Project and Website Design Details
This page is meant to describe the intent of the design of the project and website. It is here that I hope to impart to you, the visitor, on some of my decisions regarding the appearance of the website, content organization, and future goals.
PROJECT REQUIREMENTS & CONTENT
This project called for several things regarding its structure, content, and appearence to create an informative and engaging experience. There needed to be enough contextualization of the actual Fort Lawton Takeover event to frame the discussion I want to have, but not so much that visitors would think the project is purely about the takeover event. While the event is the starting point for my exploration here, the goal of this project was to examine the aftermath of the event and how it affected the relationships between American Indians and non-Indians in Seattle.
Therefore, the terminology used throughout the exhibit and progression of discovery are meant to point toward this aftermath, with the interviews being vital to providing the insight I wanted. I also focused on gathering both primary and secondary source materials that reported on the tension building in Seattle both prior to the takeover and the later results of the takeover. As such, there is enough contextual information to cover these areas rather than an overt focus on the event itself.
As the subject itself is quite extensive and could easily expand beyond the confines of this course, the different sections of the exhibit and additional informational pages needed to be succinct yet impactful. To avoid filling pages with walls of text, I tried to include a variety of item types as possible to strike a balance of content.
Regarding the structure of this website, it needed to be intuitive for visitors. Because I was placing limitations on the amount of contextual information visitors would essentially be required to read, I wanted each section of information to stand on its own, meaning that you could read one without necessarily having to read another, avoiding a strict chronologically linear pattern. Therefore, each of the top bar tabs explores separate pages of information about the project in its entirety, but under each page, the individual sections is where the content is expanded upon.
This website is utilizing the digital exhibit-building platform Omeka. I chose the theme titled "Sante Fe" and used almost all the default settings that accompany the theme. The theme is based on the Bracero History Archive, one of the several digital projects that I thoroughly enjoyed exploring during my time in this course and that I find aesthetically pleasing. Beyond my particular enjoyment of the color scheme, I also felt that it paired well with the content I was hosting here. As I will explain further in this section, one of my goals is to build an archive of oral history on this website. The Bracero History Archive is primarily a repository of oral histories and the scheme gives the feel of an archive-type setting, with the tones and hues complimenting the black and white photos located in the headers. Likewise, I think it pairs well with the black and white images of newspapers I am using in my exhibit, yet contrasts just enough to keep the website from feeling sterile.
I also drew inspiration from the Making the History of 1989 digital project for the layout of my text and accompanying pictures. I originally had a lot more text planned, but realized it would be rather dull and cause visitors to "click out." However, I felt the design of this site was well balanced with its appearance and use of images sprinkled throughout the text that it would be a good reference point for my exhibit.
And finally, the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank and Baltimore '68: Riots and Rebirth projects acted as points of reference for me when it came to choosing the layout of the tabs and general direction to take this exhibit (that toward being an interview archive in the future). They also served as the inspiration to have a featured items section.
Currently, I am planning on keeping this project site running so as to build on the collection of materials. The main goal I have is to build an interview archive of oral histories about the Fort Lawton Takeover, branching out into various aspects of the event to create a well rounded picture of what happened and how this event shaped the Magnolia Neighborhood, Seattle, Washington, and Indian Country.
This means that I envision having sections that are more specifically about the takeover event, but also surrounding events such as the Fish Wars, the Boldt Decision, and other conflicts occurring in the area. There are still a number of American Indian activists from this time who are with us and I think it is important to expand upon what they've already contributed by highlighting the more uncommon context of the events they're known for.