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April 11, 2017

Challenging times…

April 11, 2017 | By | No Comments

As my website is coming together, I thought it was a good time to reflect on the things came to be. When I first thought of working on Norris, I had grandiose plans about how the website would come together. Beginning to work on the website however, quickly brought these plans down to Earth. One of the first stumbling blocks was thinking of the home page. Originally, I had planned on georeferencing the plan of Norris in order to create a layered effect and a constant comparison between plan and reality as well as past and present. However, when I began georeferencing, I realized that that site plan that I had digitized, was, first, not the final one and second, that parts of the original plan were not built, which made said georeferencing challenging at best, and borderline impossible at worst. So, while I went back to the drawing board (so to speak) in trying to find an updated site plan for the town of Norris, I began piecing together other parts of the website.

The first challenge was visualizing the different pages whilst finding a consistent theme. I began playing with bootstrap themes only to realize that a pre-made theme would not work. Instead, I began using a plain template and starting adding on code. As I tried to find appropriate code for the visualization I wanted online, I began piecing together code from different sources and editing it to suit my needs. I spent over a week on the first page that I worked out but when it finally worked, it was well worth it. After all, the logic behind spending so much time on page was to be able to replicate the code with lightning speed once the first page was done. Given that I had decided to not work with a master CSS page but work on individual pages’ style was a double edged sword, the second challenge. Even as the skeleton code of each page was the same, there were some parts of each page that were different, which is where being able to work on the page itself helped. On the other hand, there was some small errors/additions that I caught on one page that had repeated elsewhere, and that’s where the lack of a CSS was annoying. This was especially worrying because as the website would grow, one change that caused a domino effect on all other pages was worrying indeed. In the long run however, it seems to have worked itself out in that I am able to make tweaks for each page without cataclysmic changes in all the other pages. The third challenge was to maintain consistency in terms of the user experience, whilst making room for new components. This was especially true for the pages that house scans. It took a while and lot of code culling, but I was finally able to get to a place where text and the pdf both display side by side. However, I would be more than happy to hear about any alternative ideas you might have about keeping the text and the PDF on the same page.

My biggest challenge remains the lack of an update site plan. I am yet to find that plan. Right now, I am working on a plan B. however, I am just about done with populating the rest of the website. I am hoping Plan B works! In the meantime, I would especially appreciate your comments and inputs!

Also, anyone have better titles for the project? I am all ears! (Seriously!)

Thank you!

P.S. Website link:

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