Session 10: Refining the System: Production

Session 09: Refining the System: Analysis
Session 11: Launch Plan Goal

Hi there – welcome to this session of the Online Notes project for Cryptiquest. During the last session, I assessed the website and established a list of changes. I have since made those changes. This session will look at the changes made. Here is that list:

  1. Fix listing pages to remove right column allotment
  2. Try to make article heights dynamically uniform per row
  3. Develop a style guide for the site
  4. Create a logo for the site
  5. Add the home page to the main navigation
  6. Format size and position of the image on article pages
  7. Format size of copy on article pages
  8. Add “Completed” column to All Project Deliverables page
  9. Add “Labor” column to All Project Deliverables page
  10. Add dynamic date functionality to footer
  11. Place all Footer content on same line

The attempted to tackle each change sequentially. I tweaked the styles and was able to complete the first two items. Here is what that looked like:

Home Page with three columns with uniform elements

Great. On to the next item: Style Guide. I skipped this. I know I should have a style guide but these are little sites with one developer. I’m all for making more work for myself but this seems futile as I could (and have – though shouldn’t) change the look of the site on the fly.

Instead I jumped to item 6: Format size of image on article posts. This was frustrating to do and I grew bitter toward this theme. Who makes a theme with default fonts that are tiny and you have to pay to change them? I eventually became so jaded that I decided to look for a completely different WordPress theme.

It didn’t take long – in fact it was one I had previously downloaded and now that all the content had been generated, the theme looked really good. So I took it and it looked like good but there was in issue with the blog images being cropped weird. I wish I had taken a screenshot but I didn’t think of it at the time.

I was able to fix those images and tweak some other objects. Here is what the home screen looks like as of writing this post:

Latest Home Page as of this writing

Those article banners have a lot of negative space on the top and bottom but that’s because this theme crops the images differently depending on the screen size and the area that the text is in is the “safe zone” where content won’t get cropped.

This new theme fixed a lot of the items right away (1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 10) and I chose to skip items 3 and 4. So that takes all the way to item 8 and 9 – both add new columns to the “All Project Deliverables” table. That was easy enough to do and here is the result:

“All Project Deliverables” page with newly added “Completed” and “Labor” columns.

Finally, the footer. I also chose to ignore this. Mainly because the footer places the links vertically and in three columns. The reason this mattered is because I know that after this project ends, I will have to create some guidelines and tools for Cryptiquest quality assurance. I envision that these documents will have links in the footer so I can easily access them when I’m working on projects (since the work will mainly be completed here, on this site). So the first column could be dedicated to “business” stuff, the middle column might be dedicated to guidelines, and the third column dedicated to something like “other tools” like surveys.

New Footer with columns available for guidelines and other documents

Here is what the footer looks like as of writing this session out:

So, the site is complete then? It looks great! Does that mean this project over?

Maybe? We may be done with the production phase, but there is only one real way to find out: check our objectives. And here they are, one-by-one:

Objective 1: The system must connect to a populated online community with the intention of facilitating discussion about the posts. NO

Objective 2: The system must be able to accommodate advanced formatting, including lists, indents, an tables. YES

Objective 3: The system must allow session-based posts. YES

Objective 4: The system must feature a way for posts to be linked together under the same project. YES

Objective 5: Ensure the system allows for Cryptiquest, LLC to maintain rights to all content posted for and by Cryptiquest, LLC.  YES

Oh right. That pesky online community thing. Well that has to happen outside of this site anyway. So I think this is ready to move from the production phase to the post-production phase. During the next session, I will create a marketing/launch plan and address that first objective while I’m at it.

Session 09: Refining the System: Analysis
Session 11: Launch Plan Goal