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My first website…

Sarah Graveling
Sarah Graveling
Creative Director
4 February 2009

My first website was built over 10 years ago… I was in the final year of my Graphic Information Design degree. Google hadn’t surfaced yet and buying something online was very far from my mind, I’d only just received my first email address.  There wasn’t anybody to teach you how to work on the internet then, so I had to teach yourself. I bought myself a book on HTML and quickly learnt that if you viewed the HTML source on other sites you could learn how to put a site together. I had a portfolio to build before I left my course and I was going to do it online if it killed me. In our final show I was just one of two students with an online portfolio.

The portfolio itself was very basic just black with white writing, but compared to the rest at least it was designed and it had some form of navigation. I gradually got my head around the content being structured by tables (RIP) and colours being HEX values. The web was littered with “Under Construction” notices as companies prepared to go online, so I put an image of a goldfish on the homepage with the words ‘Watch this space”. Which to my amusement a lot of people did. Nothing happened, I hadn’t mastered how to do an animated image yet.

Compared to print I instantly fell for the interaction, unlimited space and charm of the internet.

Then I discovered Flash. Flash 2 back then and made many sites experimenting with movement, buttons (exciting stuff!) and got a bit carried away with the capabilities of the software. As was the trend at the time I built many a flash intro, eventually making a practical return to the basics concentrating on the user with consistent navigation and conversion based goals.

As many I’ve had a bit of a love hate relationship with the interweb at times, but I’ve never regretted making that early move to do things online and how it’s shaped my working life.

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