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Planning the SIM Centre web site: technical requirements

We're now well into the job of overhauling our site. As we chug along, I thought it might be useful for folks to see how I documented our requirements for the site. This is a fairly sketchy set of requirements -- I'd recommend a much more detailed set of requirements for most purposes, but since this is a simple site and since I (the client) know a fair bit about Drupal, we didn't need a detailed set of requirements in order to lay out the expectations for the site. The wireframes that I previously posted actually offer a much more detailed picture of the prospective site, but a table like this is a nice place to start. Apologies for the crazy-looking table but I was starting from a Microsoft Word document and didn't want to spend too much time on cleanup! You'll find this much easier to read by downloading the Word file here.

Approach: We need a simple web site with the flexibility to grow and expand over time; we expect the SIM Centre site may be a way of trying out new features that could later be incorporated into the Drupal install for While we are setting up an independent site in order to have admin access, flexibility and a few additional features that are not available on the site, the goal (at least in the first instance) is to have a site that feels as integrated/seamless as possible with the in a best-case scenario the user wouldn’t realize they were on a different site, except by looking at the address bar and seeing a different URL.

Platform and hosting: A Drupal site has already been provisioned by CanTrust hosting and setup with the basic modules, nav structure and content. It’s at

Taxonomy: We will need a combination of free tags and a few structured taxonomies:

a. free tagging
b. thematic categories (correspond to major thematic areas, e.g. 3D, soft materials, social media)
c. projects (should integrate with node relationships)

In addition I would like to use node relationships to relate projects, industry partners and faculty.  See for example the relationship between clients ( and projects on the Social Signal site (

Roles and permissions: We need to include three user roles:

  1. Admin: full access
  2. SIM team:  this would allow a few internal people to add content.
  3. ECUAD: (hoping for pass-through authentication from though have yet to get confirmation that this is possible. Would provide access to internal pages (grant application info) which we will otherwise need to make generally visible.

For the rest document, which you'll find much easier to read download the Word file here.


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Welcome to the SIM Centre

The Social + Interactive Media Centre is a new research centre that supports a wide range of applied social, interactive and design projects. Funded by a 5-year grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the centre offers BC companies a way to tap the design, creative and technical expertise of Emily Carr faculty and students.

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