Summative Evaluation of Project

Have objectives been met?

  1. Promote the purchasing of honey through a range of honey based recipes.

    - Yes, five recipes based around honey as a key ingredient have been included in the website, therefore promoting the purchasing of honey.

  2. Inform people on the various issues impacting bees at a varied level of detail.

    - There are many differing levels of detail on the site allowing users to engage with the subject as deeply as they choose. The climate change article offers an in-depth informative article detailing the story of a local beekeeper, and highlights the potential issues surrounding weather, climate change, and protection of the environment – fairly heavy subjects. Whilst being complex, this story also allows the average reader to relate to the story as the beekeeper featured is a typical guy, who could be your nextdoor neighbour, or even yourself. At the other end of the spectrum, the site offers simple bee facts, and an informative slideshow to engage people on a visual level.

  3. Create an intuitive and simple learning platform that works well as a tablet-optimised site and normal site.

    - Throughout the design process this objective has been key, and the final product is, in my opinion, an effective website, which works well both on tablet and PC, despite the problems thrown up by Wix.

  4. Enable people to create bee habitat in their own outdoor spaces, no matter the size, via an academic endorsed bee-friendly planting guide.

    - The site offers two ways for users to take what they have learned and put that into beneficial actions. The ’bee-friendly planting’ article and ’build your own bee house’ article both promote the idea that people should get outside and create bee habitat, and they offer ways promoted and backed by an academic.

Aim: To educate the general public on the plight of bees, and to enable them to make a beneficial difference through a variety of stimulating resources.

- I feel that the aim has been met very well. The project ethos to ’educate and enable’ has been key throughout, and has helped ensure that the project remained on track, and relevant. The website offers a lot of educational material, which will hopefully inspire people to utilise the articles designed to enable them to make a beneficial difference.

What has the project discovered? Key findings?

I think the key point to take away from the research completed during this project is that the bee crisis cannot be attributed to one individual factor. The decline in bee numbers is due to a great many factors, such as climate change, habitat loss, the Varroa mite, pesticides, etc. Yet, I feel, that it is vital people do not focus too much on this, but instead try to get out there and make a beneficial difference by providing bee habitat and creating a demand for honey, and therefore, bees.

What impact did the project have?

At this point, I feel it is too early to state what impact the project has had, since it has only just been finished. It will be much easier to answer this question a few weeks down the line, after it has been distributed by the LBKA and promoted to the general public via social media. Early feedback, however, has been positive.

One way I could collect this feedback is to create a part of the website dedicated to user feedback, such as a guest book, or similar. At this point there is a contact email address, so people can get in touch with feedback if they wish.

What benefits are there for stakeholders?

The general public (users of the site) benefit by gaining a greater understanding of how bees impact their food supply. They are even able to directly impact this by utilising the available DIY articles. They also gain a greater understanding of what beekeepers do, their importance, and the importance of how we as the public are influencing huge far-removed things, like climate change, by our own environmental ethics.

Beekeepers and the various beekeeping associations gain exposure through the website and may gain new members if people become particularly interested in, and educated about, the subject.

Was the approach effective?

I feel that my approach to this project was effective in the end. Despite the problems experienced in the implementation of the design via Wix, I feel that it was still the best platform to use wi my current skill level. I ukulele like to have been able to work with somebody else who had the web design skills to implement my ideas, but unfortunately this wasn’t possible.

From a project management point of view, I feel that I could’ve utilised my project plan a little more, although I did find it crucial at points in evaluating where I was at, and whether the project was on target, so this approach to managing the project was certainly effective, and probably vital to maintaining producing the final artefact on time.

What lessons have I learned?

Personally, I have gained a great deal from this project. Undoubtedly, it has improved and demonstrated many employability skills, whilst bestowing upon me a great appreciation of the natural world around us. I met many incredible people during the project and have decided that I’d love to keep my own bees in the future. The project has become a huge labour of love and a pleasure to work on, it’s just a shame that I didn’t have more time to make it even more comprehensive. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my project management skills, such as: having high ambitions and expectations are great, but I have learned that I need to realise what is accomplishable in the given timeframe.

What would I do differently?

If I was to do the project again I would love to collaborate on the implementation with another person, who possessed skills that I don’t. This would allow me to implement the site exactly as I wanted, with none of the flaws that I feel it has at this point.

