An account of a information architecture/web development project. The project went through three phases: research and strategy, design and content migration, and finally completion and release.
Milestone #1 Process – information Architecture
I walked into the Spartan Bookstore and purchased an unlined notebook a week before meeting with my clients for the first time. It quickly filled with a content audit, genre analysis, reuse map, taxonomy brainstorming, and some very rudimentary wire frames. My clients specifically requested that I look to the website of another team of realtors for context in the hopes that we could emulate their style. After documenting my research in the notebook I mentioned above, I got to work on an initial information architecture for their site, knowing that although I wasn’t working with a graphic designer for those aspects, I would be customizing a WordPress template to fit the IA in question.
All the while I would update myself and my clients about my progress. I’d remind myself by making to-do lists like this one:
I have always been a fan of sketching things out, and after reading Information Architecture by Louis Rosenfeld, Peter Morville, and Jorge Arango I had the importance of diagrams and sketching in mind when I approached this project.
Here are two ways that I communicated my proposal for the organization of the site by hand:
And here is how those maps turned out when redone on the computer:
milestone #2 Process- Visual Design and content Migration
Once the overall organizational structure was established, it was now time to find a theme that could be customized to fit it. As you can see our meeting notes were more haphazard as we had more to discuss and decide on. Below you’ll see the names of some of the themes I had researched and posited as options. After some initial customization we decided that the Corporate theme was the best option.
As with any web development project, I listened to my clients’ needs and kept tweaking along the way. These changes were both the result of problem solving skills as well as the mapping of our technological and budget limitations. Since we could not feature the Flex MLS Embedded Search Plugin, we decided to add some action items to the Navigation to allow our users to access the Flex MLS that way.
Once the menu filled out a bit, I decided to remove “Our” from the menu options, prioritizing simplicity.
After the visuals and menus were set it was time for content migration.
This included formatting blog post pages, testimonial pages, uploading all of their media files to the WordPress Media Library, as well as writing some copy for the landing pages themselves.
Milestone 3 – Completion
On December 27th 2017 the website thelisas.com went live – representing a huge culmination of hard work and practical knowledge gathering for me these two months. If you’d like to see the finished project you can visit it here. Or, below I’ve provided some screenshots of how the website looked upon its release.
Thank you for taking the time to reading this! Feel free to contact me with any questions.