Senior creates orientation website for PU

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It’s an inevitable fact that parents always have a lot of questions when it comes to their son or daughter leaving for college. It’s also a fact that more often than not the child has no idea how to answer the question. Thanks to Ben Griffin’s senior project, answers are now a mouse click away.

Griffin coded and designed a fully-functional website, “Pacific Online Parent Orientation,” as a one-stop shop for answering any question a parent might have about Pacific. It includes a virtual tour of Pacific coded using 400 lines of JavaScript.

The integrated media major became a Student Orientation Leader in 2010 and despite numerous newsletters Pacific sent out, the Student Life Office still received phone calls from parents asking questions.

Griffin said he wanted to challenge himself with his project and succeeded in several ways. He expanded on his knowledge of JavaScript, a scripting language similar to Flash, and used it to create interactive and dynamic aspects of the website. Some challenges Griffin faced were communicating and meeting with his clients as well as small design issues.

The largest development challenge, he said, was meshing QuickTime Virtual Reality and Google Maps for the virtual tour, since Pacific is a private campus and does not allow Google street view access.

Thanks to smart phones with the ability access the Internet, the possibility of mobile device compatibility for both the website and the virtual tour came up. Griffin said that the site works for the most part on an iPad or an iPhone, but not the virtual tour.

The issue of copyright arose as well, to which Griffin responded that the design was a tangible medium, that he had to work within the university’s style guide and that he never intended to do it for money. Had he been free-lancing this project, Griffin said he would have charged $70 – $80 per hour, an estimated $25,000 worth of work.


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