A Reflection of Then & NowApril 23, 2014 - Author: Carly
A lot was taken into account when designing our Then & Now site. We started out with an overwhelming amount of ideas, and ultimately ended up with a site that incorporated each of them; a site that included side by side comparisons, an introductory video, an interactive map, and blended photographs depicting the evolution of the University of Mary Washington campus, student life, and major events over time. Initially, we thought that collecting the photos and narrowing them down would take the most time, but we found that it actually took the least amount of time. We divided out the “then” photos that everyone was responsible for, began collecting the “now” photos as a group—most of which were taken by Alex—and then using the Master List that Meaghan created, we divided up who was responsible for which posts. Responsibility for posts included everything from locating the photos, citing them, uploading them to the site, writing descriptions for them, and tagging them. Although we all took part in the creating the posts, Jess was primarily responsible for the creation and “tech support” on the site, so she would make sure that everything was in order and was our “go-to” when we had technical problems with our posts. I was responsible for double-checking all of the tags and creating the Google Map of campus and the Interactive Map page on the site. Conner created the introductory video and embedded it into our homepage. The process itself was simple, but the constant checking, double-checking, triple-checking, and so on for the site was what ended up taking the most time—and I’m sure we’ll still end up finding more errors, but we’re only human.
As for the defense of our contract, I believe we accomplished all that we agreed to, with the exception of one milestone that we did not complete on time. The division of labor, which was briefly discussed above, was divided almost exactly how it was laid out in the contract, with the exception of advertising, which we ultimately all pitched in to do because we realized that we all have different connections with different organizations, and I think breaking this aspect of the contract worked to our benefit because just in the two days that our site has “officially” gone live, we have received so much feedback on it from so many groups and organizations—and our Google Analytics app helps in proving that. We also utilized all of the tools that we listed, with the exception of a scanner. Finally, as I mentioned above, we failed to reach one of our milestones on time: April 6, 2014. We were supposed to have all of our pairs upload with their captions and meta data. While we had all of our pairs uploaded well before April 6, the captions/descriptions proved to be a bit more challenging because of the citation plug-in (we all had to figure out how to use it and, when we did, it sometimes wouldn’t work) and the availability of the Crawley book in the library. Two are on reserve, one is missing, and then others were checked out, so the group ended up having to split time with the one book that Jess managed to check out, but the descriptions were all completed by the due date. Overall, we’re all quite happy with the site. We started out sitting down as a group and expressing our thoughts and feelings about how we wanted our site to look. We made sure to include everyone’s thoughts about the site so it ultimately ended up looking how everyone in the group wanted it. I feel the Then & Now group met the goal that they set out to achieve and they managed to do so together. No matter what anyone else ends up thinking about our site, it’s ours, and I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we’ve come to love it like it was our own cute little web child.