Her Journey is a community-based initiative to advocate for and inform women working as Foreign Domestic Workers (FDW) in Singapore. Focusing on addressing FDWs’ labor relations and rights issues, we also strive to reshape public perception. –Find out more from What is Her Journey

We work with local NGOs to develop educational videos for foreign domestic workers, which contain legal tips on common labor rights disputes. We designed the “Empathy Challenge” card game to deepen players’ understanding of FDW, where they play the roles of FDW and employers, and discuss solutions to challenges. We created a podcast based on FDW interviews and shared their personal migration stories and suggestions for other FDWs. We have promoted our content through seminars with NGOs and schools, and have received positive feedback from hundreds of foreign maids, national labor unions, and partner NGOs.

With a few months of hard work, Her Journey’s website is eventually published, presented to the public. It is where you can conveniently find out all about Her Journey.

Recently, we launched the “Podcast” section of the website. We publish the story of an FDW every month, finding out what their lives are like, understanding their needs, and work together to solve their difficulties.

More about Her Journey site building

There was a website for Her Journey though, before I joined the GC. Made with the free website builder Google Sites, it includes basic information of Her Journey and includes a few images. It was almost ready to be published when I joined the GC. The GC leaders then, Karen and Yueyang, introduced me to the project. I took the role of finishing up + publishing the website.

I logged into Google Sites and went through the website. It looked like this:

Her Journey Website V1.0

It looked quite nice, all key elements and information are shown in a clean and tidy manner. The only problem, a serious problem, is that it looks too simple. It does not have much difference from other Google Sites. The lack of customisation may be a common problem of the New Google Sites. This is a simple trade-off between easier & faster site-building experience and customisability, variety of functions and uniqueness of design. In the New Google Sites, users have no other customisable options apart from choosing template, adding simple, pre-designed blocks and changing inline text and images. In contrast, the classic version of Google Sites may be more cumbersome to operate, and the style is a bit obsolete, but it has done quite well in terms of customisation. No two classic google sites are the same. I have used the classic Google Sites for a period of time for my first blog and was surprised by the different changes I could make to the website and the widgets I could add (that was when I start messing up with HTML, CSS and JS for the firs time).

Besides the customisation issues, the new version of Google Sites is also very limited in functionality. No CSS can be added, let alone other scripts for more functionality. It seems impossible to add the podcast module in the website or embed Instagram posts.

I have built a few blogs and websites, but obviously I’m not a professional in website building. Nevertheless, I really enjoy the process of building a website, to set it up step by step, to optimise it and eventually seeing it published. The aforementioned limitations of Google Sites are quite unbearable and I’m quite passionate to put more efforts into the websites. Therefore, I decided to change the whole website to another platform.

I have already had preliminary knowledge of the few major site-building platforms from the research for the CTB project 52Hz. As this website requires some customised functions, third-party building platforms should be excluded first, Wix, WordPress.com, are crossed out from the options. It may be a good choice and opportunity to code a website from scratch, or perhaps with some frontend frameworks, but again I’m not a pro and it seems impossible to code a stable website (with no bugs) that is integrated with beauty and powerful functions completely by myself within two weeks.

I seldom come into contact with static website generators such as Hexo & Hugo, and personally feel that they are more suitable for blog sites with simpler functions, so I gave up. In this way, my final choice was WordPress (again?) for its powerful plugins, self-explanatory set-up processes and a large number of themes.

After uploading website files and going through the set-up process, we chose the theme Matina together.

Matina Theme for WP

A problem of the theme was, as a two-column blog template, it wasn’t a perfect choice for a GC website. I usually use WordPress as blogs and do not have much experience in the aspect of building a webpages with it (e.g. landing pages). I dived into tutorials and guides, then used Beaver Builder to build all the pages.

There are many difficulties in the process of building the pages. Some Beaver Builder styles are not very compatible with the original template. The two navigation bars were fighting and went into a mess; Some pages I designed, perhaps due to line heights and font sizes, looked just quite uncomfortable. After days of modification they looked much better. Here are some of the pages.

Home:

About us:

Empathy challenge:

Contact us (feel like it is not minimalist enough but anyway):

Building the Podcast

The highlight part! This is the Podcast that we launched recently.

From the research I did in the CTB project, I learned a little bit about the major radio platforms. Third-party podcast platforms requires quite a long time to apply for a podcast station. This sounds quite inconvenient and time-consuming. It seems better to build a podcast on my own.

An audio player in an article, that looks quite simple. I strongly recommend Sonaar’s audio player. Its appearance is one of the best I have seen in all the plugins. Its sound wave design is especially attractive and elegant (Since this website was carried out during the same period as the CTB project, the sound wave design of the gaming mode in the 52Hz app was also inspired by it).

The Sonaar plugin makes the process of publishing simple. With the link to the audio file of the podcast in hand, we could add the player into the article just by inserting ShortCode and the transcript of the podcast as the article content underneath.

The top the cover image, in the middle the audio player, the bottom the transcript

This is all about the Her Journey website. Visit Her Journey Podcast, and experience FDW stories! If there are any technical issues please feedback soon!

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