Initial ideas for the Learning Journal

The Learning Journal will be assessed on the quality of the following:

  • CMS customisation
  • Independent research
  • Problem analysis and solution
  • Reflection on learning
  • Attribution and referencing

My initial thoughts on the WordPress blog, after looking at the marking criteria for the assignment, are that I am considering constructing my own theme. This would cover the CMS customisation part of the criteria and allow some analysis and reflection. Research and CSS skills learnt from the theme customisation would be transferable to the other assignment (Portfolio Site). There are plenty of tutorials and this would be a good opportunity to try out working with Bootstrap.

Developing a WP Theme from Scratch (Rascia, 2015) details developing a theme from scratch and early in the document suggests “a WordPress theme needs only two files to exist – style.css and index.php” (Rascia, 2015). There are other Bootstrap tutorials including this one (Chervony, 2015). I think 2015 is as far back as I should go for any tutorials, as before that the WordPress versions are too distant.

Obviously working on a live blog isn’t a ideal situation, so I’ve installed the ‘Theme Switcha’ plugin (Starr, 2017) to allow me to construct the theme and use it behind the scenes, without interfering with the public facing blog.

My (very) initial ideas are sketched out below.

A post-it note style theme, something like this:






Very minimalist theme – logo and text:







Once the design has some assets I intend to go back to a technique I used while making a film on my first degree: Print the screen elements (title, images, navigation elements, video frame, images, etc) then cut them out so they are able to be moved around – take photos of each mock-up and it is very quick to get a gallery of designs which could be considered later.

I searched various permutations of terms involving ‘layout’, ‘cut out’, ‘paper’, etc but could not find a name for the technique. I did, however, stumble across this image which I really like and may be the inspiration for a design (, 2017).





Please find all references here.

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