In 2010 we won the tender to create the new Digital Circle website. Digital Circle represents the digital content industry in Northern Ireland.
We proposed the creation of a unique stage for the local community to distribute and communicate around content, socially. It would also allow digital businesses to showcase their recent projects online.
With a project of this scale planning is key. We began by established the domain model, created to represent the vocabulary and key concepts of the domain. From this we defined the various user roles and started to detail out the journey these users go through to complete fundamental tasks on the site.
From these we can then write out stories for each task and estimate how long they will take to complete, they can then be prioritised and worked on from the top down in iterations.
Part of the project was to create a new brand identity for Digital Circle. We created a flexible identity which changed depending on which section of the website you were on.
These icons were encompassed in the new Circle icon which represents the entire community and the icon within representing the things the ways the community can interact.
Design & Development
Now that we had a solid plan and new brand in place we started sketching wireframes for the various views in the web app. In tandem with this we began to scaffold the Rails app, delivering on the features outlined earlier in the process in order of importance.
With our iterative, agile approach to our work we start building early and iterate in layout improvements and asthetic design gradually, designing around the content often in the browser.
As with most projects at Rumble Labs we chose the right platform for the job as the starting point for the app. On this occasion this took the form of a vanilla Ruby on Rails CRUD app. We built a customised content management system, which allows the client to tweak several aspects of the front end. In addition to this we integrated full-text search and markdown support throughout.
The website has now been running for over three years. It’s home to a thriving community of nearly 2500 users with 360 local businesses listed.