Sneak Peek: ACTion Alexandria’s Home Page Design

We have entered a very exciting phase of the ACTion Alexandria project. We’ve signed off on our homepage design!

If you’ve been through the website design process, you know how important, but often how tedious it can be to hammer out all of your functional requirements. “Functional Requirements” even sound tedious, don’t they? But important they are, and I still wake up at 3:00 am with a gasp remembering some crucial function I’ve left off my list. But I digress.

During the wireframe phase, you start to get an idea of what your website pages will actually look like wireframes are more about placement than anything. They represent progress, but, let’s face it, wireframes are still not very exciting.

The design comp phase is when things really get fun because you finally get to see what is just short of a working model of your project. We’ve been happy to work with the, well, rad, folks at RAD Campaign on the development of ACTion Alexandria, and Alex Kowal’s homepage design exceeded our expectations.

While ACTion Alexandria is an online portal for community action, most of that action needs to take place offline, in the community. Alex captured that mission beautifully by incorporating the idea of a community bulletin board into the design-the kind of bulletin board you might see at St. Elmos or Mishas while picking up your morning coffee. Over all, we feel we got the community-focused design we asked for, all wrapped up in an easy-to-use, friendly, and vibrant package.

We hope you like it as much as we do.

Note: Titles, headings, and text are still not final. If only I did read Latin.

Click on the image to see it full size.

Toys for Tots, Wheels to Africa, Alexandria’s Black History Museum and More: This Week’s Latest ACTion

  • Don’t forget, tomorrow (December 14th) is the deadline to drop off donations for Toys for Tots at the Sheriff”s Office.  The City of Alexandria reports that donations are “needed for babies two and younger and children 13 and older.”  Your gifts will be given to the children of those incarcerated at the Alexandria Detention Center. Please contact Deputy Stubblefield at (703) 746-5134 to arrange your donation.
  • Check out this must-read article about  Wheels to Africa, a charity created by Arlington teenager Winston Duncan.  In six years, Duncan and others have sent 2,700 unwanted bikes to Africa.  T.C. Williams served as one of the drop-off locations this past Saturday for this year’s collection event.  Even though it has passed, you can still lend a helping hand by volunteering or donating to this great cause!
  • Looking for a way to get involved in your city? The Alexandria Commission for the Arts is in need of volunteers to serve on various panels.  All members are required to serve three-year terms, during which they will help approve grants and funding for the 2012 fiscal year.  To learn more, visit theAlexandria Commission for the Arts.
  • To kick off its new exhibit, “Style and Identity: Black Alexandria in the 1970s, Portraits by Horace Day,” Alexandria’s Black History Museum will host an event on Tuesday, December 14th.  The new exhibition will feature scenes of Alexandria and portraits of African American Alexandrians.  Read the official press release to find out more about the event and Day’s work.
  • Last week, the Carlyle Community blog detailed the upcoming visit of 150 1st Graders from Mount Vernon Community School to the Alexandria Sanitation Authority to learn about the importance of clean water.  The field trip was part of World Water Monitoring Day, celebrated throughout the world. You can see photos and videos of the field trip on the ASA’s Facebook page

Toys for Tots, Columbia Pike Transit Initiative and More: This Week’s Latest ACTion

  • On Sunday, December 5th from 1-5 PM, the City’s 36th Annual Toys for Tots Benefit Square Dance will be held at the Lee Center Exhibit Hall.  The Capital Squares Demonstration Team will perform at 3 PM.  All toys donated during the event will be given to children in the Washington Metropolitan Area.  For more info,  call the City of Alexandria’s Special Events Hotline at (703) 746-5592 or visit the Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities page.
  • Alexandria residents are invited to attend two meetings regarding the Columbia Pike Transit Initiative.  According to the City of Alexandria’s website, plans are being made to “extend [the route] along Columbia Pike (Route 244) from the Bailey’s Crossroads/Skyline area in Fairfax County to Pentagon City in Arlington County. Alignment and yard options extend to the Northern Virginia Community College within the City of Alexandria.”  Both meetings, on November 15th and 18th, will be hosted by Arlington County and cover the same topics.  The City asks that those interested attend the meeting most convenient for them.
  • Barbara Maxwell, a reporter for The Examiner, writes that on Saturday, November 20th, the City of Alexandria and Covanta Energy will host a “Mercury Drop-Off” event where residents can safely dispose of devices containing the hazardous metal.  Visit the City’s Household Hazardous Waste page for more details.
  • City officials are encouraging all residents and visitors to recycle and reuse plastic bags.  With the Plastic Bag Recycling Initiative, the City of Alexandria hopes to promote environmental awareness and meet the goals set by the Eco-City Alexandria Initiative.  To learn more and to find out how you can help, visit the City’s Solid Waste and Recycling page.

