Thursday, August 27, 2009

TOS Review: Web Design for Kids (and Curious Grown-ups)

I know nothing about html. O.k., that's not quite true. I do know the html code for bold and italics. But that's it, people. Why do you think my blog is on blogspot? Why do I have a Mac? Hellllllloooooo? I like to have the nit picky stuff done for me. I just want to look like I know what I'm doing.

But Mr. Blandings has been after me for some time to learn more about designing a web page. See, we have a nonprofit. And the nonprofit has a webpage. But ... well, I'm too embarrassed to link to it because it's so bad.

Which isn't going to fly for much longer because our nonprofit is our sending agency. It's how we're letting people know about our ministry in Nepal. That's a preety big role for one little web address to play. Which means ... well, we want it to be presentable, right?

So I spent two days tinkering with my iMac's amazing iWeb program. I clicked and dragged and pulled and rearranged. I watched a tutorial or ten. I designed a fabulous (to me) set of pages.

And I said, "It is very good."

And Mr. Blandings said, "It looks like 58 million other pages that people have made using the same template. I want something you make just for us. Can't you learn about html or something?"

Very, very rarely do I want to ask Mr. Blandings exactly what he thinks I do all day. I know that bon bons never enter his mind. Really, I do. But seriously, people ... do I look like I have time to read a 700-page book on html? Do I?

I don't. Which is why God made Web Design for Kids (and Curious Grown-ups).

$19.99, people. $19.99. Probably the best $20 you'll ever crack if you or your kids have need of some basic, beginner's programming skills.

Web Design for Kids is not software. It's a dvd that you watch on your t.v. (or computer) and take some simple notes. Then, applying those hand-held baby steps, you plug a few lines (10!) into Notepad/TextEdit and Explorer/Safari (platform dependant, obviously) and ...

You've given birth to a web page.

It's not a super-snazzy web-page, but it's not bad, either. For me, simply being able to begin tinkering with already-formatted pages is fabulous. I gleaned enough about this from the video to actually start making some tiny tinkers with our nonprofit page. Mr. Blandings is very, very happy; I finally fixed the color of the header. It was a no-brainer, actually. I'm almost embarrassed that it took me this long to figure it out.

Topics covered include the 10 basic lines of code, color for letters and backgrounds, making letters scroll across the screen, designer backgrounds, changing fonts, and adding pictures. Actual screenshots make the concepts even easier to grasp, and the tone is very conversational without having an "HTML for Idiots" feel to it. I was engaged, and so was Atticus. He is chomping at the bit for the next level dvd, which is slated to come out this year.

Here's a peek of the dvd:



The Beaver Bunch said...

Just curious. What does "TOS" mean. I'm sure it's super simple and my brain isn't functioning. So laugh at me, then tell me.

Kindred Blessings said...

Great review. I've always wondered about this program Thanks!

robyn said...

Neat! I was just thinking this week that I *need* to learn web design. I want my blog to look original, and the free templates I'm finding online just aren't cutting it! :)

Anonymous said...

I like it! Simple and pretty More templates easy to download

aparna john said...

Hi, Many people assume it's too costly to have a Web Design Cochin firm custom design and maintain their site for them. But, there are many ways to accommodate a client who decides to go custom vs. DIY or even somewhere in between.Thanks.....