A Sketch of Possible Changes for the CoA Website

I spent some time today sketching out a possible overhaul of the heraldry.sca.org website, at coa-freshness.digitalherald.org.

Obviously this is very incomplete, but hopefully it can serve as a reference point for conversations about possible future work.

It mixes together two different kind of changes, which I think make sense to tackle all together, but which could be undertaken individually.

Reorganized content and navigation

I made a Google Doc with links to all of the top-level pages in the current site, then spent a while cutting-and-pasting them into an outline that seemed to make more sense to me.

This pushes all of the College staff and contact information into one section, all of the registration-process information into another, and promotes the various kinds of education and reference articles to the top level navigation.

I’ve also not yet tackled the organization of the content within the name / armory / etc pages, so there’s definitely more work that could be done there.

Updated visual style

The look of the existing site has held up quite well over the last decade, but it’s difficult to use on mobile devices. I’ve sketched out a simple design theme that should work on a variety of screen sizes. 

There’s plenty of room for further improvement here — I picked just picked some greens and yellows and nudged the margins around until it looked good enough for a first draft.

WordPress-Based Mockup

To make this prototype, I copied the content from about twenty pages of heraldry.sca.org into a new WordPress instance. This made it easy to update the content and design, so that I could iterate through a bunch of design alternatives much faster than if I was building it as a set of static HTML files.

I’ve only set up the top-level pages, so if you click through to individual articles you’ll wind up back at the live website.

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