What’s in a Name?
You’re probably wondering what the heck “Rohjuh” means. Well, when it comes right down to it, it’s just not that easy to come up with a website name. Initially, I was simply going to name the site rogerhsu.com. But that name was vehemently struck down by Judy for its blandness and lack of creativity. So we decided to put some effort into trying to come up with better name.
RohJuh is what we came up with. It’s pronounced pretty much as it’s spelled: Roh-Juh, with the accent on the first syllable. The “Roh” part takes the first two letters of my first name, Roger, and adds the first letter of my last name, Hsu. The “Juh” part simply does the same with Judy’s first and last name (Ho). Nothing too complicated, short and simple, and sounds kinda cool (at least we think so!).
Why the .com? True, the .com extension is for a commercial business and a site such as this one should technically use a .org (organization), .ws (website), or .name extension. But “dot coms” are really what most people associate the whole internet with. And of course, RohJuh.com just sounds cooler than RohJuh.org, RohJuh.ws, or RohJuh.name. But if you really want to justify the .com extension by making this a commercial website, please feel free to send money to us for the privilege of reading this website.
About the Splash Page
Once the website name was established, it was time to begin the actual design of the site. That endeavor turned out to be much more challenging than I thought it would. I wanted to get a bit artistic, so I spent a bunch of time drawing the letters in RohJuh.com using various items representing the activities Judy and I like to do. Most of you will know the items used, but for the outdoor-challenged, here’s a guide.
R: A rock and a tree (duh!), representing the mountains and the outdoors.
O: A mountain bike wheel.
H: A surfboard, Nalgene water bottle, and snowboard.
J: An ice axe (for ice climbing) and a nut (a protection device used in rock climbing).
U: A barbell (we both like to work out), running shoe, and acoustic guitar.
H: Mountain bike handlebars and a kayak.
C: A locking carabiner (for rock climbing).
O: A volleyball.
M: A rock climbing rope.
Hand-Colored Splash Page
Judy spent a bunch of time coloring the “letters” in with colored pencils. Unfortunately, after scanning the drawings in, we both agreed that the hand-colored drawings just didn’t quite “look” right. Actually, they looked pretty good on paper, but not that great when transferred to a computer screen as you can see below:
Incorporating the Splash Page
After deciding to abandon the hand-colored drawings, we took the original drawings with just the outlines (no color, just black on white) and scanned those in. Then using ColorIt! (the paint program that came with my scanner), we filled in the colors. This made the image look much better.
The next step was to incorporate that image into the design of the main web page. I went through many iterations and designs and just couldn’t get the web page to look the way I desired it to look. The conclusion I arrived at was that the web page “look” I wanted just couldn’t be done with these graphics because the graphics looked too cartoonish. Cartoonish is not necessarily bad, but just didn’t fit with the look that I was trying to achieve.
After all the time and effort we spent, we sure didn’t want to just throw away the RohJuh.com graphics. Besides, we both still thought it looked kind of cool. We wanted to utilize it somehow so we decided to make it into a self-standing splash page, which greets visitors as they first enter the site (it’s what appears when you go to http://rohjuh.com).
Design of Main Page
Even after that decision was made, it still was no trivial matter to design the main page. Despite the fact that I had good tools at my disposal (Dreamweaver and Fireworks), it still took many hours (over the course of a couple of weeks) of experimentation with various designs/layouts, color combinations, tweaking, etc. to get it just right. Of course, this was all done while learning how to use Dreamweaver, which made it even more difficult.
At one point, I thought I was all done. I had been previewing all the work using Internet Explorer 5.0 and everything looked fine. Then I decided (after I thought I had finished) to view the pages with Netscape 4.7. I was in for an unpleasant surprise. The formatting was all screwed up for many of the pages! Apparently, Explorer and Netscape don’t quite agree on certain HTML formatting rules (in my case, table formatting). So I had to go back and redo a bunch of things to make sure that the website worked on both web browsers. I thought I was almost done and then realized that much of my work had to be redone. That was extremely frustrating! But in the end, I was finally able to get things to look right.
You can still peruse Version 1.0.
Screenshot of Version 1.0: Original and unique design, but the overall look of the site is fairly amateurish and could use a bit of sprucing up.