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1he isuaI Learner's 6uide te

Managing Neb Prejects




how to plan, organize, build and manage effective web sites























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1he isuaI Learner's 6uide te Managing Neb Prejects

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AcknewIedgements

Author
Chris Charuhas

Copy fditor
Kate Burle

Content fditor
Meghan Mull

Cover 0esign
Meuiastuuio

Photography
San Hughes

Special thanls to Kate Burle for all her help in euiting this bool anu helping translate Web
jargon into laynan`s terns. Thanls to Meghan Mull of Georgia Acaueny for proviuing excellent
suggestions on the bool`s content anu how to organize it. Thanls also to everyone whose photos
appeareu in the sanple project scenario-your tine anu assistance is nuch appreciateu.

Thanls to Catherine Shaw anu Matt Langley at Meuiastuuio, Inc. anu Daviu Pierpont at
Telenatique for their observations on Web training anu the site-builuing process, anu to Darren
Hart, PC for his copyright worl on this bool.










This bool is ueuicateu to Peter Charuhas,
whose support enableu it to be written.


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1abIe ef Centents

0verview......................................................................................................................................z
PIan ......................................................................................................... g
Assess yeur Web site................................................................................................................
Cempare yeur site te ethers.....................................................................................................6
Identify the decisien-maker..................................................................................................... B
5eIect the Web 1eam..............................................................................................................iz
Cenduct an initiaI meeting......................................................................................................i
efine the audience and purpese ...........................................................................................zo
ReseIve the success criteria ...................................................................................................zj
List the reseurces avaiIabIe....................................................................................................zj
Cheese the right seftware ......................................................................................................z/
1rain ...................................................................................................... gy
PIan the curricuIum................................................................................................................j6
Prepare the Web team............................................................................................................i
Cenduct training.....................................................................................................................j
0rganize ................................................................................................ qy
etermine site centent...........................................................................................................6
5tructure centent greups....................................................................................................... B
Create the site bIueprint.........................................................................................................g
Create the werk pIan...............................................................................................................g6
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8uiId ...................................................................................................... 6z
Cenerate design medeIs.........................................................................................................6z
Prepare centent......................................................................................................................6
Censtruct a werking draft....................................................................................................... /i
Cenduct audience testing......................................................................................................./g
Pest the site Iive..................................................................................................................... //
Maintain ................................................................................................
stabIish guideIines fer structure and design........................................................................ Bo
5et update scheduIe...............................................................................................................Bi
5pecify werkfIew fer site additiens........................................................................................ Bz
Create a site maintenance guide............................................................................................ Bj

Neb Preject 5cenarie..................................................................................8y

5ite-8uiIding CheckIist.......................................................................................................... zzy

lndex.........................................................................................................................................zz



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0verview

uilding web sites in-house

If you`re the typical person builuing a Web site, you`re builuing one for an organization,
whether that`s your conpany, your church, your bowling league, your fanily, or sone
other group of people with whon you`re affiliateu. If your organization is typical, it
woulu lile to builu anu upuate its Web site in-house.

Perhaps the site was built by a contractor who uiun`t get it right, or it`s naintaineu by a
contractor who charges too nuch. Or naybe the contractor isn`t responsive with upuates.
Bringing your Web worl in-house offers to solve these problens, but Web worl is
conplex, anu requires a high level of cooruination. It requires strong project
nanagenent. If a Web project isn`t nanageu correctly, builuing a Web site in-house can
be nuch nore troublesone anu costly than hiring a contractor.

