Brandon and Sarah helped our class to move away from a more abstract idea of our project groups and actually start deciding who will be doing what tasks. The engine room’s biggest problem was that all of us know what our basic research question is, but we were not sure what techniques we should use to start implementing our plans. Our beginning discussion centered on our overall goals, one of which was identifying our target audience for our website. We discussed that we would like our target to be the W&L community including alumnae. We want our site to be informative but also innovative so people are able to see Lee Chapel in a new light. I was taking notes for the group for our personal goals, and I noticed that all of us generally verbalized that we want to gain new computer skills. We want to understand the new programs we will be talking about and how to use them, especially because the majority of our website will be visual.
Continuing with the idea of visuals, we discussed what types of web designs are accessible and what kinds are not. Visuals are absolutely crucial to my group’s webpage, because we will be uploading blueprints, photos and documents that are over a hundred years old. I began uploading old photos to our gallery today and I noted how important the layout is going to be so that the pictures are easy to click through. Although content is extremely important, no one will even touch your site if it looks overwhelming or hard to navigate. Especially since if we would like our target audience to be alumnae, the site must be easily accessible to people who are a little bit older and might not have as much experience on the web. The discussion and designing with crayons gave my group more ideas and ways to display our data. The general trend is creating a design that is interactive. We are going to have a lot of old documents on our site, so we need to present them in a way that is appealing and exciting. Blueprints are not the most exciting thing to look up online, but the way we compare them side by side and the choices we make for design will be very telling of how our site is received.
I feel much better about the direction of our project and about the tasks we will be expected to perform. Brandon and Sarah in a way pushed us to assess ourselves and decide what our talents and what we can bring to the group. Lenny is great on twitter and very creative when it comes to social media. Ryan has a lot of patience for the html and is a computer science major so he will be doing the majority of the actual web page design. Hollis is organized and will be our project manager. I have tended to take notes at our group meetings so I will be our secretary as well as oversee text analysis and other writing on the website. Naturally, our roles will overlap and we will constantly be seeking each other’s opinions and advice but it is much more reassuring to have a specific role within the group as well as specific tasks. We created a google doc in which we will record our progress on our tasks and keep track of what each person is expected to do.