With over 1,000 international students coming to Aalborg each year and working as an international coordinator at Aalborg University’s International Office for two years now, I have become more and more frustrated about the almost non-existing level of information to the international audience in Aalborg. For about a year, I worked at the local tourist information and meeting planner VisitAalborg and did a fair share of translation of public information, but that was not at all enough for me. Too professional, too official, too mainstream.
Being abroad traveling for eight weeks on the American west coast this summer, I realised once again the importance of experiencing the local culture firsthand and I wanted to create those kinds of opportunities for people here in Aalborg. I figured it couldn’t be that difficult, since the size of the city is alright and too big. There’s not that much to do, but what there is to do, the international audience should know about.
What I’m getting at, when I returned in the beginning of August, I turned to my good friend and co-Information Architecture student, Anders Tolborg, and we started discussing what we could do. An online calendar quickly came into our minds, naturally. We didn’t need to set up a site for interaction, but merely for the display of information. We searched a bit for a CMS that would integrate a calendar the way we have prototyped it to do, and we found Drupal alongside some Drupal Therapy would do the job quite perfect. Instead of working with WordPress, Joomla or God forbid Typo3, content management systems we already have been working with, we took on the challenge of seeing if we could get Drupal to do as we want!
Using psd2css, Anders started working on a template we could use and I spent a lot of time translating and building content into the site. Only a few days before I had to do a couple of presentation for about 600 international students, we experienced that the psd2css template would work the way we wanted it to and decided to do some reverse designing at manipulate one of the existing templates and make that fit to our needs.
There’s still a lot of work to be done, but I’m quite satisfied with what we’ve got so far. Currently, I’m recruiting a couple of people that will get the responsibility of updating the calendar and the static pages with information, and also tweaking the design a bit here and there. I would consider What’s Aalborg? a constant work in progress and hopefully we’ll be able to update the site with new and exciting information all year around.
If you have any comments or if you want to help out, please feel free to contact me!