Te Vsuu| Leu:ne:`s CuJe Iunugng Ve| P:e.s shows executives, nanagers, anu
everyone else involveu with an organization`s Web site how best to builu anu naintain it.
It uescribes how to plan a site, train staff, conuuct site construction anu inplenent
naintenance proceuures so the site is effective anu stays that way.

web publishing process and procedures

This bool is not a nuts-anu-bolts nanual for the technical aspects of Web uevelopnent.
Rather, Te Vsuu| Leu:ne:`s CuJe Iunugng Ve| P:e.s is a big-picture guiue that
uescribes page structure anu uesign proceuures, as well as a sounu site-builuing process.
This process involves Planning, then Organization, anu finally Construction. Since Web
projects also require staff training anu site naintenance, the process uescribeu is
conpriseu of five stages:

PIan ! 1rain ! 0rganize ! 8uiId ! Maintain

This process figures proninently in this bool because it`s the nost inportant factor in
creating effective Web sites. For instance, professional Web firns often spenu twice as
nuch tine planning anu organizing a site as they uo couing it. Web professionals lnow
how nuch tine, effort, anu frustration can be saveu by worling accoruing to a systenatic
process, anu this process worls equally well for in-house Web staff.



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z
"5how" rather than "tell"

Te Vsuu| Leu:ne:`s CuJe Iunugng Ve| P:e.s contains nunerous graphics,
photographs, anu screen shots that illustrate site-builuing concepts. Its nain topics are
presenteu in the oruer they`re encountereu uuring a Web publishing project:

PIan helps an organization ueternine if builuing a new site is necessary, anu if so, how it
shoulu proceeu. It shows how to uefine a site`s auuience anu purpose, anu why that`s
inportant.

1rain uetails how to get goou instruction, plan an effective curriculun, anu proviue a
learning environnent for internal staff to becone slilleu at Web publishing.

0rganize proviues guiuelines for ueternining what a site shoulu contain anu uo,
structuring site content, anu planning site construction.

8uiId explains how Web sites shoulu be constructeu, testeu, anu approveu.

Maintain uescribes sounu proceuures for site naintenance, anu shows how to inplenent
then in an organization.

The bool also incluues a scenario tracing the progress of a sanple Web publishing project
anu a site-builuing checllist to guiue organizations when creating a new site.

We at Visibools trust you`ll finu Te Vsuu| Leu:ne:`s CuJe Iunugng Ve| P:e.s
helpful. If you have suggestions to inprove it or success stories to relate, please senu then
to inprovenentsOvisibools.con. Best wishes on your Web publishing projects!



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j
PIan


i. Assess yeur Web site
z. Identify the decisien-maker
j. 5eIect the Web team
. Cenduct an initiaI meeting
g. efine the audience and purpese
6. ReseIve the success criteria
/. List the reseurces avaiIabIe
8.Cheese the right seftware
Plan
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Assess yeur Web site

The first question to asl when beginning a Web project is, Shoulu we revise our existing
Web site or builu a new one: Builuing a new Web site is sonething nost Web-savvy
organizations have uone every year to 18 nonths. For instance, both Microsoft.con anu
Sun.con have been rebuilt several tines since they were first launcheu.

To ueternine if your organization shoulu builu a new Web site, evaluate your current
site, anu conpare it to effective sites built by other organizations.

fvaluate your current site

Evaluate your organization`s current Web site by asling these questions:

Is it consistent?
Is the site`s lool consistent with your organization`s corporate iuentity: brochures, aus,
letterheau, business carus, etc: Is the lool of each page consistent with the lool of every
other page in the site:

A se u ||s .nssen v un :gunzun`s Jen, |es e|e |nv e,`ve .ne
e :g se. A se u ||s .nssen ]:n se.n se.n :vJes ]un|u:
su::unJngs e|e ven e, .|.| :ug .

Is it well organized?
Is the site logically organizeu into no nore than seven nain sections:

Pe|e nuu:u||, :.ess n]:nun n g:us ] :ee seven, s ses u :esen .nen
n |e sze` .un|s nu|e e|e ]ee| .n]:u||e unJ n .n:|.

Is navigation clear?
Does the site incorporate a navigational systen that shows people You are here, as well
as where they can go:

Ven usng u Ve| se ns e|e vun ]nJ se.]. n]:nun u.||,. C|eu:
nuvgun e|s en J u.

