Writing Sample: Ptyalism

***I am going to be a new mother soon to twin girls. I decided to write a blog about my experiences being pregnant and what the books don’t tell you that I had to find out on my own. This writing sample is from a post I did on my blog.****

Sitting in the corner of a somewhat crowded train, a woman, hunches over her purse peering from the corner of eyes to see if anyone is watching her. Slowly, she pulls out a small plastic container, moves it close to her lips, and spits. In one motion, she closes the container back up and dumps in her purse, still glancing around to see if anyone noticed the most embarassing thing she has done for the past 5 months of her pregnancy.

According to babycenter.com, Ptyalism, although the term may be unfamiliar to most, is excessive saliva production that causes women to have so much saliva produced, that they have to spit it out. The cause of ptyalism is unkown, however, some doctors have stated that it may be due to nausea and heart burn, two common symptoms during the early stages of pregnancy.

“I use to have to carry an empty bottle with me if I am traveling,” says Ebony Bowens, 24. “When I was pregnant with my first child, every step I took, I had to spit, it is so disguisting.”

Many will ask, why can’t women swallow it? The answer, it is not that kind of saliva. Some baby websites have suggested to treat ptyalism is to swallow it, a majority of pregnant women cannot even stomach the idea.
“I have to sleep with a towel beside my pillow,” says Tanika Hoover, 23. “It doesn’t have any flavor but there is so much of it that I have to spit it out, I can’t keep that stuff in my mouth.”

Thankfully, pytalism is a small symptom in pregnancy that it isn’t a sign of a more serious problem or can harm the mother or the baby.  Treatments for pytalism is nothing. Just continue to spit or if it isn’t a lot try to swallow.

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Welcome 506 Professor and Classmates

Hello!

I haven’t used this blog since my 501 class, so rather start a brand new blog, I thought I would just continue from what I started. It will also show me how far I have developed in this graduate class. My name is Jamila and I go by the alias, The Girl in the Blue Scarf. I fell in love with “Confessions of a shopaholic” in which the main character’s alias as a reporter was the The Girl in the Green Scarf. I do not want to do a whole biography of myself but I am from Brooklyn, NY, residing now in Newark, NJ. I am graduate of Hampton University (Print Journalism major) seeking a career in back in my field of journalism. My dream, to become a web producer, content writer, graphic designer, social media guru and or entrepreneur. I am currently, pregnant, 6 months on Monday with my first children; yes children! Twin Girls!

I look forward in reading my classmates writing, learning and growing.

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Finally Finished! My Website Designs

After two weeks of design and then redesigning and then scrapping it and then starting over, I have finally finished my website design. I will admit, after the third and fourth page, I was getting a little tired.

Homepage

Nail Scoop

Nail Stories

Ask a Nail Tech

Nail Salons

Nail Art

MY Design Principles

In the beginning of the class, I was simply  a novice to Photoshop. I am still a novice to Photoshop, however now I am a novice with more skills in Photoshop. When I read the final project, I knew that I wanted to change my website idea from 501. My Nail Fix was then born, a website dedicated to EVERYTHING nails. Unlike the nail blogs that are out there, My Nail Fix is more about substance, not just about the latest nail polish colors but how to care about your nails, the trends in nails, a place where nail artist can show case their designs.

When I thought about how My Nail Fix would look, I thought long and hard. I took this project very seriously because I do want to create the website for My Nail Fix.

Colors

I played around with certain colors as shown in the previous assignment. I used color wizard a lot with this project because I needed to visually see what colors would work well together and if color wizard had more ideas on what colors I could use. I also thought about one of the readings, which explained that the colors of websites say a lot about the business. For example, using warm colors suggest fun and cold colors such as blues suggest professional. My Nail Fix is professional but it is entertaining so I decided to use pinks, grays, white and black. At first, I was going to make the website black and pink, but I thought those colors gave off the wrong impression. I wanted the colors to make the users think about nail polish. Although one of the readings stated not to think about yourself when designing a website, I had to think about myself when it came to the colors. Pink, is one of my favorite colors and it is a nail polish color that I use consistently. Pink also suggests girlie, pretty, clean, sheek.

