The Freeze Frame web site has undergone several satges in its development. Throughout that development the programme laid emphasis on usability and functionality. In September 2008 the team launched a preliminary version of the website to test user reaction and usability.
A usability assessment of this version of the website was carried out by Martin Lucas-Smith of the Cambridge University Department of Geography. The conclusions of this study were then fed into a functional specification for this beta version of the website.
The design of the Freeze Frame website uses open source components wherever possible and no client-side Java scripting. Users’ web browsers must be able to render JPG images otherwise there are few restrictions on the type of browser used, providing they are XHTML 1.x compliant.
This website is the visible front-end of an online repository containing over 20,000 images and related metadata. JPGs are dynamically generated from the DSpace@Cambridge repository. The site makes use of the latest open source software technologies and uses open standards for the presentation of the available resources.
The main features offered by this website include Browse and Search functionalities, a catalogue of images, related contextual resources and some User Help and Project pages.
The web server is a database-driven system. To the end-user it presents itself as a collection of dynamically generated web pages which are organized in a hierarchical structure. The top-level pages are easily accessible via main menu tabs. From there the user may choose to browse into lower-level pages which provide more detailed content on requested resource material, or to search the content using keywords (tags) or a free text search. The lower-level navigation within the contextual resources pages is done through tree-style menus.