Step two of the getting real process is to sketch out on paper the rough interface designs. Here is where "easier said than done" came into play. I should explain that the application will require users to be set up by an administrator and then log in with their U of M x500, at which point they will land on the main page of the application.
Mistake number one: the main page. I automatically made three sections: student, staff, reports. Seemed logical, seemed like most of our other applications. Then I remembered the goal: focus on the essential-we only need to find a particular student's document. Erase the staff section. We can add that later. I also changed "reports" to just a pending report that will show all students with documents currently being reviewed, as a way to find one without having to know the student's id or x500. A generic reports link will probably appear in the future, but not right now.
The next couple pages came quickly: a new student page for entering info on students not in the database, an admin page for setting up users, and the pending report.
Once again, had to erase a couple things. Do we need to collect a student's phone number? No. Pam said we never call them, just email. Don't need it, don't add it. Do we need to have boxes for both id and x500 where you look up a student? No. The code can figure it out, so enter either one.
The hardest page turned out to be the page that shows a particular student's activity. I'm on sketch four with that one (I'm glad I didn't skip sketching and jump straight to html!) This page could get really ugly (user-unfriendly) with info, so I'm trying to strike a balance between what there is and what you really need on this page.
And, yes, there will be a staff page. But we don't need it yet, we don't know who can see it (everybody, just that person, staff but not student workers), we don't know what will be on it and we can't meet for 2 weeks.
I gotta keep this baby movin'!