Puppycide Database Project Complete Redesign Underway
Since our founding, the Puppycide Database Project has used a variety of cutting edge technologies to allow the public access to records related to police violence for the first time. Without the efficient approach that we've designed for retrieving police records and storing them in a set of high performance virtual servers, for example, our Project would have never began. One of our primary goals has been to design a self-sustaining means of aggregating records related to police violence in a manner that is not cost-prohibitive. It is not an easy problem to solve, but we have made enormous headway.
In addition to the complexity of our technical goals, new cases of police using lethal violence against companion animals continue to occur on a daily basis across the United States. Over the last few years our founders and volunteers have done our best to triage all of the requests for assistance and leads we've received with the technical requirements for keeping the project tenable. The reality of the situation is we do not have the resources to accomplish everything we have wanted to.
Perhaps the most obvious and visible instance of our limitations has been our website itself. While puppycidedb.com has been cited by news agencies all over the world, and the site has enabled the public to find real data related to police shootings of animals for the first time ever, the look and user experience of the website is plain awful.
The template that we built for the website was never supposed to be permanent: it was built as a placeholder for the online form we used to manually collect records back when there were less than a half dozen volunteers using the form. Since then we have collected thousands of records and the website has had millions of views.
Over time, we have slowly added a variety of tools and huge amounts of data to the page. Unfortunately, because the web page design is so poor, many of our users do not realize this content exists. It's a bit like a Ferrari engine that's been put inside of a Yugo.
Making matters worse, last week the website experienced a period of extended downtime. Rather than invest the time needed to make the current website work under the much wider load than it was designed for, we have decided to completely redesign and rebuild the website from the ground up.
Our new website will be fully responsive on mobile devices and tablets, and will take advantage of a wide variety of some of the latest web design tools to present the work that we have done in a professional and easy to use manner.
For our volunteers, we will be combining our existing social tools into one place - where currently a volunteer might need to login to a half a dozen websites to plan, write, publish and announce a new blog post, our new website will allow you to accomplish all of these tasks from a single place.
Our plan is to roll out the new website in stages, so that first our volunteers can get used to using the new website before we release it to our end users (so we can best help anyone who needs a hand). These "alpha" releases can be viewed at new.puppycidedb.org. For now, the page is just a place-holder. Internal releases will be made available through an account login from this page until we are ready to redirect all website traffic.
As with every other element of the Puppycide Database Project, we will be listening for and acting upon feedback we receive from those who use our site - so please don't hesitate to let us know about new features you would like to see added.
We will be keeping everyone posted as we complete this new part of the Project, so stay tuned for more details!