Live site: http://www.oregonki.org/
The Oregon Ki Society made themselves a web page very early on in the history of the web. When I started training aikido in 1995 they had one. However, in 2007, 12 years later, they still had the same one. They needed an expansion, a content overhaul, and some reorganization. After years of spotty updates the site navigation had become very confusing, and content was hard to find.
Given my love of the Japanese aesthetic, it was a natural fit for me to develop the new site for them. In addition to doing the coding, this meant acting as project manager for a large group of stakeholders, some of whom have strong opinions.
In designing the site, I wanted to highlight the quality of the content — oregonki.org has some of the best content about Ki and Aikido training to be found online — and so I decided to go with a clean and spare look. I took my inspiration from Japanese shoji screens, which resulted in a crisp site with a strong grid. This was very much a change from the previous site with its poorly textured background and ad-hoc layout. Clear typography polishes the site, and vibrant photography makes it sing. The site was particularly challenging to develop, as I knew that we needed strong photography, but we didn't have any. So I shot almost all of the photos on the site in addition to doing the web work.
The site has a lot of static content, but we wanted to start highlighting how active the organization is. To do that I developed a set of custom calendar scripts to take events from an XML file and put them in the appropriate places. In addition to the master events list, the front page shows the next 3 events and each dojo page has its own calendar for events relevant to them. The site then becomes more relevant to current students as well as providing extra value for potential students. Future expansion plans include behind-the-scenes administrative helpers, such as centralized student mailing lists, a donor database and online registration for camps and other events.