Māori Media Network

Māori Media Network

Website: maorimedia.co.nz

Size: 12 pages

My professional status: independent web designer/developer

Website client: Māori Media Network

Dates: April - August 2007

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

Brief: to design and build a new website for Māori Media Network which would promote their skills and services online, including linking to over 20 Māori radio stations nationwide via an interactive online map. The website included the ExpressionEngine Content Management System (CMS), JavaScript page transitions and page loading, and audio sound effects.

That's brilliant Ali & Tom! ...we're really pleased with the streaming, so thanks heaps for that. I hope you're as happy with the completed site as we are!

Teresa McGregor, Kaiwhakahaere Kirimana/Account Manager, Māori Media Network Ltd

My responsibilities included:

  • Writing the proposal for the website fixed-price contract
  • 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 ExpressionEngine CMS built by my programming partner Tom St George
  • 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
  • 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 my programmer Tom, to ensure that the pages of the static site could easily be integrated with the CMS
  • Editing and proof-reading content, and doing the initial content-load
  • Training of Māori Media Network staff in order that they could use ExpressionEngine to its fullest potential.

This was a two-person job - I did the design, the HTML and CSS, my awesome programmer Tom St George did the JavaScript, the programming of the ExpressionEngine CMS, and the addition of sound to the page transitions. Together we worked through the information architecture and site schematics, and the ongoing project management and client liaison and training. I did the initial content-load in ExpressionEngine and then ran training sessions for the client so that they could take over the website editing from that point.

This is a website unlike anything Tom or I have ever built before. Our client loved the movement and page transitions of Flash sites, but preferred to invest their budget in the CMS, rather than in Flash. We therefore decided to see whether we could use JavaScript to mimic Flash without the Flash.

Note that this was long before the introduction of CSS3 animations and transitions, so we were basically inventing new ways of doing stuff ourselves. After considerable trial and error, we arrived at a place we were really quite happy with. Tom added the CMS in the backend that does everything including fixing your macrons for you, and I think it's quite beautiful - the design is based on the lovely Māori Media Network logo.