The end of the semester in the CHI fellowship comes with the final proposals of our digital cultural heritage projects. Throughout the semester we have been attending workshops and participating in the collaborative rapid development projects to learn skills that will help shape these projects. When I applied for the CHI fellowship I came with an idea that I was really excited about; a teaching tool for osteologists that was above and beyond the “normal variations” of the human skeleton. I wanted to create this tool to be used in classrooms, from high school and beyond, while simultaneously using the project as a public outreach platform to outline resources regarding ethics in digital heritage and ancestry in forensic anthropology. While I have had the idea for quite some time the true challenge came with the technical specifications of the project.
Throughout the fellowship, Dr. Ethan Watrall has helped us understand what features are important in project development. Although content is significant, it is not necessarily the ultimate goal. Other aspects that are essential to contemplate including the targeted audience, the final deliverable, and the broader impact of the project. While considering all of these questions are essential to creating a usable, digital project that contributes to the scholarly conversations, understanding what is truly feasible. Creating an idea is one thing, figuring out the extent of a project that can be carried out in a semester is an entirely separate task.
This past week, we were asked to describe the technical specifications for our project including the specific functionality of the website and the interactions between the user and the pages. Using the broader skills we learned this semester, I had to figure out the technical aspects of how I was going to make this project work— what tools are necessary to fit this image? I am an extremely visual persons so, throughout the semester, I have learned how important visualizing a project through a wireframe mockup is to my process. A wireframe mockup is a visual blueprint of your project, for this instance, a webpage. By creating this wireframe, I was able to outline the landing page of the website but also plan each subpage for the project. Using this wireframe as an organizational tool, I was then able to explore different aspects of jQuery, HTML, and CSS that will help make this plan come to fruition— outlining my expectations and the details on how to achieve the final product.