D4DME – The Brief

The next unit for our level C year is ‘Design for Digital Media Environments’ or D4DME for short. On the 3rd of February we were introduced to the brief of our new unit. Our task is fairly straightforward, though the means of doing so are where it is going to be interesting. This unit is to be conducted in groups of three, in which we will have to create a website that uses databases through the use of PHP and SQL.

Over the last month or so, Kyle (workshop tutor) has been teaching us how to build and structure our own webpages with the use of HTML and CSS. Having already taught myself basic practice with these two languages before starting University, I was familiar with everything that was covered in these workshops and found the sessions to be a nice revision of my prior skills.

However, after we had created the front end design for our dummy website, Kyle (workshop tutor) introduced us to the next step of building a website – PHP.
PHP is a programming language that is used to maintain the back-end of websites, as well as to include the use of databases which result in minimal HTML content.
Previously in the year, Kyle (workshop tutor) taught us the basics of Processing, which bears a slightly similar syntax to PHP in that they both frequently call on functions, except the two languages have different names and structures for them.

The focus of this unit is on our ability to work well together as a team. Rob started our morning lecture by introducing us to a vast array of free, open source software that is available to us as digital designers. Due to the collaborative nature of coding, he strongly advised us to start working with Github so that we could easily backup and make changes to our code as a group.

We currently do not know who we are going to be working with on this unit, though I decided to sign up to Github anyway and played around with the software.

GitHub is the best place to share code with friends, co-workers, classmates, and complete strangers. Over eight million people use GitHub to build amazing things together.


Screenshot of GitHub Website


Screenshot of GitHub Software

Another thing that Rob suggested was to add a Wiki to our Dakar domains. Wikis are a great way to collaborate ideas and content, so I had a go at installing one on my domain directory. Wikimedia itself will be a great place for us to find content with different copyright restrictions (such as copy left) so that we will be able to use content without inflicting on any legal rights.


Screenshot of MediaWiki

To start the ball rolling, I asked the blue seminar group if they wanted to make a Facebook page so that we all had a place to socialize outside of our individual groups. They thought that this would be a nice idea, as it would give us a place to discuss our work without getting in the way of our actual projects. I created the page and so far most people have joined.

Hopefully we will find out who our individual group mates are within the next couple of days so that we can start to formulate some website ideas together.


Preston-Werner, T. Wanstrath, C and Hyett, P J., 2008. GitHub [online]. United States: San Francisco
Available from: https://github.com [2/5/2015].