The Making of the Site

It’s been a very productive week for the UMW team. Both the home Century America site and the site for our particular school are up with the skeleton of pages holding form for how we will structure our information. We also have begun to customize both themes and discuss the design elements of the sites. We’re very excited about the degree of freedom we have to customize with the Parabola theme, especially, and we are beginning to get a sense of how the UMW page will look in the end.

This week I wrote the Knox Family page, as well as some introductory blubs for the About and Credits pages. The Knox page is published, though edits are likely still forthcoming, with the pictures Leah and Jack received from the CRHC. We are currently discussing how to incorporate the Century America logo into both sites and how we will format and include the Voices of the Great War element into the UMW site.

My primary focus at this point is the map for the Century America home page. We are (mostly) settled on using Maps Alive to create this, and I am hoping to confirm this by early next week. Assuming we go with this format, which will allow us to make an interactive, custom map through which visitors will navigate to all the Century America sites, I will begin importing data this week. Right now, I have created the map with the correct hotspots for each school and labeled the hotspots with the metadata structure I plan to use. In the end, visitors will be able to hover over a state that is a hotspot and see a popup window with a picture of the school, a small blurb about the institution and town, and a link to their Century America site. I think it will be a visually engaging, original, and user-friendly introduction to the website, and am optimistic about being able to figure all this out.

It’s so rewarding to see all the research and planning begin to take shape. I’ve really enjoyed reading the contracts from my virtual colleagues and seeing how everyone is planning to tell their schools’ and communities’ stories. We’re making progress, and fast!

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