My county's web design competition

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by johnbro23, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. johnbro23 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #1
    It's open to anyone in our high school. The county is offering a $1000 scholarship to the winning student.

    I've had a little experience in flash, and I understand the basics of html. I'm familiar with photoshop.

    Do you have any tips? Any related sites that are good to model after? Is it even worth it? (i.e. do you think I'll be able to build a nice site in 100 hours, therefore making $10/hour?)

    Actually, its not even a county website, its a borough. Here's the Site just to give you an idea of what is already there.
     
  2. Coolnat2004 macrumors 6502

    Coolnat2004

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #2
    Just ... don't do what they did.

    Code:
    <meta name="GENERATOR" content="Microsoft FrontPage 5.0">
     
  3. johnbro23 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #3
    haha, yeah, good one.

    Is it practical to code everything without the help of a program? I've never used a web design program, but I'm pretty confidant that I can code it without the help of a program. (maybe with a few codes from the net for complicated things like the menu)
     
  4. NoNameBrand macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Location:
    Halifax, Canada
    #4
    Yeah, you can quite easily do production websites without a funny program (I find them a pain in the ass, myself).
     
  5. angelneo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    afk
    #5
    I think it is good to use a WYSIWYG program like dreamweaver to help you code, this will make you code faster. The thing is that you have to understand the code your chosen software has generate, so that you know what's going on and you can alter it easily without that software. Dreamweaver's generated code is pretty lean.
     
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #6
    So do I understand that they are encouraging many students to put in dozens and hundreds of hours of work on spec., and one winner will get a bursary?

    If that is the case, this is highly unethical. No reputable graphic designer or website designer would create a site on the chance of a prize like this. The county will burn up thousands of hours of creative effort on the part of the unsuccessful entrants. In Canada the professional graphics design society has strict policies against spec work and design 'competitions' like that.

    Not to mention it is monumentally stupid - a website design is NOT about who makes the prettiest pictures - it has to take into account the goals of both the site owners and the site users. It has to WORK to get the right message to the right people in the most direct and understandable way - to be consistent, usable, easily navigable, accessible to different groups, and maintainable.

    Asking for the design of a site, its messages and navigation, without in-depth consultation on what those audiences and goals are, is irresponsible.

    A fig on the borough. They appear to have hit on a way to save money and avoid the responsibility of doing the background work necessary to make a good site, all while $*@^ing over all but one of the people who will put in creative effort for no pay.

    Investing 100 hours on a lottery chance of then making $10 an hour? Better to put the time in mowing lawns, my friend.

    Or put 10 hours into researching the ethics of such 'competitions' and make a case to the borough why they are misguided. Maybe you can get credit in your Civics course for that...
     
  7. Glenn Wolsey macrumors 65816

    Glenn Wolsey

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #7
    I won the national New Zealand web design competition last year, best of luck!
     
  8. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #8
    Contests crack me up.

    Its a company/whomevers way of being cheap. They'll get dozens of entries and samples to choose from for free. It's genious if you're the one putting it on, but don't expect to get any reputiable designers involved.

    Spending 100 hours on the "chance" to win $1,000 is just plain wrong to me, but hell, thats just my opionion as a professional designer. If you love doing it and aren't in it for the money I say go for it. Just make sure you can win ;)
     
  9. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040

    dornoforpyros

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    #9
    ditto, no dice on the spec work man, if the county can afford a $1000 prize than can afford $5000 to pay for the website (i'm just pulling that number out of thin air)
     
  10. rehashed@hotmai macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    #10
    Where do you get 100 hours from?
    This is a website designed by the designer under his/her own guide, with no critique, samples or revisions. If a professional designer can manage that within a few hours, im sure a student can manage it within a week of evenings.

    And how can you even compare it to the odds of a lottery?
    Its open to ONE school, the Vast majority of which will not apply. Im not sure how big a high school is in the US, but my high school was about 1000 children, probably 20 of which would be 'qualified' to enter.

    Personally, I think these competitions are ideal for school children:
    Where else are they going to potentially win $1000 for a few evenings work?
    The get the ability to add the design, whether successful or not, to their portfolio.
    They can always use the designed sites for something else.
    They get experience at designing a site for a third party.
     
  11. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040

    dornoforpyros

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    #11
    BS I've worked on enough projects to know there is ALWAYS changes to be made. I see it happening like this "ok great site, you win, how many hours did you spend on this? 50? Oh, well we allocated 100 and we would like some changes...

    What do you do for a living? Let's just pretend for a second that your a carpenter, how would you feel about the prospect of "hey, I'm having a contest to build me a new house! Start with the shed, the best shed wins & will get to build my real house for 1/3 of the value of what the actual project would cost from a professional.

    The reason designers get so bent out of shape over these contest is it's essentially grinding our careers down to free labour, which they are not. Even if your calling this a student contest the fact is your just trying to save the $2000 - $10,000+ that a reputable shop would charge you.
     
  12. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #12
    Where do you get 100 hours from?
    This answer leads me to believe you've never created a website for any goverment agency or probably professional organization for that matter. Sure the design can be done in a "weeks worth of evenings" but the whole website. A goverment website? Ha, ya right. Just think how many eyes will be on this.

     
  13. johnbro23 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #13
    I finally heard back from the Borough...they said I was the only one that showed any interest. So I got the job.

    I worked about 10-12 hours on it last weekend. Here's what I have cranked out so far:

    http://johnbro23.spymac.com/

    The only active links are Current Events and the banner at the top...it takes you to their current site.

    Just a tip...Spymac offers great hosting abilities - for free. Under finder, you just connect to server, enter your username and password, and you've got a network "drive" that pops up on your desktop. Really seemless and relatively speedy.
     
  14. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040

    dornoforpyros

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    #14
    Congratulations I guess...but maybe there's a reason no one else showed interest.

    EDIT: Hey, make sure you put your name and a link to your portfolio somewhere on the site.

     
  15. pavetheforest macrumors regular

    pavetheforest

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #15
    ahahahah i cant read anymore after that..............frontpage........god i love that program
     
  16. panoz7 macrumors 6502a

    panoz7

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #16
    Congratulations... your site draft looks good so far. A little bit of work still needs to be done ironing out some of the design details but the overall layout looks promissing and well organized.

    I'd work a little more on the roll over effect for the links. I find it to be quite distracting. I don't like how the change to the background of the link is so drastic. That's just me though. Also, work with the code a little so that the links preload. The delay while the onmouseover image loads is kind of distracting.

    EDIT: One more thing... change that main image below the title banner (the one with the three images fading together). The middle image just doesn't fit with the other two and looks kind of strange.

    By the way, are you coding this by hand or using some sort of program... Frontpage?
     
  17. m-dogg macrumors 65816

    m-dogg

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #17

    Hopefully this is something that interests you and you'd like to go into when you get out of school. If so, then this is a good experience that you can put on your resume and help you as you are trying to make a living by doing web design work.
     

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