Optimizing Images

We have eyes and sight is probably the most appealing of the five senses. Life would be vastly different if we could  not see the images of the world. Images are synonymous with data and the internet. Images take up a lot resources to render which makes optimization a vital part of presentation. Upon researching how to best optimize an image, I discovered some things to consider when working with images.

  • Vector vs Raster

Vector images use points, lines, and polygons to represent images. Vector images are best for things that need to be scalable and sharp as the sizes change. Icons, text, and logos are ideal applications for vector images. Raster images are pixel-grid based and are great for complex images with a lot of contrasting colors,  shapes, and forms. Raster images are good for photos and publications which often are a combination of both.

  •  Lossy vs Lossless compression

Lossy image compression refers to an image losing pixels as the size of the image changes, usually when an image is enlarged. The fringes of larges images really show the pixel loss represented by fuzzy or rough edges on the image.  Raster images are lossy. Lossless image compression is the opposite of the lossy being that pixels stay compressed as the image changes in size resulting in a smooth and crisp image at all times. Vector images are lossless.

  • Image format

Now that you have chosen the image to optimize, the format to export or render the image is the most important step. You have to find the right balance between quality and size. Data size is vital to the quality of the final image presentation. The smaller you can make an image, but not sacrifice much quality, the better of an image you will have. Different formats such as JPEG, PNG, GIF, and etc. have many variations that can be useful for any application. Choose what is best for your project and optimize to your best potential.

 

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Progressive Enhancement

Progressive Enhancement

 
The Web has come a long way since it first blossomed at the turn of the century. Many browsers have been introduced and technology has advanced light years the past decade. The world-wide web seems limitless in the ways that we can get information and the way that it is consumed. Gradual degradation has its place, but only for developers with limited vision. The world and web have moved past catering to specific users and browsers. Users may like certain browsers, but expect the same experience no matter which is used.

Progressive enhancement is the new wave. Technology set the trends and developers have to keep up. The old age of gradual degradation is naive and lazy. Progressive enhancement caters to the everyday consumer and all devices that are used to engage with the Web. It is essential for the world moving forward and allows for the user experience to transition seamlessly without losing the essence. I think progressive enhancement will only become a greater asset as time passes and open the web up to endless possibilities.

 

Marshmallow Tower

The Marshmallow Tower challenge was an interesting feat to accomplish. The tools used were dry spaghetti noodles and mini marshmallows. My team was tasked to build a tower that would be used to hold a ping pong ball atop of it in the end. Let the strategy ensue.

marshmallow-tower

  1. We had an unofficial leader in Cheyenne. She had a plan that we discussed and moved forward with it.
  2. Our group works well with a leader or someone taking the lead. Everyone would have to play their role for the outcome to be at its best.
  3. Everyone had an input. Cheyenne had the best plan to make the tower’s foundation more structurally sound.
  4. We did have some conflict which ultimately caused our group to finish with an incomplete tower. It could have been relieved by not having a certain person in our group.
  5. Ideas were definitely well-received, but a certain person could not see the fault in their ideas.
  6. The time limit had little-to-no effect on our design. It was the conflict that ruined it at the end.
  7. In retrospect, our team dynamic would have been better if the original plan was followed by all the team members.

SpaceX Dragon

I had the honor and privilege to work on a project for my web design class. It was about SpaceX, the Elon Musk backed space program. SpaceX sounds like a cool project to be involved with, especially for those interested in space exploration. Space is not really my cup of tea, but I enjoy being educated about it from time-to-time.

dragoncrew

I got some feedback during the process of creating this web space. I had to adjust colors and move content around. The feedback from my peers helped me form new ideas. I learned different techniques and formats to help my website feel better. Being that I have been out of touch from developing from a while so the feedback was so necessary. My site can be found at https://ualr.edu/wjdavis5. While on that site, you can click on the Dragon link on the right-hand side to view my site. I will definitely do a better job in my future projects and take all things that I have learned and incorporate them. Being in this field has opened my eyes to all things in the world and that all things can be an inspiration that spark design ideas.

