This is my final update. We are still working furiously on the site. As you already saw in our presentation, the dashboard is ready to go and most of the templates are ready. Now we just have to start filling it with final content and continue to squash bugs in the code as they arise. Gabriel has offered to come on as an intern of HNYCMB Creative, my design studio to help me finish up the site. Thanks for the opportunity to do something so special and important for the department. We won’t let you down!
All posts by: tscroggs
By now I’ve realized that we took on a lot with this project and that I am not going to be able to get it to where I want it on time–but I will get it there because even though we are behind, the progress we’ve made even in the past week has been really incredible. The site is running good and now it’s just a matter of going through and copy/pasting new elements and php functions. Also this week, Gabriel did more content development and I continued on with the site, making it leaner and meaner and more simple. I began checking pages/templates off our original site map to not only assure stay on course but also that we don’t miss any planned features. I finally made a main navigation to replace the test nav. Now we can surf parts of the site live and thus we have opened […]
Now begin the all nighters! Once I get on a winning streak with design or coding I can’t help but work all hours to push it as far as humanly possible. This week I really began to connect all the pieces in the New Media Site theme dashboard and how it hooks up to the php code in the backend. I figured out how to create custom posts, custom fields etc which is allowing a very specified customization to the dashboard of the site according to the needs of the department. Next, after having a lot of success in customizing the theme it was ready for content. So I began to work with Gabriel to fill it up. I continue to make tons of tiny tweaks as we run up against issues or become inspired by better functionality.
On week 12 I began to understand the process of creating a custom them on WordPress – bout time right?! Well it felt good to be seeing the site live and looking like the original designs. Even when adding new pages the site still felt really good. However, this was a zoomed out macro accomplishment. There were still so many details to figure out. My first goal was to determine and organize the different types of posts a user would make on the site. Then I started researching how to create custom post types so that the usability of the backend of the site remained simple and intuitive. I wanted the new site to have very limited static content if any, so I challenged myself with only making the absolutely necessary changes to the php templates (which included the code that dynamically brings in the correct content inputted by the […]
This is the week when everything started to get seriously scary! Our last team meeting seemed so promising, however, when we arrived at our next meeting nobody had made any real progress. We were running into bugs with version control and the database that cost us time. We had a big discussion about what next steps we could take to get back on our development schedule. What we needed was a consistent style across the whole site that would allow us all to begin working and adding stuff that was consistent with the branding and design. Since I was the only one on the team with some experience in WordPress, it was on me to start implementing the static design into the css and the custom php templates of our theme. PHP is a pretty difficult learning curve but I made some progress and the site was beginning to come […]
This week my team and I began to plan the last months weekly sprints. We wrote down everything that needed to be done and split it up over 4 weeks leaving us time to test/launch at the end. The list is basic and will probably end up being a huge learning curve in predicting all the task necessary in completing a web design project, nevertheless, we tried to make something that would help us stay on track. We also got our version control system rolling where we will use/edit files together. At the end of the week I signed up for a Pro account on Skillshare.com where I have found a great tutorial on how one turns a static custom site into a custom theme on WordPress. This should be fun…
This week I started communicating with student developer in London about what he needed from me. This is where a great learning has begun. Now I’m communicating with a developer and collaborating just like in the real world. I spent the week making final edits to site and formatting the layers for development so that each design file was ready. I also created what the dev student calls a scope document. I think I’m going to start using this language and element in my studios design process. What it basically is is a write up of all the functionality that is visualized in the psd files. In creating this document you get the opportunity to walk through the user experience i created and reevaluate it. Doing this brought up a lot of great ideas for better design and in the end, putting words to the design/experience made the site design […]
Continued with edits and modifications to final site design. I also began a discussion with my team about the new approach to the site. We began planning our new roles and setting up the web server, database and WordPress install on the official New Media edu domain.
At the beginning of this project we decided to use WordPress for the CMS backend of the new site. This week I spent a lot of time going back over the designs with eyes on how the elements could work across the site and how I could create templates for the addition of future pages and content to the site. Using WordPress gives the site a stable structure that would allow for it to be easily updated by staff and students. And having a site that was being used and updated consistently in this way made it a vastly more valuable asset to the NM Dept as a whole. Finally, they would have a hub for online activity that not only represented the department’s aesthetic but could grow and change with them.
This week I planned my new perspective on the project as discussed in my last post. As creative director, designer and project manager of this project, I asked myself what is my next move? I began to really look at the calendar and our deadline. I began making lists of what we needed to accomplish because I graduate in May. This site has to be done by the end of the semester and if you have ever been a part of a web design process than you know that it almost always takes longer than expected (maybe that’s how everything is actually). Nevertheless, my goal now was to deliver this project completed by May 4. I knew we would need some help and not only would this outside involvement benefit the project as a whole but I discovered how it would benefit me as a professional. Now I had the […]
Now to get feedback from the professors and faculty in the new media department – after all this was their site! So I put together a folder on google drive that contained the new site map, a document with the site redesign goals, and final mockups of the website. Then I shared it with everyone, and waited… The feedback quick and everyone loved it! All systems go! However, I was still contemplating on how we were going to finish all the work that needed to be done. My goal as a student is the same as a working professional in this industry, and that is to create great work. By ‘great’ I mean great compared to all the other work out there in the world. In this particular case it was to design and implement a highly functional, highly professional website that communicated the aesthetic, brand and personality of the […]
After meeting with Lei Han, director of the New Media Department at UNC Asheville about the site map created last week, we made some adjustments to how the site was being mapped out. Some of the changes were functional but mostly the changes were made so that the site had a cleaner and simpler user experience. We began to think about what content would have to be created and started to minimilize any parts of the site that would cause a clog in the development/implementation process. At the end of this week we were ready to present a finalized version of this site map to the department faculty.
This week I started charting out the semester’s work flow along with mapping out the website and its navigational flow. I began figuring out how the site works as far as links to internal pages and those that lead to pages outside the site. My team and I also began to meet and discuss how to distribute the work. We started by working backwards from where we knew we needed to end up. The plan at this point was to build the site from the ground up but I began to have doubts as to how we were going to get it all together in allotted timeframe. But we pushed on!
Here we go, this is a semester that I am very much looking forward to! This is the semester we implement the New Media Dept. website that I redesigned a few semesters ago. It is going to take a lot of work but the results will worth it. The update for my activity on the project this week is all about prep work. With the site design already finished, we are starting off further along the process so I spent some time getting my bearings on where we are in the process and making a list of tasks that need to be done in order to be ready to go live before I graduate. The list involves everything from gathering content to developing code. Next week I start implementing the list!