2/27/15: Project Three Interface Choice- Thematic

I was lucky enough to get my first choice for our interrogating an interface project, and that interface is Thematic! Thematic is an awesome tool that caught my eye right from the start when I was exploring different interfaces. When I was narrowing down my choices, I knew I wanted a tool that I would be able to use in my upcoming marketing job following graduation. I will be working for a construction and architecture company, so I wanted to find a program that could highlight beautiful construction design, the process of building from start to finish, and a program that was very image heavy–Thematic was the perfect fit.

Thematic allows you to put together multiple large images to tell a story. The story is completely based on visuals, with just a small amount of text to accompany some of the visuals. Some of the example stories that I looked at in Thematic when I was exploring it were called “Manhattan to Brooklyn,” “Midtown Wandering,” and “5 Days in Scotland.” Each of these examples did an amazing job by using large, powerful images to virtually walk viewers through different geographical areas, creating the feel that viewers are actually in through areas experiencing the views and scenery themselves. I immediately thought that this would be an amazing tool for me to use to highlight the different construction projects and properties around the Virginia Beach area for the company that I will be working for following graduation.

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2/23/15: Autocorrect & Autocomplete

Tools such a autocorrect and autocomplete are created to make life easier, but sometimes can just cause even more confusion. My main experiences with autocorrect come with the use of my iPhone. I can’t tell you the amount of times that my iPhone has changed a word into all capitals, causing the person on the receiving end of my text to believe I’m yelling at them. A simple “No thanks!,” gets transformed into a “NOOOOO!” and is sent into cyberspace before I can make the correction. And of course, I have experienced the common use of “duck” as a profanity. For me, this little autocorrected mistakes are not a big deal, and for the majority of the time, I catch the mistakes before they are sent; however, for people who are not as familiar with autocorrect or the general use of newer tools like an iPhone, autocorrect can cause some major issues.

Prime example: My mother. Whether it is the lack of her deciding to put on her glasses before sending a text or posting a Facebook status, or a simple autocorrect gone wrong, my mom is a frequent victim of the failures of autocorrect. While I feel sorry for her that she often encounters so many issues with a tool that is supposed to make her life easier, autocorrect has definitely helped to give me some great laughs while reading some of my mom’s texts. I think I receive more texts from her that are full of mistakes and spelling errors, almost appearing to be “drunk texts,” than I receive legible texts. Bless her heart for trying to understand technology. While I’ll continue to try and teach her the ways in this new digital age, and autocorrect will continue attempting to make her life easier, despite all odds I know my mom will continue sending me laughable texts–and for that, I thank you, autocorrect.

2/18/15: What I Did. Why I Did It

What I Did

Today, I completely changed the style and content of my site information page. I not only added explantations for decisions I made about the site, but I also broke up the page into different categories including: “The Purpose | The Inspiration,” “My Voice, My Style,” “Images, Photos, & Videos,” and “Themes, Fonts, & Typography.” I still need to add one additional section to describe my choices for including links to exterior sites, like my professional portfolio, LinkedIn, and Twitter. In addition, I also added a “Get In Touch” page, and added a YouTube video to my About Me page.

Why I Did It

All the decisions I made today were to give my site even more personality and to take the site one step further. I believe the more information I add about myself and my decisions, the better understanding visitors will be able to gain about who I am and how I think.

2/16/15: What I Heard In Peer Review. What I Need To Do

What I Heard In Peer Review:

During peer review, I received a lot of positive feedback about my site! I was very pleased that my peers thought my site was able to show my personality, both through my writing style and in my theme. My reviewer thought that my “Where Dreams Come To Play” theme tied in very well with how motivated and driven I am, and my choice of theme, quotes, and heading photo also went well. Luckily, I had all the necessary blog posts I needed in addition to my About Me, Site Information, and placeholder pages for my projects. The main critique and helpful criticism I received during the peer review was concerning my site information page and how I should consider adding additional information and explaining my choices further.

What I Need To Do:

After the peer review, I know I need to focus a lot of my energy on my site information page. I need to not only expand on choices I made for fonts, colors, themes, photos, etc., but also explain why I made those choices. I also want to discuss why I use a certain writing style in my blogs posts and for the majority of my site. Finally, I also think it would be a good idea to include information about the links to external sites (LinkedIn, Twitter, Professional Portfolio) that I include in my menu bar, and why I chose to include them.

2/13/15: What I Did. Why I Did It

What I Did:

Today, I focused on creating a Site Information page and continued updating my About Me page. My Site Information page was definitely a lot harder to create and choose content for than my About Me page. For now, I focused my Site Information page on explaining the theme, appearance, and images I’m concentrating on using. I took a look at a lot of the examples from our class website, including The Design Office’s Colophon page and Kevin Shoffner’s Colophon page. I’m thinking that I’m leaning more towards a page like The Design Office, which lists different fonts, images, coding tools, techniques, etc. For my About Me page, I added an additional paragraph to the end describing my life outside of work and school.

