From initial discussion with the client, the following points were highlighted as the project's brief.
- Homepage must highlight the most recent work, give users an idea who the client is and direct them towards contacting the client and viewing his portfolio
- Design must suit the range of artwork produced by artist
- Must be eye-catching and fun to use for users
- The back-end must be easy to use for the client
- Auto update the client's social networks
- Ability to expand in future
After gathering requirements and developing a brief with Ross the following steps were taken.
- Meeting with graphic designer to discuss aesthetic and functional requirements of the site
- Wireframing of the site using Mockingbird, a web-based wireframe tool. This lead to a decision on a single page layout with separate "Gallery Post" page per piece of art uploaded.
- Decide on best tools and software for the job, thinking about both front-end and back-end. Drupal was chosen as the CMS together with a theme based on the 960 grid-system for CSS and jQuery for enhanced UI features.
- Site then broken down into smaller functional part per panel on the single Home page layout; Main, About, Gallery, Contact and individual Gallery Post pages.
- The Main page uses the Views Slideshow module to show 10 of the latest pieces.
- The Gallery Page uses Views module to pull out a paginated list of Gallery Posts.
- Imagecache and Imagemagik are used to automatically take a segment of the uploaded image and grey-scale it for use as a thumbnail.
- Lightbox module is used to display a larger version of the Gallery Post image on-clicking the thumbnails.
- The Panels module was then used to pull each of these separate pages into the Home page layout.
- The site was then themed using the final revision of the designs.
- Final Testing of the site was then carried out using"dummy" content.
- A short "How-To" session was then provided to the client before putting the site live.
- Site now used constantly and effortlessly by client to exhibit each new piece
- Client is able to maintain site on their own
- The AptDesigns website has helped secure more business, increased publicity and developed a fan-base for the Artist
- Reduced time and effort required to keep social networking up-to-date due to seamless integration on the site.