Weeks 23 and 24

The end ?

end

The last two weeks have been a blur really. Friday brought the end of my internship at Web Courses Bangkok, but I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to reflect on it all.

After the Songkran Holiday, I focused most of my time and attention on agency work. It’s great working on so many different types of websites- each with their own aesthetic and functionality requirements.

Asia Fitness

mix it up

We took The website for Asia Fitness Convention live the other week. Since then I have been working on adding a mix-it-up pluggin to their schedule to allow for filtering of classes by instructor, date, course type, etc.

Sabai Group

sabai group

I also built a website for the Sabai Group using a one page WordPress theme called SCRN. We are building several websites for the Group including Awesome Undies, Fugly Shirts, and Shirts by Post.

Touchline

Touchline-Recruitment

I spent a good deal of time building a homepage for a new client, Touchline Recruitment. We are using a theme called Avada, which so far has been really good. The theme options are endless, however, which is an advantage and a disadvantage. Also, there are some tricky css issues I still need to sort out.

 That’s It

web courses bangkok

It’s pretty crazy actually, to look back at myself 6 months ago compared to today. I really knew next to nothing. I’m not exaggerating when I say that every single day of my internship I learned at least one new and essential skill, shortcut, or bit of useful knowledge- usually half a dozen things. Thanks to Carl, Pete, Abhi, Singh, Mallika, and Matt, I’ve made a huge leap in the past half a year. Coding expert- maybe not yet, but I feel confident, enjoy what I do, and am hungry to keep learning.

For anyone who wants to get started in web or graphic design and wants real-life, day-to-day, hands-on experience, learning from an experienced and knowledgable team: Look into an internship at Web Courses Bangkok.

 

 

Week 22

Time Flies

With the holidays in April, the month will be over before we know it. Hard to believe.

I worked on a wide variety of projects this week, planning the school’s new site, Indesign, and agency sites. I also got to receive a good deal of instruction.

Happy Restaurant

happy restaurant

One project that I’ve been meaning to finish is a revised worksheet for the Web Design Intermediate Course called “Happy Restaurant”. We’ve been through several revisions before, and have since decided to add wireframes, screenshots, and better descriptions of the steps within the worksheet. Singh, Ryan, and I are also trying to standardize the worksheets so that they are all laid out the same way.

Adobe Premier

adobe premier

We want to incorporate some videos into the school’s new website, so on Thursday evening Ryan, Matias, Singh and I got a crash course in Adobe Premier from Eric, the wcb’s photography expert. After learning about aspect ratios, video formats, file sizes, etc. we got down to business and learned the basics of video editing.

Adobe Premier is a powerful too, and it should be pretty fun to play around and put together some videos.

Adobe Illustrator

adobe illustrator

I’m excited to have started classes with Pete learning the ins and out of Illustrator. Up till now I’ve been stumbling along, well aware that there must be better ways and shortcuts to getting the work done. It will be great to get his expert knowledge. I’ve been looking forward to taking this course for a long time.

 

 

Week 21

New school website?

wcb banner

This week, I worked a bit on a lot of small projects, but my main focus was on the design for WCB’s new website.

We’re trying to properly plan, and put together a great looking site with good UX. One of the main difficulties is how to organize all of the information- and there’s a lot of information. We don’t just want to put it all up  in one maze of pages and links though.

I spent a lot of time early in the week looking at other sites for inspiration, thinking about what aspects of the site really matter. At this stage, a pen and paper is the best way to sketch out ideas. I went through a lot of paper, adding elements and taking others away. I spent a good deal of time on the homepage, and even more hours thinking about the footer.

Flairbuilder

flairbuilder

Flairbuilder is a wireframing program that enables you to layout web page designs relatively quickly. I’ve used it a good deal by now, and am pretty familiar with all its features and quirks. Throughout the week, I got most of the main pages wireframed out and after several rounds of revisions with Carl, I think we’re headed in the right direction.

