Weaving design

The Scottish Basketmakers' website

Building the base.

I was approached by the Scottish Basketmakers' Circle as part of their efforts to secure a designer for a new website. The old site was static, with limited avenues for user interaction, and was felt by many to be dated. Recent visual upgrades to the sites of some of their peers motivated them to take action.

They provided a brief, with a clear outline of their requirements. It must be uncomplicated to use; it had to reference the previous site in some stylist terms; it had to encourage member interaction; and lastly, it should serve as an effective hub for concentrating and attracting makers and their skills.

Shown right is the front-page of the old site.

The approach.

After the successful submission of a tender document detailing all aspects of the proposed approach, the fundamentals of their design requirements were laid out. Paramount was legibility and ease-of-access; for this reason, all the old Flash menus and entry-pages were immediately discarded. The overall stylistic language of the site was maintained, with updates made to typefaces, sizes, and general visual interest. Wireframes were made, submitted, discussed, analysed, amended, and agreed upon. The complexity of the site demanded more than one page layout to be arrived at: a single-column layout, a gallery layout, a two-column layout for member profiles, and various others for pages like the library listing.

Bringing it together.

Once the wireframes and page designs had been signed off, the project entered the next step: developing. I was responsible for the front-end, and I liaised with a developer proficient in Drupal to build the back-end. This process took a few weeks, after which the site was opened to limited user testing to bug-hunt in the user-management system. While this was taking place, the library system was implemented; a powerful system allowing users to browse the SBC library, request, and return books.

Alpha and beta phases complete, the SBC site was pushed live, and the whole userbase countacted with instructions on how to log on, complete profiles, and generally interact with the site. The various admins and content-creators of the site were supplied with details FAQs and walk-through documents. Feedback has been excellent, and I continue to provide what limited support is necessary to the SBC.