Plan
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g
Is it simple?
Does the site avoiu flashy, conplex features that get in the way, such as Franes, or linls
that open new browser winuows:

Usng F:unes-ung n:e un ne uge n e s.:een u u ne-nu|es u se J]].u|
uJue. Ln|s u en nev |:vse: vnJvs Jsu||e e |:vse:`s Bu.| |un. e vu,
ns e|e :eu:n :evus|,-veveJ uges.

Is it audience-tested?
Was the site testeu by its prospective auuience before it went live:

AuJen.e esng u||vs un :gunzun |e .e:un u s se .nuns unJ Jes vu
e|e vun.

Did your site pass the test?
If you answer no to at least one of the questions above, your organization can benefit
fron builuing a new Web site.

Plan
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6
Cempare yeur site te ethers

You also nay want to conpare your site to effective Web sites operateu by other
organizations. The IBM anu Oal Post Web sites are goou exanples:



ibm.com
IBM useu its anple resources anu
experience to builu an excellent Web site.
The lool is crisp anu consistent
throughout, anu pages loau quiclly. It
contains thousanus of pages, but is still
easy to navigate. The IBM Web site
conprises a high stanuaru against which
to conpare your organization`s site.



oakpost.com
However, an organization uoesn`t neeu
to buuget nillions to builu an effective
site. For instance, this site operateu by
furniture store Oal Post is consistent
anu easy to navigate. It was built for less
than ten thousanu uollars, anu is
naintaineu by internal staff.











Plan
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1ip: uldn a new ste saves tme and effort

Revanping an olu Web site is troublesone anu tine-consuning. Digging into unfaniliar
coue, changing things that nay not have been uone correctly the first tine, anu naling
olu layouts fit new iueas tales a lot of tine anu effort. While it seens efficient to builu on
an existing site structure, site renovation is actually nore uifficult than creating an
entirely new site.




Impreving existing sites is a nightmare

Kyle Shannon, chief creative officer, Agency.con, New Yorl City:

There is a category of project that is always nore trouble than usual. We call then
'refugee sites.` These are sites that are alreauy up, but the client wants to inprove
then. On the face of it, refugee sites seen easy to uo because the content is alreauy
there. The reality is that these sites are a nightnare. We have to go in there anu
repair the HTML, re-coue the site baseu on the architecture we create. Refugee sites
are significantly nore tine-consuning anu nore expensive.

Shoba Narayan, Projects Fron Hell anu the Wisuon They Bring
Internet Worlu: www.internetworlu.con/print/1997/10/27/unuercon/19971027-projects.htnl
Plan
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Identify the decisien-maker

0etermine who has the final say

An organization`s Web site nay represent several uivisions or offices, each with their own
iueas anu goals. Getting then all to agree on what the site shoulu uo, contain, anu lool
lile can be extrenely uifficult.

People in charge of builuing a Web site shoulun`t try anu facilitate agreenent anong a
site`s uifferent constituents. Insteau, they shoulu ueal uirectly with the person responsible
for the site`s success. This Decision-Maler shoulu have the authority to nale final
uecisions about the site. Getting approval fron one person nininizes confusion anu
uelays.

Identify subordinate decision-makers

Sonetines an Art Director, Connunications Director or IT Manager nust approve
worl that relates to their area of expertise. Male sure these people are iuentifieu right at
the beginning of the project.

1ip: Avod commttees

For a Web project to be successful it`s alnost always necessary to have one person with
final approval authority. The clich a canel is a horse uesigneu by connittee exists for
a reason; nany professionals in creative fielus won`t worl on projects without a single
uecision-naler giving approval.

Ringing the beII

Sone years ago, we were inviteu to conpete for the Rayon Manufacturers`
Association account. I uuly presenteu nyself at their heauquarters anu was ushereu
into a ponpous connittee roon.

'Mr. Ogilvy,` saiu the chairnan, 'we are interviewing several agencies. You have
exactly fifteen ninutes to pleau your case. Then I will ring this bell, anu the
representative of the next agency, who is alreauy waiting outsiue, will follow you.`

Before launching into ny pitch, I asleu.`How nany people nust olay the
auvertisenents:` Answer: the twelve nenbers of the connittee, representing twelve
nanufacturers.

