GIFFORD NOWLAND

UDress Magazine

Design ⋅ Strategy ⋅ Code
April 2008 – May 2010
HTML ⋅ CSS ⋅ PHP ⋅ Joomla! ⋅ Facebook API ⋅ InDesign ⋅ Flash

UDress Magazine is a fashion group and biannual publication by-students-for-students at the University of Delaware

Project Brief

UDress Magazine brought me on me as their Web Chairman after my website for DelRide SnowCorp gained attention in the University community. UDress Magazine was interested in building a similar online community for their members, where participants could discuss fashion together and share their favorite trends. They hoped to not only showcase the physical magazine, but also compliment it with online-exclusive editorial content. I worked closely with the UDress executive team to understand what features they were looking for in an online community website and how they wanted to manage the relationship between the physical magazine and the online entity. Especially important to them was the ability to keep readers interested in the magazine between bi-yearly issues by providing a constant supply of new content. I would recruit a web team to help write content and perform administrative maintenance.

Project Strategy

Due to my previous experience creating a community site for DelRide I had an understanding of what would work for UDress. However, since this was going to be collaborative website, as opposed to running the entire site myself, I had to take into account ease of use in the backed. At this time Drupal (the CMS I used for DelRide) was extremely powerful, but not very easy to learn how to use. I decided to develop UDress’s website on the Joomla framework instead. I led the web team in the installation and customization of the Joomla configuration, modifying PHP templates, nodes, and modules. I developed a workflow to digitize the magazine and present it in an interactive flash interface for online reading. I performed search engine optimization diagnostics and taught content editors how to format their posts to boost search rankings.

mac screen
UDress's homepage

Project Result

The new UDress website was very well received. Not only was the website popular among University students, it began attracting a wider audience throughout the fashion world. Just one year after its launch the website was generating an average of over 4,000 page views per month, with traffic coming from more than 130 countries on 6 continents. The framework that I put into place made it so easy to publish new content that editors from other departments began posting their own sections on the website, which has now grown to almost 1,500 pages.

UDress interactive magazine page UDress article page UDress magazine archive page < >