Here is a link to a homework assignment, which was to complete a design for a template Anne Arundel Community College faculty could adapt for their own use. It incorporates some suggestions about an earlier version, which was posted below. Mostly it gets rid of a clashing color and provides some more room for the element at lower right.

The assignment to produce two differing design “comps,” or mockups, for our own website projects gave me the chance to try putting the dominant elements on both the right-hand and left-hand side of the page. Other than that, they have many elements in common:

Color scheme: I am my own client for this page, so I started with a personal preference for using both blues and greens in my design. I needed a contrasting tan to depict the file folders to enclose my writing and photos, so using a website called I picked a scheme making use of a triad of colors, rather than complementary colors. The scheme includes both bright and cool greens and blues along with some warmer browns. (You have to click on the link to get it; the “Snapshot” you see when the mouse passes over it is different.)

Another common element is the content. I wanted the work I produce to be the main focus, and although lots of web pages hint at file-folder-like tabs, as a writer and editor displaying my work I wanted to make an explicit reference to manila file folders. On the first mockup, the “Photos” folder is open to show a stand-alone photo with caption, a pair of young ospreys on a channel marker. On the second mockup, the “Features” folder is open to show the headline and first paragraph of a magazine article I wrote about unseen but important things under the Chesapeake Bay, such as footings for the Bay Bridge. It is illustrated by a photo I took while passing under the two spans.

I plan for the secondary element on each of these possible home pages to be a brief bio of myself illustrated by a head shot.

I could have used either blue or green for the footer across the bottom of the page, where the links for navigating the site go, but I picked green for a couple of reasons. One is that it picks up the color of the strip of shoreline behind the ospreys; another is that I like the contrast. Blue and green aren’t used together that often, except by the Seattle Seahawks — and Mother Nature.