'Ring the bell!,` I saiu, anu walleu out.

Daviu Ogilvy, Cn]essns ] un AJve:sng Iun, Athenaeun, New Yorl, 1963
Plan
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Interact with decision-makers according to personality type

If a connittee absolutely nust approve worl on a Web site, expect things to nove slowly.
Approvals will require consensus, anu builuing consensus tales tine. The best bet for
getting goou worl approveu by a connittee is to tailor interactions with it to the
personality type of its highest-ranling nenber. Present iueas anu suggestions in a way
that is confortable to that person, anu they`ll nove through the connittee nore
snoothly.

Not only is personality profiling useful in getting worl approveu by connittee, it also
help interactions with a single uecision-naler as well. In Web projects, often what gets
approveu isn`t the best worl, but worl presenteu in the best way.


























A cautienary taIe abeut persenaIity type

I was builuing a Web site for a firn that prouuces accounting software. The
conpany`s logo was colorful, so I assuneu that they woulu want a colorful hone
page uesign. I createu one, then subnitteu it for approval.

The firn`s presiuent, an accountant, tolu ne that they uiun`t lile it. The next I hearu
fron hin, he uirecteu ne to the site of another software conpany, anu tolu ne to
builu then a site that looleu just lile that one.

His response was typical of uetails-orienteu people, as nost accountants are: go with
the trieu-anu-true. If I hau walleu hin through the uesign process, explaining
exactly how I arriveu at that uesign, he nay have gone with the first uesign which fit
better with their corporate iuentity.

Ernie Winters, inuepenuent Web ueveloper
Plan
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io
The personality profiling charts on the following pages can be useu to unuerstanu
people`s notivations anu preferences, then forn effective strategies for interacting with
then throughout the site-builuing process.

Use the following chart to determine a person's personality type:





Eo-
oriented
ResuIts-
oriented
ReIationship-
oriented
0etaiIs-
oriented
PersonaIity Talks, lauhs
loud. hot a ood
listener.
Friendly,
enthusiastic
demeanor.
Communicates
clearly.
Courteous
demeanor.

Asks questions.
Easyoin,
relaxed
demeanor.
Asks clarifyin
questions. uiet.
5erious,
businesslike
demeanor.
CIothin

Flashy clothes,
briht colors.
Appropriate
clothes, nothin
flashy.
Comfortably
dressed, tends to
under-dress.
Meticulously
dressed. 5hoes
shined. Perfect
makeup.
0ffice Cluttered and
unoranized.
Pictures,
posters, sloans
on walls.
Clean, work-
oriented. Maybe
pictures,
probably not.
Posters, personal
mementos in
office. 0ffice may
be cluttered.
well-oranized.
uiplomas, awards
on wall.
TypicaIIy found
in:
5ales, PR,
Entertainment,
Politics.
Manaement,
entrepreneurial
roles.
upper
manaement,
lare
oranizations,
RR.
Accountin, Law,
Architecture,
writin,
Purchasin.
Plan
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Once you've determined a person's personality type, interact with them accordingly:


Eo-
oriented
ResuIts-
oriented
ReIationship-
oriented
0etaiIs-
oriented
lnspire
Tell ood stories.

8e enthusiastic
8e upbeat.

8e fIexibIe
Let discussions
wander, meetins o
loner.

Rave fun
8e fun rather than "all
business."

write ood reports
Put details in writin
after meetin.

lIIustrate
5how pictures, colorful
charts, models.

Praise

EstabIish personaI
contact
8e a chum.
8e decisive
0utline available
options and
recommend one.

5how resuIts
5how exactly how
you've helped
others, what they
can expect.

8e persistent

Persuade
0et consensus
0et everyone in
team "on board."

5eek harmony
Avoid conflict.

CuItivate a
personaI
reIationship
8ecome a
confidante.

Compromise

Cooperate

Make
suestions

8e thorouh
uocument everythin. 0ive
lots of detail.

