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ArtBabble 24 Hour Sprint

As ArtBabble turned three this past spring, the ArtBabble Team at the IMA convened and started to think about all of the major changes we wanted to make to the site. This summer the team, which consists of IMA Lab developers, designers, educators and producers, got to work planning the redesign, including establishing a new brand and getting a staging site running to start transferring content.

Inspired by SmallBox‘s 24 Hour Web Project, we decided (perhaps foolishly) to hold a 24 hour sprint to implement the new ArtBabble. This gives the nine of us a chance to collaborate closely on the project, as well as do focused work without other office issues interrupting. We decided to get away from our usual space, and are excited to be sprinting at the Speak Easy, an awesome co-working space in Broad Ripple.

So finally, today is the day! The sprint is upon us, and we have gathered with much caffeine to babble our little hearts out.

The team sets up and gets to work.

Charlie Moad, Director of IMA Lab, and I will be live blogging the progress here, so check back for updates or follow us on twitter at @ArtBabble. We guarantee some middle-of-the-night dance party madness and at least a few shots of us eating pizza.

9:00 a.m.: The team arrives and starts carting computers, paperwork, food and yellow mascots up to the Speak Easy loft, our working space for the next day. There are so many things to bring! I forgot my mouse and made an emergency phone call to get one delivered. -Emily

9:45 a.m.: We are all set up in the loft, including multiple cases of Diet Coke, Dr. Pepper, and Red Bull. Designer Rita Troyer just briefed the guys on the technical feature list and everyone is volunteering for tasks they are interested in. –Emily

10:17 a.m.: The table gets quiet as everyone gets to work! -Emily

11:00 a.m.: Most of the first hour involved just getting everything up and running and assigning areas of the site that each developer will work on. I’m working with the designers to get the main site theme running. Kyle and Dan are working on the search index and site navigation. Ed is working on the video pages. Gray is cranking out partner and people listing pages. Kris is diving into the front page. Emily is providing moral support. -Charlie

11:01 a.m.: Rude. I am, in fact, organizing the “For Educators” page content. –Emily

11:25 a.m.: Pictures are starting to show up on twitter. Follow along with #babblesprint. -Emily

11:35 a.m.: Some of us dressed for the occasion: (Buy your own Wolf Shirt) -Charlie

11:50 a.m.: Lunch arrives (delicious Jimmy Johns) for our first break and recap of work so far. Daniel Cervantes reports on how search is going: “It’s going.” –Emily

12:44 p.m.: Starting to see some content appearing on the home page and working with developer Kris Arnold on some content for “Popular Videos”. Jimmy Johns sufficiently decimated. –Emily

1:16 p.m.: It’s getting real now. A lot of crosstalk is starting to happen. -Charlie

1:18 p.m.: Emailing partners and working with them on embedding their videos from YouTube, Vimeo and Brightcove. We hope this major change will enable many more videos from places you love like SFMOMA. Also, just checked out our browser use analytics for the past year: AB users are fairly evenly spaced out, with Safari at 30%, IE at 24%, Firefox at 23%, Chrome at 22% and Opera squeaking in with 1%. -Emily

1:30 p.m.: Meg Liffick, the IMA’s Director of Public Affairs, brought us some of her amazing cookies. Just the fuel we needed to keep going! -Emily

2:14 p.m.: More and more content is starting to appear on the staging site, and Matt is following up with style. I’m about to migrate all the video files from the old site to the new site where we are still hosting the videos. Many videos on the new ArtBabble will be hosted by Vimeo, YouTube, and BrightCove. -Charlie

2:33 p.m.: Web designer Matt Gipson is dominating CSS while working on the main menus. Also he just finished his third Red Bull. -Emily

2:34 p.m.: Developer Gray Bowman announces all code for the partner channels page is finished. A cheer rises from the gathered crowd. -Emily

3:03 p.m.: Time flies when you are having fun. 5+ hours in and it feels like we just got here. -Charlie

3:39 p.m.: ArtBabble 24 Hour Sprint, now brought to you by George Michael and Stanley. When someone working downstairs heard the saxophone they shouted “Oh, NO!” -Emily

4:00 p.m.: I couldn’t stand it anymore. The free beer tap downstairs has started flowing. -Charlie

4:12 p.m.: At a quarter of the way through, spirits are still high. We have completed a significant amount of work and are starting to get to the fun parts. More visiting coworkers are on their way! -Emily

5:30 p.m.: The videos pages are starting to really look like the final product. I also just kicked off a transfer of about 1500 videos from the old site to the new site. They are all going to be converted using Zencoder. -Charlie

5:44 p.m.: Jenny from Public Affairs stopped by with spirit glasses! The team paused for a group photo. -Emily

