Its rare that a developer gets more a free reign on the brief of a website, but with this project I had exactly that. Taking the brief from my own use of the old site, and asking key stakeholders in the final output, allowed me to develop a brief that would present both a professional look to the korfball association, promoting the sport to non-players, as well as providing information to current players on the league standings, international setup and core association news.
One core challenge presented itself straight away; to build a visually appealing site, while being able to hand over the inner workings completely to a non-technical team to update. I also wanted to maintain a brand coherence throughout the build and started work straight away on core brand colours and styles that would be used in the build.
I also wanted to utilise as many current systems the association had in place, such as google calendar and online league systems, which in turn presented their own challenges of utilising these systems while keeping the look and feel of the site consistent.
I decided to go for a Wordpress based build, utilising the Divi theme from Elegant Themes. This would then allow me to build up a host of page templates that could be utilised further down the line as new pages would need to be introduced.
The current league system ran through League Republic, an online league system, and so I utilised their embed code with some simple tweaks to embed the league system in place. Knowing that non-technical users would be using the site, I didn't want them making key design decisions for any pages, and to this end I decided straight away to build user levels into the system to accommodate both simple editors as well as page management admins.
Once the core elements and templates had been put in place and programmed up, actual page content and page visuals were implemented before tweaking based on user feedback some of the core elements.
Wordpress was used for the CMS, utilising the Divi theme for the look, feel and backend page administration. I utilised jQuery quite heavily for the JS code, and SASS for the CSS administration. I ran both of these through the pre-processor Gulp, both minifying and combining the structurally sound source files, to output one or two files that browsers could digest both quickly and easily.
Babel and a Gulp plugin for historical browser user, were also used during the Gulp process, to allow me to use ES6 in the build, and ensure that older browsers could cope with the often complex code.
I used both Google Calendar and League Republic for the online calendar and league systems that were embedded onto the site.
A really fun, energetic and ultimately?rewarding build that gave me a scope of freedom that developers often don’t get to realise in more client focused builds. The site came together well and a brand was developed for the site, that ultimately ran over to the associations brand choices overall offline and online.
A build that allowed me to experiment, have fun, and produce something I’m really proud of, and passionate about. Good times indeed!