Te Reo Māori in Mainstream

Size: 25 pages

My professional status: contractor at CWA New Media

Website client: Alice Patrick

Dates: May - August 2004, and June 2005

Categories: Client liaison, IA & UX, Website designer, Writing for the web, Content-loader, Flash, No CMS, Small sites

Brief: to design and build a multimedia Flash website which would replace an existing PowerPoint presentation. The client - teacher and Māori advisor/facilitator Alice Patrick - used the website as an integral part of her education presentations around the country.

Ali - thanks so much for all your patience and time with this project.... your design and development and flashy skills have been amazing, and working with you has been FABULOUS!

Anja Voorendt, Project Coordinator, CWA New Media Ltd

My responsibilities included:

  • Design of the website using the Ministry of Education document Teaching Te Reo Māori as my initial inspiration
  • Development of this to reflect aspects of Māori design and to maintain cultural requirements for the depiction of people on the site
  • Adaptation of duotone graphics to be used within the website
  • Building the website in Flash using ActionScript to enhance the interactivity
  • Very careful proofing to ensure that te reo sections and macrons had been entered correctly
  • Integration of video and audio clips within the website
  • Creating a complete colour version of the site on OHP sheets, which could be used in an emergency if the client's computer wasn't functioning during a presentation
  • Creating a complete version of the site as a paper (text-only) printout, which the client could use as handouts. I used PowerPoint to make this printout, as it produced a nice-looking set of handouts which the client could update or add notes to in the future
  • Advising both the project manager and the client about the design and cost implications of various alterations and developments of the original brief
  • Extensive additions/alterations to the site about 10 months after it had been completed (June 2005). The client had had a chance to see it in action by then, and had lots of new stuff she wanted to add.

I loved this project. This was the first time I designed and built a fully interactive Flash website and it challenged me in a number of ways. I needed to create a design which worked in a large-scale environment, as it is projected onto a screen for use during presentations. I wanted to reflect and honour aspects of Māori design within my design, and to maintain a sensitivity to cultural issues.

I developed and built the site in Flash using ActionScript for a high level of interactivity, including the incorporation of video. Although I had done a great deal of Flash work, it had mostly been animations up to this point - "cartoons" with a fairly low level of interactivity. This site was great because it was fully interactive and so provided a step up in terms of Flash experience and difficulty level for me.