Emmet Ritter

designer artist ✡︎ activist

Emmet Ritter

designer artist ✡︎ activist

College of Science Migration

The College of Science has seven department websites, originally hosted on Drupal 7 and set up by their respective departments. The marketing team stepped in when it was announced that the end of Drupal 7 was scheduled for November 2023. The Drupal 7 theme used by OSU is incompatible with Drupal 9, which meant all pages on the new site would have to be manually designed.

I assisted in the website launches for Mathematics, Integrative Biology, Physics, Biochem/Biophysics, and Microbiology.

There were a lot of problems with the original structure of the department websites in Drupal 7. Much of the branding and content was outdated, the messaging was inconsistent, and there was little to no visual hierarchy. Migrating to Drupal 9 allowed us to update this content and work alongside members of each department to work on a new navigation system. The navigation system was necessary to have clear communication between the web developer, senior designer, junior designers, writers, and members of the associated department.

Our proposed navigation organized the existing content of the old department websites into a stronger hierarchy. The intent was for the new site to initially be built with old content. Outdated content would be identified and removed during the migration step, and new content would be rewritten by marketing department writers.

After making the initial pages, the Senior Graphic Designer gave feedback through notes left on the migration inventory. Content questions would be passed along to department personnel; technical issues would be passed to our web developer. Revisions were made over the course of weeks to months.

Overall, I became comfortable with using Drupal 9, and succeeded in working alongside a cooperative team to build a strong site structure.

My roles in the migration process were

  • Work alongside two web developers under our Senior Graphic Designer to communicate with department staff and the Web Developer, delivering pages that are informative and easy to navigate

  • Pay close attention to detail when migrating pages; many of them had attached files that needed to be reuploaded or translated onto the new site

  • Communicate with the department teams to find solutions for archiving syllabi, providing PDFs of sample quizzes, and translating flowcharts to basic text

When I completed migrating information on a page, I would log my progress on the Google Sheet and mark it ready for review. Each page would be individually reviewed by the Senior Graphic Designer, I would receive feedback for my work, and I would make revisions as necessary. This process was repeated for every page of every site we made, and allowed for a thorough examination of our website inventory. The final step for the designers was to get confirmation from our Senior Graphic Designer, and then the page was passed along to our writing team, who would then revise any outdated information within the text.

STEM Research Center Migration

After delivering excellent content and work ethic, I was assigned to assist in the migration of the STEM Research Center from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9. The top image depicts their outdated site, which needed the hierarchy rebuilt and added D9 capabilities. The bottom is the Drupal 9 site I built, which contained the same information but with a more digestible user interface that was now consistent with other COS sites. I met with our web developer and the director of the STEM Research Center on a weekly basis to discuss necessary changes.

This migration was a new challenge to guide my own learning of how to fulfill the client's needs, and my familiarity with Drupal 9 allowed me to build a functional and accessible website for the STEM Research Center. In my previous experience with the COS sites, I had two other designers I worked alongside who provided me with support and guidance. For the STEM Research Center, I did the majority of the edits and structure building on my own, and now have the chance to present the site I built with confidence and ownership.