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...