It’s time to submit my work.
The Diploma course is pretty much over. In just over a week I have to submit this site as finished and meeting all criteria.
Time to Submit.
It’s the most nerve wracking moment. Up til now the challenges have been the broken things, the questions of how to make things work. Decisions about colours, themes, layout, and design have been the focus. Creating appropriate content, both written and visual, formed the drive and vision.
Although the site will evolve and grow as all creations should, I have to let go and allow others to judge whether this is good enough. It’s time to submit my work and find out if this final project is worthy of a pass.
I’ve been studying with Swansea University’s DACE (Department of Adult Continuing Education), part time, for the last 4 years. The aim being to achieve a Higher Education Diploma in Digital Media. It started as a bit of fun, something to keep my mind busy while raising children and thinking about going back to work. But now, I find myself hoping there might be a further stage to try.
The Higher Education Certificate already earned is the highest level qualification I’ve achieved so far, the Diploma will be another step. For the first time ever, I think I might be able to get a degree.
I have no clue what I might be able to do with a degree in digital media, but it would be good to be able to say I had one! I don’t know if DACE might be able to offer the next stage to accomplish that, but I’ll be keeping in touch in case they do.
Either way, I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenges that this has brought. The lessons learned have already proved useful.
Thank you, Swansea Uni, staff, and especially tutors Sue and Alison. (I know, we’ve not seen Alison much, but she still counts)
After several weeks of work, adjustments, and tinkering, I think the website is finished.
There are various criteria I’ve had to fill and I’ve been going over the checklist – all points are covered.
I think it’s finished.
- A custom theme, with a custom header
- At least 8 pages
- At least 2 different image galleries
- A search box, breadcrumb trail, and a language translator
- A page with external links, and a contact form
- A mass email facility (The Very Infrequent Newsletter)
Also, I have installed plug ins that allow me to:
- Offer a share/like facility for social media
- The ability to change things to suit you if you need things to change so you can access the site
- Track my photography locations through a map
- Monitor my search engine optimisation for each post or page
- Monitor site visitors through simple statistics
All things considered, I’m reasonably happy with the way it looks.
My Photography website
My aim here was to create a site to showcase my photography. While the galleries have plenty of space for more images, and there is scope for more galleries, so far these are the images that I am most proud of.
Here’s a gallery of a few images, just to whet your appetite.
The plan is to add more images as I take them, and more galleries too. This is not a business, but if there is an image you’d like to use, please get in touch and we can discuss this. Otherwise, all my images are owned by me and you do NOT have permission to use them. I ask that you please respect my work, and my right to assert this.
This website has been created as the final project of a Higher Education Diploma in Digital Media, and is the result of 2 years of part time study.
So, that broken banner… Yeah, almost. It’s there on the home page, and it does it’s animation and then just sits there, sparkling, exactly as I wanted it to. I had to re-create my template to make it work. It turns out that with the template plug in I’m using, if you try tinkering with the modular framework, and delete the header space, then you can’t put it back. A defined header space isn’t available to re-integrate.
But I worked it out, and I fixed it. Or, I thought I did.
But on the other pages of the site? Broken. No banner. No cameras, no sparkles, no words. Just blank, empty, space. The pages work, I’m still working on the content and filling bits up as I sort the sections out. There will need to be another animated part, or two, to fulfill the assignment criteria. But it’s getting there.
But I want the header on every page. Every page, every, single, page. All the pages. And it’s not there.
I’ll work it out. Eventually.
I wonder if a static header would work, and show on every page? Then I could make animated content to go somewhere else? Or does the header/banner have to be part of the animated content?
(goes to check course assignment criteria…)
Aha! Brilliant! It doesn’t have to be the banner, but must include certain elements. I shall look into that option over the weekend.
On a side note, I can see visitors to the site, even though I’ve not advertised it anywhere. No idea if you are genuine human beings, or web-bots. But, welcome, either way, and keep visiting. Things are still changing!
I made an animated header. I was actually rather pleased with it. The header was reasonably subtle, had enough animated elements to fulfill part of the assignment criteria, and wasn’t too garishly intrusive. So, why “damned animations”?
The files uploaded, and the HTML5 script is in place. But will the damned thing show up here?
*hint – look at the top of the page where there is NO DAMNED ANIMATION*
Oh, hang on, I’ll fix it at some point… Here’s a screenshot, for posterity. See the big empty box at the top of the page? Yeah, that’s where it should be, where it says “header”.
I may have mentioned before that I’m not a huge fan of animated website content. I find it distracting and annoying, and will run for the hills if there’s too much, or if it’s noisy. There’s nothing as distracting as sudden music or being spoken to unexpectedly when you’re alone at the laptop.
But they have to be there for the purposes of this project, so I have to make and install some animated content. I decided to make a header, and maybe a side piece, or a footer. And the header won’t go in.
(Cue the sound of Sarah beating her head on the table, before giving up to go and watch the Walking Dead.)
I’ll fix it, somehow. Not sure how yet, but I’ll work it out.
So far the site is very plain, and I am adding things to the structure in the form of plug ins and widgets to help everything work. I am exploring various ideas, and still settling on what works best for the look and feel I want to see.
So far there is a range of hidden stuff that just works away behind the scenes, and other things that are more obvious.
You’ll find a map to show places I’ve been where I’ve taken some of my photographs. The markers there show places that are all open to the public, so you can go too if you feel like it.
There’s a link to sign up for a newsletter, but I promise I am so rubbish at those that you won’t get many. There might be a couple of test newsletter to see how it works, but I’m not likely to do more. It’s there on the left if you would do me a favour and sign up so I can test it.
The little wheelchair on the right is there to help if you’re having trouble accessing the site. I’m not sure I like that icon though, so it might change. That plug in also doesn’t offer as much assistance as I’d like it to.
This will be coming in the next few weeks. I’m making these posts as a record for myself of what’s been used, and why. Meanwhile I’ll be working on the articles and images that will fill the pages.
Sorry, I’m not fond of them either, but there will be some. They have to be there. Give them a chance and please do let me know what you think, when they appear. I know they can be distracting, but they might be kinda fun too?
I have been studying under the Swansea University DACE (Department of Adult Continuing Education) for almost 4 years now. This marks our final module of the Higher Education Diploma in Digital Media (HECDM). It will be the most advanced qualification I’ve ever achieved.
This website is my final project. I’ll be running it like a regular site, it’s all public, so if you want to engage and comment please feel free to do so. There is even a “Very Infrequent Newsletter”, but only because I have to add one.
This site will have to meet certain criteria for the course, and will evolve during the project. But the main purpose is to showcase my photography.
There will be evolution!
As the weeks progress, more will be added, and the site will evolve. In the initial stages the structure will build. Then later, images and posts will appear.
It’s going to be quite a journey!
I hope you enjoy looking around.