8e tidy
Make sure everythin's
orderly and accurate.

5how expertise
0ive evidence that you
know your stuff.

5trive for quaIity
Make it ood rather than
fast.

0ive uarantees
Put uarantees in writin.

use Ioic

5how exampIes

Make detaiIed pIans

8e consistent




Plan
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iz
5eIect the Web 1eam

Learn team roles

Builuing a Web site involves a wiue variety of uisciplines-euiting, layout, graphics,
progranning-anu very few people are goou at all of then. Also, nany Web sites quiclly
grow beyonu a size that one person can nanage anu naintain. That`s why nost Web sites
are built by teans, rather than by a single person.

A typical Web tean incluues these positions:

Site Coordinator
The Site Cooruinator is responsible for organizing a site`s content, ueveloping a worl
plan, nanaging the site`s construction, anu leeping it consistent. Iueally, the Site
Cooruinator will have sone Web publishing experience, but it`s not necessary. Project
nanagenent slills anu the ability to organize infornation are nore inportant.

Site Builder(s)
The Site Builuer creates the site`s pages anu linls then together. People who have worleu
on print publications often uo well at site-builuing. It`s goou to have nore than one Site
Builuer on a Web tean because this uistributes the worlloau anu furnishes a baclup.

Editor
The Euitor writes the site`s text anu euits it to be clear anu concise. The Site Builuers then
incorporate the Euitor`s text into pages. Often the Site Cooruinator anu Euitor are the
sane person.

Graphic Designer
The Graphic Designer creates the site`s lool anu feel, anu prouuces graphics for it. If your
organization has an in-house graphics person who prouuces print graphics, this person
can be traineu to uo Web graphics as well.

Plan
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Technician
The Technician nales sure that the site`s Web server, forns anu functionality worl as
intenueu. Networl auninistrators anu technical support staff typically uo well at this.






















web site

0etermine size of team

Software uevelopers have learneu that putting nore people on a project actually slows
worl uown. Large teans require nore nanagenent anu cooruination, which urains
enthusiasn fron the tean anu effort fron the project. Web projects worl the sane way:
To nale then run nore snoothly, leep your tean as snall as possible.

One person can uo two or even three of these jobs if they have the slills anu the site isn`t
large. However, one person can`t uo all of then. People slilleu in several of these
uisciplines are rare, anu even then the anount of worl requireu to uo then all can be
overwhelning. Male sure the Web tean incluues at least two people.

5ite Ceerdinater
5ite uiIder
5ite uiIder
diter
Craphic esigner
1echnician
ecisien-Maker
Plan
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Teans shoulun`t incluue nore than eight people: sociologists have founu that hunans
tenu to worl best in groups of two to eight. A five-person Web tean shoulu be able to
builu anu naintain a site of arounu 250-2500 pages.

If your organization`s site will contain enough content for nany thousanus of pages-or
grow to that size-uistribute the worl anong several teans. Each tean can worl on one
or nore of the site`s nain sections.

5ite Ceerdinater









1eam I Ceerdinater 1eam II Ceerdinater










When operating nultiple teans, one person fron outsiue the teans shoulu be responsible
for the entire site. Just as a newspaper has an Euitor-In-Chief with final say on what gets
printeu in the Sports or Worlu News pages, a Web Site neeus a Site Cooruinator
responsible for integrating the worl of inuiviuual teans. Each tean shoulu then have its
own cooruinator.

,ooo pae
Corporate
web 5ite
Products section
(zoo paes)
5ervices section
(zoo paes)
Plan
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ig
0etermine if outside help is needed

When builuing a Web site, nost organizations require sone sort of outsiue help. This can
be as sinple as talling with a Web hosting conpany about uploauing pages, or as
extensive as hiring an outsiue uesign firn to uevelop page tenplates.

The chart below lists connon situations in which outsiue help is necessary, along with
solutions to the problens they present.

