Hello dear readers -
As you may have noticed we've made a few changes around here. On the NDItech team one of our goals is to share what we learn and highlight the accomplishments of our partners: this blog is our primary platform to accomplish that.
A lot of things have changed in the 4 years since we launched this experiment. The team has changed members; common types of programming has shifted; the citizens with whom we work are radically more connected.
For technologists, Marshall McLuhan’s statement "the medium is the message” is particularly apt, and we on the team care about people globally being able to get to our content on the devices they own and despite a range of disabilities. The old site wasn't responsive on browsers. It wasn't good for people with visual impairment. It certainly didn't work with a screen reader. We've taken things to a much higher level now, attempting to meet WCAG standards. Color contrast meets base requirements, and we have alt tags for everything. We've tried to reduce repetitve links, and ran the site through a number of accessibility testers.
We've also learned a couple tricks technically as the web has evolved. The site is radically more responsive, and should work better for the gazillions of inexpensive androids coming on the market for under $50. There's also a focus on images; people like pictures and we like taking them. We hope that some scenes from the field illuminate as well as the text.
We also like to experiment on ourselves. Our lead web designer, Liz, developed both new methods in the requirements gathering process and new ways of building sites. We began the redesign process by listing out our goals and agreeing on an aesthetic and site structure to match those goals. Through wireframes and style tiles, we set the tone for how the content would be organized and presented. An HTML prototype was built to showcase the site's design and interactivity. Thanks to the prototype, by the time we were ready to develop in Drupal, we had a head start on building and testing parts of the code. This strategy reduced time spent in Photoshop, maximized time spent in coding, and gave us a realistic preview of how the site would look and feel, instead of relying on static images of the design.
We hope you like new site. Let us know what you think! But on Twitter @nditech. Site comments, we learned, are a thing you folks don't go for.