John Hawkings had contacted my university looking for a student to help with designing and developing the new Canterbury Shopmobility website, I was more than happy to help. The brief for this project was simple, bring their web presence up to date fixing existing issues whilst adding the ability for members of staff to easily edit content. From my first visit to the unit in Canterbury I realised communicating the location of the outlet was a key task for the website, it took me 15 minutes to find initially. It was also apparent that a large percentage of the customer base were over the age of 40, so accessability would also be a key factor in the sites design.
The existing website already contained all of the content the client wished to use, however I felt that new images were required to help illustrate the services offered. The client was more than happy for myself to go along and take some high definition images, during this visit I was also able to finalise the requirements for the website. With all the content to hand I started by conducting a little research, looking at websites offering similar services identifying where and how the new site could stand out whilst looking for any areas where the existing site could be improved. Once completed I then produced several wireframes setting out the layout and design for the website before coding began. The main challenge of this project was the clients desire to be able to edit content easily. Their hosting provider had recently changed the features on offer making this a near impossible task for users unfamiliar with HTML and other scripting languages. I felt the site was too small for the unecessary bloat that comes with WordPress and other solutions, so I decide to write a custom CMS for the site.
The Content Management System I created allows the client to login and edit content easily without the need for any prior knowledge of HTML or CSS. I had planned to intergrate the Google Maps API into the website to help users find the location of the unit. However due to an address conflict Google Maps showed thier location as being within the nearby build a bear workshop, so instead I included an edited screenshot showing the area with a link to view on Google maps.
The client was very happy and pleasently surprised with the finished product. I uploaded the website to their hosting account for them and demonstrated the features of the Content Management System which I had written. I have received nothing but positive feedback from John Hawkings and all of those at Canterbury Shopmobility:
"All of us at Canterbury Shopmobility can only say what a great asset Terry has been and we all thank him for his time and efforts that have pleased us all, Clients have also commented how good the website is."
Visit the Canterbury Shopmobility Website
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