Case study - making 'Eye for Information'
On this page: Case study information about this site - practical descriptions of how it was made and managed.
Since the majority of the sites I have made are intranets and therefore confidential, and since I don't want to upset those clients with internet sites by less than glowing reviews, I thought the design and layout of this site would be a useful case study to illustrate some of the points I take into account when making a site.
This page has brief notes, but if you are interested in more details, you can follow the links listed below:
Initial design and analysis
I considered several broad topics (which are generally standard for any site, and reflect the methodology I use) when starting to think about the site:
- Aims. Why do I want to have a site at all?
- Information content. What will I need to include to achieve my aims?
- Look and feel. What should the site look like through half-closed eyes?
- Logical structure. How will the information be categorised?
- Navigation and access. How will users know what's on the site and how to get to it?
- Physical structure. What directories/folders shall I use to organise the content?
- Page design. What will each individual page look like?
- Page content. Which pages will I need to create to hold the content?
- Process and procedures for creation and maintenance
- Hardware/software issues. What technologies shall I use to create and host the site?
Once the design was more or less fixed, I had to go through various stages of creating the site:
- Prototyping the site, to ensure that the proposed design, applications, and content worked well.
- Testing to make sure that my site wasn't full of glaring errors or malfunctions.
- Transferring the working site to the ISP's server, and testing it again.
- Publicising the site, so that other people can find it.
For a large client site, there are typically more stages than this, to allow for review and client testing of a pilot site before the finished (or at least, finished with my involvement) site is released. Intranets are rather different from internet sites too, for reasons I won't go into just now - perhaps one day...
OK - my site's up now - time to put my feet up and enjoy a rest! If only it were so. The site as first posted was the bare minimum I wanted: I still have ideas for new topics and applications I'd like to add when paid work permits. So, the site is an evolving thing that's never really finished, and I'll need to revisit many of the above topics again and again for each new part of the site I add.