Report 2: Social Psychology of Web Architecture
Homepage Sweet Homepage


Dr. Leon James' Home Page(my instructor) E-MAIL ME! G5's home page My Home Page

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Introduction: If You Build It, They Will Come

Yes, if you build it, they will come...but who? I think every homepage caters to what type of people it wants to attract. It may seem attractive to one, but heinous to another. But, to each its own. Anyway, have you ever came across a homepage that made you think, "Good gracious! Isn't there a law for tastelessness on the Internet?" (Geez, I hope not) Okay, that may be a little extreme. My point is: Is there a right and wrong way of what a homepage should look like? Mr. Glover discusses what is "sucky" and what is a "savvy" homepage. Is he giving some pointers or is he just being a harsh critic? I think it is purely the reader's/visitor's decision, but I feel he does have some good points.

In this report, I also talk about the psychological aspects to web design: 3 ideas I've taken from Dr. James' Social Psychological Principles of Home Page Architecture Homepage and extrapolated from it. Are the "homepages" similar to our very own homes?

I also go indepth about my experience as a web designer (oh the horror! Just kidding). Previous to this class, I have gazed upon webpages in awe thinking I would never have the ability to put up something so difficult. As a student in this class, I learned how to make similar webpages. It's not as difficult as I thought, in fact it was a piece of cake! Ha ha, if life would be that simple. In actuality, I excreted large amounts of fluid. Blood, sweat, and tears to be exact. In return, the knowledge that helped me build the webpages also helps me for my future (especially in the job market).

Need help with webdesigning? I especially made a section called the Annotated Index to Web Design for you.

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Web Designer Principles As I See It: Does My Homepage Suck More than a Vacuum?

Have you visited a homepage and realized how much it sucked? What was it that made your face grimace? The gaudy background? Or was it the large pictures of its author? Ahhhh, we've all stumbled upon those. Well, I suggest you do this poor webpage creator a favor by e-mailing him/her about Mr. Glover's webpage on Web Architecture. And by the way, I've already visited his website, so don't go out of your way to e-mail me about it (You mean my webpage sucks?! ). If you haven't visited Mr. Glover's fascinating and educational page, you must get a glimpse of it. Just click on the button:


And if you think it's helpful to the poor soul with the bad webpage, send him/her the address, too (http://www.glover.com). You would be helping that person a whole lot.

The purpose of Mr. Glover's page is to aid netizens in designing a home page that is attractive and fun to visit. He also advises on how to improve your page and to recognize if your home page is not as wonderful as you think it is. You might think that his home page is another one of those that gives you one boring pointer after another about constructing the perfect home page. From what I've seen, his homepage is far from boring. His icons are really amusing and his mainpage alone makes you crack up! He dances and points at the same time! In fact, not one of his webpages are dull at all, each one packs a barrel of laughs. While doing this assignment, I found myself browsing through his pages without taking some notes (which we were suppose to do) because I got so enthralled. His webpages made it fun and educational at the same time.

What's the Idea Behind Mr. Glover's Macarena Dancing?
You mean he's not doing the Macarena? Hee hee, I'm just kidding. Actually, he's pointing to the different topics that he covers in his webpages. The topics include:



Move over vacuum...

In Mr. Glover's Top 10 Ways to Tell If You Have a Sucky Home Page, he lists 10 things that makes a home page unpleasant to visit. Drum roll please...here they are:

10. Your header picture is over 50K

There is nothing more aggravating than to wait for a picture that wasn't worth waiting for in the first place. It just makes you want to throw virtual darts at the picture once you see it.
9. You up a 400K picture of yourself, and you appear in the lower-left 20K!
8. We can only stomach so many pictures of your pets.
I guess with every home comes a cute little pet, but do you have to put all their pictures? I mean, how many angles do we really need to see of little Fufu?
7. Obnoxious background music.
Once upon a time, an innocent net surfer (me) was admiring a webpage and its many cool pictures, then all of a sudden...BAM!! loud, irritating music blared out of the computer and scared the pants out of the visiting netizen. The music came out of nowhere and scared the golly-gee-willickers out of her that she vowed NEVER to visit that website again. THE END. The moral of the story is: Music could add flavor to your website, but leave it up to the visitor to decide if he/she wants to hear it. You wouldn't want to be held responsible for an individual's neurotic twitch .
6. You use bad, bad, bad, bad scans
I had to laugh at this one because it reminded me of a homepage that had a portrait of the author. At first, I did not recognize that it was face, but after squinting, it finally dawned on me that it was a person. Now THAT was a terrible scan. It is wise to put up scans that are clear and identifiable. Put up a picture that you would be proud to post.
5. Ticker tape status bars.
4. You use Construction pics on your page.

