Completed Hypertext website:
Introduction of the topic and purpose of your website:
This project is meant to derive meaning and connections between chapters of my favorite book Invisible Cities, by Italo Calvino, and tracks from one of my favorite bands, Radiohead. I chose 8 chapters and 8 corresponding songs for each one, and I have mapped connections between each of them based on similarities in tone, content, and the general mood of each piece. The purpose is to bridge the gaps between music and literature in order to provide a meaningful and ultimately entertaining ambient experience for the user.
The full bibliographic information about any outside information or texts you used and where you found it:
Calvino, Italo. Invisible Cities. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974. Print.
Radiohead. In Rainbows. Rec. 10 Oct. 2007. Nigel Godrich, 2007. MP3.
Radiohead. Kid A. Rec. Jan. 1999. Nigel Godrich, Radiohead, 2000. MP3.
Radiohead. OK Computer. Rec. 21 May 1997. Nigel Godrich and Radiohead, 1997. MP3.
How you cited it within your project:
Detailed discussion of the design and development process:
I used an existing template that I tweaked for my wedding site, and focused my attentions on meaning-making within this template. If I had more time, I’d probably move the project to a different location so that the framing mechanism wouldn’t be so distracting. I created each page within WordPress, for a total of 10 pages (Home page, 8 chapter pages, and the Reference page). I mapped out the project extensively on paper before choosing the stories and songs, because I really wanted to make sure there was an association between each of them that could be understood by the user.
I inserted an audio player widget on each page and uploaded the songs individually, and ran into some trouble when I realized that the player doesn’t accept m4a files, only mp3 files. I ended up having to download a file converter to get those files in mp3 format, and reuploaded around half the audio files to WordPress.
After creating pages for each of the chapters and transcribing them all manually from the book (I typed up several single spaced pages of text and proofread it), I created a linking structure at the bottom of each page. I chose which stories would link to each other, and decided on a system in which each story is linked to twice, and each is connected based on some element of the story’s content or tone. There is also a link at the bottom of each page for the Home page, in case the user gets stuck in a loop and can’t access all of the content using the linking structure.
Discussion of what processes you took to learn the website construction application, what you learned, and what more you hope to learn in the future:
The audio widget was the thing I had to spend the most time learning, and I’m glad I know now. I researched several audio players, and ended up downloading this one because it was the most aesthetically relevant to the look of my site, and was the simplest in terms of functionality. All I wanted the audio player to do was play a single track and be user friendly, and this widget really served the purpose well. I downloaded and installed it to my WordPress site, so I may be able to use it again in future wedding blogging, which is useful.
In the future, I’ll probably look more into more advanced audio widgets, so I can create playlists for my wedding guests in blog posts.
Scholarly discussion of how your process and product helped you to better understand at least three of the articles/chapters we’ve read in the class (two of which must come from NMR):
It was easier to make connections between the work I did in this project and the readings. Much easier than the last one. I found that I was using a similar “choose your own adventure” format to much of Part 1 of NMR, which connected nicely to “The Garden of Forking Paths” (Borges) and the Combinatory Literature chapters about the Oulipo (Berge and others).
From NMD and the CRAP method, I found myself unintentionally using those structural elements in order to make my website easier to manage. Even though I’d never heard of CRAP until this class, I had used many of the methods in previous web design and site building efforts, so it seemed to come pretty naturally. Uniform headers and navigation systems and good color contrast were already present in my site, and I even conducted usability testing with a few friends to make sure my project was understandable and easy to navigate.