Friday, September 29, 2006

Getting Creative!!!

This week I got started with the more creative side of the course as I was taught how to use Adobe PageMaker 6.5. This is a program that I have never used before but it seems like an effective package to use and this is what the assignment will eventually be presented on.

I produced my first ever set of thumbnail sketches for the design of the website which was quite difficult as I have never done anything like this before. I found it quite challenging to come up with many different designs and the majority of them looked quite similar. To improve on this I could have researched into website design and the different layouts that are used but due to the amount of time I had this was not possible. Next time I do this I could improve by coming up with a set of designs that differ from each other and will give me a wider choice to choose from for my final design.

This Group Feedback session with Steve, Jamie and Scott was also very useful this week and it allowed me to see where I was going wrong and to get their opinions on the work I have done so far. It also allowed me to see if I was up to date with the workload which I feel that I am.

I also produced the final designs for both the sites template and the feedback page. I was quite happy with these and when Jamie was asked in the feedback session if he could go and create the site based on my designs he said he could which was very pleasing to hear. However one big problem that I had was that the sizes I had used were in millimetres and not pixels which are required. Converting this proved to be extremely difficult and I will probably have to create the designs again but with the measurements in pixels, this is something that I will have to do in my self study this week. The next time I do this I will definitely do the designs in pixels first time round so I do not waste time!

I have just produced my weekly planning form for this week and it has proved to me just what I have to get done for next weeks Group Feedback session. I will have to spend a lot of time on the project this week but this should be worth it in the long run and I should not be as pressed as the deadline advances!

As I am progressing with the course I am finding it extremely helpful to visit which contains several portfolio’s of previous students work. This gives me a good idea on what to expect and what I should be aiming for.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Getting to grips with the course!!!

In this past week I have successfully completed my first 16 hours of self study which made me feel quite triumphant and has put me in the position this week where I do not need to do quite as much. I feel that I have really got on top of everything and following my Feedback Group session with Steve I feel that I am fairly up-to date with where I should be. I think that with a few hours spent improving the work that I have done so far I will be ready to start with the more creative work next Wednesday.

This week I created the Delivery Requirements for this assignment. Even though this was quite a difficult task to do I did enjoy doing it as it involved me thinking into the future and specifying everything that I am going to use in the production of the site through to the maintenance of it. This was beneficial as I feel that it will help with the overall planning process. This was also quite complex at times as I needed to research things such as CGI (Common Gateway Interface) and FTP (File Transfer Protocol).

I also researched how much it costs to create a standard small website. This was interesting as it allowed me to see how much designers are charging currently for this service. I could have improved this by researching more companies and possibly contacting some designers directly for a clearer indication of the costs so I will consider this for next time.

I struggled to find relevant sources to research how much should be charged for the maintenance of a small website and this proved to be quite time consuming. This was mainly down to the fact that the criteria that I was entering into the search engine (Google) was not efficient enough to find the info that I was looking for. After trying several different combinations I eventually got a set of results that were representative of what I was seeking. To help with this I could have contacted a web design company to see how much they were charging but this may have taken quite some time. Next time I will try to refine my search so that it accurately represents what I am searching for and this will hopefully present me with more accurate findings earlier.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Second Week!!!

The first assignment was handed out this week. As this is the first I am sure that I will find this the hardest to complete to the appropriate standard but I think that I have got a good grasp on it so far. I have already picked the Great Briton out of the lists that were handed out. I chose Michael Crawford who is commonly know for his role as Frank Spencer on "Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em" it seems like he will be an interesting character to do! This week I feel that I am settling into the course a bit more and the demands that it places on you. Completing the Weekly Planning Form really showed me just how much work will be completed from home so I need to get my time management skills in order! I have just done my first 8 hour stint of my self study today which will be very difficult to get into the hang of but i'm sure I will get used to it soon.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Formative Statement

I left school having completed a GNVQ ICT course in 2003. This resulted in me having a keen interest in computers and I was eager to learn more in this field. The natural progression was then for me to move to NEW College in Pontefract and study AVCE ICT as a Double Award. Along with this I also studied Economics and Business Studies. After completing the first year of all the courses I felt that I needed to dedicate more time to my ICT course, I decided not to continue with the second year of my Economics course gaining a C grade for the first year. I completed my A Levels in May 2005 gaining a BB grade in AVCE ICT and a C grade in Business Studies. Although I enjoyed the course I decided to leave education to gain full time employment as I was put off by the high university fees which I felt would leave me in too much debt.

I soon got a job working as an Administrator for a firm of Solicitors on a temporary basis. A couple of months later I got promoted to a Claims Handler on a permanent basis. After doing this for almost a year I realised that this was not for me so I started actively looking for a new challenge. I visited the UCAS website to find out information on courses and try to identify a course that would suit me. I looked at several different areas and many different courses and eventually learned that Interactive Media was taught at Thornes Park in Wakefield. I thought that this would have been ideal for me as it was fairly local and would allow me to still live at home. Bearing this in mind I decided to contact Steve Smith who teaches the course to find out more information and to see if the course would interest me. After several e-mails and attending a short interview I decided that I would be suited to the course and decided to apply.

I am currently on the first week of the course and am looking forward to getting started with the assignments and building my portfolio. My aims are to complete the course to the best of my ability and gain a good grade.

After completion of the course I would ideally like to go to a local University for one year and hopefully achieve a degree. In order to do this I will need to accomplish high enough grades and an impressive enough portfolio to allow entry to the third year of the degree. Looking ahead into the future this will give me the skills needed to work in the Interactive Media industry when leaving Higher Education. At present I am not sure which area of the industry I would prefer to work in but hopefully when undertaking different aspects of the course I will gain a clearer understanding into the job area I would wish to work in.