Making of …
Dopeology began in 2009 as a sandbox and shop window for my professional work and as an expression of my personal passion for road cycling.
As a web professional, I like to split my work between business activities (analysis, strategy and so on) and a bit of front-end development. By 2011 however, I found myself with fewer opportunities to try out new technologies and actually make things.
I also had an image problem: most of my output was either hidden from public view or subject to constraints. I needed an outlet of my own.
The debate about doping in professional cycling was unstructured, anecdotal and usually diminished by a lack of decent sources. I decided to use the Internet in an attempt to systematise information about the topic.
I tried to reduce doping to its simplest components and designed a taxonomy around them. To that I added a set of business rules to govern how to record new or historical instances of doping.
Prior to Dopeology, I hadn't really done any database design in my career. I managed to make a few incorrect assumptions along the way but a working administration UI enabled me to quickly test my taxonomy and to start to populate the website.
It took me almost eighteen months to do the bulk of the data entry, which consisted of thousands of records. In the meantime, I designed a public-facing UI.
After Dopeology's first release in 2011, I took an active part in the doping debate on social media, responding to enquiries from journalists and eventually assisting an independent investigation established by the sport's governing body. I continued to maintain the data and add minor improvements but it wasn't until Spring 2016 that I decided to do a major update.
Dopeology aims to demonstrate aspects of my skills in the following:
- Content strategy (modelling, copy decks, content management)
- Information architecture (taxonomy design, wayfinding, permalinks)
- Responsive UI Design (adaptive interface, media queries)
- Web standards (HTML, CSS, SVG, JSON)
- Server-side technologies (PHP, MySQL)