Designing for the future

It is August 15, 2020 and I am beginning the redesign and redevelopment of this website which I originally developed in 2017. Both WordPress and I have changed since the site was first published. This is the start of a new approach to the content and the general organization of the website. I am working to develop a clearer organization of the content and scope of the website and its target audience.

I have been researching visual design communication as part of the redesign and restructuring of this website. When I started the website in 2017 I did not have a defined design, content concept or a target audience to guide me. It was based on the feeling that while helping other individuals with their websites I needed a place to experiment with some of the ideas about site design that had reading about and visiting.

In early 2018 I started following the development of the new WordPress editor, Gutenberg, at that time. This would become a weekly tracking of the process on the Slack Channel across several areas. As basically a visual designer I found it important to understand the underlying technical code develop process and how it would affect my designing and development in the future.

Designer Profile

Thomas Unthank is site designer who has been working as a visual presentation creator since 1955, When I worked as theater setting and lighting designer for productions with Howard University’s ‘Howard Players’.  After a tour of duty in the Army Signal Corp as a Photographer I started in doing graphic design and exhibition design.
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Experience Design

As a visual designer working with a client, I find it very it very important to focus both the visual design and content creation process and its presentation.

It is important for the client to focus early on who is his audiences and what kind of experiences they need to go through as they search and encounter the site locking for answers to solve their current problem or expression.

The site visitor does arrive as a ‘blank slate’ in search of an an answer or experience. As content creators and designers we must present cues and direction that guide the visitor to the information and/or the experience are seeking.

The presentation platform can be different [edit note vary] for each visitor seeking answers in their question or interest.

My visual design and aural design experiences started in with the designing of theater sets, costumes and lighting design to deliver the playwrights and the directors vision to the gathered audience.

The creation of the experience on stage is a multilevel design and communication process across multiple process multiple individuals: The playwright who created the adventure, the producer and directors who engage in envisioning the playwright’s intent, words, and idea across to the audience.

Content Presentation: a model

I am working on creating a concept to allow writers and designers to have more control over the visual presentation of their work. The current content creation model depending on some formating in the editor and depending on the template system to complete the content presentation.

My current exploration is on the creation of content development module that displays the available templates for a post or page and is selectable. When selected it will display the content container areas in the editing system.

I am building on by experience as a graphic designer in the era of ‘hot’ type where the designer in cooperation with the editor and/or publisher decide on the presentation and then markup the copy for the typesetter/compositer to follow on either the linotype machine or pulling ‘metal’ from the type case [drawers containing the type fonts] into the ‘stick’ and when the line was complete or the stick full moving the fonts to the stone for composing.

Content Management: a designer viewpoint

A critical part of site design and development is providing a clear view of the role of content management. I from my designer role I believe that a well developed and supported content management process is important to the initial design and a sites continuing maintenance.