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As part of my work with web.unc.edu, I was able to take on projects given to us by different members of the UNC Chapel Hill community. BeSafe.unc.edu fell into my lap after Executive Branch of Student Government Public Safety Committee came to us looking for help developing the site in response to recent questions about security on campus. The goal of the site was to aggregate all the safety resources available to students. With just the content and vision to go on, I created the site and configured it to be student friendly with a focus on a clean and smooth responsive design. I worked closely with another student named South Moore and provided him training as soon as the site was completed. For more information on the development of the site, see the following articles:
Overall, I added a fair amount of custom CSS to really optimize the site both for desktop and mobile. On some pages, excess content disappears when viewed on a phone with other sections adjusting as the screen size changes. While I let the theme do the “heavy lifting” for the responsive design, I used custom CSS to fill in the gaps to improve the site’s look and feel across devices. I thoroughly enjoyed this project as it allowed me to put my skills to good use and help fellow students find the resources they need to be safe on campus.
Timeframe: 3 weeks with multiple drafts and training
Theme: Avada Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme
Plugins: Fusion Core (part of Avada theme), Gravity Forms, Improved Simpler CSS, Revolution Slider, Twitter Widget Pro
Chris and I connected thanks to my Dad, Kevin McCarthy. Chris is the president of Atlantic Recreation, a company that provides services including amenity management, professional recruitment, and program evaluations. His original site made the goal of his company hard to find based on the menu set up and homepage content as neither reflected the aforementioned services. As a result, a major focus from the start was changing the organization and categorization of the original site’s content in a way that brought to the forefront the story of Atlantic Recreation and the services the company provides. To do this, I used a theme that had a nice “Call to Action” header section and three smaller subsections on the homepage. Based on Chris’ feedback, I also changed the menu titles from Home | About | Fitness | Tennis | Articles | Contact –> Home | About | Management | Recruitment | Evaluations | Articles | Contact. To match the menu and services offered, I added three subsections on the homepage titled Management, Recruitment, and Evaluations. Now when users arrive at the site, they are greeted with a Call to Action header that provides information about the organization and the option to Learn More as well as both a menu and homepage section that reflects the services offered. To engage users, I added a plugin called Social Media Feather so people can share the content found on each page. To further improve the user’s experience of the site and the company’s portrayal of their story across devices, I used a responsive theme to do the heavy responsive design lifting and added further custom CSS to make sure the device experience was on point. Overall, the main custom CSS that was done was focused on color options (sticking to the original site’s green and gold colors) and responsive design. Finally, since this is a company site I set Chris up with Google Analytics and Google Web Master tools to provide insight into how people are interacting with his site as well as to help drive people to his site thanks to that insight.
Kimber is an international rugby player, exercise specialist, aspiring writer, and (most importantly) a dear friend. In building her site, there was a focus on highlighting her writing and showing her expertise in exercise thanks to her EXSS degree and her time at the Olympic Training Center. Based on this feedback, I focused on a responsive design so there was no reason her writing couldn’t reach any audience on any device. Her homepage is strategically built to bring together the disparate parts of her and really highlight who she is and what she has to offer. Because she wants to ultimately pursue writing, I set her up with Google Analytics and Google Webmaster tools to help optimize her site based on user behavior.
Mackenzie stand outs in just about everything she does. With interests ranging from social justice to design, there was an early emphasis on the content she writes and the articles she finds. To aid in helping users coming to her site find what they were looking for, I made sure to focus in on categorizing her content from the start. Thanks to her love for photography, we were also able to build out more of a web presence in line with who she is through the main image slider which rotates through different experiences and successes in her life. Finally, we built the site to be “mobile first” with a variety of CSS tweaks to really build a beautiful site. To finish the project, I set her up with Google Analytics and Google Web Master Tools.
Moving forward past college, I am going to use this change in language to (hopefully) help me decide how to use my time…“Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.”― Laura Vanderkam
I am so excited because I am starting to have more job interviews. The process of diving deep into what a company is about and then meeting the people who make it so amazing is wonderful. I love the journey and I love imaging how I could make an impact.
Things I signed up for this week:
- Buffer: awesome tool to push out tweets during scheduled times. just started using it and LOVE IT
- Google Helpouts: waiting for my helpout to be reviewed! Providing help with WordPress 🙂
- Google City Expert: Absolutely love this. A friend of mine is already a City Expert and I decided to jump on board!
- Coursera class on Intro to Programming and possibly another on personal finance!