5ituatien 5eIutien

warrin fiefdoms
Your organization contains
several uivisions, each of which
consiuers itself the nost
inportant. No uivision is
preeninent, but each tries to
uictate the site`s content.
8rin in an arbiter
Soneone fron outsiue the organization can be
brought in to referee neetings, breal logjans,
anu give an unbiaseu perspective. If the arbiter
leeps the site`s auuience anu purpose in ninu,
it can be built accoruing to what external users
want rather than what internal politics uenanu.

Infornation architects anu user-experience
consultants-people who specialize in the
organization of Web sites-uo well in the role
of arbiter.





Plan
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i6

5ituation 5eIutien

ho lT staff available
Your organization uoesn`t have any
full-tine Infornation Technology
staff. Or it uoes have IT staff, but
they`re too busy with their current
uuties to help with the Web site. Or
the IT staff is unfaniliar with Web
applications.
Rost site with a responsive l5P
Most Internet Service Proviuers will help
with routine tasls such as getting a site`s e-
nail response forns to worl. Full-service
ISPs can assist with the technical aspects of
large, sophisticateu sites, such as
progranning anu uatabase integration. The
ley in each case is custoner service.

When choosing an ISP for Web site hosting,
asl for references fron its clients. Goou
client references inuicate goou service. Keep
in ninu, though, that in any ISP the nost
technically-proficient enployees are typically
the ones least inclineu towaru client
interaction. The clearer your instructions to
then, the better worl you will get.


ho full-time raphic desiner
Your organization uoesn`t have a
full-tine graphic uesigner on staff
to uesign the lool anu feel of its
Web site.
Rire a professional desiner
A professional graphic uesigner can be
brought in to uesign page tenplates. In-
house Site Builuers can then create the site`s
pages baseu on these tenplates.

Just as brochures uesigneu by a graphics firn
lool nore professional than the honenaue
variety, a professionally-uesigneu Web site
will exhibit a nore polisheu lool. Male sure
the uesigner hireu has substantial Web
experience: Web uesign requires specializeu
lnowleuge that can`t be learneu by worling
in print or nultineuia.



Plan
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1ip: Use lT staff only for techncal work

When organizations first began publishing Web sites, Infornation Technology staff were
the only people with enough technical lnowleuge to uo the worl. Networl
auninistrators, technical support staff anu progranners got the job. Now that Web
publishing is less technical, linit the involvenent of IT staff to the technical aspects of
site-builuing, such as server auninistration, uatabase integration anu enabling e-
connerce functions.

IT staffs tenu to be very busy with technical worl-too busy to put up Web pages. Also, nost IT
people prefer technical worl: a Web server auninistrator woulu rather fine-tune Linux coue than
sit in neetings. IT people were hireu for their progranning anu networling abilities, not for
their uesign anu writing slills. Play to their strengths, anu save then for technical worl.


5ite built by I1 staff

5ame site rebuilt by
communications staff




Plan
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iB
Rather than use IT staff for Web publishing, use then to uevelop Web applications. For
instance, IT staff coulu be useu to connect an organization`s Web site with a uatabase.

The online boolstore at Anazon.con is an exanple of a Web site that incluues this type
of Web application:


1. Customer
clicks on a
book to et
more info

z. web server
ets request for
book info, asks
database

!

"



"
. Customer sees
new pae that
shows review,
availability of
book.

q. web server
plus
information into
template,
creates new
pae, sends to
customer.





. uatabase
retrieves current
reviews and
availability,
then sends
information to
web server.

Builuing a site lile this still requires a Site Cooruinator anu a Web-savvy Graphic
Designer. However, the tean builuing anu naintaining it shoulu contain nostly IT staff.
The Site Cooruinator organizes the site content anu worl, the Graphic Designer uesigns
the site`s lool anu tenplates, anu IT staff builu the site`s functionality.



Plan
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Cenduct an initiaI meeting

Before worl on the organization`s site actually begins, it`s goou to holu an initial neeting
of everyone involveu with builuing it. The nenbers of the Web tean, outsiue consultants
or contractors, anu the Decision-Maler shoulu all be there.

fxplain the process

The Site Cooruinator shoulu explain how worl on the site will progress (accoruing to the
Plan-Train-Organize-Builu-Maintain process), the role of auuience testing, anu
other aspects of site construction uescribeu in this bool.

