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TheSandbox.

I host this domain as a website sandbox for nonprofit organizations.

Because what they do MATTERS.

Why I do what I do.

Building the Site

Lessons learned.

Now Ongoing

 Why I do what I do.


 Building a site -- It takes a village....


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 Visualization

Dr. Frechette had organized data into a grid-like structure. In order to help the teams visualize the site with the grid system, I set up a small website so that the design team could understand the structure as it related to one of the early goals of the website (incorporate a carousel and have it feature prominently in the site).

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 Functionality

Each of us on the site architecture team found ourselves developing or customizing plugins and scripts in order target certain areas for testing. Dr. Frechette was drop-dead amazing in his customizations of certain plugins, as was Mr. Watson in his customization of mail-to scripts.

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 Theme Work

Theme work requires multiple iterations as development keeps pace with developments in the major platform itself. A significant amount of time is dedicated simply to keeping current, lest deprecated code freeze up the new site.

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 Early Prototypes: Example One

This site had a Google Map embedded within the navigation. We learned later that the content of Google Maps was not accessible to assistive technology, and started to investigate other possibilities for maps.

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 Early Prototypes: Example Two

This site had a map with wireless hotspots that became visible when a mouse was run over the map. This was in the days before we understood that websites that rely on mouse functions are not accessible websites.

 Lessons Learned from the first website.


  The earlier static website explored incorporating many suplementary features ("bells and whistles"), such a microsite for automatic scheduling, automated generation of library hours, (here is the link to js file) and localization efforts.

 The first site was static, so when it came to integrating interactive media and dynamic content, there was a heavy reliance on iframes.

The use of iframes present great problems to those who use assistive technology to access a site. So, we experimented the incorporation of feeds through javascript, but found that it would often cause the page to hang. For that reason, we did not revisit the incorporation of feeds into the website until we adopted the dynamic platform of WordPress.

Now, we have learned how to use iframes to advantage when we do NOT want assisitive technology to be burdened with the content, and to provide duplicate, and alternate content available in alternative formats for any content in iframes that is critical to students. Great thanks to the people at Ask-A-Librarian.org who developed these widgets in close coorporation with our accessibility and language needs.

   Working with BrowZine, More Projects


 Seflin -- under construction....