Technically the project is bigger than this short list of phases but what I’m going to type here should help you to understand that the CODE Portal project is serious enough to be broken into many, equally important steps.
Phase 1: Planning/Research
Days of research has already gone into the CODE Portal project. Time has been spent getting to know School procedures and the national curriculum. Understanding the target audience is also a key part of planning. The target audience for CODE Portal includes…
- Both adults and children: we’ll need a design that separates content without causing confusion. Deciding what content applies to both could take a lot of time.
- Professionals and learners: professionals won’t need content to be broken down as much as children who are still learning core skills.
- Pupils and peers: some features in the portal may allow pupils to see each other work, help each other, make suggestions, work together, and even create challenges for others.
Phase 2: Technical Design
I need to establish the key design elements (listed below) and establish any restrictions as early as possible. I also need to consider what options we have
later when wishing to improve the portal.
- Responsive – the School will view the portal on various screen sizes. It must be responsive for their tablets.
- Accessibility – special support needs must be considered and standards in usability adhered to for all pupils whatever their disabilities.
- Safety – all measures must be taken to ensure the information technology does not compromise our pupils. This means users must not need to download or upload files to use the portal or complete modules.
- Layouts – we need to create a range of layouts for each type of page and especially each type of module. Educative Maintenance: there is an opportunity to further educate children by allowing them to maintain the portal. This will require a slightly simplified technical design i.e. break CSS down into multiple well-named files rather than one large .css file. Images should also be grouped with pupils in mind and not developers.
- Adaptive – possibly a long term goal would be for the portal to adapt to different users. I would like Primary 7 to get a more professional treatment and even the modules would be presented differently. Maybe even role-play developer and client. This would simply involve modules having extra information that is hidden from other users.
Phase 3: Prototype
The prototype could possibly become the early version of CODE Portal and would be very basic. However, the option to purchase an existing template (styles and layout) to speed up development is there. I’ve found a very modern theme with a high level of interactivity. Purchase
Phase 4: Graphics Design
I would like to see graphics being introduced from a digital collection created by pupils. My initial thoughts are to style each language’s own section within the portal similar to the official sites. This will teach users something in itself. It is important to recognize the languages. A decoration of sections will include snippets of the code itself.
Phase 5: Development
to show that more of my free time is worth spending on the project.
Phase 6: Review
Review the portal and collect feedback from testers. This will phase focuses on layout, visual design, presentation of information and reviewing these notes also.
Phase 7: Documentation
Documentation will focus on installation, FAQ, and Troubleshooting.
Phase 8: Release
The release of the portal will involve sending a link to download the portal to everyone interested.