For this page, I tried my best to craft a history rather than annals or chronicles about myself. The final goal was to describe a series of events which logically leads to my becoming a game programmer, starting with being a kid and goofing around with these things, going to the potential other careers I considered, and eventually heading to where I am now.
I also wanted to give a sort of snapshot of my personality, in terms of my interests and generally the type of writing/creative work I do. With that in mind, going with the standard route of describing myself, where I’m from, what I’m like, all sounded a bit cliché to me. Or a little bit like a profile for a dating site.
The drop-down menu idea was created to allow a more dense information load in a relatively small page. By giving multiple choices to certain parts of the about page in a Mad Libs-style fashion, I think I’ve successfully given a good amount of information about myself, and my story, with little mental load. It also includes an element of interactivity, which is only appropriate considering my medium of choice.
This page was a bit of a challenge for me— I felt awkward giving people a direct call to action, and having the same information in multiple places seemed redundant. Don’t get me wrong, being able to find the information you’re looking for through multiple paths is great, but actually having to post the same four links in more than one spot isn’t ideal.
After getting some feedback, I decided to feel uncomfortable and use a direct call to action. Telling someone outright to “email me” has more impact than “here is my email… if that’s good for you.” Additionally, instead of including my contact info at the bottom of my About page and having a separate Contact page, I simply put everything in a section at the bottom of the About page. The Contact link in the main menu goes to an anchor link to that section of the about page. This way, the information is available there, regardless of the path taken.
Revised Blog Entries
The blog entries I chose to revise ended up being more recent ones. I feel that I had come more into my own with creative voice and choice of subject matter later on in the semester. Additionally, considering how busy I had become at that time, revising those posts interested me in particular.
Most of the edits I made were to make a more casual, consistent tone, or to clarify the intent I originally had for the post. In the case of Frustum Culling, I scrapped the entire conclusive paragraph and wrote a new one. Most of the posts were given a new title, to better fit the new tone and content of the post. New media (photos, videos) were added to a few posts to better fit the post, like in 6 Games With Perfect Aesthetic: Fight Knight was originally the only member of the list with no video. I finally found an appropriate one, so now every member of the list could be processed the same way.
Menu / Theme
Using a sidebar menu, rather than one which is always visible, gave me the freedom to present the blog as its own entity. Essentially, I was worried about the entire page being a mess because I was trying to make a blog, a portfolio, and a resume all share the same space and accomplish the same goals at once. It didn’t work, it wouldn’t ever work.
The sidebar accomplishes two things: it separates the blog from everything else, and it makes the interface less cluttered, so less thinking has to happen the first time a user lands on the page. Everything is still a maximum of two clicks away, so I don’t feel as if I’m sacrificing convenience. (Three would be too much.)
The new theme is significantly more geared toward a blog format. The first theme I chose almost read like a book: all text was there all of the time, the menu was always there like a Table of Contents, even the display font was a sort of block-serif. Everything about it seemed sort of analog, which is strange for a blog about technology and programming.
This new format of using featured images and snippets of the post to draw a reader in is exactly what the doctor ordered. It gives a quick glance into the kind of content the blog has to offer, immediately upon landing on the page. It makes browsing different posts easier to do, because so many can be crammed into a single space without them being confused. The use of clean lines, caps & sans-serif typeface, and a pop-out menu really give this the look and feel of a tech blog.