The layout of a website of course can depend on a number of different thoughts and considerations. Our situation specifically involves quite the spread of information and because of that my thinking was that the best design choices would be the simplest choices. Because of that I went with the cleanest orientation possible, and I went with an image focused approach. My hope is that the images would just load by themselves upon entering the page, and then when moused over they will dim themselves and display a short description of the link connected to the image. This will allow for a visually pleasing experience that doesn’t overload the user with information. My logo design is fairly self explanatory. The wave seems to be the most fitting choice for The Tempest, and I chose purple because I think that best highlights the mystic elements of the play. I made the rest of the page purple as well to match my logo. Considering there is a wide and diverse audience of people that have a reason to be interested in our website, ultimately the most approachable option that we can choose will be the most effective.
I used the code from the html tutorial as a starting point, and that was definitely useful for me. Using the original code for reference, the internet provided more than enough information for me to get through creating my website. The first technical challenge I experienced was trying to space and center everything in a visually pleasing manner. To be honest I found a simple work-around of creating text that is the same color as the background in order to zone my pages. Try highlighting the webpage in a browser and you can see for yourself. Second the image sizing and referencing proved to be challenging for me. But I managed to organizing them fairly well using the same black text strategy. Over all I noticed that basically any problem I had I could find a solution for almost instantly via google. However the time and labor was in figuring out how to implement these solutions.
I consider myself to be a distinctly left brained person, and my vision for the webpage was based on expressing this. I simply wanted to communicate a few fundamental bits about my person, and I wanted to try to be efficient and concise in doing so. That is what inspired my monochromatic choice of design. I’m happy with how clean my page ultimately turned out, however if I knew more about coding I certainly would have tried to give it a more modern touch. I tried to implement the dynamic picture function (where the images resize depending on the page scaling), however I didn’t have much luck.
I can only imagine that making design choices for a 21st century website cataloging the works of a 16th century writer must have been a challenge. Is it possible to have a classically themed website that isn’t tacky? Then again there is also a chance that the demographic of people who have any kind of interest in William Shakespeare appreciate the tacky. Maybe thats why is seems the majority of these archive websites are archaic and without taste. All that to say I was pleasantly surprised when I visited the Royal Shakespeare Company’s website, as it reminded me that I do in fact live in 2019.
The visual differences between the RSC site and the other sites are distinct. Brighter colors, high definition pictures, welcoming design scheme, easy navigation. This site was designed with an audience of people in mind of whom value efficiency and clarity. The main page isn’t cluttered with swaths of unnecessary information, but rather it is a cleanly organized entry way into a number of portals that hold specific information someone would perhaps be looking for. This site caters to people who know what they are looking for, as well as to people who are looking to explore, and that is a significant improvement as I often found myself getting lost on the other sites.
The primary reason that I like this site as much as I do is the purpose of it’s design choices seem to be in the interests of providing quality information as quickly as possible. Most often when I follow an “about Shakespeare” link on one of these sites, I end up on a page that is not any more useful than Shakespeare’s Wikipedia article. However the RSC’s website directs me to a page that provides further specification regarding exactly what it is I seek to learn. So regardless of whether I want to read about his life, the history of his plays, his language, etc, I don’t have to comb through irrelevant information in order to find what I’m looking for.
For the purposes of our archive, I think it would be valuable to use the RSC website as a model. It doesn’t only contribute the “high-society” image that is typically associated with Shakespeare, but rather it provides an efficient and pleasing 21st century online experience that ultimately will speak to a far larger demographic of people.
Link to the site: https://www.rsc.org.uk/