Aidlin Lost Me at CMS systems…..

I felt like a “fish out of water” reading Aidlin’s How We Work (and sometimes skip some steps).  I read the article twice because the first time I found myself looking up the meaning of many of the acronyms that Aidlin uses in his article. The first read of this article was difficult for me, it was like trying to eat a bowl of alphabet soup with a knife…I just could not get a handle on what CMS, CSS, TFS and XAML meant. I decided instead of pretending I knew what Aidlin was talking about that it would probably be wise to research the terms and get a better understanding of them before I read the article a second time.  

 I have to begin by saying that I have never been a developer or designer. The only time that I have been involved in the creation of a website is writing the text and often times I do not see the layout, the graphics or the images until the finished product is ready for review. When I do write the text, I use Microsoft Word and then e-mail a word document to the person responsible for the design and often times the development of the website. I have always been on the “sidelines” when it comes to creating how a website works as well as how it looks. My only other role in helping to create a website has been to critique the various versions of the website and my comments are usually based on personal preferences about the color and images and never touch on the technical aspects of the website.

 The subject of interactive production is all new to me and I am getting my first lesson about it in this module. I did appreciate that Aidlin article was written for someone like me who is beginning to think about creating my very own website without the luxury of a full staff of talented designers and developers. Aidlin wrote his article for those of us  who “can’t afford the headcount or the hours to have multiple rounds of internal and external back and forth approving wireframes, comps, and working sites” and those who have “rolled up your sleeves and are staring at a blank sheet of paper”. Baby steps are good for someone like me. All I have right now is an idea for a website and a blank sheet of paper. I do like the idea of what Aidlin calls “white boarding” and “sketching” sessions as I begin to think more and more about the development and design of my website. I think the “white boarding/sketching” exercise would be a smart and good fit for me because some of my best ideas come to me when I am driving in my car, going for a walk or trying to fall asleep. I jot these thoughts down on random pieces of paper and then stuff the paper into a “junk drawer” in my kitchen. The “whiteboarding” exercise could be a way for me to organize these scattered thoughts, put them on paper and see how they can fit into my website. I plan to start carrying around a small notebook in my purse that will be devoted to capturing my random thoughts and ideas for my website because I can’t tell you how many times I have thought of something one day that I thought was fantastic and then the next day I can’t remember that amazing idea for the life of me. I really need to start doing more crossword puzzles to keep my mind sharp!  I have also been inspired to become more aware of my surroundings as Dr. Alex mentioned in his lecture for this module, a cell phone with a camera could come in very handy when you see a design that appeals to you, you can simply point and  shoot.  I also found that the wireframe diagram that Aidlin included in his article could prove to be a helpful tool for me to use as I sketch out the flow of my website. He mentions that it has been proven to be a helpful tool for developers “…to understand the user-experience better, and either (hopefully) buy off on the functional-wireframes, or see problems at this stage, which can be addressed before major development or creative assets need to be changed”.  The wireframes seem to not only help the developer to improve and enhance the user experience, it also helps save time by preventing the need for major development revisions to the website down the road. A tool that can save time and help make a pleasant user-friendly experience is a tool, I certainly would like to use when developing my website. After the second reading of Aidlin’s article, I was able to fully understand his advice and I can now say after becoming better versed in his “tech-language”, I plan to keep his article on file as a reference for when I begin to develop my first website and I promise not to put in the “junk drawer”.

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  1. Hi, and thanks for the post. I’m glad that you found my “Opinion” useful, and I appreciate some of the difficulties you may have had on first-read. I sometimes forget that having worked in the web-design/development field for so long, I sometimes forget how confusing unfamiliar acronyms can be. I’ll be going back and providing links and expository text to help with this. Again, I appreciate the feedback.

    Be sure to check often, as we’re publishing new articles, opinions, and free, downloadable software geared to web-designers and developers of all skill-levels and interests.


    ::: @systim out :::

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