Manage expectations

This is also a goou opportunity to answer connon questions about site construction,
such as how long it nay tale. This initial neeting shoulu give the people involveu with
the Web project realistic expectations of what it will tale to builu the site, anu a clear iuea
of how worl will proceeu.



















InitiaI meetings preduce a better site

When we built our first Web site, it uiun`t go well. We just gave our brochure to
soneone insiue the organization anu hau hin start builuing the site baseu on it. We
got a site that loaueu slowly, with strange navigation anu blurry graphics. Our
nenbers uiun`t lile it.

Now we`re builuing a new site, anu having several up-front neetings before worl
begins on it. We`re getting a lot of input as part of the process, anu we`re getting a
nuch better site.

Panela McElrath, Connunications Chair, Greater Richnonu Technology Council
Plan
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efine the audience and purpese

The nost inportant part of any Web project is uefining the site`s auuience anu purpose.
An organization can have talenteu, well-traineu people worling on its site, but without a
clear vision to guiue then, the site will be ineffective. Before a site is built, the people in
charge shoulu have a goou iuea of who`ll be using it anu what it shoulu uo.












Ask the right questions

At the beginning of a Web project, the Site Cooruinator shoulu sit uown with the
Decision-Maler anu asl:

Who will be using the site?

What should the site do for the organization?

Getting uefinitive answers to these questions isn`t always easy. Sonetines uefining the
site`s purpose requires clarifying the purpose of the organization. Sonetines reuesigning
a Web site involves reuesigning corporate strategy. Even if this tales weels or nonths of
high-level wrangling, uon`t proceeu until the site`s auuience anu purpose are clear.
Answering the questions above is crucial to builuing an effective site.
Web teams and cerperate strategy

Sonetines the answers won't cone fron corporate strategists, nanagers, or
uirectors. They'll cone fron a nore hunble source: the.nenbers of the web tean
who are, inciuentally, often fairly junior nenbers of the organization.

Louis Rosenfelu, Infornation Architecture anu Corporate Strategy: The Tail Wags The Dog
WebReview: www.webreview.con/wr/pub/1999/06/04/arch/inuex.htnl
Lack ef fecus crippIes site

A college I lnow sent alnost a hunureu of their faculty anu staff to a weel of Web training.
These people went bacl anu built sone uecent pages for their offices anu classes, but the
whole site was still confusing. I wasn`t sure if it was for the stuuents or the people who
worleu there. This college nay have spent a lot of noney on training, but they still hau a
crunny site.

Troy Telenlo, Business Developnent Manager, ACT Training Corp.
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0etermine if more than one site is necessary

During uiscussion of the site`s auuience anu purpose, several auuiences nay be iuentifieu.
Several uifferent purposes nay be uncovereu.

For instance, people planning a health care Web site nay want it to serve both new
nothers anu the eluerly. However, the concerns anu preferences of the Peuiatric anu the
Geriatric are very uifferent. Mothers woulu be better serveu by a site built just for then, as
woulu oluer people.

A Saturuay Night Live slit once auvertiseu a prouuct as both a floor wax AND a uessert
topping! An effective Web site is not. If the auuiences anu purposes to be serveu are
uivergent, consiuer builuing a separate site for each.

Cet audience input

Once the site`s auuience is iuentifieu, the Site Cooruinator shoulu asl a few of the people
in its auuience to serve as an Auuience Test Group. This group uoesn`t have to be large:
seven or eight people is fine. Just nale sure the sanple is representative. For exanple, if a
site will be useu nostly by wonen, at least five of the eight group nenbers shoulu be
wonen.

The nenbers of the Auuience Test Group shoulu be asleu what they want to uo anu finu
at the site. After all, they`re the people the site is neant to serve. If what they want fron
the site uiffers fron what the organization thinls it shoulu proviue, nore uiscussion is
necessary.




