Size: 325 pages, 5MB

Government status: Government Ministry

My professional status: contractor at Base Two

Website client: Ministry of Education and Ogilvy & Mather

Dates: May - August 2000

Categories: Client liaison, Project manager, IA & UX, Front-end developer, Content-loader, jQuery/JavaScript, Old-school table layout, Database-driven (pre-CMS), Government websites, Large sites

Brief: to completely rebuild and restructure the existing TeachNZ website - with all-new content and with a double navigation structure using frames and popup navigation windows. The design of the site was then reflected in the printwork which followed.

My responsibilities included:

  • Development of early navigation and architecture concepts with Base Two team
  • Building site (graphics designed by another member of the Base Two team) - frames and pop-up window navigation systems, architecture, graphics, HTML, image maps, rollovers, JavaScript
  • Liaison with programmer in order to fit training database into website
  • Time management planning for the team, ensuring that the site would go live as scheduled, despite the very tight deadline
  • Daily liaison with client during development process.

A challenge... We were facing a three-week deadline with graphics not signed off and no content yet provided. Consequently I built the skeleton initially with no graphics, which I added later. The architecture was changed by the client three times, and content was still arriving the day before the site went live.

The navigation system was very interesting - we designed a straightforward navigation (in frames) and also a "streamed" navigation system, accessible from the front page, to take target groups (eg teachers of te reo Māori, overseas-trained teachers etc) through every page on the site that was of relevance to them. This streamed system used popup windows adjacent to the main window, which served as a "roadmap" through the site.

This was really cutting-edge at the time. We were trying to create pathways through the site that catered to different groups within our target audience, and we'd not seen that done anywhere else, so this is what we came up with. I still think it's pretty cool - and I still love this design. Beautiful.