Our Design Philosophy

Given the Student Launch program's role as one of the Aerospace Engineering Department's premier activities and the emphasis on community outreach through educational engagements during the school year, the quote below from the Auburn University Style Guide is especially impressionable.

Auburn University's trademarks and logos reflect the reputation and image of the University. Therefore, it is critical that those visual elements that represent the institution are presented correctly and with integrity, which is the foundation for successful branding. When that visual representation is disconnected or inconsistent, the perception of the institution can suffer.

Research with prospective students shows that a visual identity used consistently over time paves the way to an enhanced image, instant recognition, and higher recall. With more than 3,600 colleges and universities in the United States, competition for the best students is increasing. Maintaining our visual identity is one way to stand out within the consideration set.

When designing the Auburn University Student Launch team's website, this important principle is at the forefront of the Web Design Team's considerations and is the primary motivating factor for nearly all the stylistic design choices. With the reputation of the University and its branding behind the website, careful consideration is required to ensure that the quality of the website does not suffer. In addition, special care is taken to make sure that, as a representation of the university, the website is accessible to all.

With this in mind, the website presents an exciting opportunity to demonstrate the unique talents of the design team. Therefore, the Website Design team has imposed its own standards, in order to elevate the quality of the website above what is required at a minimum in order to comply with University standards.

Important Design Features

Responsive Design

bootstrap logoWhat is a responsive website design? Firefox Developer Tools characterize responsive designs as follows: "Responsive designs adapt to different screen sizes to provide a presentation that is suitable for different kinds of devices, such as mobile phones or tablets." In an era where smartphones, ultrabooks, and all kinds of other mobile devices are becoming ever more ubiquitous a responsive design is critical for ensuring a seamless, consistent user-experience across all platforms.

Therefore, the Student Launch Team is built on the Bootstrap framework for its basic CSS and Javascript structure. Written by hand, Benjamin Bauldree and Ryan McWilliams relied heavily on Auburn resource files for the overall structure of the website, while using various IDE's (such as Bootply and Pingendo) to customize and prototype the overall design. Web design without a WYSIWYG editor provides several distinct advantages for the time-investment. Primarily, human-readable and easily modifiable source, along with complete flexibility in design. This provides a highly sustainable solution for creating a beautiful, functional website. With a responsive design, Auburn's Student Launch website works just as well on an iPhone as it does on your desktop. Try it!

Accessibility

As well as being a NASA requirement, accessibility is a highly important criteria for any successful web site. With this in mind, special care is taken to meet the accessibility standards as layed out in the NASA Statement of Work. In addition, the Auburn Student Launch team has imposed their own standards in order to meet the Auburn Policy on Web Accessibility Standards.

Last Updated: 11 January 2017