Heritage volunteer experience – Gabriella

As a creative writing student, I often complete the process of planning, researching and creating a project, so the hidden histories toolkit explores an area that is very familiar to me.

One of the most intimidating challenges was the large quantity of links in the existing toolkit. A portion of these were defunct, outdated or mislabeled, making it harder to approach them. After some consideration, I created a spreadsheet using all of the links, ending up with over 200. From here, I was able to evaluate them and mark which links needed removing or changing.

Next, I looked at the content. Coming into the toolkit, I had experience with web content editing in WordPress, so I was familiar with the system. My experience with my own projects also helped me to evaluate the efficacy of the toolkit. After making the page structure and order clearer, I streamlined the content to minimise repetition and create a clearer process. I also updated the pages with the latest information on social media and technology, as this has evolved since the original 2016 creation of the toolkit.

As I went along, I also altered the appearance of the pages. I created new buttons to match the colour scheme of the new website, and found stock images to decorate the pages. One issue that I had was that many pages used tables to display the content, but they sometimes warped and did not fit into the pages correctly. Eventually, I discovered that there was a built-in setting that could fix this.

Overall, the project gave me the opportunity to expand my web content editorial skills, while gaining more of an awareness of available resources. It’s been a really rewarding experience, and I would encourage anyone thinking of getting involved to do so!

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