6:12 p.m.: Kyle Jaebker, whose titled is self-described as “Boss”, just announced that the Facebook comments feature is done! I am personally really excited for this feature and the potential for more conversation around videos. -Emily

6:49 p.m.: The pizza and wine is here. -Emily

7:39 p.m.: We were working so hard we tripped a breaker. Lights out until we can figure where the breaker box is hiding. -Charlie

7:57 p.m.: 10 hours in. Light are back on. We are getting ready to pause for our first major group check-in on progress. I think we were supposed to do that about 6 hours ago… -Charlie

8:49 p.m.: Everyone is diving in after our status meeting. We have progressed through much of the development of more than half of the pages and Matt has started styling pages. The site is starting to look real! I have been adding test content for related links and getting videos selected to test the new homepage slider. -Emily

9:43 p.m.: The music selection is going down hill. Fast. -Charlie

9:49 p.m.: Halfway through. Starting to see lots of check marks on our progress board! -Emily

10:28 p.m.: The music is getting truly bizarre. Also, 90 minutes until our cookie delivery arrives. -Emily

10:55 p.m.: We have started to get into the nitty-gritty. Lots of detailed questions and everyone is focusing on minutiae, throwing questions out for designers Rita and Matt. -Emily

11:42 p.m.: Cookies are here. Time for a progress update and stretch break. -Charlie

12:13 a.m.: Working on pulling high resolution poster images. We want our partner’s videos to look great. -Charlie

12:41 a.m.: 9 hours to go! Just finished writing the blog post announcing the update for the existing site. We hope to have a splash page with a promo video on the old site on Monday morning for the next few weeks before launch. I also have started the task of saving every partner logo and transferring them to the new site. It’s the little things like this that make the site start to look really put together and polished. -Emily

12:59 a.m.: “Waiting for my internet to come back.” -Charlie via Emily’s internet connection

1:10 a.m.: Everyone is getting their second wind. Almost all the work at this point is in the fine details. Unfortunately there are a lot of those. -Charlie

2:13 a.m.: Just finished pulling and adding all the partners logos. Now I am going to create the new footer pages: About and Contact Us. This will combine all the current footer page content, some of which is outdated. Kyle just shared: “We already have more code commits in two hours today than what we did all yesterday.” -Emily


Code Commits for the past 24 hours


2:37 a.m.: A middle of the night sneak peek at the new ArtBabble graphic identity. I can’t wait to unveil the full site! -Emily

3:25 a.m.: After wrestling with it for 45 minutes, developer Gray Bowman just announced YES! and pounded the table when he got a particularly difficult bit of code to work. At 3 in the morning, these are the things that keep us going. -Emily

3:31 a.m.: It’s getting harder and harder to tackle the next task… Still plowing through though. -Charlie

3:58 a.m.: LOOK! a squirrel!!!!! -Kris

4:20 a.m.: Just completed our 4am status meeting. The final To Do list has been drawn up and everyone has broken out to work on the final tasks. Eyes are red. Also, it appears the blog has been hacked. -Emily

5:42 a.m.: Tasks are taking about 4 times longer than normal right now. Knowing we are approaching the 24 hour end is making it hard to concentrate as well. -Charlie

6:20 a.m.: Desperately needing a shot of inspiration to make it through the final stretch. I have been been linking videos for a while, and made a lot of progress on SmartHistory, MoMA and YBCA. “You Can Call Me Al” just came on so I think it may be time for a short dance break. -Emily

6:22 a.m.: I just counted 4 heads leaning on hands. These hours are ticking by slower and slower it seems. -Charlie

6:54 a.m.: Speak for yourselves, you guys. -Rita 

7:35 a.m.: I have been officially spent for about a hour. Everyone else is hanging in there like champs and have done amazing work over these last 22 hours. -Charlie

7:35 a.m.: The guys have a new round of focused work after breakfast bagel delivery. I am working on more content for the homepage and hoping the final hour goes quickly! -Emily

8:39 a.m.: Cleanup and breakdown begins. The number of Red Bull cans, pizza boxes and cookies gathered is preposterous. I am so proud and impressed by the amount of work the IMA Lab team completed! We will take the next few weeks to implement page styling on the site and make sure everything is working perfectly before the big launch. -Emily

9:15 a.m.: We have had so much fun today, and we are so pleased with the results of the sprint. Thanks for following along! Thanks also to SmallBox Web and the Speak Easy for sharing and hosting us. We can’t wait to share the shiny new site with you on December 4th (we hope!) Please continue to share our project on Twitter until the relaunch and let us know what you think of the site when it debuts! – Emily & Charlie

Filed under: Around the Web, New Media

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