Why I Did It:

While my About Me page is meant to explain who I am and the purpose of the site, I wanted my Site Information page to explain why and how I made the decisions I did when it came to fonts, themes, images, etc. I also wanted to use my Site Information page to give credit and provide sources for outside programs and authorities that I referred to to help build my site.

2/11/15: Optional Blog Post

What I Did:

Since my last post, I recently decided to update the About Me page of my blog. I included a picture of myself, as well as two short paragraphs describing a little bit about myself and my professional experience. I also decided to add specific categories to my blog posts including “in-class posts,” “daily posts,” and “projects.”

Why I Did It:

When people visit my blog, I want them to be able to get to know who I am and what I’m all about. I plan to add additional information to my About Me page to include further information on my personal life to give readers an even better insight into my personality. I also want viewers to be able to gain an understanding of why I am posting certain content, and how the content relates to the class.

2/11/15: Multimodal Dig

A Snapshot of my Multimodal TextsToday, I dug around my things to find multimodal texts. The following is a list of some of the most interesting ones I found:

  • Adobe Creative Suite (V, L, S, G, A)
  • TextWrangler (V, L, S)
  • Five Star Notebook (L, S, A)
  • Camelbak Water bottle (V, L, S, G)
  • LinkedIn (V, L)
  • Snapchat (V, L, S, G, A)
  • Instagram (V, L, S, G, A)
  • Trivia Crack (L, G, A)
  • Whitagram (V, L, S)
  • Pandora (A)
  • Pinterest (V, L, S, G, A)
  • Uber (S, G)

Reflection:

The first thing I noticed when digging through my multimodal texts–especially the digital texts– was that I had already prearranged a lot of them into different categories without even realizing that I had done it. For example, it you take a look at the snapshot of my phone screen, you will seen I use different folders to separate different applications. I have folders that include “Photography,” “Utilities,” “Music,” and “Social.” Some of the main multimodal texts that I use most frequently, including Uber, Instagram, LinkedIn and Snapchat, I do not place into folders so that I have easier, faster access to them. In addition to my digital modes of text from my phone and laptop, I also had one Five Star 3-Subject notebook and a Camelbak water bottle in my backpack. Unlike my digital modes of text, these were more simple and served very basic purposes.

The most similar multimodal texts that I found across different devices, including my phone and laptop, were programs or applications that focused on design and visuals. Those similar programs included Adobe Creative Suite, Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest. All of these programs focus on the use of images presented in different ways to portray messages. The two most different multimodal digital texts were probably Pandora and Uber. Both stood apart from all my other texts just due to the fact that their uses were so specified. Pandora is focused on streaming music, while Uber’s main use is to provide a platform for finding rides and local taxi’s in the area. Of course my non-digital forms of text, my notebook and water bottle, were also very different because they are objects I could physically hold and interact with, while all of the digital modes of text you could only interact with visually.

The main aspect that I took away from today’s dig was that the each multimodal text has the ability to overlap in modes in order to achieve their desired usage and purpose, with some being more complex or simple than others.

2/9/15: What I Did. Why I Did It

What I Did:

Today, I did a lot of work on figuring out the organization of my site and played around a lot with the menu. I decided to create a page called “Class Projects,” which I then added sub pages to to act as fillers stating “Coming soon…,” so I can place my final projects there after completion. I also decided to test out different widgets, and added a contact widget to my sidebar.

Why I Did It:

I want the movement and organization around my site to be very easy and simple for visitors. Right now, I’m not 100% satisfied with the layout and I know I want to add additional widgets, especially to connect content from exterior sites like LinkedIn or Twitter. I am happy that I now have pages and sub pages set up to display my projects, and that will make organizing my content a lot easier as I move forward.

2/6/15: What I Did. Why I Did It

What I Did:

Today, I looked at a number of different themes to use for my site. At first, I had the “Eighties” theme active for my site. What first attracted me to the “Eighties” theme was the bold text and impactful photo in the heading; however, I did not like how the menu was set up. After browsing through a couple different themes, I decided to switch my theme to the “Hemingway Rewritten” theme. It had the same bold text and a large photo at the top, but the menu was much more visible and easier to navigate.

Why I Did It:

I did not want to just settle on the first theme that caught my eye, so I thought it was important to browse around and consider my options. I was searching for the best theme that would give me a very stylish look, while at the same time being very easy to navigate and user-friendly. I’m very happy with my decision to switch from the “Eighties” theme to the “Hemingway Rewritten” theme. The “Hemingway Rewritten” theme also appears more professional.

2/4/15: Start Dreaming…

What I Did

Today, I let my mind start wandering. I created a blog named “Where Dreams Come To Play.” My blog was created to showcase my online identity in my Writing & Digital Media Class at Virginia Tech. I chose a theme and appearance for my blog that focused on large powerful images paired with large impactful text.

Why I Did It

The main focus of my blog is dreams, so I wanted to incorporate that into my title, tagline, and the URL, which is “kimkwheredreamsplay.” The reason for choosing my theme was simple: Images alone are powerful, but images paired with the right words are even more powerful. My online identity is focused on displaying images that show who I am, combined with specific words and phrases that can explain who I am. As a communicator and marketer, I look to brand myself online, and this blog is just another extension of that branding.