Photo courtesy of Columbia Pike Transit Initiative

Flu Shots, MetroAccess, 4MR Park Architects and More: This Week’s Latest ACTion

  • Help yourself and those around you stay healthy this winter.  Be sure to get a flu shot.  For more information, contact the Alexandria Health Department’s Immunization Clinic, or make an appointment with your physician today!
  • Are you a MetroAccess rider or do you know someone who uses the service? A meeting will be held on Saturday, October 30th at the EnDependence Center of Northern Virginia to discuss the fare changes going into effect on November 1st.  A WMATA representative will be on hand for a presentation and to answer questions.  The meeting is scheduled to begin at 1:00 PM.
  • Don’t miss The Arlandrian’s coverage of Architects Anonymous, a group of architects who donated their time and skill to work on a plan to expand Four Mile Run Park Park. The group was honored by the Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The Anonymous Architects also want to renovate the old Duron building located on Mount Vernon Avenue. Designs for the park will be on display this Sunday at the Four Mile Run Farmers Market, and the architects will stop by to ask for volunteers who wish to help make their plan a reality.
  • According to the Parker-Gray Growler, a meeting will take place at Jefferson-Houston School tonight at 7:00 PM on the possible “redevelopment” of the school.  The Alexandria City Public Schools website comments that the meeting will touch on “space needs; renovation and new building options, with a costs comparison analysis; and site analysis.”  Tours of the school will be given before the meeting.
  • On Wednesday morning, October 27th from 7:45-9:30 AM, Dr. Stephen Fuller will speak at an Act for Alexandria breakfast on the “economic trends at the national level leading into the recession and looking forward to 2011 and beyond.”  Dr. Fuller, the Director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, is an expert on “the changing structure of metropolitan area economies.”  If interested in attending, there is still some time to register! Ticket sales end tomorrow.

Image courtesy of the The LRC Blog

Fighting Breast Cancer, Harvest Market, Bill Gates and More: This Week’s Latest ACTion

    • Join your fellow Alexandrians on Saturday, October 23rd in the Walk to Fight Breast Cancer.  Money raised will benefit the Alexandria Breast Cancer Fund.  Visit the City website for more info!
    • The Arlandrian reports that on Sunday, October 24th, the Four Mile Run Farmers Market will sponsor the 4MR Harvest Market from 8 AM to 1PM.  With Halloween around the corner, the first 30 children in costume will be given FREE, eco-friendly trick-or-treat bags! Proceeds from the event, which will feature live performances, will benefit the Education and Entertainment Foundation, as well as The Bea & the Bug Extravaganza for Children.
    • On Thursday, October 14th, Bill Gates and family visited Alexandria to open the Mary M. Gates Learning Center, named after his late mother.  With a donation of $19 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Center was created with assistance from United Way Worldwide “to promote cooperation and innovation in meeting human needs in communities in the U.S. and worldwide,” according to Pamela Passman, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Microsoft Corporation.
    • The Urban Forestry Steering Committee and the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities will host a tree sale at George Washington Middle School on Saturday, October 23rd, from 8 AM to 1 PM.  The purpose of the fall sale, in its sixth year, is to preserve and enhance Alexandria’s natural beauty by encouraging residents to plant trees on their properties.
    • The Associated Press reports that despite the Recession and an overall drop in charitable giving, the United Way and the Salvation Army (both based in Alexandria) still receive sizable donations and support from the community.  In its annual ranking of the top 400 charities, The Chronicle of Philanthropy placed the United Way and the Salvation Army at #1 and #2 respectively in the country.