Week 11: Design Comps

My final project will be building a portfolio website for my artwork. I am excited to be working on this project, although I’ve been struggling a little bit in the actual site design. I think my background in print design is definitely holding me back a little; it’s hard to move past my aesthetics for static artwork and design to accommodate ideal functionality. I’ve discovered that a lot of sites that appealed to me and I wanted to use as role models were not the best designed sites from a web design standpoint. I began searching for other portfolio sites I had not looked at before in disciplines similar to my own style to try and get some inspiration (especially for examples of introductory text on their homepages) and I found it surprisingly hard to find any sites that were good examples! A lot of artists seem to just maintain blogs. The artists that did have regular websites….a lot of them did not meet my criteria for good site design. Many seemed to not have homepages at all…the ‘homepage’ went straight to an interior page, such as a gallery, or artist statement, so it was not very helpful for finding examples of brief intro text for a homepage. The majority of the portfolio sites I looked at had the content very squished to one side of the page. They were obviously designing for a specific browser width and had no fluidity. I suppose that lots of other artists have the same problem I’ve been having…getting stuck on aesthetics that do not make a smooth transition to web design.

Comp of homepage:

My homepage is primarily gong to be a single large graphic and a logo (the logo is my signature in Japanese katakana). I added brief text introducing my art. I originally had graphic based navigation for the top links but I changed it to text based navigation to improve my site’s search engine accessibility. The graphics that I made for the top navigation were not distinct enough from plain font to be worth handicapping the site’s accessibility. I upped the kerning of the font (Arial) in this mock-up though…I’m not sure yet if that is something I can do with either HTML or CSS? I might not be able to keep the text with the appearance I ideally want.

COMP of an interior gallery page:

This is the first of my gallery pages. I have more paper collage artwork than the other categories of my gallery sections so I thought it would be the best one to sample. Currently there are 20 thumbnails on the page, as I add any additional art I will make the gallery go on to a second page.

I kept my idea for graphic navigation for the side links of different gallery categories. I drew all of the links in hand lettering and used a different style for each category.

Comp of “About” page:

This s pretty straightforward, just a photo of me and my artist statement! No side navigation to this category as the ‘about’ is just a single page.

I hope the ideas I have laid out work as I translate them to a real site! I am a bit nervous about pulling it all together in Dreamweaver and adding the code, etc.

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