The visual and conceptual design work for this site took place in Summer 2003, when a team of student designers took on the task of redesigning MIAD’s website. This ad hoc design studio was led by Creative Director/Professor Anne Ghory Goodman and MIAD Webmaster Dave O’Meara. The official title of the class, "User Interface and Advanced Web Design" indicates the emphasis on usability which informed every part of the process.
The design team, all Communication Design majors entering their senior year at MIAD, included Justin Boyles, Gina Cirrilo, Benjamin Gray, Daniel LaVigne, Eric Mehlenbeck, and Sean O’Leary. Throughout the summer, the class worked closely with MIAD’s Web Oversight Committee, analyzing institutional needs, developing concepts, and creating visual prototypes. As the summer progressed, one design concept was chosen, and all members of the team contributed to its development.
After the summer work was finished, Sean O’Leary continued to work with the webmaster to implement the site as part of a database-driven, content-management system. Daniel LaVigne continued to build the Flash virtual tour.
This site makes extensive use of open-source technology: it’s built on an Apache Web Server, with a MySQL database, PHP scripting, and the Smarty template engine.
In an open-source environment, developers around the world solve common problems and share the results freely: these shared solutions range from snippets of code and simple functions through complex object-oriented modules all the way to the Apache Web Server, one of the most reliable and widely used software packages in the world.
At MIAD, we are indebted to the many of these open-source developers. In particular, we’d like to thank Sean Proctor, who wrote the PHP code system that underlies our calendars; Mike Knebel, who offers a free PHP form generator at his site, www.knebel.net; and Chis Hansen, who wrote the FX PHP class that allows us to export our FileMaker databases directly to the web.
Thanks also to the commercial software developers who make their work available free of charge for non-profit educational use. These include MySQL AB, the Swedish database company closely allied with the PHP development community, and Brothercake, the creators of our accessible drop-down menu.
Finally, credit is due to the hundreds of MIAD students and recent graduates whose work is featured prominently throughout the site, and to Mark Fetherston, MIAD’s director of admissions, who documents this wealth of imagery through digital photography, and keeps it all organized.