On our current site, there are a lot of pages. I’m trying to simplify things without losing any important information, or the character of the school. Next week, I’ll finish up the last few wireframes and start assembling content and mood board inspiration.

Internal Training

This week we also had two sessions with Carl on PHP. I feel like I can understand the functions now when I look at the code and see how it works with HTML. Writing PHP is still a bit of a challenge. There is a lot of syntax to remember, and while it is logical, there is just a lot of it.

Camillian Fun Run

camillian run

I’ve ended up working on several projects for the Camillian organization during my time at WCB. This Saturday they held a 5K charity run for the Camillian Children’s Home.

The event was really well put together, with food, music, and tee shirts! Although it was pretty hot, the run was early enough to avoid the main heat of the day.

 

Week 20

Club Villas

club villas

Things Finally started to come together with the Club Villas website after some initial hold ups. I also began to get used to using the theme’s visual editor, which has its definite advantages and disadvantages. In any case, I got some help from Malika and Abhi, and we figured out how to organize the content and got the design sorted out.

Awesome Undies

I also got enlisted to build a few simple pages for Awesome Undies, a company here in Bangkok that we are building an e-commerce site for. Abhi has been hard at work on some PHP to create custom fields for the ordering process.

speaking of PHP…

PHP Internal Training

This week, Carl took some time to teach two sessions on PHP. Like all programming languages, it’s perfectly logical- but there is a lot of syntax to remember, and the devil is always in the details.

I’ve put code into PHP and moved it around in WordPress, but really just as a means to an end. It’s nice to learn the basics and foundation.

Inspiration Friday

At WCB, we also held our first Inspiration Friday. Everyone had a couple of minutes to share some new things in the design/tech world with the rest of the team. It was a pretty awesome range.

App design, font builders, responsive design, graphic design as play, socially conscious design, and easy file sharing. It was really an eclectic mix of topics, and I’m looking forward to seeing what people come up with next week.

New Web Courses Bangkok Website

wcb planning

An ongoing project that I think everyone is anxious to get moving on. Carl and I met several times to brainstorm and compare notes. After a lot of research, sketching, and input from the rest of the team, I think we’ve settled on a plan of attack.

We want to simplify the site by taking away all the extra bells and whistles. At the same time, we also want to preserve the main selling point of the school- its atmosphere and learning environment.

Malika and I sat down on Friday and began to sketch out the pages, and hopefully this week we will settle on the feel of the design, build some wireframes, and decide on a WordPress theme.

Week 19

Another busy week

The action hasn’t let up here at WCB. On Monday I put some finishing touches on The Camillian Hospital Site, and started to go through the going live checklist.

On Tuesday Abhi helped me to take the site live. Hopefully it will serve them well. I think it is a huge improvement over their previous one.

camillian

The rest of my time was taken up with a new website for a resort in Bali called Club Villas. The WordPress theme we are using, Salient, is pretty good, but the visual page building feature takes a bit of getting used to. It should be easy for the client to maintain and edit though, as no coding skills are needed.

club villas

Updates

Two new interns have started at WCB; Matias from Argentina, and Ryan from South Africa. They’ve been a great addition to the team.

Carl and I have also sat down several times to get the new WCB School site off the ground. More on that to come.

Weeks 17 and 18

Short Week

I had a short, but busy week before heading to Cambodia. I spent the beginning of the week working on a new worksheet for the Web Design Beginners Course. Matt had already built most of it in Indesign, it just needed some revisions and extra content for clarification. I also organized it as an outline for easy reference.

indesign-shot

In the middle of the week, we received some more content from Camillian Hospital, including information about their programs, doctors, and facilities. Some of this content was pretty different than what I had predicted, so it took some work to put everything together. I had to work fast too, as I was leaving Friday morning for a week in Cambodia.

After a long day on Thursday, I got all the content up.

Camillian-Hospital

Goodbye Matt

Wednesday was also Matt’s last day as an intern. I’ll miss his stories and Scottish humor but he’s onto bigger things now.