Like our instructor stated, all webpages are always under construction. It is irrelevent to mention that it is.
3. Your home page consists of a desperate plea for a job.
2. This is irritating!

Argh! Can anything be more irritating and distracting than blinking text?
1. You're on you own Hot List!
That alone is pretty darn funny...and pathetic.

Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Home Page
10. Use backgrounds intelligently
"Backgrounds can either demonstrate the author's savvy or bad taste," Glover said. Since your home page is like you own home, it's like having the exterior of your house painted orange with purple dots and surrounding it with a green picket fence. Once can only assume what the interior would look. It's like judging the book by its cover. So if the background is too loud and funky, you have to tone it down a bit so that the message in your text can be understood.
9. Keep your graphics within a small window width
Computer monitors come in all different forms and sizes, your picture can be seen beautifully on a 21" monitor, but on a smaller one, it may look distorted.
8. Use thumbnail graphics
Mr. Glover stated: "It may be your favorite graphic, but it wasn't very nice to make us have to wait for it...The better way to do it is to create a page of 'thumbnails'. Thumbnails are smaller versions of the bigger picture." Thumbnails give the page visitor the option to look at the picture at his/her own preference (without wasting his/her time).
7. Don't abuse frames
"Frames can be an effective way to enhance a page...but as I'm sure you've seen, frames can be abused to the point of making a page very confusing and difficult to navigate!" Mr. Glover points out. To me, frames are okay if you have many pages covering many topics. I prefer simple navigation tables though (simple and to the point).
6. Use JPEGs & GIFs intelligently
5. Use Height and width tags.
4. ALT tag your important images
3. Avoid over-using Image maps
2. Include your e-mail address

After all, wouldn't you want e-mail sent to you stating how terrible your page is? Hee hee, just kidding. Seriously, it's a great way to get feedback and it's always fun to get e-mail!
1.Be Unique!!
Make your webpage one of a kind. Dare to be different!


Mr. Glover has an outstanding website. He also shares his Disney Disasters, and I must tell you, the pictures (and its hilarious captions) are worth visiting. His personal life is also interesting. By being so candid and sharing with us, one can only respect him even more.

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Psychological Aspects to Web Design:
*Knock knock* Anybody Home?

Dr. James has three great ideas in his Social Psychological Principles of Home Page Architecture webpage that I want to extrapolate from.

1. "My Home Page is my other house".

During Christmas, my friends and I would visit different houses and view their decorated lights and if they decorated the interior of their houses, we went in and stood in awe while examining their magnificent Christmas creations. Viewing homepages/webpages can be seen in a similar fashion. Many, many individuals are constantly visiting your website, but not just once a year, everyday. It's like peering into a home. Once you put up a page, you clean out outdated material, add new icons/pictures, and also new information. The same would go for your home: cleaning the different rooms periodically, changing furnitures, adding new appliances, etc. It is like a house in many ways.
  • It is visited by people (so you must keep it nice and neat, presentable, and comfy)
  • Your homepage has its own URL address (like a street address)
  • It also has a "mailbox" with your e-mail address so people can send you (electronic) mail.
  • Once a visitor enters your homepage, he/she can go to many rooms (links to your other webpages).
  • And once you have your homepage up, you are constantly reconstructing, just like renovating your home. Your home and homepage are extensions of who you are.

