in Learning, Reflection

Learning and Project Update: March, 11, 2018

This Past Week

I’ve had an extremely productive week! I’ve concentrated my learning and project work into three core areas: UX writing and SEO, standing up a page using MaterializeCSS, and further diving into JAMstack concepts. I’m going to keep this fairly brief since I’m going to jump back into working on some projects related to those areas.

UX Writing and SEO

I’ve recently discovered that UX writing and microcopy are skill areas related to UX. I’ve always paid lots of attention to microcopy and voice/tone while writing web content for DHF, but I didn’t know that this field had a name. This area has dominated my research and reading for the last 10 days, and I’ve picked up a lot from just paying more attention to language on things such as calls to action and forms. If you’re interested, the article How to Break into UX Writing is a great place to start. As I build my skills and learn more, I’ve started integrating what I learn into DHF projects, especially as I continue to work on SEO.

SEO was an area that I always avoided when creating content, but I’ve come to find it as an exercise in creative writing. I find the nuances to be challenging and a good practice in finding alternate, concise ways to express ideas. I’m rapidly reading and integrating lots of SEO tips and tricks and through doing that I’ve started rewriting some of our calls to action and reworking some landing page layout and copy. I like that there is an increase in emphasizing the important role that writing plays in user experience and I’m excited to continue developing my skills as I create content.

typewriter on a desk with lamp

Photo by Alexa Mazzarello on Unsplash

Materialize CSS and Page Layout

In last week’s Learning and Project Update, I wrote about how I had been working with Materialize and that I planned on using it on an upcoming project. This week, in preparation for Tracy and I participating at a local craft fair, I created a website for our crafting project Funkzzi Makes. I decided to use Materialize for this site, and I had a great time doing it! For reference, you can visit our site here: funkzzi.market. The site is static, using only HTML/CSS/JS. I started with a quick boilerplate and then built the layout from there.

We’re going to continue refining the site and then I may abstract it into a theme for Hugo and/or Gatsby! I really enjoy creating layouts, and the more that I practice and experiment with it the more confidence I have in my skills.

Now that Saturday’s event has passed and I got the MVP up and running, we have lots of additions and tweaks we plan on doing. The site is deployed to Netlify, which is awesome and highly recommended.

JAMstack and Netlify

I’ve been learning more about JAMstack principles this week, especially as I explore Gatsby and the rise of the headless CMS. In all of the podcasts, articles, and tutorials I’ve read about JAMstack, Netlify is continually mentioned. I’ve been wanting to try Netlify recently, and I decided to try it on our market site. I have nothing but great things to say about it, and it completely lives up to the praise its receiving. The deployment process is effortless. You need to be comfortable with GitHub, but the actual Netlify configuration is pretty lightweight and the directions are incredibly clear.

Anyway, I’m going to cut this rather short right now because I plan on writing a much longer post about JAMstack and Netlify in the coming week.

What’s on the Horizon?

This week I’m going to continue working on our site layout, as well as looking into moving my personal site to decoupled WordPress as the data source with Gatsby on the frontend, all deployed to Netlify. I’m also planning on writing a longer post on UX and UX writing, so that’s also on the horizon.

 

 

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