So the deadline for the final site is today! I’m really pleased with the whole process, and I’m really pleased with how I’ve managed to explain the science whilst still making it quite light.
The site isn’t finished – I got a rather nasty stomach bug (you don’t need the details) this week, which has pushed things back a bit, so it’s not ready to be viewed by the general public yet, but it is live at http://www.parallel-stories.co.uk. The main problem has been that each page spawns three more, so the number of pages increases exponentially (literally). This means that the final site, even with quite short stories, will be over 80 pages big. To have the stories to the length and complexity I’d eventually like, I think I will be looking at close to 200 pages (maybe even 300). This is pretty unrealistic for the 8 week course – I have 30 pages, but I have run out of time! The problem with my site is that when it is unfinished, there are dead ends – which is why the site is not ready for general consumption! However, I do have examples of the ‘Show Me’ function here (click on the ‘Show me’ button to see it).
I general, I do know that I have some little things to fix, and it’s certainly not perfect, but I’ve really enjoyed making it, and I will certainly fix the wobbles over the summer (that’s when my job eases off, as the children go on school holiday). It’s also inspired me to think about doing a bit more design – I now own my own name as a domain name, so over the summer, I’ll probably do something with that!
Just a quick note to say I’ve updated both the science and story pages!
We had a class presentation on Tuesday, where we presented our concept and current site to everyone, and had the chance to get some feedback on it. It was really productive, and brilliant to get the chance to see what everyone else has done. I have serious website envy from some of them!
Anyway, The main point of feedback was that I need to be really careful that it is clear what the user needs to do. I have gone back and edited some story pages from the beginning to make it clear at the start that you have to make choices to get through the story. I have also explained the ‘Show Me’ device idea right at the start, so that people don’t miss the extra info. Hopefully it will be clear – I don’t envisage people starting the story half way through to be honest, as I don’t think people will share the story at any point other than the beginning!
When trying to write the story, and work some science into it, it has become apparent that I can’t fully explain complex quantum phenomena in under 200 words. Shockingly. So I have decided to add a ‘Show Me’ link, which will link to a page with YouTube videos and web links. It will have the same background design. I’ve made one so far, but I have a lot to do:
So I’ve got the site up and working. Pippa suggested that instead of having white text on blue, I have a rollover to dark text on light – so now when you rollover the bubbles, they change to a kind of rainbow sheen with black text. It makes things easier to read, and it does look pretty! If I had more time, I would definitely add more to this: one thing I’m seriously considering doing is adding a note to the bottom, which explains that this is set in a quantum universe, but that all of this is possible on a smaller scale. I think this would keep the science in people’s minds, and I think I can easily add this in html and css without redoing all of my photoshop work. It’s a shame that because the piece is so highly dependent on graphics, I’ve had to do it mainly in html and photoshop. I probably could have made more use of css, but it didn’t seem like I needed to – even if it is more elegant theoretically, I felt like it was unnecessarily overcomplicating things. At least if I use photoshop, I know things will look exactly like I want them (sort of!), especially with text changes etc. Certainly the way I have done things works for me, and gives me the functionality I want the site to have, which is the most important thing as far as I’m concerned!.
I’ve nearly finished now! It’s been a big project, and the story is nowhere near as big as I would like, but I’m taking the approach that this is a learning task, so it is OK to have a smaller site for now. Perhaps over summer I will re-visit it and update it, but for now I will keep it short and sweet!
A quick note today – I’ve been working really hard on the story over the past few days, and it’s really growing. I’ve updated the story page to reflect where I am at the moment. It’s getting a bit complicated to keep all of the story elements together – it’s stupidly difficult coding it all, and keeping track of everything…