Having an up-to-date website is compulsory. It should be easy to navigate, contain all necessary information, be inviting, work on all devices, and it should also look nice. Tasked with these expectations, the website has been one of the core endeavors of project Ö which we pursued over the past year.
In order to present the CRC, it was clear from the start that no off-the-shelf solution would do. Too many aspects needed consideration and the aim was that it should really stand as a valuable source of information and a pleasure to interact. To think outside the box and arrive at a genuine solution, we started with a couple of brainstorming sessions in collaboration with the CRC administration and colleagues from project INF. The way to a suitable solution was full of ideas and provisional designs that were discussed and selected.
With this set of requirements and drafts, we then approached the folks at TYP4, a Halle-based agency for communication design, web design, and photography (typ4.net). Together, we went through a number of iterations so to generate website templates and optimal forms of presenting the CRC. This was no easy fit: on our part, it meant to define the essence of the CRC, chart its intellectual focus, draw relations between its parts and the people involved, and clarify its administrative structure. On the site of the developers, it meant to engage with such a special science venture that required quite different solutions than let’s say a business or webshop. Other things had to be considered, too. Things we had to think about were, for instance, the different audiences we want to address with the website and their prime points of contact and ways of accessing the content. Fellow researchers are, for example, usually interested in other information than lay publics or political decision-makers. Another question was of how to best organize the different aspects of the CRC and what links would be useful to guide visitors. Then also came the need to offer more powerful tools for linking the website to databases so to connect the data management efforts with this gateway to the CRC.
After completing that necessary and time-consuming phase, the focus was on programming and testing a number of beta versions. This is in fact an open process. In a sense, the website is an a constantly developing affair and will be improved further in line with the evolving CRC. One such task is a fully translated English version, another task is a website that is fully accessible also for people with disabilities. Mirroring the CRC’s ambition, we can only aim for the best and most inclusive version possible. Moreover, with the website we also seek to provide profiles for all CRC members including new portraits. Taking these photos under pandemic conditions will take its time and we look forward to completing the presentation as soon as possible.
After taking all these steps, the website finally went online and can be explored. You can access it from here: https://hybrid-societies.org. We hope you enjoy browsing it as much as we do and look forward to hearing from you.