Thursday 24 March 2011

The design concept is here...

So, wireframes are done and we've moved onto the far more controversial design concepts! I picked them up on Friday from Squiz and overall we're really pleased, we made a couple of initial tweaks here and there to pull some 'real world' content onto the page to make the presentations to the working and steering groups a little easier.

The tricky part now is going to be giving everyone the opportunity to feedback on the look and feel, collate those responses into something usable and then refine the designs! We're looking at holding focus groups with our current students and also to open up an online feedback session for all staff to contribute. I'm expecting a lot of replies to be based around content rather than design but that's only normal!

I would obviously love to put a copy of the designs up on the blog but then that would ruin the surprise!

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Wireframes agreed, design here we come!

So after a manic week of meetings I now have final sign off on the wireframe layouts for the new website homepages and content pages. It's fair to say that there will be a significant change in the way our information is presented and the way we work with content within the CMS.

As anyone who has presented a wireframe layout will know it's not the most interesting part of the project unless you're interested in content layout! But, we've put in some very solid foundations to build and expand upon once we take full control of the CMS later this year.

The really interesting part will be on Friday when we get our first look at the concept designs. After an initial viewing it will be down to meetings with the Steering & Working groups to pass out the information for feedback  and everyone has an opinion on visual designs!

Tuesday 8 March 2011

Agile? Just call me twinkle toes...

Brace yourself... it's a mini bragging session this one!

So after a four day intensive course in Agile Project Management I finally got the call with the results this morning and... i'm now a certified Agile Project Manager!

Agile started life as a development methodology for software development and has progressed to a very powerful way to manage virtually any project. Ideal for me as we're right in the starting stages of our CMS project and luckily they're using Agile & Waterfall.

The course is well worth thinking about if you are a PRINCE2 PM and are looking to add to your skill set. As a taster, if you can get the idea of the diagram above you're half way there and if you want to know more, check out this entry on Wikipedia.

Congratulations to Julia & Ash who also passed with flying colours, now it's time to apply the methodology to our projects!

Tuesday 1 March 2011

Analysis phase... done!

So, we are now five weeks into our project and we are at the end of our Analysis Phase and all of our workshops are done... Phew!

Having had 9 workshops scheduled we managed to wizz our way through and complete them all in only 8 sessions, super efficient! The outcome of all of these workshops is that we now have some detailed wireframes for the website layout and they're looking really good. Even without a design on them the wireframes show that we will have a very visual change to the websites key landing pages and a huge shift towards a site that is focused on our key audience, the prospective student!

So now we have some quiet time where I need to get sign off from the steering group and Squiz need to start work on the design concepts for the website. Then, we start moving into the implementation phase, the data migration and integration stages should prove very interesting. We have a lot of complicated systems at the University and some of the key ones will need to be able to push data to the websites. Luckily initial findings are looking very promising however, I always stay a little concerned until it's all in place and working!

1 month into a 6 month project and not only are we on budget, on time and on scope but we're also all still talking to each other, a very positive sign!