Research Topics

One thing that I would like to do with this blog is take the time to research some areas of web development that I do not have experience with, or would like to explore deeper. I often see blog posts on certain topics and think to myself that I should look into it further, or try out a certain technology, but later never comes. Staying up with new technologies and continuing to learn new skills is important in an ever-changing industry like web development.

Some topics that I have come up with off the top of my head that I would like to research are:

vTEAjgrid-vs-flexbox

Web Layout: DIVs vs Flexbox vs Grids

I’ve only used DIVs (and tables in my much younger days :p), but I would like to try out flexboxes and the new CSS grids that I have been reading about. From what I understand there are different uses for each and one doesn’t necessarily replace the other, but when should you use each layout technology, and can they be used together?

convert-css-to-sass-twitter

SAAS

I don’t know much about SAAS, but I do not that it is supposed to make your life a lot easier when it comes to CSS.

how-to-improve-your-online-security-and-privacy-in-10-easy-steps

Security

Security online is more important now than ever. It seems like we hear about new data breaches every day, and no company is safe. Of course the most well known security breach to date was equifax. I’ve learned some basics of security in school, but I would like to delve in deeper and find out more about best practice in the real world.

open-source-ecommerce-platforms

Payment/Checkout Services

Of course everyone knows about paypal and amazon pay, but there are many other online services that can be used for eCommerce sites. Many security breaches that websites face involve the payment process. Customers need to enter sensitive data and they out their trust in the website their using to protect their information, process the order correctly, and get their item delivered to them in a timely manner. I do not have any experience setting up a payment system on an eCommerce site, so this is an area that I would like to learn more about.

image004

User Interface Design Principles

I have taken courses on design and user interfaces, but I would like to brush up on some of the core design principles.

41gFDJ5s1vL._SX399_BO1,204,203,200_

Evil By Design – Chris Nodder

User Experience

I would like to learn more about user experience design. The way users navigate through your website is very important. You want users to be able to find what they’re looking for without being frustrated and having the right design can increase sales, newsletter signups, etc. In one of the classes I took we went through many of the concepts in the book Evil By Design, which talked a lot about how to guide users through your site and encourage the desired behavior through the design of your site. This book focused on user experience design from the point of view of a business owner, but I would like to look into user experience from the view of the user and helping the user make the most of their experience.

Mobile-Web-Design-Strategy

Mobile Web Development

Mobile web development is one of those topics that I know a lot about from a users perspective, but not from a developer’s perspective. I know that I personally do about 75% or more of my web browsing from my phone, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. Having a mobile friendly site can make or break a company in today’s business model. I try to design responsive sites, which are somewhat mobile friendly in most cases, but I have never truly designed a mobile website. Having developed some mobile apps and learning about material design does give me some insight into mobile web development, but I would like to get my feet wet and actually make a mobile web site.

I hope to look into many of these topics in the coming weeks, and I plan to write up what I learn on this blog. I hope that this exercise will be as informative to others as it will hopefully be to me.

Project Ideas

The first step in trying to fill in my portfolio was to research some different kinds of projects that I should include. My portfolio only consist of a few school projects that I’m too embarrassed by at the moment. I began my list with a simple google search.

ProjectIdeasGoogleSearch

Of course this brought up millions of results, but I just looked at the first few pages that came up. There were several ideas that were included on multiple lists, such as creating a page for a local business or recreating an existing site, and there were some more interesting ideas that only appeared once or twice, like developing snippets of a page, such as UI elements or creating an HTML 5 game. From these ideas I compiled one list with the projects that either interested me, or seemed like they would be an essential component of a good portfolio.

Project Ideas

  • Redesign a real website
  • Design a page for a local business
  • Redesign the mobile site for a real website
  • Design a WordPress theme
  • Code a design from dribble.com
  • Create an HTML 5 game
  • Code User Interface Elements
    • Contact Us Form
    • Sign Up Flow
    • A set of buttons
    • A JavaScript gallery
  • Create a blog
  • Create an online quiz
  • Create an informative site

I’m sure there are many other things that I could make for my portfolio, but I think this list is a good jumping off point. I have already started on one idea (creating a blog) as you can see. I hope to get through many of the items on this list in the coming months and come out the other end as a stronger developer. I am challenging myself to work on web development every day, even if just for a few moments, until I find my dream job.