Monday, 4 June 2012

Design a website? Why, don't mind if I do!

An exciting opportunity arose at work last week in the form of re-vamping our Education and Development department website. Currently there are two websites - this one for our Bromley site and another one hosted on our intranet for the Woolwich site - the two departments have now merged and need one single website, and our existing library website will also be hosted here.

The way it came about was that I was recently involved in designing a logo for the E&D department, using the same Wordle applet I used for our Library & Knowledge Services logo. Everyone is mad for word clouds at the moment and Wordle is a quick and easy way of creating them. The management team got everyone to contribute words and concepts for the cloud then I spent a number of hours (I won't say how many!) playing with fonts, colours and designs. Along the way I also discovered the NHS colour palette and in the end we focused on colours which matched this palette - blue, aqua, purple and grey.

Anyway somehow this has now made me the go-to girl for all things design-wise (not that I'm complaining!) and when the IT guy in charge of re-vamping the website asked for some design input my manager volunteered me for the job. It's the best of both worlds for me really - I get to play with pretty design stuff, which I love, and somebody else will take care of the coding! I had a good chat on the phone last week with the guy in IT and so far the only requirement he has is that the pages should be 990 pixels wide. We'll be using the same Joomla! program I am used to with the library website (although a more updated version) and he has installed a open source Photoshop-like program on my PC called Gimp for images so I'll have fun playing with that. So far I am thinking we should use the colours in the logo, and maybe incorporate some photos of staff in the department training.

Just gotta dust off my Information Architecture for the World Wide Web book now...

Structuring my portfolio

Well it's the long Jubilee weekend, I am off work for four days, how better to spend a gloomy Monday than building up my Chartership portfolio? The path to Chartership has been rather rocky so far - there always seems to be something else I need (or want) to do...but if I don't get cracking the whole year will have slipped away and my Chartership portfolio will remain nothing more than a blank white page!

I have at least written my PPDP, attended a Chartership workshop at CILIP in February and had a meeting with my mentor at the end of April. I find now I need some kind of structure, something tangible which I can populate with evidence. Unlike some Chartership candidates I have no shortage of evidence - it's just choosing what areas to focus on and selecting the most appropriate evidence to demonstrate my competence. My mentor had the excellent idea of looking at the new CILIP Body of Professional Knowledge and Skills (currently still in draft) and choosing a few of these competences to provide some structure to my portfolio but I have to admit I'm struggling...

I have two excellent example portfolios to hand which my mentor lent me but they are both structured very differently. Both start out with the usual CV, PPDP and Personal Statement but then Portfolio 1 has chosen the section headers "Context of post and service" where she outlines the various organisations relating to her job from the top down, "Service performance and CPD" where she discusses various aspects of her job role and finally "Broader professional activities and interests" listing a number of groups in which she actively participates. Portfolio 1 puts all her supporting evidence at the end of the document and refers to them throughout the sections above.

Portfolio 2 also has a section where he discusses the organisational structures, but this is followed by the headings "Intellectual property and professional ethics", "Information services", "Website development", "Library management system: scoping and implementation" and "Staff training I have developed". The supporting evidence is displayed within these sections. The only other obvious difference is that Portfolio 1 has her mentorship evidence at the beginning while Portfolio 2 has his at the end.

I think I prefer the structure of P1 but would worry about being too descriptive. The structure of P2 is closer to my mentor's BPKS idea but I wouldn't want to feel I had to force various activities into certain 'slots'. Perhaps what I need to do now is gather together all the evidence I want to use and see what categories emerge - if it fits into the BPKS competences all well and good but if not I could maybe refer to the BKPS when reflecting on it. In any case I want to get the structure right from the beginning as it will make the portfolio more 'real' to me, which hopefully should encourage me to keep cracking on!