December 2016

Navigation

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“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
― Douglas Adams (1989, p. 124)

So up until the 24th of December I dallied with solutions for the navigation, but I had not really tackled the core issue. It was truly the elephant in the room, as so much of the mobile responsiveness that I hoped for my site hinged on the navigation working smoothly. I spent quite a bit of time looking around the web for inspiration, usually finding elaborate JQuery scripted examples; much as I found with the search for sliders/carousels. I really wanted to build it myself and resolved to create with CSS and JavaScript.
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Skip to content

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A bit more on this to follow on from my last entry and to provide my references.
I added a skip to content link as part of my development of the core navigation in the site. This is assist those who use screen readers of navigate via keyboard. I was prompted to do this based on my previous experience with accessibility requirements and based on advice in the Inclusive Design Patterns book (Pickering, 2016).
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On the importance of self-discipline

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Update on the previously mentioned to-do list:

  1. concept document
  2. Task scenarios  Now at version 3 to reflect the decision to present all of the content on one long page.
  3. Business Model Canvas
  4. General characteristics for user groups – I went a bit more in-depth and produced a user characteristics list for the primary user group of health professionals – direct link to the Google doc
  5. [Tentative plan] create a UML diagram – I am not going to do this, as it is primarily a tool to communicate with developers and as I am UXer and developer here I think that it is more important for me to crack on with the development (although if I had been more self-disciplined and followed a UML I probably could have avoided the feature creep outlined below).
  6. An paper online prototype – in the end this was a prototype version of the actual site. Delivered to Dr. Theo Fotis on the 12th of December.

Adding polling aka feature creep 16/12 – 24/12

In my last post I mentioned that I had decided to add a poll as I felt that some further interaction might be needed. I now realise that really a bit of a superfluous feature and upon reflection I have spent too much time on it.
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Content research

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This week there was a major update for WordPress (4.7 Vaughan), so I updated this journal site and ran the requisite theme and plugin updates. Thankfully my decision to create a child theme has served me well as the updates were harmonious with my existing customisations. I don’t think that I will be adding more plugins at this point, but I will go through my posts and ensure that the header hierachy is correct for accessibility reasons. I will also go through my posts and make sure that links open in the current window instead of a new tab, as this was flagged in both my accessibility book (pickering, 2016) and in Nielsen’s Top 10 mistakes in web design article (2011). Also I will go through and review my heading levels as this was a persistant flag in the WCAG 2.0 inspections and it is easy to get it wrong <fn>e.g. h4 before h3 for some kind of aesthetic reason – I’m sure that I have done this somewhere without realising.</fn>
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Cellular concerns

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I have been plugging away at the portfolio site with the primary aim of getting a semi-functional prototype version to Dr. Theo Fotis on Monday 12th of December. There is a still a huge amount of stuff to do, fix-up and streamline I will add these tasks to my Trello board.
This journal entry provides a rundown of the decisions that I have this week.
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Progress on the grid and layout

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This week I completed some major fix-up on my grid. Remember when I thought that it was almost fixed? Well I was wrong. In fact I ended up recalculating the whole thing and basing it on a single column being 65px or 6.5% in width. Happily it is now working exactly as I need it to (Mozilla Developer Network saved the day again<fn>https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Learn/CSS/CSS_layout/Grids#Creating_a_fluid_grid</fn> – I am going to up my donation this year).
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