SWOT

STRENGTHS –

What are your talents, skills and abilities?

Questioning everything. Being different. Natural ability to understand coding. Leadership skills. Will attempt anything if needed.

What resources are available to you?

CCCU resources and library. UCA resources(includes possible art studio space). UCA library. Creative Suite programs. Plenty of outside space including ponds, animals, woodland, chickens, fruit and veg gardens. Many tools such as chainsaw, drills, etc. Space to do this in. Plenty of old boxes.

Who can you approach for advice, support and guidance?

Other students. Lecturers from CCU. Students and lecturers from UCA. Colleagues at UCA. Family and Friends. Colleagues at Estate in Ringwould. Colleagues in Poland. Previous employers from print packaging. Previous technicians from studying Product Design. Old friends that are now Design Teachers.

What do other people see as your strengths?

Organised. Questioning. Leadership. Delegation. Hard worker. Good advice provider.

What specialist knowledge do you have access to?

I know a lot about printing and packaging. My own ICT knowledge and I also have family members that are in the ICT field that often share their knowledge. My administration and research background. Organisational skills. 

WEAKNESSES –

What talents, knowledge and skills are you lacking?

The ability to illustrate. I would like to know more about layout and typography.

What do other people see as your weaknesses?

Taking onboard criticism. Continuing with enthusiasm when I’m not personally interested in something. 

What resources (money, time, support, expertise) are you lacking?

I am lacking time as I work two other jobs outside of university, so my time is limited and on a strict timetable.

Do you have certain personality traits that prevent you from reaching your goals? How will these be overcome?

I occasionally over worry and over think projects. I need to find a subject I truly enjoy and then I wont worry or over think.

THREATS –

What risks are you currently facing?

Combining my love for doing something arty and combining this with Web Design

What obstacles are impeding your progress?

Not knowing where to start researching or brainstorming on Art vs Web Design

What external factors are affecting you negatively?

Time, one of my jobs is demanding and requires a lot of time which can stress me out. Managing my time will be essential to any projects success.

What threats do your weaknesses expose you to?

My weaknesses could mean if I don’t do something I enjoy I could lack enthusiasm. I may also struggle to take criticism on board, and need to understand that they are making comments on the work because they care and want to see me improve.

OPPORTUNITES –

What opportunities are available to you?

The ability to experiment and try something new and different instead of a boring bog standard website.

What important goals could you pursue?

I have always wanted to do a piece of art that is structural or at least 3D

How can you capitalise on your strengths?

Being organised is really going to help especially with time management and maybe materials. My ability to really to question things will help with research and hopefully lead me to new directions. I am a hard worker so I know when I delegate time I will use the time productively. I could possibly use leadership and delegation skills to help if I do something big and need to resource help or other companies. By providing good advice to others, hopefully they will be more open to provide advice and direction for my project.

What opportunities would become available if you overcame your weaknesses?

If I overcame my weaknesses I would be doing a project I loved, it wouldn’t even feel like work. I would also be able to take on board people comments really easily and it could make my project better and maybe even lead me in new exciting directions.

Evaluation

I feel in this assignment I have learnt so much so quickly. I’m still amazed at how much I have progressed. Whilst my design skills have not progressed as such a fast pace, I still think I am slightly improving. However I was listening to our lecturer suggest to another person that over the summer they should find a website they love and try to recreate it. I think I will try to do that, as I feel I overcomplicate things or my style is sometimes a bit too flamboyant. I need to direct my flamboyance to create something truely original as I want to steer clear of corporate style as it doesn’t make me happy.

The Expression Engine has been such a challenge that sometimes I’ve felt let throwing my computer out of the window, and other times I’ve been so happy that something has happened. It has felt like a whirl wind relationship with Expression Engine, but I’ve learnt that it is definitely beneficial to me and the client, I just need more practice.

On my website I am generally pleased and glad I didn’t try too much and just got to grips with the basics, there are a few bits that I want to improve, but I think this is the way most people feel. You can always improve or certain bits. I feel I would be even more satisfied if I had brought that CE Image Plug-in to really make the feel of the website more like old school circus theme with the blurred black and white images.

RSS

Now the website was complete, I wanted to incorporate a RSS feed. I have never done one before, so I thought I would have a look at http://ellislab.com/expressionengine/user-guide/modules/rss/ and attempt to get my head around the templates ellislab had provided. unfortunately I could only ever get it to say empty feed. I must have tried for over 3 hours changing things, attempting to get it to work. I even asked others in my class and they could get theirs to work either. So this is one thing that really disappoints me is that I was never able to get it to work. I have left the code in the back-end of the website, incase I can change it at a later date and finally get it to work.

Upload Form

My main feature of the website was to let users upload their own postcards, or of the postcards they found or anything else.

So I used the plug-in FreeForm which was a nice easy form and simple that could allow file uploads and the ability to email that form to a dedicated email address. FreeForm can be downloaded from http://www.solspace.com/software/detail/freeform/

I amended the fields of the form through the plug-in control panel, then added my code into my upload page. The one thing I found difficult was that FreeForm automatically uses CAPTCHA, and this caused some difficulties, so I just removed that code. However it does make it less secure and more open to spam.

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Localhost to Server

I created the website first locally as this is what we did in lessons, and now I felt I was at a point were it was working sufficiently to go live. So I used the following directions: http://ellislab.com/expressionengine/user-guide/operations/moving.html

I wanted to follow this information exactly so it asked me to verify server compatibility, and my 123-reg.co.uk server worked out fine

Screen Shot 2013-05-12 at 17.20.19

So I carried on with the instructions and found that where files were in my server and permissions were extremely important. Then also my server 123-reg.co.uk didn’t provide the exact details of my server path which caused a lot of difficulties, so I ended up running a pathinfo.php which I found from http://www.kbpublisher.com/kb/How-can-I-find-my-Full-server-path_289.html

Now I have learnt maybe in the future once the website is fully designed to just go straight on the server instead of locally. I’m not an extremely technical person, and don’t fully understand servers and hosts, and I think I need to get my head around the basic stuff, so this will be a task I set myself.