Lost Week

cambodia

Had a great time in Cambodia, but got little work done due to sporadic power outages and lack of internet access.

Back to Work

I returned to Bangkok late Sunday night and jumped back into work on Monday. K village is almost ready to go live, but first they had a final round of changes. They basically wanted to take all their full width content, and put it in a container on the page. This turned out to be not as difficult as Abhi and I feared, and the website looks pretty good.

kvillage

We also got several rounds of feedback and revision requests from Camillian Hospital. Some minor, and others requiring a bit more work. My first task next week is to finish these up so that the site can go live.

Here is the table of services I just added.camillian-table

Week 16

The times they are a changing…

Image

The weather has gotten noticeably hotter here in Bangkok this past week. A reminder that time really does pass in the never ending Summer of Thailand.

Things are changing at Web Courses Bangkok as well. Karina, the new intern has been settling into life at WCB. Her article on Google Experiments has received quite a few hits. As Karina is starting her internship, Matt is finishing his this upcoming week. I’ll be really sorry to see him go, as I’m sure everyone else will be too. From my very first day, he has dealt with my cluelessness and continual questions with patience and good advice.

Camillian Hospital

Camillian-Hospital

I spent a good deal of time this week working on the new website for Camillian Hospital. They provided some content, which I had to work into the wireframes that I had made several weeks ago. I did a lot of css work to get the layout looking good. Hopefully, Camillian will provide some images and more content soon so that the website can be completely fleshed out.

Love Hurts

love-hurts

This week I also wrote a special Photoshop tutorial for Valentines Day. It gives simple instructions on the basics of removing an unwanted person from your photos. There are several methods to get the job done, I just used one of the most straightforward as an example. I would like to go back however, and add in some alternate tools, techniques and examples.

Camillian Fun Run

Camillian-Fun-Run

The website that I helped Singh on for the Camillian charity fun run has gone live. Take a look, and consider registering or sponsoring. It’s all for a great cause, and sounds like it will be a really fun day.

Week 15

Camillian

After working on the new website for the Camillian Home Charity, the agency has received projects from the Camillian Hospital, and a one day fun-run organized by the St. Camillus Foundation. I’m more than happy to work on these projects, as they seem to be doing great charitable work here in Thailand.

Fun-Run

On Monday I built a wireframe for Singh using a one page scrolling theme called SCRN. The page is for a one day charity fun run, so the layout had to be pretty simple and informative. I spent some time in Flairbuilder, and came up with this wireframe:

camillian run wireframe

Singh met with the client midweek, and together they fleshed the theme out into this.

I think that the site looks really good, and hopefully will be able to sign a lot of people up for the event.

Camillian Hospital

camillian hospital

Several Weeks ago, I put together wireframes for the new Camillian Hospital site. We have since purchased a theme, and just the other day received some content from the hospital. I spent a lot of time this week working on their new website, in particular their homepage.

It has been a little tricky, because we don’t have images or a lot of content from them, but I’m trying to put together a simple and intuitive hospital website.

Right now, I am sorting out some css issues.

Camillian Home

We have decided that a gallery and option to sponsor individual children would be a great addition to the Camillian Home website. Hopefully I’ll have time to get this up and running soon.

Mallika teaches Indesign

indesign

On Friday we had our first internal training class. Mallika was brave enough to go first. She presented a great lesson on Indesign, a program that I definitely need and want to learn more about. Mallika provided an overview of the basics, and we got to practice and play around with some of the many features. We even got homework.

Week 14

After spending some time in Chiang Mai and Laos, I returned to the WCB office recharged and ready to tackle some new projects.

Monday

On Monday, we began the morning with a team meeting, sorting out what everyone is working on and setting timelines for these projects. It’s a helpful practice that hopefully will continue. Not only is it good in scheduling my own workflow, but it’s also an opportunity to see what everyone else is working on, and a chance to see if I could help them with their projects, or if they could help me with mine.

