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Finally, the design of my website!

Although I may be going back to the dark ages of computing by using frames on my website (because, let’s face it, not many websites seem to use frames these days), I think it’s the best possible design choice for me. Maybe I’ll change my mind, but as of right now—considering everything I want on my site, how I want it to act, and so on—frames is the way to go, and I’ll explain why.

First of all, I’ve already started playing with Dreamweaver, and from my experience so far, it is not nearly as easy to use as the rest of the Adobe Creative Suite. There are bugs and inconsistencies that don’t exist in the other applications, but I won’t go into that right now. One good thing about Dreamweaver is that it offers several nice templates to use when starting to build your website (if you can figure out how to use them). I went through a few before I decided to try the three-frame approach.

For those of you who don’t already know, frames is basically a way of embedding more than one web page into a single window. In my case, I would have three frames (i.e., web pages) that would make up any given page of my website. The frame at the top will just be the header; there won’t be a scrollbar, nor will there be any division lines between the header frame and the frame for the main text. It will be fluid. The viewer will only see a difference when he or she scrolls through the text of the main frame (which, obviously, will have a scroll bar, assuming the content is long enough to need one), because the header will always be visible. That’s a boon, actually, because it means the viewer will always be able to click the header to return to the main page, without having to scroll back to the top. This is the equivalent of using freeze panes in Microsoft Excel, if that helps you any.

The bottom frame will contain the menu, the navigation for the site. This will be a simple row of mostly text-based “icons,” created in PhotoShop, that will take the viewer from page to page. The potential hyptertext story, for example, would be one menu choice. The story would appear as its own page, in the main frame of the site. Again, the only scrollbar would be for this middle/main frame, where the content is. So, when the content gets long enough to need a scrollbar, one will appear; otherwise, the interface will be very simple.

This is probably really confusing for people who have never built a website before and/or who don’t know what frames looks like. So, I’ll end this post with a screenshot from a design I’ve been working on. Click on it to make it bigger.

*NOTE: This blog entry is syndicated from a blog I had to start for my Electronic Publishing class at U.B. this semester. I may or may not delete the extraneous blog when the class is over, but I thought I would at least give my readers the opportunity to read the contents of that blog indefinitely.

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