following places.

-Somers, New York (my hometown)
-Providence, Rhode Island
-Narragansett, Rhode Island

Of course I considered Somers, New York because I grew up there and I know that town inside out. However, I decided it wouldn’t be the best location for a Wikitravel article since not many people are looking to travel there. It’s a small town- your average suburbia in Westchester County. This town’s only claim to fame is that it’s the home of the first American circus. There’s not much to do or see, or even places sleep in Somers, but there are some things in nearby towns. In the end, I just didn’t think it was Wikitravel worthy.

My next choice was Providence, Rhode Island. In the past 4 ½ years that I’ve been living in Rhode Island, I’ve become very familiar with its capital, the city of Providence. I go to Providence all the time since I have many friends that live there. My friends who are Providence natives have showed me all around the city. I lived there last summer and learned my away around even more, and I’ve also worked in Providence. In addition, when I was writing for Rhode Island Monthly Magazine, I contributed to the Guest Guide, which is a travel guide the magazine creates for most of the hotels and inns throughout Rhode Island. The guest guide is basically an extended version of a Wikitravel page. It offers places to eat, drink, stay, see, etc. I contributed a lot of information for the Providence section of the guide. Because I’m familiar with Providence and especially its attractions, places to eat and drink, etc., this might be a good location to use for this particular project.

Currently, I live in Narragansett, Rhode Island, which is why it’s my third choice. I saw that someone in my group already chose Narragansett for their Wikitravel location, so I thought I would be better off picking some place different.

I decided to go with Providence, Rhode Island for my Wikitravel project!

Getting to know Wikitravel

When I started the Wikitravel project, the first thing I knew I would have to do is familiarize myself with this site. Reading through the Manual of Style, I made note of the suggested format, tone, overall style and layout etc. In addition, I also checked out random Wikitravel pages to get a good idea of what my Wikitravel page should include and look like. I noticed that most pages contained the following categories of information:

-Get in
-Get Around

In order to achieve a well-developed Wikitravel page, I decided to include all of the above. When I felt that I had a good understanding of Wikitravel- the writing and format entailed- my next step was to find a location…