Job Shadow: a blog post

Yesterday I job shadowed for Amshot Solutions. It was a lot of fun and I learned new things, also gained a new love for WordPress!

I got shown around the office, where I saw some stuff for their latest project written on their totally cool glass dry erase boards and they then told me about some of the stuff they were tasked to do for this client. I also got to see before and after for this client’s particular site!

What I will be taking away from this job shadow are the many tools Janell showed me while she worked on their current project.

Tools used mostly in WordPress, which brings me to my new love of WordPress! All of these cool plug-ins that she used to get stuff done through WordPress! I used to hate WordPress and vowed never to use it, but now I really want to get started in it.

They showed me some of their past projects as well as the current one. I really enjoyed getting to look at these sites. One of them, Janell showed me the way it looked in the front end and the way it worked in the back end and it was really cool to get to see how all these tools worked together to make this site function in a really cool way.

All in all, I had a lot of fun yesterday and learned a lot from both Michael and Janell! Thanks for having me at Amshot Solutions!


Ethics: A Blog Post

Ethics is synonymous with morals, just so anyone reading knows. Because when I hear the word “ethics” I instantly think “what does that mean?”

The only way I solved this problem was by telling myself that it was a synonym or morals. Which it is, not like I made that up to remind me what Ethics means. Moral is even in the definition.

I am supposed to be writing about ethics and its impact in the web world. Well let me just “borrow” a info-graphic to explain!

Stop right there!!

That is UNETHICAL and can be directly related to the web world. Stealing code! Stealing images! Ignoring copyright!

All of this is not only UNETHICAL but ILLEGAL!

It’s not hard to stay on the straight and narrow when it comes to ethics but sometimes people still fall off their bike. This would be unintentional. As long as you fix it like, say, replacing an image you did not know was heavily copyrighted.

Riding your bike off the path and down the mountain without a care in the world is seeing an image, knowing its copyrighted, and still YOU TAKE IT??

Just look up copyright laws, learn them


And then follow them like you were born with this knowledge. Forget everything except copyright and breathing.

Photoshop Guru Skills and Stuff installment 2

Earth manipulation

Unfortunately one of the tutorials I used is no longer online anymore.

It was a

downloadable tutorial to turn a spring time picture of a forest into an autumn scene of a forest. This tutorial taught me about the use of different effects that I originally thought had a negative effect on my projects but if used

Water manipulation

correctly can be done beautifully.

The tutorial is uploaded as an html file so I will try to find some way to make it live for the

purposes of letting people use it. It already has the creator’s credits throughout the file, so copyright might not be an issue at this point.

Fire manipulation

We’ll see though!

This post shall be about my new love

of photo manipulations! Specifically, facial photo

manipulations. I have learned a lot

about different effects, layering, and a new technique to make realistic make

up. I used one tutorial, but made four

different images.

Tutorial found here

Excellent tutorial! Very easy to read and follow!

My images:

I loved the fire and water manipulations the most out of the ones I did. I got a little big-headed when I finished them and ended up doing all the elements. However, the water and earth ones didn’t turn out the way I planned…

Grass manipulation

But I still love what I have done. Photo manipulation has got to be the thing I love most out of photoshop so far.

I will find more tutorials to recommend but for now this is it~

Photoshop Guru Skills and Stuff

I decided to take some time to enhance my skills and understanding of photoshop with some online tutorials. In some later cases, I found images instead of using the ones provided and just used the skills in the tutorial to make my own image. In this case I just followed it step by step to get an amazing background.

Retro Background Tutorial

I created the background found in the tutorial. Mine is slightly different as I could not get the final step to work right for this tutorial (I figured out how to use the tool it was asking for in another tutorial, but I did not feel like going back to this image because it looks fine anyway).

My image:








I am pretty happy with how it turned out. This tutorial helped me get a better grasp on how the pen tool works exactly. I should probably refer to it as my arch-nemesis the pen tool but that’s before and this is now and now I am slightly okay with it.

I also really like the effect they had me use to make the retro glow. Not only did you use a inner glow effect but the tutorial had me duplicate the text file and then gave it a Gaussian blur. It really made it glow, which I was not expecting to happen when it told me to do this step.

Conflict Resolution: a blog post

With the idea of conflict we can either find a way to resolve it or we can live with it forever. Depending on the situation, I would personally choose either one. Some minor conflicts I can tend to be stubborn in but major conflicts take require some action.

