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Jared: Got to know his inner panic attack while working on this, the most expansive and sprawling website of his career.
See it in action: http://www.youplusdallas.com
That is the clarion call of Dallas, Texas-based You+Media, father of the first of many city sites, You+Dallas.com.
You+Dallas is an ambitious endeavor; on one side is the “me” — You+Media’s local in-house team, a talented team of producers, videographers and editors pumping out some of the best videos you’ll see anywhere. On the other side is the “you” — the site’s members, flavoring the in-house efforts with their own locally-focused videos, comments and contributions.
Together, “you” + “me,” is the crux of You+Media. A joint effort to get hyperlocal, up close & personal.
This year-long project involved designing visuals & interactions for scads of pages and page types. You+Dallas contains content pages, video player controls, drag ‘n’ drop configurable page builders, editorial spots, user profiles, administrative pages, dynamic widgets — and the list goes on and on. It is epic in scope. (More…)
For this project I took on a number of roles, sometimes by necessity instead of by plan:
This role involved advising the client in both design and business decisions; providing design groundwork which would inform the way the website and business would (and should) operate. Oh, the meetings we had. The meetings.
This role involved collecting and synthesizing client requests into detailed design specifications; advising the client on issues of URL structures and content structures; producing visualizations and other documents to clarify architecture and content organization plans. I need a long vacation from Google Docs.
This was the meatiest of all the roles. While the main focus of the client was on the presentational aspect of the website, the bulk of the work happened beneath the surface. This “website” is really a web application. Designing how admins would manage content, how users would be able to easily operate the powerful inputs at their disposal, how Channels (essentially website builders) would be created & customized — these were the issues that sometimes kept me up at night. Even with hundreds of documents, I often felt like I was missing something. And I was. The scope of the project was just that big. Still, some of the most rewarding work came out of this role. Good times.
This role involved the visual design of dozens of static content display pages as well as builder-driven pages consisting of configurable widgets capable of hundreds of page variations; identifying and establishing design patterns; documenting patterns and content publishing rules via various documents. Oh, style guides. Love ya. Really.