Text

I chose to work with three different text, A bit Empty (a free font I found), Aerial and Trajan Pro. I love Trajan Pro because it gives the site a nice clean and sleek look. I only used A bit empty for the title My Nail Fix. I thought that I would use Aerial for the text  Thinking about harmony and rhythm, I wanted to keep the website consistent. The harmony and rhythm also goes with the colors. I didn’t stray away from the unfamiliar. After looking at other websites during the lesson of typography, I noticed that most of the website used simple text, which made the site look for crisp. I wanted to incorporate that same simplicity into my website. Professor Callahan stated that the text in my design in week 6 was unreadable. I decided to make the text a little simpler, without the shadowing and glow around the text. I also changed the color of some of the text to a simple black such as in the navigation buttons and the articles.

Images

I used the critique from Seeking the Truth and Professor Callahan to use images that are the same size. When distributing images across a design, they should have a symmetrical balance, meaning placing the images evenly.  I show the symmetrical aspect in the nail art page where the three small images are the same size and shape. This is also shown on the homepage. I used the principle of asymmetrical elements, in which I used a bigger image on one side and smaller images on the other. Again this example is shown on the nail art page.

Space

I tried to not have a lot of white space because I didn’t want to crowd the elements but in some cases I did not know what else to put on the page. Sometimes, less is more. I used dividers to give each element there section so that the website didn’t look like all of the elements were on top of each other.

Depth

I think there is some depth to my website such as the image of my hand on the home page. I think it stands out more while some of the other elements are a little flat. The header of the website adds depth as well.

Unity

In all, My Nail Fix has a great unity. All of the colors and elements work well together. There isn’t one piece of the website where one would question is position or place on the website.

Technique

I did not stray away from the techniques that I learned. When I first designed the website, I thought my images and elements were a little big, so I used a trick. By pressing command T on a mac and holding the shift key, I can maintain the size of the images by dragging the corners. It seemed to work well. Holding the shift button help keeps the image form. I used shadowing on the header for depth and on the home page, I beveled and contour my hand to make it stand out more. I used a lot of opacity for the rectangles. The abstract art on the home page is actually one of the customize shapes that I stretched and twist around. I was really just playing around with it. Technique wise I didn’t step outside of the box I used the skills that were necessary for my website.

If I used anything a lot it would be the use of shapes. Without the shapes, my website would not turn out the way it did. After much redesign, I think I am pretty happy with the results. It does makes me question if I want to design websites in the future because of how much time it took, however, I love the creativity that I can do with it and then the question about design goes out the window. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.

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New Homepage Design

I am not really sure how I am going to come up with 5 more pages since I redid my entire homepage, which took me 3 days, 7 hours and 42 minutes.

Here is the old homepage(s)

Here is my new homepage, I hope you like it

Stayed tune for the other five pages! Hopefully it doesn’t take long.

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Designing Internationally?

I think I speak for most when I say, designing websites is getting a little too complicated. In the beginning of the class, I thought web design was simple; come up with a layout and then design. However, I had no idea that:

1. It takes a program to create a website

And

2. Websites are not just about looking pretty

There are principles in design as I soon learned. There are rules that designers must follow, from the color to the context.

After reading How Fluent is Your Interface? my mind opened up. When I thought of designing for the web, it never occurred to me that some designers have to think internationally or globally as well. It never occurred to me that user and in Europe or Africa might decide to visit my website and therefore not only as a designer do I need to follow the principles of design but also the ethics of international design.

What do I Mean?

According to the reading, interface designers must be aware of the following:

  • Text
  • Number, Date and Time Formats
  • Images
  • Symbols
  • Colors
  • Flow
  • Functionality

Ask yourself this question, when was the first and last time that you visit and international site on purpose? To answer that question myself, never. I never thought to visit an international site or even design a site internationally. However, there are programmers and designers who convert United States websites to international websites and those who create websites overseas to be translated in the United States.

Translation

When designing a website internationally, the designer must be able to translate the text into the language of that particular country. Sounds simple right? I love the example the reading uses, an Indonesian student was hired to translate work for a U.S. company but did not understand the word “software” and instead translated it as “underwear.” It is important for those who are translating websites to become familiar with words dealing with technology and computers. However, these words must be basic that everyone, especially users will understand. Designers should avoid jargon. Jargon are words that are used in a particular industry such as medicine jargon, engineer jargon. If a designer or a programmer is translating jargon, they might not understand what it means. For example, the reading uses the word “grok,” which is a slang word in America that means “to understand completely.” I am from America, I did not even know what that meant. However, I do not work in that industry where that jargon is used.

What the reading does not mention, which is important is grammar and spelling. The words that need to be translated has to be spelled correctly or it will translate wrong.

