After weeks of “how-to wordpress” tutorials with Michael, us interns were given a chance to explore the various aspects of website design. We practiced recreationally and creating pages that would not be for the public eye. At this point, I felt confident, I felt like I could actually make a decent looking website. However, I quickly realized that this mentality was vulnerable – as soon as Michael assigned me my own task for a real life client, everything I knew slipped away. I got total cold feet and website design became as foreign to me as it was prior to starting the internship. My website development project had me working with our clients from Devu, who required a complex website with a sleek and simple design.
Devu was founded by two first year students at Western University. The website that MYK was responsible for creating was one that would function as a source of information for potential investors and additionally, a prototype of what their future site would be like. My task was to make this vision a reality by providing them with a website with essentially a secondary website within it.
At first, I completely froze in terms of recalling what I had been taught about website design, however once I got into the groove and stopped overthinking the “client” aspect of the website development project,, it became an enjoyable task. Starting with the basics, primary and secondary menus were created along with the requested pages. After this came the fun – it was time to design.
The Devu Look
The clients provided Michael and I with a list of preferences for their website including specific blurbs and photos that were to be included. Though this was provided, the two entrepreneurs left a lot of website design aspects open for interpretation and creative input. This allowed me to really explore different website looks within the clear “Devu aesthetic” they informed us of.
When designing for clients, the most challenging thing is trying to get everything right – apply the skills you have learned in addition to meeting your client’s needs. This becomes a lot easier when the clients put their trust in you as the website designer and allow you to play around and see what works best. For this particular website, I was able to use a list of other websites which they found aesthetically pleasing and apply the same techniques those designers inputted in the website with a twist. While looking at the finished project you can see that the look is very much sleek and simple. This is a great way to capture the attention of potential users without bombarding them with too much information.
My first website design project was one which started as a stressful burden but finished as a rewarding. Through this project, I feel as though I have gained skills in website design and client interaction, both beneficial skills to have. While looking back on this project, I can confidently say that working on this project has been the highlight of my time as an MYK intern.