Monday, 2 March 2009

Portfolio: Competitive Analysis [Student]
I feel that the colours chosen work well together. The reflections don't work for me
on this project; they give an amateurish feel. The 'flowers' also offer nothing to the design other than to act as an obstacle when then text size is increased.

Accessibility & Validation
Disappointing, the students XHTML doesn't validate; not that a doc-type has been specified.

W3C screen shot showing that the XHTML doesn't validateAlarmingly, it is much of the same for the CSS. From examining the source code (both XHTML & CSS) I get the impression that it is generated by a WYSIWYG editor. These facts would concern me as a potential employer.

W3C screen shot showing that the CSS doesn't validate
Increasing the size of the type creates issues with the design. This could have been solved with a little work & testing

The internal navigation is consistent and reliable but is on the small side. The external navigation is unreliable with some links broken and others purposefully removed. Along side this is the 'blinking text' for all hyper-links in when in the hovered state. All things considered, the site does not provide a good user experience.

As a student project, the site serves it's purpose of holding a corner of the web with the students name on it. I feel that the delivery could & should have been much better considering that this is a final year university student. From this analysis I can see just how important the impression is that the portfolio delivers. [

Jeff's portfolio gives the impression that it is flash based, although it isn't. When compared and contrasted the student created project, there is a clear divide in the level of professionalism, experience and skill in favour of Jeff. There are still some issues as detailed below but overall a much more aesthetically pleasing build.

Accessibility & Validation
As is to be expected the site has compliant XHTML [transitional] & CSS [2.1]. All of the content is in one XHTML document which could be arduous for screen reader users. Design breaks when type size is increased.

The navigation is consistent, reliable as well as being aesthetically pleasing with a subtle JavaScript based animation to move from one area to another. Regrettably, the site doesn't degrade well for browsers with JavaScript disabled as there is no easy alternative method of navigation.

The site looks great, it shows off his skills as a designer & a developer. The project doesn't consider accessibility as much as it should but otherwise is a project to be proud of.

Considerable difference between this and the student project.

Portfolio: Delivery Requirements

XHTML 1.0 Strict
Used to define the sites structure and mark-up the content. I will be using Komodo Edit to build the code to W3C Standards.

CSS 2.1

The Cascading Style sheets will be used to control the aesthetics of the site as well as improving site load times and accessibility. I will be using Komodo Edit to build the code to W3C Standards.

CMS - Content management driven

The content management system will provide me a flexible platform for my portfolio. Allowing me to tailor the site to the requirements of each interview / situation is essential. Following on from the 'Content is King' assignment, I will be using TextPattern as my CMS. TextPattern requires PHP and MySQL on the hosting server.

Photoshop & Illustrator CS3
Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator will be used to deliver the web-optimised imagery for my portfolio.

Mail technologies (including IMAP & SMTP) will be used to send & receive emails.

Portfolio: Target Audience

Primary Target Audience [Employer]
Rachel is the co-owner of a 4 year old local design company and despite the talks of a recession, her business is growing at consistent rate. As a result she is looking for a new web designer & developer to bring join the team and introduce fresh ideas and new technologies into the business.

Rachel deals more with the running of the business rather than the delivery of the products but still has an eye for design. During her working day she spends around 4+ hours browsing the internet on her MacBook which is running the latest version of FireFox through a high speed broadband connection.

Secondary Target Audience [Client]
Andrew is a self employed building contractor working in the Barnsley area. He uses his existing web site as a medium to generate leads but he has noticed a recent sharp decline in enquires. Andrew understands the value of a strong and consistent corporate identity and as a result, he is investing time and money in a redesign of the now aged web site.

Andrew is looking for a individual to establish a long term working relationship with. Ideally, the person should have knowledge of modern design, development and usability techniques.

Andrew uses his home office Windows based PC and uses IE7 to browse the web through a 2mb broadband connection.