What’s the Diff for Dummies! (WA2)

“It’s honestly very simple when you think about the roots of the words and their etymology.” Dr. Lund began our interview by giving me a lesson in linguistics. He popped the cap off an expo marker and eagerly crossed over to his white board. In blue scribble handwriting he scrawled the word Design. Across the board, he used a red marker to write Program. He sat back down in his chair with a smile on his face. “Most young people these days I would say inherently know the difference.” He tapped the underside of his arm with two fingers. “It’s in the blood.” Dr. Lund is the head marketing consultant for Help We’re Old Inc. He was hired last month when the company’s CEO realized that their website was getting no viewers. After many meetings, coffee runs for his assistant, and too many memos circulated; the CEO realized the company was not utilizing design or programming.

CEO of Help We’re Old Inc.

When you try to visit helpwereold.com all that happens is nothing. An intern had been tasked with creating the site. The intern tried to use a book from a class he was taking at the local university. Instead of a successful page, all he got was a display of broken HTML. Because interns are underpaid he decided to slip away in failure and silence instead of troubleshooting the problem. The CEO realized the problem weeks later. Instead of going the intern route again, which had failed him, he tasked his assistant with hiring a consultant. Dr. Lund agreed to this interview in hopes that other unknowing citizens might learn something. Because this is a highly complex subject, we have broken it down for you with his help.

What is Design: 

  • This can be defined as the “aesthetic portion of the website and it’s usability.”  A designed for the web would use programs such as Adobe Photoshop or InDesign to make a page look cohesive through visual elements. For example, this could include the color scheme, logos, and recurring visual cues. Because design is subjective to what a client or boss wants it can take lots of time to develop. It is also therefore easy to be original in design. Because there are not prescriptive paths, and it is much more subjective, the pay is typically better than for web programmers.
  • The values of design are efficiency and effectiveness. These can be reflected in where there emphasis is placed on content. Those areas would be the following: Balance, Contrast, Consistency, and Unity.

What is Program:

  • Programming is developing a website. This is all the technical code and such that is running behind every website page. Programming is dictated by codes (like HTML) and functionality. Whereas a designer is about how something looks, the programmer is concerned about how something works. This is their fundamental difference.
  • The values in this community also differ from design. These values are content and usability. A programmer has failed if something is appealing to the eye but not usable.

Example of design and program working together.

Why you should care:   Basically, by themselves both design and programming are useless. Program gives design a purpose. Design gives program an appeal. Together they can create extremely effective websites that keep drawing people in. Dr. Lund has already had tremendous success overhauling Help We’re Old Inc.‘s website.  When asked what his advice to students wanting to go into either programming or design this is what he said.

“People just need to remember to keep their backbone strong and ask questions. No one needed to read this article to learn about design or programming. Google it. Ask you boss. Go get a book. People like people who want to learn, stay hungry my friends.”

Odd, but comforting words from a marketing guru. There you have it folks, Google it. Tune in next week when What’s the Diff for Dummies answers the question: What is Photoshop for?


Sara Katherine Johnson is a free-lance journalist who frequently writes for What’s the Diff for Dummies. She received her undergraduate degree from Baylor University in journalism and professional writing with a minor in sarcastic sass. She can be reached for comment on this piece at Sara_Johnson@baylor.edu


My Core Values (A7)

Pinpointing a few core beliefs I think is hard. Because then I feel like if I don’t list one that I’m not holding it on the same level as others. I suppose there is an actual hierarchy of values though. Here are two of mine: I value honesty and confidence. Why? Because I do not feel like wasting time wading through sorting our if what people say is what they really believe. Things would be simpler if we all just were straight up with each other even if it made us uncomfortable.

The Beginning of the Book (A6)

Here is my 2×2 about our Chapter 1 reading.

Two questions:
How does cache work? I still don’t get it.
Are we going to learn more about RSS?

Two connections:
I checked out a library book about HTML stuff one time. I turned it back in without reading. However it is something I’d like to learn more about.
I was asked to run a blog for a directory website I interned with. I ended up with too many other tasks so I didn’t. However, I am interested in conventions of corporate blogging.

