Reimagining Inyrarea: creating Panopticon
Panopticon was the continuation and total rebuilding of the music site, Inyrarea, which grew a successful and passionate community of readers and writers. However, the site had many lingering issues both in terms of design and functionality. So when given the opportunity to re-imagine it, I did so from the ground up. I thoroughly re-imagined the site as a rich story platform with which authors could tell compelling and powerful stories. Panopticon is a vehicle for young, aspiring writers to tell their stories all while giving them the ability to create visually appealing, magazine-like articles.
Inyrarea was a successful music site that aimed to chronicle music scenes, artists, both small and large and musical culture broadly. It featured reviews, features and interviews with artists ranging from Bravestation, Old Earth to Pascal Pinon. While the reception of the site was beyond belief and the feedback from both artists and audience was good, it had a few underlying issues. First off, it was built on a cruddy CMS, with only paper thin editing capabilities, which made cross-editorial features hard or nearly impossible. Another chief concern was the construction of the site, initially, the site had been cobbled together hastily and had a quite a few quirks, which then had to be incorporated into the editorial workflow. This meant that there were legacy concerns to deal with, which hindered me from entirely rewriting the site. So when the opportunity presented itself to re-imagine Inyrarea from the ground up came, I jumped at the opportunity.
I wanted to overhaul the site’s design, expand its editorial scope and capabilities and give the authors powerful tools with which to tell compelling stories.
The work that was done on Inyrarea by the writers was phenomenal and I wanted to maintain the work that they had put it and the fidelity of their article layouts. The change of CMS demanded a lengthy conversion process of the already existing posts, with provisions for the quirky (bad markup). So I created a database script to convert each one of the hundreds of posts, flagging those with the incorrect markup so that I could manually go through them and fix any errors.
The website itself was also thoroughly reworked to bring down load-times, while enhancing both the quality and quantity of multimedia that could be displayed on screen. To this end a wide variety of different XHR functions and handler files were created, allowing a more app-like experience.