One last post for today, coming from another thing brought up in the meeting and my own questions..
Masha had a great idea that we all liked, perhaps making a VG "manifesto" that would lay out what our goals are for VG. It could be a public essay - portions of which would certainly end up on the front page of the site. Writing a collaborative essay in the coming weeks would be a great way to cohere our ideas about VG.
As a starting point, I've got a question: Practically, how are we writing "VG"? "VG", "V/G", "VG: Voices from the Gaps"? What does the change from "Voices from the Gaps" to "VG" mean theoretically?
At the meeting last Wednesday, one of the ways we thought of breaking down the categories seemed promising: "Art" and "Praxis." Of course, the devil is in the details. Here's a first shot at organizing the Things into categories. See the list in the Full Entry
Comment on how to categorize these things
If this post and its comments don't yield a definitive list of categories, then I'll bring a stack of 3×5 cards on Wednesday and we'll hash it out then.
More in the full entry. I'll keep this entry separate from a "categorizing" entry to make commenting easier.
So, here is a list of "things" that go on the web page. One sort of comment that would be useful here would be to add "things." A "thing" isn't necessarily an individual web page, but a separate element that could potentially be added to any single page. Our project here is to determine what category each of these "things" belong to.
So, add "things" in the comments....
More in the full entry
If you're new to blogs, here's how it generally works. Main topics are posted as "Entries." There are put on the front page and serve as a way to keep discussion focused. (so this is an entry). Then each entry can be commented on.
On the righthand side of the main page are lists of the most recent Entries and Comments.
The engine that runs this blog is very much like the one I want to use as a backend for the VG site...
I'll post a fuller entry on this later, including more detail from the meeting. For now, just comment generally on whether or not you think that the "Artist / Praxis" split is feasible.
I like it a lot, but I am not sure just how it'll work design-wise. The Artist side will be fairly simple to lay out and design. But the Praxis side has a lot of disparate sections that hang together well conceptually, but may be tougher on a screen. Any thoughts?
For those not at the meeting today, fuller details to follow tomorrow...
I have to confess this is my own favorite, at least aesthetically. One major downside Pat pointed out is that in order to see the sub links, you have to click on a tab. I could change that so they appear when you hover over a tab, but then you have to do some mouse-rolling-tightrope walking so you don't hover another tab on your way to the sublink
Anyway, I don't know why that banner got big on me there.... More in the full entry
This layout tended to be the overall favorite of the group today. Dropdowns are nice because they don't take up much space yet still allow you to quickly see a bunch of links within the site. One downside is that you need to make your top-level categories descriptive enough so a visitor will know where to look.
In the meeting today, we reviewed three basic website navigation layouts. This is the first and most basic, a leftbar navigation.
More in the full entry
Again, this prototype is u g l y. But it does get the point across. One point it doesn't get across is that despite it's ugliness, leftbar navigation tends to be very easy to understand and navigate at a glance. It is possible to pack a lot of links in a relatively small area and have them all visible immediately for the reader, as in my wife's school's website, here.
Again, in a real version the words would light up. We discussed the "Producers, Production, Product" as a possible category division for quite awhile during the meeting. Ultimately, we may want to not use it as an overall website organization metaphor, but instead as some sort of catalyst for the "VG Manifesto". I'll post a Category entry and a "Manifesto" starter entry in a bit, so try to keep comments here just on this protype.
This prototype is too wide. Ah, well.
Well, after our meeting today, we discussed the viability of "splash" screens: basically welcome pages that act as gateways to the main site. Having a "splash" screen would make the website more "magazine-like" - like a cover. But it is an extra, perhaps unnecessary step. Here is an example of a site that uses a splash screen, The Schomburg Exhibition.
Here is the first of two prototype splash pages.. My own comments in the full entry.
The prototype is obviously pretty rough. I just used the copy from the current page and an image from Memory.Loc.Gov. If we were to do something like this, the words would light up on a mouseover and be clickable.
I have to say I'm leaning away from a splash screen.
Comment on this version here. My own comments are in the Full Entry.
Well, I am not much of a fan of this layout. There is more tweaking that can be done to make the site look better and still fall within the U of MN's standard template. But I just don't think we want VG to be defined as a U of MN site first.
A more interesting issue is whether or not we want to keep the global header at the top of every page, which is what the U would like as a Bare Minimum. I'm not sure about that one.
Just a test entry to get things moving.