The most interesting part of the reading was the images. In America, it already takes a lot of time to think and create the perfect logo that user’s will be able to recognize. Well, how about if a business logo was of a garbage can to represent a garbage company? In Europe, a image of a garbage can signifies a mail box. Even a name of a company has to be translated properly in another language. Uno in Spanish means one. However, in Finnish it means garbage.  When thinking and creating an image and product name for a company that will also spread internationally, designers must be very selective.

I think all the rules for designing and then the rules for designing internationally is beginning to be a little too much and is sucking the fun right of designing for the web. Unless one has a knack for foreign language then go for it, but it is bad enough that as a future designer, I have to remember what colors work well together, make sure images are symmetric and balance.

I think I will stick to designing for the United States.

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Disco Disco!

This is an animation of my hubby in Atlantic City dancing the night away. I colored the picture pink.

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My Hand and Nail Animation

For those who didn’t know, nor did I make clear, the fingers that were on my second web design were actually mine. So, I did not enjoy the animation project. I’m still a little confused about slicing. I am more interested in how to get the graphics into Dreamweaver. So here is my animation.

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Critique Mike Hacku’s Sports Blog

Design # 1

I would have to agree with Yours To Find. I believe that the first design is the best design; simply because it is readable and eye catching. Honestly, there isn’t much about the website but because it is such as balance design, it is visually pleasing to the eye. The symmetry of the photos; they are equal in size and are both on the left, which is in line with the design principles. The logo is on the left side, there is a search bar, navigation buttons and a sidebar. I even like that Yours To Find wrote articles for the layout. In this case, simplicity is best. My suggestion would be to add more color to the background. It is a sports blog and sports (most sports) are considered entertaining and fun. Yours To Find blog should reflect that. Although the colors in this design work well together, it seems a little to professional. The navigation at the top does not look like real navigation on a real website. I would have added some dimension to it, some depth to make it stand out. That also includes the search tool bar. I love the picture of Mike. However, I would have lowered the head so that the neck is touching the end of the bar. It just looks like a floating head and honestly, kind of freaky looking.

Design # 2

Design # 1 is my pick but I like this design because it adds color but seems a little dull. I like the header with the baseball in it. The header really drew my attention. This design needs some of what design # 1 had and design # 1 needs what this design has. For example, the search bar in this design a lot more believable. I love the twitter updates as well. But again, like the first one it is very simple. Whereas simplicity worked in the first design, I think because of the color it needs a little more spice. Overall, the design is very clean and readable. Overall good job.

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Critique R U Entertained?

The Original Blender has my work cut out for me since he went above and beyond and created three different website designs.

Design #1

The Original Blender stated in his blog that this particular design looked like it was done in 1992. Even so, from the first look of the website I had no idea what the website was about. I kept saying the title out loud, “R U Entertained?” and I had to say to myself, based on the look of the website no not really. Based on the context of the website, no I was not entertained because I didn’t know what what I was suppose to be entertained about. As a user, I should immediately know what the website is going to be about. However, the first design is engaging because of the bright purple. I thought the color and shapes of the buttons were really great. I especially like the reflection effect on the buttons. I like the palm trees in the background but I did not particularly like the colors. The first design does not look like a website. The hot sheet table, is very simple but yet it adds a balance and depth that is needed. It looks like it coming out of the layout.

Design # 2

The black and blue background is nice, but again it is not very entertaining or engaging. I like the different icons and it says a little bit more about what the website is going to be about but I am still left with a “huh?” expression. From the icons, I know that I am able to click on them but I have no idea what it is going to lead to. The icons, do add more depth to the design.  Making the title bigger and with more of an effect brings my eyes right to it. The design looks more like a website because of the very bottom of the design.

Design # 3

This design looks so much more like a website. As a user, I know what exactly what I am getting. I can see from the hot sheet the different articles about the entertainment world. There is a navigation bar that clear to read. There is also a side bar. The site is very neat and easy to navigate. Again, I love the title that is suppose to look like the Hollywood clapper. However, I am not in love with the color. I don’t think it is suppose to be a professional site but a fun and entertaining site, therefore the colors should be a little more warmer. There is a great since of balance especially with the images. Good job on this design.

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My Nail Fix Website Design

This is design # 1

This is design #2. The website is a resource for nail lovers to share stories about their favorite salons, nail trends, the latest in the news and more.

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