Friday, September 30, 2011

Exercising the Left Brain

It's no big secret that my creative side is consistently at the forefront of my life. Between graphic design, cooking, event planning and furniture projects, I live to be involved in something imaginative. When it comes to left-brained activities, I feel that I'm generally at a loss. Math, science, practicality...please! I often wonder why the right side of my head isn't bursting out at the seams! Perhaps that's a slight exaggeration, but really...there's a lot of activity in that right hemisphere on a daily basis!

Now, out of sheer curiosity, I had to find out how my left and right brain measured up, so naturally, I took an online quiz.  I'm fairly even keel according to this particular quiz, but I wasn't surprised to see that right came in ahead of left.

When it came time to design Pacheco Photography's website, I was excited to handle the design, but not so much the programming. I've been using a mix of Dreamweaver and iWeb to design most of my websites, which has worked out rather well. With those tools, I created the base design for the site. Now, all I needed was a slick gallery function to display my client's photography. 

Coding HTML is something that I've wanted to put more focus into for quite some time, but I've been so bored by it in the past. Sitting down to write complex formulas and commands – not to mention the potential for errors and browser compatibility issues – My head begins to throb at the very thought of it! Thankfully, I have a super-fantastic programmer, Dustin who is on-board to help my web design pursuits come to life. In his wonderful way, he implemented a slideshow feature in just a matter of hours and we launched the site earlier this year.

With an ever growing portfolio of work, the client approached me this week, looking for a way to showcase more specific image categories. He and I hashed out a new plan for the website, and I was feeling inspired to clear my left brain cobwebs and figure out how to code the site on my own. I considered making an appointment to see my doctor as something had surely come over me. However, I pressed on. 

"What did I get myself into?" ran through my head when I opened the first HTML file. I won't lie – having to create 5 new galleries had me a little scared! Nonetheless, I began to read every line of text carefully, which surprisingly made more sense than I had imagined. I implemented a pre-coded slideshow function, which allows the client to update albums at his convenience without the use of an HTML editor. This is one of my favorite features of the site!

When it came to figuring out the difference between paragraph styles, classes and pixel widths, I used an extremely useful web developer tool. With this feature, I was able to pinpoint any errors I experienced. It's an essential tool for any programmer, developer...or designer! What could have taken days to read and correct was handled in a matter of hours (that's pretty fast for an HTML n00b).

Now that things were coming together so nicely, I felt inspired to make the site even more fine-tuned. Rather than use default mouse-over appearances such as "places.html" for the hyperlink to the Places page, I realized that I could customize the text to read "Places Gallery." This made for a more professional look, so I performed the same changes to other hyperlinks and page titles. This website was really coming together, and I certainly felt accomplished in my determined pursuit of coding success.

After a mere 2 days of trial and error, testing and perfecting, the new is live and ready for you to enjoy! May your right brain bask in the stunning imagery, and your left brain appreciate the lengthy formulas that are working behind the scenes! 


  1. I'm somewhat Math literate but that code above makes me want my blankie and cookies and milk.

  2. The site looks great by the way, thanks.