2. "If no one ever clicks a link on a Page, it becomes an un-link in the zone of virtual silence."
I have mentioned in the section of this report that I was turned off by an obnoxious background music and now I refuse to go back to that homepage because of it (it scared the crap out of me!). Just a simple, little flaw of that homepage disintegrated my interest completely. Imagine if a lot of netsurfers felt the same way. That particular page would never be clicked on and would camouflage its way into virtual silence. For a homepage to be an active participant of the Internet, it must be accessed and clicked on. If not, what is its purpose and function? A webpage creator must put in the extra effort to make the webpage appealing and attract visitors so it can be that active participant.

3. "Cyberspace is a representative model of the mental world, which means the spiritual world."

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What It's Like to Become a Web Designer: Blood, Sweat, and Tears

I started off last semester knowing nothing at all about web designing. From last semester's Psychology 409a class, I not only learned how to construct a webpage from scratch, but I also learned about search engines and saw the fruits of my perseverence. I never thought I'd ever find myself yelling at (and slapping a few times) an inanimate object. Sure, I had more than my share of furniture kicking, but at a computer? Heck no. I guess I had to find a way to displace my anger somehow. But I digress. Anyway...I thought I had the hang of this Internet thing at the beginning of this semester. Lo' and behold, there are many more things to learn. For instance, newsgroups and web architecture. I know I have just scratched the surface of what the Internet has to offer. I'm still learning.

To get where I am right now, like the title to this segment says, it took a lot of BLOOD, SWEAT, and TEARS. Like any webdesigner would tell you, it took a lot of work. In the beginning, I had this mentality: Darn! I guess I have to haul butt to get a good grade for this class! *!@#+?! I had spent countless amounts of hours in front of a computer in numerous places and until late hours of the night. I said more than my share of badmouthing the Internet and I also had nightmares about HTML files. It might seem far-fetched, but it's all true. I remember seeing my homepage for the first time up with icons and its live links - I was so relieved and happy. And after that, I was no longer striving only for a good grade, but I also wanted to make my webpage really work and I gave it my best. Though it was still hard labor, it was a labor of love.

I was searching for another job this semester and found an advertisement in the newspaper. A company was hiring a Computer Technician. They were searching for individuals who had knowledge of different programs in both PCs and Mac, the Internet and webdesigning, and many other duties. I sent in my resume which included my knowledge of web-construction and computer experience. Out of 60 applicants, they asked 7 for an interview, and guess who was on that list? Not me! Hee hee...just kidding. I was very lucky to get picked. The interview went well. Needless to say, I didn't get hired. Alright, who was that computer geek who took my dream (Ha!) job? Poo on you! My point is: learning this stuff, however difficult, is a big plus! Though I did not get the job, it shows that the knowledge learned in this class can help aid in future employment and can be used in the real world. That's more than I can say about Organic Chemistry or a Statistics class. Bleh!

What is my advice for future generations? Find a shrink (I don't care if your a Psychology major) because you'll need someone to talk to. Hee hee...I'm just kidding. Actually, finding someone is really not a bad idea. Make a new friend or two in class because you will rely on them to help you out. Misery loves company, right? You all could help each other with the new information and solve problems together. You could also ask Dr. James for a tutor. There are always previous generational students (like me!) willing to assist new Psybernauts. The bottom line is: Don't be ashamed to ask for assistance. To tell you the truth, I would have never gotten through this class if I did not ask for help.

In my Psychology 409a homepage, I made an advice page for future generations. Want to visit it? Just click on smiley:

The perfect metaphor to use for this class is that it's almost like learning to ride a bike. It may be hard for the first time, but once you start balancing, it's not so bad. You'll fall occasionally and you'll ride over bumpy roads (Frustration when you can't log on, when you don't uderstand a procedure, and just learning about the whole HTML concept), but once you get the knack of it, you'll find yourself doing tricks on the handlebars and coasting down hills (your webpage is finally up and it looks quite spiffy and you get the knack of web designing so you start helping others). The computer, as well as the Internet, will be your bicycle and with it, you can travel anywhere. Just remember: When you fall off, rest for awhile, and try again! You'll secrete buckets of blood, sweat, and tears, but it's well worth it. ENJOY YOUR RIDE!

Intro Web Designer Principles Psychological Aspects Annotated Index to Web Design

Annotated Index to Web Design: Bob Villas of Web Architecture