Last week I took a different approach to design. Instead of wireframing in html, Stephanie and I decided to break out the colored pencils and tap into our creative side.
First, we worked on creating an Ivanhoe logo. Inspired by the original website - Stephanie and I modified the header by focusing in on the “I” and “V” only. We also incorporated a tool (or I suppose the way he’s holding it the pen looks more like a weapon of sorts… after all, “the pen is mightier than the sword”!). We also decided to use the same color scheme as PRISM and we hope that by doing so it creates a sense of unity among Scholars Lab products.
Next, we drew up a modified “Add Media” button. Why you may ask? Well even though WordPress already has an “Add Media” button - I believe the drabness of the feature ends up fostering a text-first space in WordPress rather than working with, manipulating, and linking other forms of media besides text (for more on my logic of why a modified “Add Media” button is necessary - click here). We hope that by incorporating this feature it will draw students into our game as we intend - fostering the possibility of a pedagogical space that includes all forms of media. Even though in the end the button might just be a modified version of what already exists (think make it red vs grey) it was still fun envisioning how our game might look in the end.
Stephanie and I also thought that it would be good to use WordPress for our informational site since we are building a WordPress plugin…. however we were “convinced” that the better way to go would be building the site ourselves. While I now see why it is important to go this route, building a site from the ground up brought with it a wave of anxiety. I still feel so uneasy about my CSS/HTML skills and I was concerned that not relying on WordPress would ultimately mean roadblocks for the team. In addition to the information site, I also need to be working on designing the actual game and was really worried that my skill level would impede progress. Luckily for me we have an awesome support team and Jeremy and Wayne sat down with me (and my son Lev!) to help Zach and I begin building our site. While we still have a great deal of work to go on it, I was once again surprised at my capabilities (and also satisfied/proud to see the fruits of our labor). I think in the end it’s just about making the time to come into SLAB for help and being a bit more confident in myself.
Finally - we are in the process of crowdsourcing! We’d love to hear from you on how we can make Ivanhoe great. We’re still interested in how you use WordPress, so fill out our questionnaire if you’d like to help. Thanks!