OED Online consultancy

Provide general consultancy on the OED Online project.

Client of Limitless
Balderdash and Piffle (2006, Wayback Machine)

In early 1997, Oxford University Press (OUP) invited Limitless to help them put the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) online.

Paola and Frank worked with OUP as general and technical advisers for the OED Online project; we provided both long-term advice and support to the development team, and helped OUP with a variety of design and deployment tasks during the design phase of the project.

Redesign of the date chart

Paola was asked to consider the design of the date chart - OED entries include quotations illustrating usage over time. The earliest quotation and spread of quotations is of interest to scholars.

There was a tabular representation of the dates in the original OED 2 online prototype.

Paola considered alternative representations and went for a bar-chart version.

She moved the "axis", simplified the labels and bottom-aligned the quotation years so that they gave the appearance of a bar-chart.

Although OUP later tried variations of the new date chart, OED Online used her redesigned date chart approach for several years.

Review OED Online user interface requirements

Paola reviewed the user-interface in the requirements document for OED Online.

She also reviewed the requirements document for the redeveloped CD-ROM version of OED 2.

Review of OED Online Invitation to Tender

Paola and Frank reviewed the draft Invitation to Tender (ITT) to be sent out to companies to develop and host OED Online.

Paola was also asked to review the graphic design to be included as screenshots in the ITT document.

Review of OED Online proposals

Paola and Frank reviewed the proposals sent to OUP by the potential site developers.

Ideas for OED Online

Following the research and development of Paola's functional prototype of OED Online, Paola and Frank documented 53 ideas and technical issues to consider in the online service.

These included a Word of the Day on the marketing site and graphical representations of dictionary statistics.

OED Online project web site

To assist the OED Online project team in the, Paola designed and built a project web site.

OED Online project BBS

Paola designed the front-end of a custom forum by designing a set of page templates with graphics.

OED Online beta reviews

Paola reviewed the user-interfaces of the first and second OED Online beta versions. 

Balderdash & Piffle web pages

Paola marked-up content files for the pages on oed.com supporting the BBC's Balderdash & Piffle TV series about the English language.

She also updated the XML file that was used to generate the oed.com web site.

The pages included calls to action as well as results of research into words featured in the programmes.

Browser-safe palette

Paola provided advice and recommendations on the use of the "browser-safe" palette; she was also asked to check and adjust images from the design company. 

Web logs

Paola ran a half-day session at OUP on web site logs, the problems with log analysers and how to interpret site stats.

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