Eleven Design are a company that we have worked with on a few projects in recent years – Eleven produce really clean designs, that tend to work well in a web setting. It was therefore a great pleasure to be asked to work with them bringing their design for their own website to life within the Joomla! content management system.
Joomla! is not (in my opinion) the easiest CMS system to use, but it does offer very solid performance and a lot of features that permit you to really build a distinctive site that doesn’t look like a ‘website in a box’. For Eleven we used Joomla’s templating flexibility to develop a home page with background images selected from file at random. We wanted a simple system that Eleven could update easily, the solution was an automatic file picker, so all Eleven needed to do was to upload the new cover photo into a designated folder for front page images to be added to the selection – job done!
A real challenge for us were the project and archive pages. Joomla is driven by menus, but the design here called for using a gallery of images as the menu. This is very visually striking, and easy to navigate – simply picking out pictures that look interesting or fun to find out more about the project that generated them. Getting it to work without great unsightly text menus cluttering the page up, however, required a little lateral thinking. The nice side of the solution we came up with was that it worked within the core Joomla! installation – so keeping the site easy to manage.
Finally, working with Eleven, we developed a manual that covered the functional parts of Joomla! that they needed to add and edit content on the site. The aim here was to codify processes so that even if they were not working with the content management system every day, they could quickly pick up the information they needed to carry out a change or other update.
The site went live in December 2009, and has been extended by Eleven from a core of 6 project and archive pages to cover 36 projects now – reflecting some of the skills of this dynamic and enterprising design company!