Kristyn Hicks Kristyn Hicks

Digital Media Design & Aesthetics: Final Portfolio

I wanted to use my final project to create a foundation for the rest of my graduate career. A site where I felt proud to display my work. This was not an easy task. My final project consisted of three sections: a style guide, a website and content.

  • Create a personal style guide
    • Create a unique logo and logo guide including size, colorization and proper placement
    • Color scheme including primary and secondary colors and combinations
    • Font guide including styles and uses
    • Brand usage examples

My styleguide. This was a huge challenge for me. I am not very familiar with Adobe suite so diving head first took a look of time and patience. I spent way too much time nailing down fonts and colors that I thought could be perfect with a little tweaking instead of thinking about my choices holistically.

  • Finalize my website
    • Post/edit content based on new styleguide: repurpose portfolio pieces (including case studies), blog posts and create message map (scalable elevator pitch) including values and story
    • Search engine optimization for site

Originally I attempted to code my own website before opting for a WordPress theme. I love the simplicity of a CMS. Practicing coding (from my initial plan) really came in handy when it was time for me to add custom CSS or change a few design features. I found it easier to look through the code than fighting with the visual editor.

  • Usability testing before launch
    • Recruit 3-5 people go through the site (initially unprompted and then with prompts) to determine that the site is not only functional, but easy and pleasant to use
    • Prompts would include scenarios such as: If you were interested in hiring this person, where would you start?; If you were interested in collaborating on a project or freelancing, how would you navigate the site? What are some components you would look for?
    • Make changes to site based on feedback

My usability subjects were very kind and helped organize my website. Originally, I wanted a toggle menu instead of the standard menu at the top of the screen, but my users said the toggle menu didn’t seem as natural. I curated little autobiographical¬† personas for different audiences in my about me that resonated with my users.

  • Edit and expand Design Journal and reformat into individual blog posts
    • Highlighting strong design journals and expanding on those where there is more potential
    • Reorganizing posts based on relevance (currently chronological)

My original DxD journal served its purpose well throughout the semester collecting all of my journal entries in one place. This dense, long post was not suitable for normal readers, but I wanted to be able to continue to use the content. Breaking the posts into individual blog posts and portfolio pieces fit in my site perfectly.

Other work completed throughout the semester:

This class has been a very humbling start to my Emerging Media career. I have scoured blogs, books, RSS feeds and more to find inspiration and new challenges. I have attempted to push myself in my design and web abilities to only get halfway through a learning curve. All of this hasn’t been in vain. I have learned and grown and pushed my abilities and found a better understanding of my capabilities and skills. I will go through my Emerging Media career, not only knowing how to find a tutorial or how much time it takes for me to find my way around an application, but knowing that I can. – Kristyn