With the development of the web app I’d like to discuss how I felt about the final product; in an overall stance I am very happy with the overall outcome- it’s been a ride where I, and my partner, Seb Faull have come across multiple challenges that include subjects that have struck us independently but also as a team.
To begin, working on a collaborative project such as this, has challenged the way we communicate to each other; without strong communication skills and low passion for the unit it would have made it harder for us both to work together. Luckily, we both strived for what was going to happen next; a desire where we needed to let each other know exactly what we were up to and how this effected the project’s progress.
I’d like to say that Seb has been a great partner in the way he has been constantly switched on and engaged with the unit; there has been some struggles where he and I have come across in terms of code but with discipline, the goals have been successfully reached without too much stress.
Throughout the unit, as documented on our DokuWiki, we have successfully followed a planning system where we knew exactly what was going to happen next after we had finished a particular task for the unit. Seb did a good job on documenting our team meetings in the DokuWiki with in depth discussions of what we spoke about.
In terms of visual design, me and Seb are very happy with the final product; it has changed slightly from the early stages of the wireframes but overall not too much was altered. Of course, there was a few things that had to be dropped in the final version because we had a schedule to follow so we ran out of time to finish a bug-free version of the pieces we wanted to include. For example; in our early discussion of the web app (documented on DokuWiki) we wanted to have a place where the ‘recipe cards’ could display how many comments and likes they had. Due to technical problems we had to drop both of these ‘social’ pieces of information and deal with our loss. The reason why these were dropped was because me and Seb have not understood the design for databases as much as we wanted. The problem was, is that our database design did not have a third table where data was being pulled from the other two. This meant that whoever posted a recipe would have the outcome of posting anonymously with no record. Because of this acute problem, we had no way of of creating a system where a user had ‘liked’ or commented on a recipe.
So extending the discussion on why we dropped these two ‘social’ aspects I would like to conclude that learning the new, server-side scripting language PHP has been a difficult challenge but in the end it has paid off. I would like to say that in the future, my technological skills for the language would have improved since I would like to learn more about the available functions the language carries.
Compared to HTML and CSS both languages I learnt very quickly from the visual aspects they both carry into the browser- unlike PHP, this language’s syntax can be hard to understand sometimes. So for future reference I would like to carry on studying PHP over the summer for a side project I am doing for myself.
If I would do this unit again, I would take into consideration the database design of the web app, our database design was not perfect and as the web app progressed in development I could see that problems would arise if I were to alter and complex the user’s functionalities within their ‘membership’ experience.
I would also care to take more time in finishing the responsiveness of the web app, it is responsive but when it hits a certain browser width then some of the visual content becomes clustered with other elements. Don’t get me wrong, it will fit most PC, laptop and tablets screens with their unique aspect ratios but when we consider mobile device such as smartphones then we might have a problem with a few visual elements.
I would also like to sharpen my coding skills when it comes to CSS, I know that some of the blocks of code could be incorporated with others under the same class or id.
Again, this was a major project that has challenged us both in a design mentality but also through our knowledge of technical skills.
Overall, I have really enjoyed this project and I hope to carry these skills I have learned through first year onto the second year!