Fans of 90s comedy sketch show The Fast Show,will recognise the provenance of the title straight away. Each week, Arabella Weir played an insecure woman, paranoid about the way in which her physical appearance was perceived by others. She would ask strangers to comment on her looks, and would always end by saying ‘does my bum look big in this?’ Most of us worry about our appearance to some degree or another, although hopefully not as much as the poor woman in the sketch. Which rather obtusely, brings me to the theme of my second blog: appearance and perception
We are all visual creatures and the world wide web has evolved into an increasingly visual medium. Our first #DITA practical task was to look at a range of webpages, all exploring a similar theme, the history of computing. The differences between a page from the 1990s, http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~history/ and a current one, http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/ are quite dramatic, and illustrates just how far the architecture of web sites has developed in such a short space of time.
We then had to create our own blog and configure the wordpress settings in order to create a clear and professional look, taking on board what we’ve learnt about Information Architecture. My main aims were to make my blog easy on the eye and functional. I chose the Twenty Ten theme because it was uncluttered. I liked the fact that it had only one sidebar, so that there was not too much distracting from the central body of the page.
I came up with the title For What It’s Worth to suggest to the reader that the musings contained therein were subjective, certainly not authoritative, but open for peoples’ own considerations. I added the subheading, ‘Exploring the world of digital information technologies and architecture’ in order to make it clear precisely what the blog would be about; this was particularly important given the ambiguous nature of the blog’s title.
I then had to consider which widgets to place in the sidebar. At the top I placed a search bar, because I wanted the contents to be easily accessed; I also added Archives and Categories sections for the same reason. Recent Posts, Leave a Comment and Recent Comments were all added to encourage interaction with the readers. Metadata was added because since it is a blog concerning Information Architecture, it is only sensible to include these links. I added a blog roll because I wish to link my blogs with those of others in order to create a supportive community, and likewise, I added a Follow Blog via email button in order to facilitate that endeavour.
The final design choices were to chance the image which came with the template and add a background colour. I searched Google Images for ‘information revolution’ and settled upon the image of a wordcloud on the topic. I chose it for relevance and the fact that it was a stock photo and could be freely used. I’m still not completely pleased with it, and will change it for a better one later on – the blog after all, is a constant work in progress.
So, does my blog look big in this? I’m still not completely satisfied with its appearance, but as a start, it will do.