Beauty is in the Eye of the User

<h1> Clio Wired II </h1>

I will be using this blog for Clio Wired II. It will chronicle the great technological journey of this semester, from learning the language of HTML code to seeing an actual website that is not hosted by wordpress or weebly (because I thought that was an actual website). As I had only dipped my toes into digital humanities last semester, the opportunity to design and build a web site this time around is exciting. It is going to be difficult and spending too much time with lynda is going to drive wedges into my relationships, but the end result will be invaluable digital skills.

However, this week’s reading caused me to seriously consider one aspect of website building that I had not considered so deeply before: design and attractiveness. I did not realize how much thought and study went into website design, let alone the fascinating historical content. Norman’s “Attractive Things Work Better” argued that people are more inclined to like your website or to foster a positive attitude when using it if the site is aesthetically pleasing. Elish and Trettien thoughtfully analyzed the relationship between design and user interface in their 2009 paper, “Acts of Translation.”

So, not only do I need to produce original historical scholarship using digital methodology or in a digital format, but I also need to make it attractive. And it’s not as easy as embedding a picture of Brad Pitt or Marilyn Monroe on my homepage. The readings on layout, form and function, and text coding clearly stated that codes for vertical font text alignment exist, as well as the perfect, “go-to” graphic layout. Then, they explained and outlined how to accomplish just that. Though I was initially overwhelmed with always feeling self-conscious about how attractive my website is, I know it’s not impossible to combine beauty, utility, and history.

Comment on Beth’s post #1, “About”


4 thoughts on “Beauty is in the Eye of the User

  1. I agree- the readings definitely made me feel self conscious about the layout and design of my blog page! But I like how you summed it up: “beauty, utility, and history” – that’s a good goal for all of us!
    Last semester I started a web design “pinspiration” folder on pinterest that I’ve been adding to with great sites that I’ve come across – maybe we could start a zotero group or something to share some great examples amongst one another?

  2. First of all, I too thought weebly and wordpress were “real” websites up until recently and totally agree that I am probably going to spend more time with lynda then I do with my own mother.
    We talked last semester about how the average web surfer looks at a page for only a few seconds before they decide whether or not to give it a chance and delve deeper. The readings this week really explained why this is the case- why the attractiveness of a site is so important (even more important than the actual scholarship- at least for those first few critical seconds). It is definitely scary but also nice to be given the beginning of a set of rules of how to build an attractive and informative site!
    Btw a picture of Brad Pitt might keep me on your site for a few extra seconds!!

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