This year (2020), WICS has undergone many changes, and one of those changes has been the revamping of our website which hadn’t been updated since the year WICS became recognized as an official UCT society back in 2016 by our very first committee.
It was important for 2020’s executive committee to continue the vision of what was started – because let’s face it, a lot has changed in the past 4 years. Now more than ever, there is an urgency to have a digital footprint that showcases what you/your organisation is all about. We felt it necessary to protect the legacy our alumni’s, but also bring about the highly anticipated change.
We needed something to direct our members and potential/ existing sponsors to, so they can keep updated about our upcoming events activities as well as how they can get involved.
Once we were set on what we wanted done, the mission was to put it into action. WICS announced the “Website Revamp Project” to the rest of the society and asked the members if any of them were interested in being part of the development team headed by Zukiswa Lobola.
Prototyping using Draftium
To get us started, we developed a prototype using Draftium, a wire-frame tool, that allows you to create prototypes, wire-frames and mock-ups of a website online for free. This allowed us to visualize the website using mock-ups without having to actually build it. The drag and drop features, as well as the front-end customizable themes really made the prototyping process smooth and effortless. You’re welcome to take a look at site prototype here.
Development with WordPress
We received 8 applicants from the society, 1 of which was Renee Panday – who fortunately had experience in building WordPress websites, and steered us in the direction of using Elementor.
Elementor is a wonderful tool to get your feet wet in building a WordPress site. Rene advised us to get started using the Elementor Overview Tutorial to get familiar with the environment – which was a great stepping stone.
Developing a website using students sounds all good and well until the hype dies down.
- We faced many obstacles down the line:
- The Covid-19 pandemic, which meant everything had to be done virtually with no face-to-face interactions.
- A tight deadline. We had scheduled 2 weeks of actual implementation time for the project as there were other pressing student commitments coming up.
- A majority of the team didn’t have prior knowledge of working with WordPress, and subsequently had to learn “on-the-job“.
- A dwindling number of the development team. Even though the project took place during mid-term vacation, applicants slowly backed out one by one.
In the end we were only left with 2 people, Rene and Zukiswa, who were so devoted the websites vision that they brought it to life.
Going forward, we are focusing on developing our blog post to become a more regular feature – particularly the members stories section as we believe that this will further instill the community aspect of WICS. Hearing stories of others journeys opens up the world so we can relate on some level and know that we are not alone. The journey for WICS continues on!