Rumble is home to many passionate rubyists, so back in 2011 we set up Belfast Ruby, a community of experienced and aspiring ruby developers in Northern Ireland who get together every month to talk code and share their enthusiasm for the programming language.
With an exciting array of meetups planned for 2014, we wanted to give Belfast Ruby a web presence for its events, which the whole community could contribute to.
As always at Rumble, the process began by defining the sites purpose. The site will be used to inform users about upcoming meetups, as well as act as an archive for past events and a useful learning resource for aspiring rubyists. With this established we can then develop content to fit its purpose.
Before proceeding to build the website we created an identity for the community that would be easily recogniseable, with strong visual ties to Ruby the language. Brand guidelines were created with consideration for colour, tone and typography for use on both screen and print.
Using these guides, we designed promotional material to help spread the word about Belfast Ruby events.
Design & Development
For the website we started designing in the browser around the content. We decided to keep things simple using bold typography as the key visual component of the site.
We strongly believe users should have a seamless experience no matter what device they use to view a website. With this in mind we designed the content to be versatile and scale to suit any screen resolution.
This was implemented using the technique known as 'Responsive Web Design' where we set break points to scale the content and rework other elements such as the navigation to suit a smaller screen (mobile) experience.
It's important to consider the best platform or framework to build each project upon individually to ensure it's fit for the purpose. On this occasion we chose to use the static-site generator Jekyll. With easy content editing using markdown and no Ruby knowledge required, Jekyll seemed like the best choice of framework to encourage the local community to commit code and improve the site themselves. Jekyll also allowed us to use GitHub’s free hosting platform, GitHub Pages to host the website, with Jekyll allowing for painless deployment.
2014 kicked Belfast Ruby off to a great start with over 70 attendees crammed into the Rumble office at the first meetup of the year. Since then, we’ve been working with ShopKeep to organise meetups and we’ve gathered many more Ruby enthusiasts and hosted some great talks.
Check out the website and be sure to come along to our next meetup!