After the meeting, I got to work building a new homepage for a client’s website. This task was pretty straightforward, but did require some time sorting out images in Photoshop, and some more time arranging them on the website using css. Overall, it was good practice.

Image

Tuesday

I spent Tuesday working on updating the agency’s portfolio. The printed version especially is lacking many of the websites the agency has completed. The old portfolio is also missing responsive views of the websites on tablets and smartphones. Using Photoshop and an ios simulator on a program called Xcode, I got to work creating new portfolio pages with images, brief descriptions, and qr codes.

Image

Also this week, a new intern started at WCB. Karina got to work right away working on articles, updating our courses online, and helping me with the portfolio project.

Wednesday

On Wednesday morning, I continued to work on the portfolio update. I also started to write a tutorial on how to place images on digital screens.

I spent most of the day however working on the slider for the Changeworks website. Trying to figure out the WordPress themes slider options ended up taking a bit of work. Adding images and text was not necessarily intuitive.

Thursday

In the morning, I sat down and finished the tutorial. If you have a project that needs your image to appear on a devices’s screen, and  you aren’t sure how to achieve the desired effect, you can read the article here.

Screen-Shot-2014-01-29-at-5.38.44-PM

On Thursday, I also finished the sliders for the Changeworks homepage and went through a worksheet for Singh to be used in the Intermediate Web Design Course.

At the end of the day, I received an unexpected and baffling Chinese New Years
gift of oranges from a “lady” delivered by some Thai guy. I wasn’t quite sure of what to make of it. I said “thank you,” but just to avoid any confusion I let him know that I am married, and pointed to my wedding ring. We’ll see.

Friday

I began Friday by working on a new page on the school’s website for a course in UX- user experience design. It’s an important topic. We’ve all been to websites that are clumsy to use, confusing, and fairly useless when it comes to providing even the most basic information.
ux course

In the afternoon I got back into K-Village, this time working on an interactive store map- making the stores highlighted on the map when their name is selected from the store list. They have a lot of stores.

k village map

Week 13

A short week for me

On Monday, the school was closed due to the ominous and unpredictable “Bangkok Shutdown”. Rather then risking the commute, everyone hunkered down and worked from home. Luckily, my neighborhood remained fairly quiet; however those living near Asoke were surrounded by peaceful, yet huge crowds of protestors.

On Thursday, I flew with my wife to Chiang Mai; her to present at a conference, and me to explore more of Thailand.

Monday

Image

So I spent my day in my apartment; first, going through a new worksheet for the Intermediate Web Design Course. Using the Chameleon WordPress theme, the goal is to create a website for a fictitious Italian Restaurant, building several pages for “about us”, “menu”, “recipes”, etc.

Except for a couple of minor issues, the worksheet is really good. Singh and Matt did a great job of putting together a very clear, informative, and comprehensive worksheet, talking you through building a basic website in WordPress from beginning to end.

I also received an email from Camillian Home with some questions about updating the upcoming events content on their new site. As opposed to writing out the (semi) confusing instructions, Carl suggested that I record a screencast.

This was a first for me, but after doing one, I can definitely appreciate their value in demonstrating tasks. If a picture is worth a thousand words, than an instructional video must be worth twice that.

Evidently it worked too, as Yvonne at Camillian Home was able to complete the necessary changes to their site.

Tuesday and Wednesday

Image

We are going to be designing and building a new website for the Camillian Hospital here in Bangkok. So far, all we have to go on is a sketch for a site map. Before building wireframes, I studied some other hospital’s websites to try to understand the basic layout and requirements of a good site.

With a basic idea in mind, I set about laying out the wireframes using Flairbuilder. Ideally at this stage you should be building the pages and arranging the elements with actual content so that the alignment can be worked out. Lacking this information, I just had to estimate and look to the sites I’d researched for guidance.

I ended up building two sets of wireframes- not ideal, but I had a lot of options to consider as far as ways to organize the content. Hopefully, the client will approve the wireframes, send us some content, and soon we can start to flesh out the details.