The Hub

The Project

Year Developed: 2020

Project Type: Website

Languages Used: PHP, HTML, JSON, CSS3 (responsive), Javascript, MySQLi

The Background

Since the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014 Scotland has enjoyed a renewed sense of self, becoming more engaged with politics and is more aware of what is happening and how decisions are being made in the country. As part of this increased quest for knowledge there have been a number of “new media” platforms sprouting up online. These include The National newspaper (Scotland’s only pro-independence paper).

The Brief

After the result of the 2014 referendum was announced, those that previously voted Yes vowed to continue to campaign for independence. Those that produced articles, videos, livestreams & podcasts continued to do so, and a new era of Citizen Journalism was born.

Regularly visiting all of these websites became a time-consuming task , with some would not be updated as often as others. Therefor The Hub needed the following:

  • Ability to monitor websites for new content.
  • Allow visitors to register and subscribe to those websites.
  • Show political groups near their location.
  • Show political events nears their location.
  • Ensure the website can be viewed comfortably on all type of device.
  • Allow a way to easily share information contained on The Hub
  • Maximise exposure of content on The Hub on search-engines.

The Design

The design of The Hub was done in-house, inspired by a combination of both Twitter and Facebook. The design was regularly audited the design using Lighthouse to make sure it was suitable for the visually impaired. Different layouts were created depending on the size of your device.

The Development

The Hub uses an API to retrieve information from the database, returned in JSON form. At the time this website was being developed, we decided it would be beneficial to improve the API – firstly because there was a lot of new information we needed to return, and secondly to improve the speed at which results were returned.

The majority of each area was styled the same, with subtle differences added depending on the content. For example, fundraisers would show how much money had been raised, whereas events would show the time and date of the event itself.

We benchmark-tested using Core Web Vitals, with the initial “Explore” page that all visitors visit achieving a perfect 100% score across all categories.

Web-scripts were developed to allow people to embed The Hub’s content on third-party websites (similar to embedded a Twitter post).

In the second half of 2022, we were tasked with integrating Google Adsense to the existing website.