Design Justification

Design Philosophy

In PDI Studio V, above all, we worked towards creating functional prototypes. This translated into a very function-forward process to decide which features to implement. We valued having fewer features so that it would be feasible to make the website in the short amount of time we had. We shed certain features like commenting (to make the interactions more personal and avoid spam) and a login to make sure we were had time to finish.

Front End

The front end was designed to attract and keep as many users as possible. In an attempt to emulate the success of other content heavy platforms, we modeled our user interface off of an amalgamation of some of the most popular sites in this area such as Behance, Pinterest. We also looked at other websites like Simbi, and referenced the design of other schools undergraduate portfolios from Parsons.

The main focus was to create an easy user interface for seeing a range of projects and being able to quickly identify their purpose by seeing the image associated with it first.

Another aspect of our front end was ensuring that the user did not lose track of where they were on the site or feel disconnected from the overall experience.

To achieve continuity in the user experience, we opted for a pop up “modal” to display information on each project that is seen over a darkened and blurred background of the main webpage.

Back End

As our project progressed, we realized how much more technical knowledge we needed in order to create a truly scalable and fast web application. In order to still develop a functional prototype, we began exploring workarounds that could help us cut out technical development time.

This technical constraint led us to develop a script that enabled us to pull information from google sheets and render it on our website. The benefit of this is that it lets us use google forms as our data collection platform and google sheets as our backend database. This cut out countless hours of coding and is the primary reason we are able to have a functional prototype which users can view and upload projects to.

The time that we freed up with this workaround then enabled us to focus on the user experience of the project submission through google forms.We opted for a short form that could quickly get all the info we needed for a basic project view. The form is designed to take 10-15 minutes and people have been able to do it much more quickly by doing the bare minimum.

The form was designed with additional sections that allow users who are interested in submitting more information to do that. 

You can find that form here.

The final aspect of our justification is the evaluation of our design which can be seen in more depth in the slides attached below.

Evaluation Design Slides