However, I usually tend to choose the path to resolution!

Conflict is a necessary evil, without conflict we would all be annoying yes-men! No body wants that! Not even the average modern boss! No conflict means everyone just agrees with everything, design or non-design related, even if they don’t like it!

Holding grudges or failing to admit you were wrong can often lead to misery. The last time I held off on ending a conflict I almost lost a really close friend!

In the industry if we don’t argue a bit we might never reach the full potential of something. Imagine if the first idea is pitched and everyone just goes with it and no one objects or argues? That idea might end up being terrible but no one caused anything to go against it! A lot of great designs were NOT created in the first idea!

So remember to create conflict but only when needed! Don’t go causing fires or you might burn yourself!

WSiNYE: Exercise 4

{ WSiNYE – White Space is Not Your Enemy }

Go on a Web-based treasure hunt: post a list of the sites you found and the particular error(s) they commit.

At first I was frustrated by how hard it was to find sites breaking the sins that the book listed. How dare they follow the rules??? But then I got a helpful hint to search for websites about cats…and surprisingly I found enough to fill up my blog post in under 5 minutes. Imagine that.


> This website violates “Things that blink”, “Trapped Negative Space”, and “Tackytype Emphasis”.


> This website violates so much, it made me laugh when I opened it. It violates a total of 5 of the 13 sins! One of them I never even thought I would see outside examples: “Justified Rivers”.

Safe Haven for Cats

> One of the most awful websites I have come across. In this list, it ranks number 1. It violates just as many as the one above plus a new one: “Busy Backgrounds”. Watch out, it even has autoplay music!

Homeless Cat Network

> This website simply violates “Trapped Negative Space”.

Cats United

> This website definitely violates the “Bulky Borders and Boxes” rule!

Spoiled Rotten Kittens

> Violates “Tackytype Emphasis” by using all caps on throughout the site.

Raw Fed Cats

> This site violates “Trapped Negative Space”, “Tackytype Emphasis”, and “Corners and Clutter”.

Dear Tabby the Answer Cat

> This website violates “Tackytype Emphasis” and “Bulky Borders and Boxes”.

Catdoor Websites

> Although this website looks okay, it still violates the “Busy Backgrounds” rule.

Cat Talk 101

> This website also violates the same rule


> Violating “Trapped Negative Space” and, a new one, “Centering Everything” got this website on my list.

Cat Stuff

> It has a “Busy Background” and “Bulky Borders and Boxes”!

Angelical Cat

> This site violates a new one! “Naked photos” and it also violates “Trapped Negative Space”.

And with that last website, I am done pulling together sites that violate the “13 Amateur Layout Errors”. I am also tired of seeing bad websites.

WSiNYE: Exercise 2

{ WSiNYE – White Space is Not Your Enemy }

{ The example I am using can be found on pg. 005 of The Web Designer’s Idea Book and is titled }

Can you find an example (of the Works-Every-Time Layout) on the Web? Identify and label the parts on each.

The columns are split down after the visual on the example website, between the main content and the side content. The visual can be identified in the header and navigation area, the logo and some links from the portfolio are also found in the header area. This can all be considered a part of the visual section of the page. 

The tags of a website can usually be considered any and all links to social media and stuff typically found in the footer. This website has it’s link to flickr located in the bottom-right corner of the site.

WSiNYE: Exercise 3

{ WSiNYE – White Space is Not Your Enemy }

First explain how the design captures your attention. What part of the design do you look at first? What draws your eye to look there first?

The first thing I look at is the entire header area, with the image of the interior of a nice building being used and the logo for the site. Size is the factor that causes me to look at the header area first, the image taking up almost half of the entire website and the logo is a part of the image. The colors being used is also a factor, the red of the logo draws you to read there first.

Image of website being examined

Second, explain how the design controls the eye’s flow through it’s layout. In what order does your eye move from one thing to the other across the space of the layout? Make a numbered list of the order in which your eye travels around the layout. 

As mentioned before, the colors of the page draw you from each item to the next. Each title of a section is a dark red color, causing your eye to be drawn to it and then read it. Then size is also being used again, with the main portion of the content taking up more space on the page than the side content. The eye is drawn from:

  1. Header/Logo
  2. Navigation
  3. Main content
  4. Side sections

Although the navigation might end up being seen with the header/logo, in which case it is just taken out of the list.

Third, what kind of information does the design convey? Make a list. Describe how the design conveys this information. 