Overall, this process was an eye-opener to my flaws and what I need to work on. I am also ready to hone in my skills and become more efficient. Some of my cohorts had amazing projects and concepts. I know I have to step my game up and make myself useful. I am ready to be great as a web developer and designer. I will keep pushing and and keep learning for future successes.

 

Reflective Practice

  1. Back in the day, I used to have a problem with doing homework. The procrastination or lack of doing homework lowered my grades at times. I really just tried to do all of my work during school hours to avoid taking work home.
  2.  This happened all throughout my scholastic era. It happens these days at times, but I have more control and pay more attention to it. I like to get things done and once I start I like to finish it during that time.
  3. My behavior has always been cavalier towards homework. I just don’t like doing it. I always made better grades to the point that I thought homework didn’t matter. I enjoyed playing sports and hanging with my friends so that may have influenced me wanting my slate to be clean when I got home. As time has passed, homework has become more prevalent as I have progressed through high school and college.
  4. As far as the outcome towards doing homework or not doing it. It caught up to me later. My grades started to be severely affected as instructors starting putting more emphasis on homework grades. That wasn’t really what I had expected, but I had to adhere to the new landscape. Doing the homework in the first place would’ve saved my grades and maybe allowed me to have better offers for college scholarships.
  5. All that I can do now is reflect on what might have been if I had taken homework more seriously and wanted to attend college right out of high school. I chose to enlist in the military and wouldn’t change that for the world, but maybe I wouldn’t have had to if I had gotten scholarships and offers from colleges and universities. From now on, I will continue to get all of my homework done in a timely and efficient manner and hope for the best outcomes as possible.

Ethical feedback

So I am working on a web development project about Elon Musk’s Space X program. The program seems pretty cool and I would like to learn more about space exploration in the future. Upon developing my website, I ran into a couple of hiccups, mainly the design concept that I wanted to present.

During class, as a pair, we had to examine one another’s sites and give good feedback about what we saw using the sandwich method. My partner was Nikki. She had just begun working on her site so it was just HTML coding. No CSS was present on the site. She hadn’t gotten that far yet.  She had her concept in mind and wanted to be pointed in the right direction.

According to the sandwich method, you’re supposed to begin with something positive, layer constructive criticism inside, and then close the sandwich with a silver lining. Nikki had some good things to say about my site. I was in the midst of just starting mine also, but I had it formatted and needed it to be tightened up. She commented about my color scheme and offered general advice about how my layout could look better. I also gave her some insight about things that could help move along and become more efficient with web development and design.

Overall, we had good rapport. I took into account all the things that were mentioned and implemented a few ideas into my design. The sandwich method is a good method to follow.  I think it is vital to helping breakdown barriers. It is a great method to open lines  of effective communication. Nikki was a good partner and I look forward to seeing her final website.

 

ESPN.com

ESPN screenshot

ESPN.com

 

I am a sports fanatic at heart. I love all things sports and espn.com appeases to all my needs as a user. The web page is designed very well. I like the accessibility to all major sports and some less popular ones. For me, this site has the ultimate user experience. The main page presents the most current and up-to-date topics of what is happening in the world of sports. It also allows the me or any user to listen to podcasts and check the status of a fantasy team, if applicable. I also like that fact that it allows me to save my favorite teams and their info is on the homepage when I sign-in. The content is vast without having the user be overwhelmed. Videos are prevalent and updated scores scroll across the top of the page just in case a user is not inclined to navigate past the homepage. There are multiple links accessible so a user’s time is not wasted while exploring the site. Espn.com has great behavior in that it does not harness many ads nor does it allow for any wasted space on its site. Navigation is easy and user-friendly such that a novice computer user could easily find whatever it was that brought them to the site. I think espn.com is structured well and offers the perfect template for any web designer to follow for any type of web site or app.

ESPN-1981-Logo