The Open Mind Digital project is an educational web-application and platform, which was originally released in 2015 and has since been distributed to hundreds of thousands of school students, teachers and adult learners to support their book-based learning.
Featuring sophisticated, media-led interactivity, the development of this project fell into two abstract, client-side layers:
and the front end which displays this data as accessible, interactive web component templates. Interactivity includes drag/drop functionality, videos and audio, questions and answers, and timed quizzes.
At the start of this assignment my primary responsibility involved developing interactive (but also static) templates from wireframes and PSD design. These templates were constructed as a standalone Node.js application with automated build tools (including Sass for CSS). This generated an interactive prototype which could then be reviewed by the various project stakeholders. For CSS development we followed the Block, Element, Modifier (BEM) methodology which – combined with Sass – resulted in a very lean, clean and component-led codebase.
On the application side of the project we researched AngularJS as a potential framework before settling on Polymer. Despite being younger (and less mature), Polymer was more stable than Angular at the time and offered a more cutting-edge and future-proof opportunity to work within Web Components. It was also possible to combine Polymer with our pre-existing template codebase, easily and quickly generating components from our prototype and continuing to use the automated build tools we already had in place.