This website helps support the idea that the people behind “Winston Interior” and the website itself are/is:

  1. Professional
  2. Sleek
  3. To the point

The website helps prove this by choice of colors and the layout. With it’s clean and simple look, it help portray that they get the job done in a professional manner.

What, if any, emotion(s) does the design evoke? How? Why?

The design gives off the feeling of impersonality with the choice of background but still remains friendly with the dark red they chose throughout the site. If they hadn’t used the red color, the site would feel cold and boring. It can still work because the people behind “Winston Interiors” are probably trying to give off a professional impression.

Respect: a blog post

Each year I start school with lectures from most of my teachers about respect. As I have gotten older, they have gotten more and more harsh.

For instance, I just came from a class where the teacher is trying really hard to instill the idea of respect in these soon-to-be college students. While my friends and I tend to goof off, when learned at a young age that if we really want to socialize then we should let the teacher hurry and say whatever they want to say and then we can talk! Alas, just like every other day the rest of the class couldn’t control themselves and we got book work.

Everything I seem to be is contradicted in my other side. I hold the skills that are so rare in the classmate from my example. I know how to listen and use critical thinking to figure out the obvious, instead of wait for someone to come along and hold my hand and tell me what everything means. But listening is not the subject matter, the subject matter is respect.

I have been told that I am fairly good at it. I know when is okay to talk and when is not. Its easy to joke around in a class setting here but I know that in a real job I can’t say 90% of what I say. I know when the time comes to be serious and when the time comes to have fun.

The thing is, I don’t see how any of this is hard to grasp. It has always come easy to lots of people that I know and I just picked up on it from them. I thought it was something everyone knew but between school and work I have learned that disrespect is common nature and that shouldn’t be how it is.

Another thing I want to cover is that I’m not all goody two shoes about it. It sounds like I’m respectful to all, but let me be clear that I am not. Everyone, young and old alike, need to earn my respect. Sometimes, it’s automatic. I feel respect for them because I feel like they know more than me. But more often than not, that respect is dashed in the face of reality. Most of the time, it has come from teachers. In one case, my dad no longer has my respect.

The thing is, respect is earned on an individual case. You don’t just go to school for however many years and then demand respect from everyone, like most of my home school’s teachers seem to think. You have to prove to me that you know how to use that degree and to be honest none of them do.

That doesn’t mean that if I get a job in the industry and my boss proves me to me he/she doesn’t know what they are talking about, then I will disrespect them. This situation calls for psuedo-respect. I know how to be respectful based on the people I actually do respect, so I just mirror these actions. Does this mean I feel any of it? Well, no.

I seemed to veer off topic, when given the subject I was reminded of how angry I was a couple months back when someone demanded real respect from me, but on no real basis.

Respect is a very touchy thing. It’s easy to fake, easy to lose, hard to gain, and makes people out to be arrogant. Keep in mind, I am of the few people that think this way. If you get respect just because you have lived 100+ years then kudos for you.

Design and Credibility

In her article titled Prove it: What makes you trust a website, Lorelle discusses the idea of trust and how it relates to the web. At first glance, I was skeptical to the idea of trust being a factor in making websites. Particularly because the things I felt were common sense apparently aren’t widely known. Things like content that lacks spelling and grammar errors, avoiding poor design, and making sure your contact information is easy to find. Making the website easy to navigate and especially making it easy to find the page with your contact and about information.
I was a little more than confused when the bulk of the article was written for about pages. But then I realized it was for a corporate setting. Now I understand that corporate sites are usually behind on the times, some probably even thinking frames might be cool until they hire a web specialist that points them in the right direction, but that doesn’t mean they don’t know that it should be easy to find an about section. The first thing I read when I get to a blog is the about and it still baffles me when I find blogs that are lacking. It should be common knowledge, Lorelle shouldn’t have even had to have written this article in the first place!

Spelling and grammar errors shouldn’t even be listed in there, this is the web and there is spell check for people who don’t know how to spell. Spell check even just told me that the word “spell check” isn’t one word; it’s two.

The first thing I learned was the idea that the purpose of the site should be clear and concise; the website needs to be to the point. Otherwise you’ll get people that hit the back button when they aren’t finding what they want, and fast.

I went in to my response wanting to right about how this is true. You do need to create a trustworthy site. I was clearly unprepared for the article I read. It’s not poorly written by any means. I praise Lorelle for her structure and ideas. I just feel that as a subject it is unnecessary.