In Dani Nordin’s Drupal for Designers, chapter 4 is includes a short-form project brief.
As I pack for Prague and another Drupalcon (my 6th!) and with PHPNW conference fast approaching it's time I re-visited my project brief:
1 Identify the Project Goals
According to Nordin a good list of project goals should be no more than about three bullet points.
- To provide a new archive for Brian Hodges’ lecture notes and make these accessible and multilingual
- To share / signpost papers to date and invite others to collaborate and share work
- To highlight why Hodges’ model matters
2 Identify the AudienceI am looking for student nurses, that is under graduates and post grad, indeed life-long learners within the field of health and social care. In seeking students the natural progression of this is to connect if possible with lecturers and faculty. Nordin lists several ways to characterise the personas through common aspects:
- Who they are
- What will win them
- What I need them to know
- Content focus
Who they are: Student nurses, social work students including medicine and other health and social care disciplines. They will be seeking evidence in theory and practice, with sources and resources to apply to assigned work. They will also be open to ideas and techniques that can help them to structure and recall their learning.
What will win them: Make it easy for them to see what is offered, find what they seek, Brian Hodges' lecture notes, provide feedback on learning if students are willing to register and invest their time. Provide a responsive contact form to answer questions promptly. Link the content to evidence if, or as soon as possible. Make content relevant by allowing users to contribute to website's development and direction.
What I need them to know: I want to convey to them an understanding of Hodges’ model its purposes, structure, content and how the model might be applied in theory and practice.
Content focus: Lecture notes text and video; Quiz; Test; Certificate; h2cm grid; Case study template; Presentations; FAQ; Registration; Contact form; Polls; Bibliography; Biographies; Timeline; Photos.
Who are they: Health and social care related faculty, teaching on nursing, social work, learning disability and other programmes. A diverse range of subjects and disciplines could be included from mental health, acute care, community and across the life course.
What will win them: Illustrate the ways h2cm can facilitate learning the aspects of (for example) nursing, not only reinforcing the key concepts of nursing (care) but why they care.
What I need them to know: Understanding how h2cm fits within their respective curriculum. Gaining awareness of how can the model can potentially stimulate and challenge their students and complement assignments. Why Hodges' model is relevant at this particular time.
Content focus: Brian Hodges' lecture notes; Outstanding questions; Research directions; Blog; Contact form; Registration; h2cm examples.
On the old website I possibly over-egged the pudding in terms of 'audiences'. There is an introductory page for -
- students and lecturer;
- patients and carers;
- the public (citizens);
- and managers with policy makers.
3 Focus on Information Architecture and Content StrategyNordin is describing a website re-design and so am I with some simplifications. Taking step 3 literally and from reading having an information architecture is very important to me. Its importance is not just in earning a scout badge, but it may need to vary slightly across the site. Nordin's step three seems to emphasize content. I'm wondering about headings, subtitles and other structural and aesthetic points. How might these work and hopefully cohere across the archive and rest of the site? It is also the case of separating (in my head) information architecture and styling.
As to content strategy I've played and doodled with this on several occasions. There's even an A, B, C, ... about it if you check above.
4 Identify New Features or Technologies You Want to IncludeResponsive design is as Nordin also indicates a must have for me. In successive Drupalcon keynotes Dries Buytaert has stressed the rise of mobile devices. It would be a major gain to have the archive readable by mobile and tablet users.
Thus far I've not made full use of video, Skype and even audio for delivering content. At Drupalcon Prague there's a session media management and the Scald module. I'm hardly a radio or TV station but as people say DO consider those things that you are not skilled at, or naturally drawn to. Slides and presentations both existing and contributions (or links) would also be a key content feature.
If a community can emerge this might also be that as Nordin suggests users can share internally within the site using (unconsciously) specific structures within Drupal. The latest means of classifying and searching a site will also be essential. Seeking to share h2cm with the world I've scheduled some sessions on leveraging the multilingual capabilities of Drupal 8.
Accessibility is another essential feature.
5 Upgrade, or Start from ScratchThis, thankfully, is not an upgrade. To the list in #4 I could have added database - a dynamic website because this is the primary need, the enabler. With that though comes complexity and responsibility. Website management then demands data be protected, secure, backed up, and this involves migration and upgrades. So, starting from scratch - yes, but with an eye to upgrading.
The NW Drupal meetings in Manchester and Drupalcon Prague program bring the news of the many new tools and changes in Drupal 8:
- Views in core;
- New configurable fields e.g. entity reference, date, e-mail and others;
- Multilingual changes;
- Blocks & Layouts;
- Responsive images and breakpoints.
From Drupalcon Prague "Drupal 8 for Site Builders" session
6 Figure Out Theming and CSS IssuesIf .Net and Web Designer magazines inform us of two things it's the pace of change in tools and the range of tools. It's helpful then when those choices are reduced. This may be the case with CSS within Drupal and adopting a grid system, a point made by Todd Nienkerk (p.79).
There are some excellent themes and sub-themes within Drupal 7. Drupal 8 extends this potential. I posted previously about Omega.
I think there is an interesting project here, but thinking alone isn't going to get this done!