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information architecture

Announcing our new website

Apr 04 2014

We have some exciting news. While Ashley, Kristin, Bryce, and the rest of the Sno-Bliz workers were busy winning James Beard awards and opening the shop for the season, I’ve been busy too. I’ve spent the past few months working on a website redesign and converting the entire site over to WordPress.

So what can you find on this new site? We still have all of the information about our hours and location, our flavors and toppings, and our history. We’ve set it up so that our hours should always be current. Also, you can find today’s hours by checking out the left side of the screen, under the navigation. We’ve also added a handy FAQ page, information about catering and events, and added a way for us to keep you up to date with latest news, articles about us online, and pictures from our shop and events we’ve done. And it’s mobile friendly too! We have even more exciting additions planned for the future, so keep an eye out.

For comparison, here is what the old site looked like:
hansens_mockup_v15

And here is our new site:
newsite2014

Of course, if you’re reading this post, you’re already on the new site.

We’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment below or use the form on our contact page.

Online Exhibit Preparation Update

Jul 24 2008

I have now gotten both OpenCollection and OpenCollectionAccess (a nice front end for OpenCollection) working on the site. I figured out how to add metadata elements, including Dublin Core. I also figured out lots of other things about how to organize stuff in OpenCollection, which I hope will add ease of browse and functionality to the Online Exhibit.

I also started working on changing the look of OpenCollectionAccess to what I want the Online Exhibit to look like, with some help from my friend Jesse. My friend Maggie pointed out that I need to make sure that the Online Exhibit is obviously a different place than the main site. I think that one of the ways to do this (other than my plan for a top nav and a different break in space for the nav) is to make the roll-over color for images different. The idea is that the color will be the roll over color for “Online Exhibit” on the main site and the “Main Site” link on the Online Exhibit will be blue. I’m thinking about going with a green, since so much of OCA already uses a green color and green is a good sno-ball color. So, the final product will probably look something like this (but I think the green will be darker):
design version 6a

I’ve uploaded and catalogued about 20 images so far. I even re-purposed one of the OC fields to link to a Flickr image of the object, and only show up on display if I’ve uploaded the image to Flickr. And I figured out how to make Flickr link back to the Online Exhibit. I’m really excited about this as I hope people will use either Flickr or email to let us know more about the pictures that we know almost nothing about.

As of right now, everything is locked up because I don’t want people seeing an unfinished product. I hope to be able to launch everything in a week to a week and a half.

Scanning done

Jun 12 2008

I finished scanning everything yesterday. I have the exact totals at my finger tips, but I ended up scanning on site 1 cup design, a few letters/short-stories/poems, several business documents (like business cards and gift certificates), about 70 photographs, and 5 articles from magazines or newspapers (one was 12 pages long). I also took a bunch of digital photography for the website and the fun of it. I wasn’t able to take shots for a QTVR panorama because I didn’t have a tripod. But I hope to be able to make one for them at some point in the future (if one doesn’t get made for this project).

I finalized the main website design and am mostly done building the whole thing on a test server. I still need to get content from Ashley.

Also, I mocked up a look for the online exhibit part of the site. I like it and Ashley does too.

Online Exhibit Version 1:
Online Exhibit Mockup v1

Site design

Jun 03 2008

Ok, after talking with Ashley and our designer and thinking about the flow of information, here is my most recent version of the website design.

Version 6a
design version 6a

I changed the name of “archive” to “online exhibit” because FA2 pointed out that while archive is a trendy term, online exhibit is more accurate. I also decided to move the memorial page to a special page of the online exhibit, so we can easily use scanned pictures of Mary and Ernest Hansen. I also added a Contact page that will have more detailed information than what is in the footer. I decided that with these changes only one box was needed to contain them.

Furthermore, I changed the border from the little snoballs (which really wasn’t working) to a rounded edged rectangular section border. I’ve decided that I am much happier with that than with the snoballs. I also changed the color of “Hansen’s Sno-Bliz” to the same pink as the default nav color. It’s subtle, but I like it.

Prep-week update

May 24 2008

This has been a busy first full week on this project. I spent most of it doing prep work so that once I get started, everything will run smoothly.

I have met with archivists from Loyola, Tulane, and Historic New Orleans to see if they are interested in the collection and if the collection would be a good fit. I hope to have the archivists from Loyola and HNO come look at what we have before making a recommendation to Ashley.

Ashley and I also met with a graphic designer to talk about logos, design, and branding. She’s going to take a look at the website design, so I hope that she has some good suggestions for me soon.

I also spent a lot of time setting up things so that I can start really working on stuff. I helped Ashley purchase equipment both for the shop and for this project and then set it all up so that it works on both of our computers (we both use Macs, which makes everything really easy).

Young Ashley making a Sno-BlizAs part of testing some of the new equipment, I scanned my first photo for this project. This is a very young Ashley making a snoball with her grandmother Mary and father Jerry watching. The color is somewhat off. I ordered a set of color bars from Adorama.com, but they won’t come in until next week. I may rescan the photo after they come in.

I am currently in the process of setting up the backend of the website. Furthermore, I started a Flickr account and a Hansen’s Sno-Bliz Flickr Group, which already has a few members. I’ve added a widget to this blog to display random photos from the group.

I have also started thinking about metadata and file naming conventions for the online exhibit.

The next step is to start going through the collection and select fun things to digitize.