Who Am I without an Occupational Title? (A5)

If I could not define myself by what I do (ie: a blogger, a student, a reader, etc) could I still define myself? Is it even plausible that I embark on that task? I think yes, because I am more than verb titles. I would say I am curious. I am persistent and self-confident. I enjoy searching, and as long as I don’t call myself a Searcher then I think that falls into the criteria. I think what we’re really looking for is why am I good at the things I do. What traits behing my verb descriptors make me good at them.  That list could go on quite a while.

My First Book (WA1)

“You must lurk in the libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads.” – Bradury


Reading from the Start

Over-Eager Beginnings:

On the first day back from Christmas break in third grade, I sat at my desk as the first one to run back from recess early. A special day had come at last, and I could not stop bouncing my legs under my desk. My classmates on the other hand dribbled back in with shuffling feet, and sad faces that we had to go back to work. The boxes had already arrived though and I sat ready. That day I began my first book.

In our official manila envelopes we received special paper that felt glossy to the touch, erasable magic pens, and fun stickers. I am not really sure why sticker came as part of the set, but it only added to the joy of the moment. Our teacher, Mrs. Young, stood before us and told us about our project. We all soon would claim the status of published authors she told us. I remember very little of what she actually said because I began scribbling on scratch paper immediately. I drew pictures of dragons, and dogs, and a girl who looked like me. Picking which of the many stories running rampant in my mind to pen-down proved the biggest task.

Most of my other pint-sized peers grumbled. To them it spelled an atrocity, oh the horror of having to spend time writing a dumb story. In my mind this observation of their disgruntlement solidified my own superiority to them (I had a touch of a narcissism problem). Always in spite of the peons in my class I wasted no time racing back from recesses, or PE, or lunch every day for months to edit my story.

The Fabulous Product:
The third grade graduation ceremony barely eclipsed the wonder of the writing process. However, it stood apart for a very important reason. As we crossed the stage the principal handed us our books, and our certificate of completion of the grade. In that moment I became an author of an actual bound book. I asked my mother for business cards (I had to resort to creating my own). I went back victorious to my seat as the ceremony continued. Nothing else registers as a memory on that day. I tuned out the rest of the names called. Instead, I sat to marvel over my book. Not only did my love of books explode from that moment, but I also became obsessed with writing stories about everything.

photo (1)

Always curious by nature

Because I knew in my heart of hearts that my story of the princess and the dragon had a destiny of becoming a bestseller, I copied ten copies of it over the summer. I autographed and, with my mother’s help, mailed out a copy of the story to all of my family members. My favorite days transformed from evenings reading, to evenings at the library to do hard-hitting research for my next novel.

The Future; The Present:

Fast-forward some years into the future, and I sat at a desk recalling my early infatuation with words. I made the definitive choice that I wanted to forever be a writer and hopefully find a way to get paid doing it. I decided to be a journalism major. Despite objections from family that I’d simply be paying to “learn how to lie from the liberals,” I followed through with my dream. Though I do not continue writing about dragons and princesses, I do still seek out the heroes of stories.

What am I Passionate About? (A4)

I am most passionate about stories. I love them in all forms. I obsess over books, editorials in TIME Magazine, and even quirky stories little kids make up. Finding that piece in a story that makes someone who they are at their core makes me excited. I’m curious by nature so voraciously reading has always been a way to satisfy that.

Blogging: What is it all about? (A3)

Two connections:

-I can connect with the part of the chapter where the author said blogging isn’t magic. It does not guarantee you an overnight audience just because you post to your blog. I had to start a blog freshman year for an intro journalism class and it took time to build up to followers.

-I could also connect with when the author said blogging isn’t easy. I write for a website that follows a very relaxed article format similar to blogging. Constantly thinking about what readers want to read, how to connect/engage them, and what angel to write from is hard.

Two questions: 

-What are ways you can further individualize a wordpress blog once a domain has been purchased?

-What are the best widgets to use?