One week left!

My weekend update with one more week left of college. Exciting.

Anyway, my development is going very smoothly and hopefully it stays that way! I am pretty far on the coding, I should have it 100% complete by tomorrow, then it’s just a matter of adding in all the content and getting the rest of the content from my client. I have enough to do about 60% but she still has the rest.

Here is a snapshot of my custom contact form with live validation that I finished coding tonight.

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Client development begins

I finally got GoDaddy to behave and got WordPress installed. I had to do it manually because their “Quick Install” I tried on Monday and it still hasn’t installed, so last night I got it installed manually without a problem. So at least I had no problems after I decided to do it myself.

I began some minimal coding and a lot of slicing of the design/images so it’ll be faster to code when I already have everything available. I will post more progress later and hopefully I can have the theme completed done by this weekend where anything else left do to would be just content. At least that’s the goal!

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My Portfolio Contact Page

Until last week, I had text just telling people to email me as I would be getting a contact form shortly for my portfolio site: andybaltes.com. Then last week I finally made myself a form to fill out directly from the website. I also used Live Validation, which is a JavaScript plugin that that validates the form as you type, with multiple option the developer can control. You can control the “you filled out this field successful” message and the “you did not meet the requirements yet for this field to be valid” message. You can control if the field is required, if you need to type numbers only, if you need to type a specific range of numbers, email address only, etc.

I still haven’t created a custom button yet for the form, but I’m happy with the overall result. I got CAPTCHA working too in it to prevent spam. Feel free to visit my Contact Page and start filling out the fields to see what I mean and see Live Validation in action. You don’t have to submit anything to me and you’ll still see it. Also, if you try to hit submit when one of the required fields is not filled out, it won’t submit and tell you it’s required.

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Client Break, Co-op Update

Time to post about my current co-op/future job when I graduate. So the CEO of my company not only found out about but explained to everyone in our company about “Planking.” If you don’t know what it is, it is essentially laying face down with your arms at your sides, palm up, keeping your body stiff as a board. You can be on an object, the ground, etc. And normally the idea is to do it in a more public place, but regardless you have someone photograph you when you’re in the planking state.

Now with that background info, he challenged us employees to plank and post photos to our inner-company blog. Now he had the idea to tell our public Facebook fans to “Out Plank Pukka,” so I am making another custom tab on Facebook with a contest for fans to post photos of them planking.

Anyway here are a couple of snapshots/previews of my tab:
Out Plank Pukka preview 1

Out Plank Pukka preview 2

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Second Client Mock-up

Here is the 2nd design for my client’s website. I’ll give her some time to look at them and decide what she likes/doesn’t like and we can discuss if any changes need to be made. Then once she chooses one, I can start developing! Here’s version number 2 and once again feedback is appreciated!

Version 2 of my Client Mock-upI decided to go with a completely different look for the second so the client has different versions to choose from.

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First Client Mock-up

This weekend I finished one design for my client. So here is my mock-up version 1, any feedback is welcome. I showed some of my co-workers at my co-op and they like it, one person mentioned to make the Green Icons on the feature bar a little smaller to give the text some breathing room and I agreed.

Once again feedback is welcome!
Mock-up version 1

And some of the text is placeholder text, because I’m still waiting on the final wording and final content, so that’s all subject to change, also the footer area I’m still waiting for the exact pages, so it might shrink a little depending on content I’m given.

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Latest Client Meeting

I just got back from meeting with my client. We reviewed a bunch of websites: Popular trends, successful small business and great design sites. After going over with about 10 or more websites with the client and explaining what I like about each website and what I think works (or doesn’t work), I now have gained a great deal of knowledge of what exactly my client wants. She also told me what she liked about each site or did not like based on what I showed her.

By this weekend I should have the mock-ups completed and approved so I can begin coding shortly. Realistically I would have probably have been a little further in the process by now, but we were both busy the week before the 4th, so it got pushed back a little. However, I still think we are on track and making good time, just less room for errors on my part! No worries though!

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Co-op Facebook Custom Tab

It’s complete and live! Not only do we now have Parallax Scrolling on my company’s (Pukka Headwear) Facebook page, we also implemented a LIKE & UNLIKED version of the custom tab. If you do not like us yet, you get a version that tells you to like us, then once you like us you get the full content.

Check out the parallax scrolling custom Facebook tab I designed here:
http://fb.com/pukkaheadwear

To view the Parallax scrolling you must “like” us, however you can easily “unlike” us after you’ve clicked to view the page. In the left column towards the bottom, there is an “unlike” button. Click that and it’s like nothing ever happened! So don’t feel like you can’t view it just because you don’t want to “like”!

Another post with client information coming later this week.

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Client & Parallax Scrolling Updates

Parallax scrolling first.

If you missed my last post, here are the details about Parallax Scrolling & Facebook. So the parallax scrolling is working like a charm on Facebook and I made a testing Facebook page for my co-op company. Everyone loves it so far that know about the project and see it coming along. We are almost finished with it, but before it is completely live we have to wait for some people to give it the final go ahead.

I’m hoping within 2 weeks it will be given the final okay and pushed live to our Facebook site, once it is I will follow-up a post with a link to it for everyone to see. I’m super excited for it, especially because 95% of it was designed and developed by me. The other 5% was mainly just feedback and minor changes I had to do.

Now onto my client.

I had some conversations with my client, back and forth through email. She was out of town for the past week (Vegas!) so I didn’t get a chance to meet with her. I sent some websites for her to look at with some directions we could go for her company’s. Then tomorrow (friday) we are meeting to discuss what she likes and doesn’t like about some of the examples I sent her and we will decide how she would like hers to be laid out so I can start some mock-ups!

This client is more current with the web, however, in the past I’ve had a client who was out of touch with what the web could have on it. The websites they liked and wanted me to mimic looked like they were designed in 2000. After I showed them some example websites on the web and showed them different styles, moveable areas, “web 2.0” design, etc they immediately liked what I had shown much better.

I feel that it’s best to show the client as much as possible and help them explain what can be done, should be done and what to avoid. Most clients seem to only know they want a website, but after that it’s up to us as web designers/developers to give the client the best solution as possible and explain to them the trends and why certain things work and others do not.

More to come after the meeting and once I start some mock-ups!

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Parallax Scrolling

At my job/co-op I am in charge of redesigning their custom Facebook tab. The one they currently have is outdated.

After researching a lot to find what other companies were doing on Facebook and researching other web trends, we found Parallax scrolling, which is essentially multiple layer backgrounds moving at different speeds to give the illusion of depth.

An earphone (headphones) company called Yurbuds has an Awesome site utilizing parallax scrolling: http://www.yurbuds.com/

Basically for the Facebook page we are creating, we are going to do something similar, but for our products and on Facebook. I have yet to see it take place on Facebook, but we’ve done some small testing and it looks like it’ll work and be pretty awesome.

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Client Project

My client project for 4670 is designing and developing a WordPress website their business. My client and her father are both Attorneys at Law and want a website to stay current with the competition and to get their information out and easily accessible to their clientele.

As mentioned, the website will be through WordPress, which will allow my client to update and maintain the website fairly easily herself. After the site is fully developed and live, I will go through a quick training session of WordPress with my client so she will be comfortable making changes.

The last part of the project I will complete for my client is a custom Facebook page for her business. She is already familiar with Facebook and how to use it, but I will be adding a custom tab that will match the website design.

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