Hi, I’m Brian Dys — a photographer from the inside looking out · a composer entangled in electronic music · a UX designer · a spouse, a parent, & everything in between.
In this episode of RE:Creation, we’ll be recreating a cereal box in HTML and CSS. One thing I like about consumer product packaging is that almost everything is written there in that little space. It’s like a website in the palm of your hands at a grocery aisle (or at your breakfast table).
First, let’s lay down all the steps that we will take in order to make this happen.
- What is the goal?
- How to approach this thing?
- What are the elements involved?
- Converting to Text
- Converting to HTML
- Converting to CSS
- Wrapping up
- Did we achieve the goal?
- What did we learn?
In order for us to have a clear scope of this exercise, we need to see the all the elements of the packaging through an expanded view.
The main goal is for us to recreate it using HTML and CSS and learn various concepts of design and coding along the way.
First, look at the information and identify which are important compared to others — that will be the arrangement of contents in HTML. For example, the front of the packaging comes first before the sides and back.
Next, look at how the panels are laid out — that will be the visual arrangement in CSS. For example, the back of the packaging is at the leftmost — which means, it comes first before the sides and front (for left to right direction).
We’re breaking down the packaging to its individual elements by panel and flap. We have 4 panels and 9 flaps, for a total of 13 segments — this is also how we are scoping each section of the recreation. For example, we will tackle the front panel first, then back panel, and so on.
In this second episode of RE:Creation, we’re going to re-create something that we’re all familiar with—the Nutrition Facts Label. This particular design is specific to U.S. Food and Drug Administration—although most nutrition information from other countries appear similar in terms of their tabular design.
We may ask, isn’t this label a print material (as opposed to digital)? Yes, this label—and others like it—are plastered in every packaging of edible products across the planet. Why would we delve into converting it for web then?
What is RE:Creation?
RE:Creation is a design and coding activity in which we reverse engineer and recreate the HTML & CSS components of a chosen web page.
RE:Creation is short for Reverse Engineering Creation. It involves both discovery (theoretical) and delivery (technical) processes.
RE:Creation’s objective is to promote the fundamentals in designing digital products such as websites and web apps.
These fundamentals revolve around design disciplines such as Information Architecture, Interaction Design, User Interface Design, Visual Design & Accessibility, and Frontend Design.
The requirements to participate in a RE:Creation are simple: first, basic knowledge of HTML & CSS and second, a computer with these software:
- Text Editor (TextEdit, Notepad)
- Web Browser (Chrome, Firefox)
Using these software for RE:Creation does not require internet connection.
Alternatively, a web app called CodePen could be used online. It functions both as Text Editor and Web Browser for editing and displaying web documents, respectively.
The Stages of Frontend Design serves as an overview of the whole process.