How I Made The College TV Guide

The simple answer:

Through a lot of hard work, late nights, and rewrites.

The long answer:

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: There’s nothing new under the sun. Okay fine, I’ll stop, but it’s true! I gave up on composing something wholly original mere hours after this project started. Seriously, almost immediately in the creative process for The College TV Guide I began looking for sources of inspiration that I could corrupt and use for my own personal gain.

Okay, the whole thing isn’t THAT evil (It’s a little evil, but right now isn’t the time to get into that), I just took ideas and theories I felt inspired by and tried to apply what I learned from them to make the website I pictured in my head. That’s not that bad, right?

The biggest single source of information was a multimedia piece from the New York Times. I honestly cannot express how much I love this work. It educates, entertains, and has an almost unthinkable amount of content within it’s metaphorical walls. Of all the thing’s we’ve read this year, “A Short History Of The High Rise” inspired The College TV Guide more than anything else. A site about architecture, for real? Just when you thought this website couldn’t get any weirder. Well, let me explain.

Obviously, I’m just one man, I couldn’t dream of making something as awe-inspiring and never-ending as “High Rise,” all by myself (Also, regrettably, there’s not that much information to relay about TV Streaming in college) However, regardless of scope, the idea of letting the user pick and choose their own experience is something that helped shape this website. “High Rise” has an insane amount of information within it, but it never feels intimidating, because the information is presented in an “a-la-cart”  fashion.

That’s how I built this site, I wanted the information to be available in waves. That’s why each page has headlines, sub headlines, info graphics, and tables that are easily digestible and consumable. The goal, which succeeds to different degrees throughout the site, is that without reading any of the actual body paragraphs, the basic idea of the site and each page would be clear enough for a user to decide whether they wanted to explore it further.

But that’s not enough, right? These pages had to have a look, I couldn’t just dump content onto the internet like some kind of weirdo. Well, I guess I could, but I like to think that I’m a little better than that.

So, when it came to designing each page, I stuck to the design principles taught by The Non-Designer’s Design Book by Robin Williams*, most specifically the CRAP principles (Their term, not mine, I like to keep it clean.) The idea of repetition is something that stuck with me. Each of the info-graphics has a similar design and feel, as do each of the streaming service pages. They also include a lot of white space, which Williams is a huge fan of.

But, obviously the site needed words eventually, which is where I turned to the concept of composing for re-composition. (A term I didn’t come up with, which is kind of the point of this whole thing.) As Ridolfo and DeVoss state in their paper, writing for an online audience is a singular experience. Literally any and every word written can be re-used and corrupted for personal gain. So, I tried to make sure everything in this site was written in my voice, and in a way that I wouldn’t mind being publicized on a much grander scale. I tried to make sure that above all else, what I put on here was correct and most importantly, something I was immensely proud of.

And if I couldn’t come up with something entirely unique, I think taht’s a pretty good consolation prize.


*Not THAT Robin Williams. I know, I was disappointed too.

Advertisements