Buy Kiwi Made

Size: 17 template pages

Government status: Government Ministry

My professional status: employee at Shift

Website client: Ministry of Economic Development

Dates: December 2006 - February 2007

Categories: Website designer, Front-end developer, Govt web standards tester, CSS-based layout, e-govt/WCAG compliance, Other CMS, Government websites, Medium sites

Brief: to build a set of template pages for the new Buy Kiwi Made website, using existing HTML pages from the MED website (which Shift had built a couple of years before).

Following a new design from Shift, I re-skinned the existing HTML pages by changing the CSS to create the Buy Kiwi Made site. I then handed back the templates to the MED in-house CMS team for re-integration into their content management system.

My responsibilities included:

  • Liaison with the client in order to achieve all their aims for the site, and to work through a range of technical and implementation issues with them
  • Assessment of the existing MED templates from a design/CSS point of view, to give the designer a clear indication of what could be changed using CSS only
  • Re-skinning the MED templates to match the Buy Kiwi Made design by changing the CSS
  • Development of a number of new templates in pure CSS and HTML 4.01 Transitional
  • As far as possible with the re-skinned templates, and fully with the new ones, coding to a high level of accessibility, following NZ e-government Guidelines - achieving all level 1 and 2 criteria, and most of level 3
  • Extensive testing of the site at all stages of the development process, ensuring complete consistency across the following browsers and platforms:
    • PC: Internet Explorer 5.01, IE5.5, IE6, IE7; Firefox, Netscape, Opera
    • Mac: Firefox, Netscape, Opera, Safari
  • Ensuring that the new HTML and stylesheets had been validated using the W3C Markup Validation Service and that it conformed to HTML 4.01 Transitional requirements
  • Reiteration of some aspects of the CSS once the Buy Kiwi Made templates had been re-integrated into the MED CMS, in order to achieve a consistent look and feel on pages where the existing HTML caused complex inheritance issues with font sizing.

The team worked hard to ensure that this re-skinning job would run smoothly, as the timeframe was extremely tight. For the most part it went well. Our designer was able to achieve a completely different look and feel from the rest of the MED site, and because of the work we'd done at the start of the project, these changes were straightforward to implement by changing the CSS only.

Once the templates had been re-integrated into the CMS and the content was being loaded, we did come up against some quite tricky issues relating to font inheritance. The HTML was quite complex in some places, with a requirement by the MED team for paragraphs within lists within data tables within lists. When my time was up on this project, my colleague Ross took over the final tweaks, and completed the project - for which I was very grateful.