Discovery Bay International School

Size: 12 template pages

My professional status: employee at Shift

Website client: Discovery Bay International School

Dates: March 2008

Categories: Front-end developer, CSS-based layout, ExpressionEngine, Medium sites

Brief: to build a set of template pages for the new Discovery Bay International School website (based in Hong Kong).

The site was a central part of school life showcasing class work, and keeping parents and students up-to-date on school news and events. The site also informed and encouraged parents of potential students to consider Discovery Bay as the right school for their children.

The design was done by a colleague at Shift, and my job was to build the templates and prepare them for integration by my Shift colleague Tom St George into the ExpressionEngine CMS.

My responsibilities included:

  • Development of the site in pure CSS and XHTML 1.0 Transitional, which would then be integrated into the ExpressionEngine CMS
  • Close liaison with the Shift programmer in order to ensure that they could easily integrate my templates into ExpressionEngine
  • Hand-coding in XHTML 1.0 Transitional to a reasonable level of accessibility
  • Extensive testing of the site at all stages of the development process, ensuring consistency across the following browsers and platforms:
    • PC: Internet Explorer IE6, IE7; Firefox
    • Mac: Firefox, Netscape, Opera, Safari
  • Ensuring that every template and stylesheet had been validated using the W3C Markup Validation Service and that it conformed to XHTML 4.01 Transitional requirements
  • Development of print stylesheets sitewide.

I really enjoyed working on "Disco Bay". It was a pretty site, and the Shift team worked hard to ensure that it reflected the vibrancy and caring philosophy of the school itself. The design called for quite a bit of trickery in terms of positioning graphical elements such as sticky tape, thumbtacks, and editable photos on all pages - which is always fun to do - especially when you need to take account of IE6's somewhat eccentric behaviour with PNGs! Styling the event calendars was a lot of fun too.

The Flash element on the homepage, which was designed and built by my colleague Rene Held, was absolutely awesome, and I loved the fact that all the classes in the school enthusiastically built their own homepages on the site using our editable Flash tool.