"Lake George Central Schools" - Artist Statement

The following is the original write-up accompanying this original design.  I've long since progressed past the FrontPage days with badly formed code, but I still find the original concept of this design interesting and unique, even though it was a bandwidth hog with all the images.

~ Adam Deutschmann, May 2007

 

The Lake George Central School District Home Page presented no end of challenges. First off, I fooled with the design on paper for a few days to organize how the School District's web would be set up. Once that was completed, I started on making the hexagon. This was the first hurdle. The shape I could make fine, but as soon as I split it up into six pieces for buttons and the center, it kept misaligning. The pieces wouldn't fit together like the puzzle it was supposed to be.

Anyway, I finally made the shapes where they matched up after doing it over several times both in AutoCAD and Photoshop. The next huge roadblock came when the design was completed. It was the scripting; the actual clockwork of how the page works. Since I had sliced the hexagon into several pieces, I couldn't just do simple mouseovers like I did with the buttons on the Health Office webpage. What the mouseover does is when you put your cursor over a certain image, that image is replaced by a second image. When you move your cursor off of the image, it switches back to the original image.

Since images can only be cut into squares, mouseovers only work with square images, and the buttons on this page are angular; I had a problem to solve. So, I sliced the hexagon image into several pieces where there were I wanted mouseover image changes. Then, I overlaid a transparent image with hotspots and linked the double mouseover script to that. I'll bet you're saying: "yeah. Clear as mud." To that I'll just say this: it was a complicated operation to discover on my own and it was something I had never seen done before. I think the reason for this was because it took a lot of time to complete. From this experience, I learned a great deal about scripting and trying to do the impossible. "The difficult I do right away. The impossible takes a little longer."

Some of the main features include:

  • A double mouseover.  When your cursor is over one of the buttons, not only does the text change color, but the center image changes as well.
  • The happy school cancellation snowman.  I'll explain this further down.
  • Easy navigation throughout the whole web.  I tried to make it hard for you to reach the end of the internet.

Now, for the snowman. The snowman was the one single thing that many of the administrators, teachers and board members wanted to keep from the old page. So, I improved it. I made it smile when you put your cursor over it. That little picture amuses several people. I never realized it would be so popular! So, if you want to check for school cancellations, just click on that little happy snowman.

Some of these scripting features I've used again in my AJD Productions website. If you came though the home page, all the link buttons on the left hand side are done in just about the same way on the LGCSD home page. I just built on it a little bit. The original mouseover script was something I carried over from the Health Office webpage (before I updated the mouseovers to mouseover push-buttons). The push-button is one feature I don't think I'll use again. That's another story, anyway.

The LGCSD web has been my largest and most important webpage project I've taken on so far. Sure, the AJD Productions site had a lot of work go into it, but how many people actually visit? There's a lot more traffic going though LGCSD and its sub-webs than I'll ever get here.

The numerous sub-webs in the LGCSD was another large undertaking. The sub-webs were as sadly outdated as the main page at the time. All I can say is that at least it was consistent. I reorganized, added new photos, added header graphics and updated some content. The teacher department and student webs I pretty much left alone. Since I overhauled the site, many teachers have been working on their sites. Keeping up to date is a lot of work, but it makes a better overall surfing experience for visitors.

I have to say that creating and renovating the LGCSD web is one of my proudest accomplishments so far. It was quite a challenge to work on, but it is by no means my best work. I'm always moving forward finding new challenges along the way. That is what web design is: a building process.

~ Adam Deutschmann, October 2003