The American School in London was launching an anniversary project and wanted to re-engage their alumni while also having them provide information to be used in a forthcoming book about the history of the school.
I was the project manager tasked with creating and coding a system to meet that brief.
As Project Manager I was responsible for protecting the school’s branding; design was very important. I found interesting ways to incorporate the brand, from a hand drawn logo to incorporating a branded mug (and a mug featuring the Queen–almost all of the school’s alumni are based abroad, so tying England into the visual identity was key.
A unique concept was the site’s navigation by keyword. As alumni leave messages, the system generates lists of relevant keywords automatically from the database, which a user clicks on to see all the entries containing that word.
Much more than a simple “tag cloud”, the effect is dynamically created topic based threaded discussions. Rather than a basic “exclusion list” of common words to remove from the keyword lists, the system keeps a word count and excludes common words dynamically.