One of the technologies that I will be using for my capstone project is the website hosting platform of Squarespace. I am using Squarespace to redesign the Navy Day Regatta website because my client’s website and domain are already hosted on Squarespace, and they are actively paying their yearly subscription for it.
Some features of Squarespace that I will need to master in order to create a professional level website are the Design Tools, Custom CSS settings, and customizing templates. All three of these features tie into the fact that Squarespace takes the coding aspect of web design out of the equation, since the platform provides customizable template designs. This means that I do not have complete control like I would if I was coding the website myself, but if I am able to master these design features that Squarespace offers, I can get as close as possible to having complete control. While I am waiting to get the informed consent forms back from my clients and formulating my content delivery plan, I will do some research on how to best utilize these features, and practice using them by playing around with them on a scratch page.
Squarespace is a sociable technology because it allows anyone to design their own website regardless of prior experience, provides easy to use design aspects that allow for quick learning when building and designing a website, and allows people to be creative when designing their website. Using these three benefits, the platform prevents the gatekeeping of designing a quality website to just professional web designers, but allows anyone who runs a business, blog, or any other endeavor to have a quality webspace that suits their purposes.
Squarespace incorporates cultural values by creating a sense of inclusivity to web design, has features that allow for accessibility, and allows for a sense of creativity when building a website. Our society today is much more conscious of being inclusive and embracing people who express themselves in many different ways. By not having manual coding, Squarespace allows people who may not have professional web design skills to design their own website to suit their own needs. The platform also allows those who do have more web design experience to insert custom code and use custom CSS to fully customize their website to their highest ability. Having this one size fits all ability embodies the creativity and inclusivity embraced by society today.
Squarespace will afford me the opportunity to create a professional level website by allowing me to use its custom CSS and design tools, make multiple test and scratch pages, and my client being able to see everything that I am doing on the website. By using the design and CSS tools that Squarespace has, I will be able to implement some of my own web design and coding experience into the design of the website despite working with templates. Since my client owns the website, and they gave me access to the website, they will be able to see everything that I am doing in terms of designing the website, and afford us the opportunity to communicate about the progress of the site.
My ability to completely control the design of the website’s design will be hindered a bit by the template format of Squarespace. Having pre-made templates is nice for those learning or who want to learn how to build a website, but for those who already have experience doing so, it can be a bit of an obstacle to getting the website exactly the way you want it to. Another hindrance is if there are certain accessibility features that I want to include in the website that are not in the selected template, it can be worked around, but it is more of a process than just being able to include it in a website I coded. It is also a hindrance that I cannot view html files of a website I designed on my computer, but that can also be worked around with the page duplication feature on Squarespace that allows you to test pages without making it live.