Posts Tagged ‘Proposal’

Jonathan Kelham Portfolio Site: Final Proposal

I plan to work towards building a portfolio site for a local artist named Jonathan Kelham who is a third year Fine Art student in Birmingham. The client needs a website to display a selection of his work including images, videos, a biography, contact page and blog. The purpose of the website is to provide prospective clients and collaborators with an online portfolio of his current and ongoing work and enhance his networking capability as an artist.

The blog will be the main part of the project as I will be building it from scratch using Ruby on Rails. This blog will act like a sketchbook as Jonathan will be able to upload and write about his work in progress which will add more of a dynamic feel to the website. Similar to most blogs, this will have a comments feature that will allow Jonathan to gauge feedback and allow users to contribute to the website with resources, recommendations and opinions. The comments section will initially be hidden, accessible via a link at the foot of the post so as not to distract the user from each post when first viewed.

The sketchbook will be the most significant element in giving the website that dynamic feel that is so important in today’s websites. In general, when a website changes frequently, users will return to it more often which, of course can only be a good thing. After researching the top 100 most visited websites in the UK, it is immediately evident what most if not all of the sites have in common – they all have highly dynamic content.

1.       Google UK
2.       Facebook
3.       Yahoo
4.       Windows Live
5.        YouTube

Also ranking very highly are site such as Flickr, WordPress, Amazon, Wikipedia, etc. Obviously, this website will not be ranked as highly as any of these websites as even the most popular artists hold only a very small corner of the public’s interest on the internet. David Carson is a very popular artist and graphic designer, however his page ranking is a meagre 723,707. Even the controversial Tracy Emin, has a low page ranking of 1,547,901. To add a local slant to the statistics, Birmingham Artists (collection of artwork and biographies for prominent Midlands-based artists) comes in at 5,941,255. which serves as a directory for contemporary art in London has a relatively respectful traffic rank of:  286,876.

As an artist, he needs exposure in order to make a name for himself within the local art community. For him to have a digital presence would be of great benefit to him as he would be able to refer people to his website while networking amongst Birmingham’s creatives.

The ‘sketchblog’ will be a very important feature of the website as it will serve as a source of news about Jonathan’s work and exhibitions. This is one particular element that most of the art websites I visited have in common – they all contain up-to- date news sections that give information about upcoming events and current activities.

The blog will also have an administration feature where he will be able to upload his own material and manage the content of his blog in a simple but functional manner. The simplicity of this aspect is significant to this client as by his own admission, he is only really competent with technical matters.

The gallery section of the website will be a fairly simple setup, perhaps with some enhanced viewing techniques that give the section more of a tangible feel. Specifically I am speaking about gallery effects; smooth transitions and pleasing enlargements. The gallery will be built again using Ruby on Rails. Works will be organised by medium. Some good examples of galleries that have been built using RoR include:


Gullery (example on

LogiLogi (working demo) teams up nicely with Lightbox, a Javascript plugin that allows smooth englargements of images with a slideshow style interface when required.

The look and feel of the website as a whole will be quite minimal, but reflective of Jonathan’s work which features a fair amount of white space and natural colour. We have discussed giving the website the feel of paper media without being excessive in use of texture and shadow. Subtlety and understatement is key.

I have completed an initial mockup of the sketchbook page:

Jonathan Kelham - Sketchbook Page (click to enlarge)

Jonathan Kelham - Sketchbook Page (click to enlarge)

As you can see, I have refrained from use of excessive graphical elements so that the page allows the content to be the main feature rather than the site itself.

 I have chosen to use Ruby on Rails mainly because I have been won over by the testimonials from designers and developers who have migrated from the use of PHP in favour of this relatively new framework. Emphasis has been on speed, consistency, manageability and intelligible coding methods. I have been impressed with the existing uses for Ruby on Rails in sites such as Digg, Twitter, 43 Things, and A List Apart to name but a few.

Statistics were gathered from


Project Overview

My project ‘WordPress Theme’ is well underway, so I thought it was time for an overview of were I’m at and what’s to come.

My theme was meant solely for this blog at the beginning of the project. But as I started to look into other collaborative blogs I found that other collaborative blogs share the same problems as our blog. – No real overview of the latest posts and long columns of categories.

Often the volume of postings on these blogs makes it difficult to quickly get an overview of the latest entries, – and even harder to find the latest from your favourite author.

My proposal is now to create a theme aimed at collaborative blogs. The front page will be very different from the independent blog posts as it will serve as an overview page. It will show extracts from the latest posts in two columns making it easier to see without having to scroll as much. The categories are placed horizontally at the top providing quick access to the navigation.

Every author will have the possibility to upload a photo that will be shown next to their posts. This will give visitors a quick visual reference when scanning the page for posts from a specific author. Underneath the posts on the front page will be a horizontal sidebar. The widgets that normally go in the sidebar have been moved underneath the main content; I have changed the layout to be horizontal instead of the normal vertical sidebar.

The single pages are more like normal blog post pages. They will have a two column layout and the comments beneath the main content. I have done this mainly because people are familiar with this style which will make usability easier. Secondly there won’t be as much content to deal with on individual pages. Its main purpose is to isolate the single post and let people comment on it.

Colour Scheme

The colour scheme of the website is a chapter on its own. I really struggled to come up with a decent colour scheme. I even at one point thought of providing different colour schemes and let the user select which one to use. I knew from the beginning that I wanted black text on white background no matter what. As this is theme it has to fit many different web sites and a lot of different content. A white background ensures that most images and content will stand out on a bright background that gives good contrast.

The colour scheme went from brownish to green before I finally settled for a variation in blue. I will spare you all of my hair tearing thoughts of the process and just show the different mocks I came up with.

1mockup 2green-mockup1 3green-mockup-single 4blue-mockup 5blue-mockup-single

/Kasper – on Twitter and Delicious

Draft Project Proposal

The Challenge


The aim is to create a new media product using trends within the industry.


My Chosen Subject Area


Flash is an area that I am interested in. With the takeover of Adobe, Flash is advancing and becoming more commonly used. I have gained basic Flash skills in prerequisite modules and hope to expand on my Flash skills. It is a goal of mine to learn more about the scripting language for Flash, by learning ActionScript I can take the Flash skills that I already have and develop them for further use.


My Project


I have chosen to create an interactive CD-ROM using Flash. I will be creating a Portfolio that will display the work that I have done, information, my CV and contact information.






To meet my technical objectives to develop my Flash skills I have to find out more about Flash intermediate and advance skills and learn the scripting language ActionScript. I have began to try and meet my objectives by reading about ActionScript and build upon the ground work that I already have by completing online tutorials and understanding the technical process of creating a project using Flash.


I will aim to gain skills in these areas of Flash and ActionScript:



If statements


Mouse controls and events

Assigning attributes


With the skills that I will gain I will be creating a platform to showcase my work to potential employees on an interactive CD-ROM. I hope for the CD-ROM to not just show my work but show those who view it my potential and the skills that I have.




The professional objectives that I aim to gain tie in with my technical objectives. I aim to gain Flash and ActionScript Technical skills to make me a more desirable candidate for employment. I feel Flash is a key skill to have and by gaining these advance skills I feel that I will be more prepare for the professional new media industry. Being a young professional within the industry can be very competitive, this is my reasoning for creating a CD-ROM portfolio, as many people have online portfolio’s, I feel that if a potential employee had one in the physical form it could grab their attention. The CD-ROM is also a piece of work to show to a potential employee in itself. It’s not just the content but the platform that I use that can impress and show my work at a professional standard.