Web design Start-up: Skarr Media
After having completed a web design course as part of my bachelor in Digital Culture in 2011 I found much enjoyment in designing and coding websites, and through this joined forces with a couple of friends and fellow students in order to create a startup company that we decided to call Skarr Media. The name and logo of the company harkens back to the concept of “Skarre R” found in some Norwegian dialects. This concept is currently spreading in Norway, and many believe it is going to become the dominant way of speaking Norwegian in the future. Through this name we could convey the intent behind the company, which was to also spread and become a dominant force in Norway.
The company had humble beginnings, starting in 2011, with three guys working out of my apartment in the evenings after completing university lectures, and other jobs. From the spring of 2011, to winter 2014 Skarr Media completed a total of six projects before we ultimately had to close our doors at the end of the year. The closure itself was however not due to a lack of work, but instead due to an overabundance of it. Due to many of the members’ rapidly decreasing free time, due to having children and moving on to more taxing university work, in addition to refusing to provide suboptimal results to our clients we instead chose to shut down the company.
Although we did not manage to become the dominant force we desired and wished to be, we still gained an incredible amount of experience, as well as learned a multitude of new skills.
Some of the projects completed under Skarr Media is outlined below, describing how we worked, and how we completed the projects. As for me personally I mainly served as second in command for the development work, behind Lars which was our lead developer throughout Skarr Media’s existence. Additional to working in pair with Lars for the development, I always took a large part in the design of all of our projects, which we designed in tandem with the entire company.
Student Parliamentet i Bergen (spuib.no)
This was our fifth project at Skarr Media, where we were tasked with designing and developing the entire graphical profile, and website for the student parliament at the University of Bergen. This was a fairly large undertaking and as such took quite a while to complete.
The project was in development for a larger part of a year, and was completed by the summer of 2014.
By the time we started this project Skarr Media had risen to five members, where we were all working together in designing and developing the website.
Me and another member – Lars attended meetings with SPUIB in order to gauge their desires and intents for the website, which we then brought back to the rest of the members, and we worked together to create both the logo, graphical design, as well as the web development itself.
The graphical design was done by everyone coming together in a meeting room and sketching up multiple potential designs, which we could then suggest to SPUIP, while the following development was lead by Lars, as we pair programmed the website
Spuib.no was built using Drupal, which we used for all of our projects, and had therefore become quite proficient with.
The website has been operational since our launch in 2014, but is unfortunately currently being redesigned, meaning that our design, is no longer active.
Due to this, I have included some images from our development below:
This was our first real project, working with a client none of us had any prior relation with, and as such taught us a lot about setting up client meetings, meeting demands, and setting deadlines. Additionally we also had to pick up a lot of new technical capabilities in order to complete the entire project.
We had since the start used Drupal as CMS for all of our sites, but for HSU the work was much larger in scope, and as such we had to learn many new skills in order to be able to fully use the system for our needs.
Although there was a couple of hills to climb in order to get the entire project complete on time, we managed to launch the website in time for the autumn semester of 2013.
However, after handing the website over to HSU’s webmaster, which we both trained, in addition to providing a user’s manual for the management of the system, the website has since been taken down.
This was mainly due to their webmaster not keeping up with security updates leading to the site getting hacked, and the database deleted.
Therefore instead of linking to the website, I have instead presented design documents for the website. These are however older than the final design, and are therefore not completely representative of the final design.
After the main design of development of spuib.no was completed, we split our workforce in two, and took on an additional project – Enjoying Languages. The project was designed as a team, but the actual coding and development was done by two of my colleagues in the company, and I served mainly as a senior overseeing development, providing support, and attending meetings. The website can be found here.