Building Prism: The Darker Side of the Enlightenment Spectrum

It’s finally happened—we’ve had our first setback. We knew from the start that we would probably have to scratch much of our data model, but we didn’t entirely understand why. Now we do. Apparently our model doesn’t allow for saving a highlighting session; every new visitor’s data would replace the previous entries. Also, in order to enable any sort of interaction with the text (uploading, highlighting, etc.), we need to create a user model. These are only some of the reasons that our original data model needs to be trashed.

I’ve always known that trial and error was an important part of coding, and I’ve had ample experience with this from my own digital project. Even so, I’m still surprised by how many mistakes we made. It’s amazing what you can overlook when you’re just starting out on a project and learning what data models are. It seems as though part of the problem was that we began to code our data model before we had done much wireframing, and therefore our model doesn’t accurately reflect the project as it is being designed. We’re planning to wait on rebuilding the model until after the wireframing portion is complete. Although it’s frustrating to start again, I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to produce our second version more quickly having learned more about the process.

Annie was a 2012-2013 Scholars' Lab Fellow, a 2011-12 Praxis Fellow and a PhD candidate in the Department of English.

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