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#1 Andrew Field

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 04:06 PM

I was very pleased to discover that the SchoolHistory.co.uk site was featured in this month's .NET magazine in their 'makeover' section. I've been given permission to upload the article so that is exactly what I'm doing here.

Attached File  NET206.makeover.pdf   167.8K   1021 downloads

I e-mailed them a number of months ago, submitting the site for a makeover, not really thinking it would come to anything. The section in the magazine takes an existing website and gets a design professional to come up with ideas to improve and develop the site further. The overall article was very positive and made some particularly pertinent points - mainly that the forums were the key parts of the site now. I completely agree.

I'll get in touch with the actual professionals who came up with the makeover ideas. Not all of them will work in practice e.g. the way they've divided the topics or the ability to 'login' to the site. This isn't their fault but more due to factors such as the limitations we put on membership of this forum - you cannot just sign up and get auto-access together with limitations we put on the History Help forum. There is also the fact I'd like to integrate the http://www.historyshareforum.com as a way of helping resource sharing even more. Something that ties this all together could work very well.

It is fantastic to be featured in the magazine and they certainly provide many suggestions that I will look to implement on the site. Have a read of the article yourself:


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#2 Guest_Nick Dennis_*

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 09:14 PM

Great stuff! I look forward to the new design and they are right; the forum is a gem. :)

#3 Andrew Field

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 11:21 PM

Nick - do be aware that their proposed redesign is only a mock up of a suggested design. I don't actually get any redesign out of the article, aside from the article itself.

It is great to get input from a design professional though. I will look to put forum feeds on the homepage and then simplify everything as they suggest. What I don't have is an actual system as they describe in the article. I'll see what can be done though.


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#4 Ms Ali

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 12:38 AM

What a lovely article. Well done Andrew, and glad to see the site can be appreciated for what a wonderful work it is, and invaluable resource to us all.

... hmmm, just wondering if resources posted up on these forums could be put up onto the main resources site? (this is where all the best stuff is hidden!).

#5 Andrew Field

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 06:44 AM

I think the answer for the resources that are hidden amongst everything else is as the designer proposed - some form of a 'content discovery system'. This could mean improving the search and integrating the forum more into the main site. Alternatively it could mean something more radical.

When I started the site over 10 years ago it was designed as a site to help students find useful resources. I really like the fact that the designer identified that the site is still about 'bringing valuable resources together'. Now the main areas of activity as clearly the forums and I will look for ways to make the most of these.


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#6 MrsB

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 12:04 PM

By chance I bought this magazine today!! Thank goodness I could read about something familiar as the rest of the magazine was like a foreign language to me. I used to use this site all the time - posting and and a fair bit of lurking. But 2 children later and an awful final job have seen me decide against a return to teaching! Am now considering my career options elsewhere (can any web site gurus help me get a brochure type site online ????). It was LOVELY though to see the site and the enormous potential that it continues to have. Very very well done Andrew.
It's only a job!




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