Undoubtedly, I would start the project earlier and work harder in the early days of its implementation to give room for resolving any issues that would arise.

The project was clearly ambitious, but I wouldn’t change that. If anything, I’d make it more ambitious, but ensure I had the time to actually create it.

I’d love to work on this project over an entire year, as the beekeeping season has many different aspects that I was unable to even touch on due to the deadline and seasonal limitations of only having the winter and spring to complete the project.

Nearing Completion

The project is nearing completion now and I’m feeling very happy with how it has evolved into a solid, usable website, which I am confident in displaying in the public domain. I’ve purchased a very strong domain -www.helpbees.co.uk – which will allow the website to attract people who are looking for information on the issue. I’ve also decided to include the option for Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter links, which will be used to promote the site following its completion.

LBKA Meetings

Visits to Temple Newsham have helped to inform the angles I have taken in portraying the articles. I have had the opportunity to talk to beekeepers who keep bees on every scale, from beekeepers who are just setting up their first hive whilst completing the winter beginners beekeeping course with the LBKA at Temple Newsham and those who have hundreds of hives and farm honey on a commercial scale. All the beekeepers I’ve met up to this point have their own theories about why the bee crisis is happening. One point they are united on though, is that the issues being faced in this country are not like Colony Collapse Disorder being experienced in the USA, which they seem to attribute to high stress beekeeping where the bees are not valued and cared for sufficiently. Where they differ on opinion is the reason that bees are suffering in this country. Some reasons I’ve been offered are weather variations, beekeeping skill and knowledge, strength of the queen and colony, pesticides, habitat loss and varroa.

Pesticides – The Ban is Being Imposed – Article Cancelled

Unfortunately, I’ve had to take the decision to cancel the pesticide article, which I spent a lot of time working on and had written 2,500 words of. I’ve really run out of time to redraft it since writing the first draft and it’s nowhere near finished. The issue changing overnight has meant that I’ve given it less priority than the other articles, and at this point I won’t be able to bring it up to par with the rest of the site.

cancelled pesticide article

Improvised Navigation

I’ve decided to add a couple of improvised features, which will help users navigate the site much more easily. Firstly, page navigation for each article has been altered to remove the clumsy, overbearing, outdated behemoth of a sidebar. In its place, each article will be presented with a central full page width header similar to what you would find in magazines or newspapers. This will encompass a photo for the story, the title and three navigation buttons. One takes you back to the menu page, the other two let you skip straight to the previous or following articles. I’m really happy with how these work, and they make it much more likely that users will view more of the articles on the site.

Secondly, on the longer articles, which require a fair bit of scrolling, I have decided to add a ’Back To Top’ button’. This will save users time on scrolling and make things a little more professional. The implementation of this feature, however, has thrown up a few issues. Wix has yet again shown its shear lack of basic features by omitting the option to allow ’floating’ buttons – a feature, which they flaunt on their own website! So, after much searching, I have come up with a workaround. I have had to duplicate the entire article page, and link the back button on each page to its counterpart. This fixes the problem and works flawlessly. I’m really happy that I’ve managed to overcome this issue and many others caused by the lack of functionality in Wix.

Emails 3

Due to various time and workload constraints on myself, I have not been in touch with some of my contacts as often as I should have. At this point, I’m waiting to hear back from Dr. Mark Goddard, who told me in his last email that he would be taking time off to deal with some family issues. This is one of the problems that I’ve had to deal with – an external issue, over which I have almost no control. If I don’t hear back from him in the next few days, I will have to contact someone else for the quotes needed for the planting article.

Stupid Wix!

Stupid Wix – throughout the implementation of my website on Wix, I have identified a number of hugely frustrating problems with the way it works:

  • Mystery resizing and moving of text and images, which makes things look misaligned, and therefore very unprofessional. This problem is magnified due to the extreme importance of having all the menu tiles in exactly the right size and position to look as intended on the menu page.
  • Changing font and colour by itself, so I have to remake some of the text boxes, which wastes a lot of time.
  • Transitions on images, pages and sideshows do not work on iPad, they are just a flickering mess, so I’ve had to remove them, which has limited some of visual appeal of the site.
  • No support of high resolution images has meant that I’ve only been able to use regular resolution images, which has been good and bad. It means that the website obviously loads a lot quicker due to the smaller file sizes, but I haven’t been able to utilise the retina display on new iPads – a feature I did initially want to include.

stupid wix

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