Tag Archives: learning

The Art of Food

For months I’ve had nothing to really post about. First I was project-less and mostly bored to tears, and who wants to write about that, much less read about it? Then I was TOTALLY SWAMPED and there was no extra time (or energy) left at the end of the day to type something up.

But last week we launched the two big projects that have been filling all of my hours, and I’m extremely proud of both. One was #GettyInspired, which I’ll share more about in another post. The other is the Art of Food Mobile Tour, a web-based hunt designed specifically to complement The Edible Monument exhibition at the Getty Research Institute, and the manuscript exhibition Eat, Drink, & Be Merry at the Getty Museum, both of which opened on October 13th.

The Art of Food Mobile Tour
The Art of Food Mobile Tour

As a scavenger hunt (with prizes!), the content really only makes sense when you’re physically in the galleries, so it has no social media sharing features, and we have yet to figure out how to amend it to make the content evergreen after the exhibitions close in 2016. But I still like sharing it because it was so much fun to build, and its interactivity makes me giddy, remembering all the trials and frustrations I went through to make it work so well.

screencap-voilaOur team–Liz McDermott and Alicia Houtrouw from the GRI; Laura Hubber, Karen Voss, and Cathy Bell from the Museum; and me, from the Web Team–spent about ten months meeting and planning the content for this “tour”, but for my part, I spent about two months building and debugging it. Even though it was specifically built to be used only on mobile devices, and therefore didn’t need to be responsive, I still chose Foundation 5 as its base, so I could use Foundation’s pre-built classes and its sliding menu module.

My favorite function of the site is how it tracks every.single.thing you click on, and adjusts accordingly. Thanks to jQuery’s super-easy management of localStorage and the gazillion and a half unique IDs throughout the site that are tracked at all times, the site knows when you’ve finished each object and each character, and when you’ve finished all the characters for each exhibition, and it remembers until you reset the game. (The reset link is only on the winner pages.) Probably the hardest part of the build–and certainly the most frustrating–was making the custom jQuery, the animatedCollapse plugin, the auto-scrolling functions and the timers all play well together. It was a rare day when fixing one thing didn’t break something else.

screencap-em-charactersBut it all came together beautifully, and in plenty of time for the launch date. I learned a LOT about jQuery’s syntax and methods during this project, and I had fun doing it, which is really the best kind of project.

(Cranach Comparison tool would’ve been sooooo much easier with jQuery, 10+ years ago.)

mailto, Facebook, and all the other social networking shares

Did you know that you can use " in a mailto:?subject=, but not %22?* Well, now you do. That was an annoying little problem, although to be fair, not nearly as annoying as trying to figure out why I could make Facebook share the new pages, but no one else could. Thank the gods for stackoverflow, that’s where I find most of the answers to my many coding issues. In this case, it’s how I learned about the “Do you want to make this app and all its live features available to the general public?” button. Thanks for not including that in your Share tutorials, Facebook!

I have learned a heck of a lot–over more time than I thought it would take–about customizing share buttons for social networks. I’d like to thank Pinterest for being by far the easiest of them all, and I curse Google+ for being a thorn in all my sides (‘though Facebook was no picnic either). Despite my best efforts to control the information using schema.org and itemprops, Google+ still insists on pulling its share info from just the og:title tag, which is not nearly enough information for one tag. I hate you, Google+. Just want you to know that.

Soon I’ll be able to post a link to this project that has ruled my life for the past two months. I’m hoping it’ll be today, for Veterans Day. It would be especially fitting for a project called “World War I: War of Images, Images of War.”

[ *Edited to add: And it turns out %22 wasn’t the problem at all–apparently the combination of two quotes and a colon is what was flipping out the email share. Couldn’t find a combination that would work, so I had to nix the quotes in favor of the colon. So stupid. ]

WordPress owns me

I am totally obsessed with WordPress right now. We recently launched this website at work, which was built by a vendor instead of in-house, and yo, it’s amazing. They built it in WordPress, and it does stuff I had no idea WordPress could do, and it’s inspired me to LEARN ALL THE WORDPRESS THINGS. I’ve been reading [amazon_link id=”1119995965″ target=”_blank” ]Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog (Smashing Magazine Book Series)[/amazon_link], and WP tutorials and articles on Smashing Magazine; outlining plans for possible projects; and browsing through plugins for ideas. I fixed a couple of lingering problems on the blog at work yesterday, which was AWESOME.

Problem is, I need more blogs to experiment on. I had some cool ideas for one of my sites, but the stakeholder doesn’t want me making any changes right now because she doesn’t have time to review and approve for awhile, which makes me sad. I’m considering building a bug/ticket tracker for projects at work. There’s no guarantee I could get everyone to actually use it, but it’d be a fun and educational experience, and if I could figure out how to build it as a customizable theme to release to the public, that’d be even better.

Seriously, WordPress excites me like nothing work-related has for a long time. It feels good.

ETA: For some reason this link isn’t working above, so here it is again:
[amazon_link id=”1119995965″ target=”_blank” ]Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog (Smashing Magazine Book Series)[/amazon_link]