Move San José (write-up)

Continuing the discussion from Website content, maiki.xyz:

I’ve been meaning to do this for Move San José (https://www.movesanjose.org/), a very interesting platform I’ve built. It is so comprehensive, I can spend a lot of time writing about it, but the components are in a pool of tools I use for other sites as well, so maybe I can reuse this stuff if I get it out of my head.

Also, I need a “case study” type document for MSJ as well. There are government job boards I may certify with as an “accessibility” expert, and I need to submit examples of work that demonstrates my ability. I very much want to be in those job boards.

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Here are parts of a document I wrote to describe the site in terms of security profile, sans the explain-y bits of specific technology choices.

MSJ, the platform

MSJ is a outreach and engagement platform, utilizing web and email tools to inform and recieve information.

The goals of the platform are:

  • Easy to manage workflow for producers of the website (Project Managers and associates)
  • Private, safe, and dignified experience for users of the site and features (site visitors, everyone)
  • Leverage the best web technologies in the most humane way possible to meet the City’s needs for engagement and information gathering, for everyone

To meet these goals we require tools that allow for easy interactive content creation and sharing, while respecting the constituency using them to interact with their local government.

WordPress

We use WordPress as our tools dashboard and site generator. WordPress provides most of the functionality for us out of the box, and we monitor and patch the core software package as soon as they become available.

Additionally we are very conservative in our use of themes and plugins, using only trusted sources, remaining diligent with security patches, and never use software that violates user privacy.

  • GeneratePress - our theme framework, allow simple, accessible, and responsive designs with small code footprint
  • Caching plugins - maintained by our CDN provider, allows programmatic cache clearing
  • GravityForms - web form and related plugins, allowing for surveys, responsive dashboards, charting, email reporting, and more. All add-ons are from WXP (enterprise-level experience) group.
  • Mailster - newsletter suite, singular in it’s respect for users and not loading third-party libraries
  • Matomo - Self-hosted analytics engine made by privacy advocates
  • WPML - WordPress MultiLingual, allows our onsite, in-place translation tools, built to support GDPR

We use analytics, newsletter subscription and management, and survey forms on the site instead of embedding third-party solutions to avoid selling out our users’ data.

Features and Usage

  • publishing system
  • multilingual
  • mailing lists
  • feedback forms
  • GIS engine
  • Measuring impact
  • Made for everyone
  • Only holds data needed

@tim, is this kind of info what you had in mind?

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Yes definitely. I’d personally format with this kind of structure:

  • Just completed another great project!
  • company X had some serious needs. a,b,c…
  • Here is what I built them. (that list of features and usage)
  • Call out some of the specific neat things in above list, break down technology used (like that specific Wordpress breakdown you have above)

Make it so the non-tech people can read it and see you do a lot of stuff and seem competent. Then those couple breakdowns of specific tech challenges and how you built it will show to the tech people that you are competent.

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