Emigration Isle

A web documentary on 200 years of Irish Emigration

And we’re UP!

Massive sigh of relief- Emigration Isle is now online, emigrationisle.com, and we have submitted our final executable file.  Everything else is out of our hands for now!  We had a few external examiners come around yesterday and check out our piece, and all of our feedback seemed to be REALLY positive, which we’re stoked about.  There were a few minor critiques pointed out that we are going to fix and change immediately, but for now we’re all happy to sit back and relax.. for a few hours at least 😉 Then it’s back to it for us! The promo video is well on it’s way to finishing up and the paper is in progress.. now it’s time to promote this site! Help us out, send it along! And email us if you’re interested in being featured! Here’s us below presenting… Emigration Isle cleans up alright



Emigrant #4.. where are you?

So we’re on to our last featured emigrant for release on December 13th, and we don’t know who or where to choose! We have several lovely Irish emigrants who have agreed to participate, but we can’t seem to figure out who would be best featured for the final piece.  On the one hand, someone from Canada would then show that we have covered the most popular emigration destinations, and on the other hand someone from Singapore, Afghanistan, Argentina, etc. would maybe stray away from a more ‘standard” storyline.  Decisions…. decisions.

Want to help us decide? Email emigrationisle@gmail.com and let us know what location you’d be most interested in to hear about!


With the help of Maggie, at http://www.maggieblanck.com/, and her amazing research into the family line, we have hit the ground running with our third emigrant story- of Joe and Fanny Walsh.

Designer Irene has absolutely had a blast designing and we think the graphics look perfect for the era.  We’re thinking of maybe changing background colors between each emigrant, to show a distinct change in time, and also to find a color that suits each decade best.  Think what fun the 70’s and 80’s could be?!

What do you think of the designs below? Give us your feedback!!

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User Testing…

Round 2 of user testing completed, and we’re feeling good!

I have to admit the team was a bit nervous and anxious going into this round of user testing.  Our feedback has always been quite positive, but after the first round of testing, there were a lot of major reworkings.   However, after the feedback this time, there were no major revisions needed! The changes and alterations made to our timeline navigation, some of the extra interactivity added, and the new graphics, were all received very well! Now although I say there were no major revisions needed, user testing did reveal some minor issues.  However, despite the use of the term ‘minor’, the alterations still mean a lof of work for designer Irene and programmer Colin, so we’re busy at work again!

We’re always looking for people to test, and test, and test our doc, so emigrationisle@gmail.com if you’re interested!

Big strides

Now that we have the basic skeleton of the site put together, the work flow seems to really be flowing now! Irene has created some great graphics for our next emigrant Steve, and Colin has his head stuck into code and has implemented a lot of new interaction that were encouraged from our user testing.  We’re going through a big round of user testing today- and we’re a bit anxious to see how it goes.  We’ve listened to all the critiques from last time and are hoping to hear a lot more satisfactory remarks this time!  On top of that, we’ve discussed and are officially featuring 4 emigrants.  We’re sure we can get 4 completely done, and we’re excited to have 50 year periods spanning from 1813-2013.  Our social media campaigning is picking up and right now, looks like nothing but smooth sailing (Knock on wood!!)

Here’s some of the work Irene has reworked and mocked up for Steve,

There is Steve’s ‘what page’ on over and on click, we’ve added a new ‘check list’ aspect to try and give the user some more context on the page.  There’s also Steve’s how page, so you can meet Steve Beatty! and lastly there is the rework of Steve’s how page.  We showed the workings of this last week, but we’ve settled on this design and the side bar will use an accordion style! Excited to see Colin work it out!
We love how it looks, what do you think?

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Steve’s How

So now that we’ve gotten such great information on Steve-

Irene has been mocking up the best way to represent his information, considering some new interactions discussions we’ve had with supervisors as well-
Here’s a few versions of what she’s thinking- opinions anyone?

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Steve Beatty Interview.. COMPLETE!

We started our conversation with Lynda Callaghan a while back.  She runs a blog about the Irish in Leicester – http://lynda-callaghan.blogspot.ie/

Its a really great blog, and we only came across it by chance.  After that I spent a bit of time trying to contact Lynda, and once we did… great things started to happen.  Lynda knew just the guy, Steve Beatty, for our project, and she said she would be happy to meet with him and interview him if we could send her along some questions.  So that we did! After a few set backs and a bit of worrying that the interview wouldn’t in fact work out-
WE GOT AN EMAIL FROM LYNDA! All the questions are answered to the most detailed perfect degree.  From what Steve packed to what he wore! She even sent this amazing picture:

So we want to give a big, warm, thank you to Lynda and Steve- and we also want to let everyone know- you’ve a real treat to look forward too!

Emigrant Steve!

So we’ve moved on from Margaret and have now started creating the graphics and information for Steve, and emigrant who left Ireland for England in 1939-

Check out what we’ve gotten done up so far!

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User Testing

So we’ve started to dive in head first with the user testing.  We want to make sure other people are as happy with our design as we are, before Irene works out the design for each emigrant and has to go back and make changes everywhere.  Our first few user tests have gone… a bit… bumpy.

Basically what we are noticing is that the first few pages, the who and the why, seem to go alright.  However one they get to the where page, they miss a lot of the interactive elements.  For those that actually do find the interactive elements, then they end up clicking EVERYWHERE and are clicking objects that actually aren’t interactive.

We discussed this problem with our project supervisor who basically explained that we may be victims of our own success.  Basically the user enjoys the interaction, and thinks it happens everywhere.  So we are now presented with the task of figuring out how to distinguish between the two.

There were some easy fixes, changing the arrow icon to be a hand when you rollover interactions, ‘opening up’ some of the graphics to show others are interactive, changing colors so they stand out more.. but there are still some tweeks that need to be made!


Sprint #2


To track the progress of our projects, our program has used a ‘sprint’ process.  Every so often they have a ‘sprint deadline’ and all of the groups and projects come together to show off their work and where the work currently stands, what needs to be done, who’s doing what, etc.

On Saturday we had our second Sprint, and because Irene had a match in the afternoon, we got to wait alllllll the wall until last to go.

Well, last.. but certainly not least!

The Sprint went quite well, same as last time, Hugh seems to be quite happy with our progress and there were no real criticisms.

Hugh was especially impressed with the fact that Colin has reworked the site to load dynamically (this decision has already started to pay off!)

Basically from here though, there don’t seem to be anymore sprint deadlines. So what that means is we now have to take it upon ourselves to set and implement deadlines, to make sure come December 13 (eeek!) we have everything ready for some serious user testing!