Drilling for Diamonds

Size: 40 pages

My professional status: independent web designer/developer

Website client: The Mills Group

Dates: February 2007 - March 2012

Categories: Scoping/pitching/quoting, Client liaison, Project manager, IA & UX, Website designer, Front-end developer, Writing for the web, Content-loader, Webmaster, CSS-based layout, Other CMS, Small sites

Brief: to design and build a new website for The Mills Group which would both promote their Drilling for Diamonds online coaching products and act as a secure portal through which D4D coaches could train staff.

The secure login included an admin section through which The Mills Group staff could add new clients and coaches, give them access to the online coaching materials, and create collections of personalised coaching materials for specific groups within the coaching scheme.

My responsibilities included:

  • Development of the information architecture and site schematics
  • Project management and ongoing 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
  • Design of the site - including look & feel, graphics, and navigation
  • Development of the site in CSS and HTML 4.01 Transitional, which would then be integrated with the secure login and admin sections which I also designed and built
  • Hand-coding in HTML 4.01 Transitional to a reasonable level of accessibility, and following NZ e-government Guidelines
  • 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; Firefox, Netscape, Opera
    • Mac: Firefox, Netscape, Opera, Safari
  • Editing and proof-reading content
  • Ensuring that every page and stylesheet had been validated using the W3C Markup Validation Service and that it conformed to HTML 4.01 Transitional requirements
  • Ongoing liaison with Tom St George, the site's programmer, to ensure that the pages of the static site could easily be integrated with the secure login and admin sections
  • Training of Mills Group staff in order that they could add new coaches and clients to the secure portal, and that they were able to use and add to the online admin section.

This was a two-person job - I did the design, the HTML and CSS, my awesome programmer Tom St George did the programming of the secure login and admin sections, and together we worked through the information architecture and site schematics, and the ongoing project management and client liaison and training.

Our working relationship with Harry Mills of The Mills Group developed very well, to the extent that he asked us to take over the ongoing management of his other website, MillsOnline.