Week Beginning 8th April 2013

I spent the majority of this week working on two specific projects:  Mapping Metaphor and Bess of Hardwick.  For Mapping Metaphor I spent some more time thinking about the requirements and how these might translate into a usable interface to the data at the various levels that are required.  I created a series of Powerpoint based mock-ups of the map interface as follows:  a ‘Top level’ map where all metaphor connections would be aggregated into the three ‘general sections’ of the Historical Thesaurus, a second level map where these three general sections are broken up into their constituent subsections and metaphor data is still aggregated into these sections, and a Metaphor category level map, where all Metaphor categories within an HT Subsection are displayed, enabling connections from one or more Metaphor categories to be explored through map interfaces similar to those I had previously created mock-ups for.  I also gave further thought into the issue of time, incorporating a double-ended slider into the maps, thus enabling users to specify a range of dates that should be represented on the map.  And I also came up with a few possible ways in which we could make the maps more interactive – encouraging users to great metaphor groupings and save / share these, for example.  I also attended a fairly lengthy meeting of the Metaphor project team, which had some useful outputs, although a lot more discussion is needed before the requirements for an actual working system can be detailed.  There will be a follow-on meeting next week involving Wendy, Ellen, Marc and me and hopefully some of these details can be worked out then.

For the Bess project I reworked my previous mockup of a mobile interface for the project website based on the now finalised interface.  The test site had moved URLs and I was unaware of this until the end of last week.  The site at the new URL is quite different to the older one I had based my previous mobile interface on, so there was quite a bit of work to be done, updating CSS files, adding in new jQuery code to handle new situations and replacing some of the icons I had previously used with ones that were now in use on the main site.  Kathy, the developer at HRI who is producing the main site had decided to use the OpenLayers approach to the images of the letters, as opposed to Zoomify, and this decision was a real help for the mobile interface as if the Flash based Zoomify had been chosen it would not have been possible for the majority of mobile devices to access the images.  I spent some time reworking the OpenLayers powered image page so it would work nicely with touchscreens too and on Thursday I was in a position to email the files required to create the mobile interface to Kathy.  Hopefully it will be possible to get the mobile version of the site launched alongside the main interface.

On Friday I met with a post-graduate student in English Language who is putting together an online survey involving listening to sound clips and answering some questions about them.  I was able to give her a number of suggestions for improvements and I think we had a really useful meeting.  On Friday afternoon I attended a meeting to discuss the redevelopment of the Historical Thesaurus website, with Marc, Jean, Flora and Christian.  It was a useful meeting and we agreed on an overall site structure and that I would base the interface for the new site on the colour scheme and logo of the old site.  I’m hoping to make a start on the redevelopment of the website next week, although we still need to have further discussions about the sort of search and browse functionality that is required.

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