Polytechnic

The personal brain-dump of Garrett Coakley

Archive of: wdcs

  • A launch of sorts

    It’s been over a year since I joined WDCS, and to coincide with the 64th International Whaling Commission, you can now see a small piece of what I’ve been working on.

    Say hello to dev.wdcs.org.

    Over the next fortnight, our team will be busy posting news and blog posts from the IWC, offering us a great opportunity to ensure that the structure, work-flow, and multilingual nature of the new site all work as we hope. And in what I think is a brave move by everyone here, we’re doing it in the public eye. If GDS can do it, well so can we (seriously, the GDS team has been, and continues to be, a massive inspiration).

    It’s a bit shabby round the edges: the theme is bland and temporary but hopefully very readable, there are some bugs in the internationalisation framework that I’m still fixing (“Ray, when someone asks you if you want to build a multilingual site, you say ‘NO’!”), and you might find yourself in a bit of a navigation dead-end if you follow the wrong link.

    As I said, it’s a bit shabby, but it’s our shabby.

    If you’re interested in the background of what led us to this point and where we’re going in the future I gave a talk to the Oxford UX group a couple of months ago that fills in some of that.

    Thanks to everyone at WDCS who’s been helping on this project. As a web geek you couldn’t ask for a more passionate and committed bunch to build for.

    And now, some sleep.

  • Rebuilding from the ground up

    Last Wednesday (25th April) I gave a talk at the UX Oxford Speaker Series about the work I’ve been doing at the WDCS over the past year, and why to my friends it seemed like I had vanished off the face of the earth.

    It’s a wide-ranging talk, looking at the problems with the current site, our initial research and findings, and the the content-out/responsive approach we’ve taken towards the redevelopment.

    The talk itself lasts around a half-hour, with another half-hour Q&A session afterwards.

    The books that I reference during the talk are:


    And the list of useful links and further reading can be found on my Pinboard account under the tag uxoxford2012.

    Thanks to UX Oxford for inviting me to speak, it was great to finally show everyone what I’ve been working on and I really enjoyed the questions after.

    Fingers crossed we’re due to go into public beta sometime in June.

  • Moving on

    After two and half years, this is my last week at Torchbox. An announcement tinged with both sadness and excitement.

    Sadness because during my time here I’ve had the opportunity to work with an incredibly smart and committed team of people, on very cool projects for organisations as diverse as Greenpeace UK, The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and Coeliac UK.

    Excitement because of what the future holds.

    I’m very proud to announce that from the 7th of March I will be joining the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society as their Head of Online, or as I’m personally going to refer to it, “Chief Geek”.

    Grandiose title aside, I’m going to be delving into everything they do online. Their public web presence, educational outreach, social media involvement, research tools, and a whole lot of other things I’m forgetting right now. In short, I have been tasked with turning the WDCS into the exemplar 21st century, web-native, conservation organisation.

    It’s going to be one hell of a challenge, but I cannot wait to get stuck in.

    

  • So this is what I'm doing for the next six weeks

    Nom nom nom

    That would be whale watching off the coast of Massachusetts, not floating around getting harassed by seagulls.