Plan
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Sample Audience Group Selection Report

Site Audience

The audience for the site is likely to be:

More married than not
More women than men
Most have children
Range in age from mid 20s to mid 60s.

The target demographic for the site is, in order of prevalence:

Married women with children
Married men with children
Single women with children
Married men and women with no children
Single women with no children
Single men with children

As for computer experience, the sites audience is considered to reflect the professional segment as a whole:
About 70% use a computer at work, and approximately 80% of those have e-mail. Almost all of e-mail users
are familiar with the Internet, but only half of those are proficient in Web navigation and likely to shop
online.

Selection of Test Group

Eight prospective users of the site were selected to participate in a test group. These users comprise a
representative sample of the total site audience in terms of age, gender, and marital status. The test group
participants were:

CC, a married woman in her 30s with children. She uses the Web often, and likes to shop online.
KN, a married woman in her 30s with children. She is comfortable using the Web, and shops on the
Web occasionally.
FE, a married woman in her 40s with children. She is a Web neophyte, and has never shopped
online.
JB, a married woman in her 50s with no children. She uses computers occasionally.
CS, a widowed woman in her 50s with grown children. She uses e-mail, but isnt an experienced
Web user.
CK, an single woman in her 30s with an e-mail account who uses the Web on the job.
BM, a married male in his 60s who is new to computers, but enthusiastic about them.
RR, a married man in his 30s who is familiar with computers and an active Web user.


Plan
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ReseIve the success criteria

It`s inportant at the beginning of a Web project to resolve the site`s success criteria. The
Site Cooruinator shoulu tall with the Decision-Maler to answer the question, What will
nale it a successful site:

For exanple, an association night have these success criteria for its Web site:

Serve as the prine neans of connunication with nenbers
Enable nenbers to register for events online
Be easy to upuate by in-house staff

When the success criteria are resolveu, they shoulu be written uown, along with the
auuience anu purpose. Then the Site Cooruinator shoulu have the uecision-naler sign
anu approve this uocunent.

1ip: ocument all approvals

Putting a site`s auuience, purpose, anu success criteria uown on paper with the uecision-
naler`s signature helps avoiu the wasteu effort that cones fron niu-project changes. If a
funuanental change is suggesteu uuring the site`s construction, the Site Cooruinator can
point to what was approveu to get worl bacl on tracl.

Docunent approvals throughout the site-builuing process. Have the uecision-naler
literally sign-off on approveu naterial to proviue tangible proof.
1he pres depend en decumentatien

We uocunent everything we uo with a client. Before we uo any worl, we write a
uetaileu worl oruer anu have the client sign it. Then we get their signature on
uesigns anu nocl-ups at several uifferent points uuring a project. Getting signatures
leeps everybouy happy anu on the sane page.

Catherine Shaw, Web Project Manager, Meuiastuuio
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List the reseurces avaiIabIe

Now that the site has focus anu uirection, the logistical aspects of builuing it can be
auuresseu. Lile any other project, creating a Web site requires three basic things: tine,
people, anu noney. The Site Cooruinator shoulu uiscuss the logistics of site construction
with the Decision-Maler:

When should the site be finished?

How much time does each team member have to work on the site?

How much money is budgeted for the project?

Allocate time for the pro|ect

When talling with the Site Cooruinator about when the site shoulu be finisheu, the
Decision-Maler will lilely asl, when can it be finisheu:

As a general guiueline, Web uevelopnent firns tale at least three nonths to builu nost
Web sites. Planning anu organization tale tine, as uoes getting approvals at each stage of
uevelopnent. Auu tine for construction anu testing, anu three nonths is just about the
lowest tine estinate given by Web pros for builuing a site.

However, while three nonths is the lower linit for professionals, an organization builuing
a Web site in-house shoulu auu at least a nonth to that. In-house Web staff will have
other uuties besiues site-builuing, anu will tale longer if the worl is new to then. So for
builuing a site in-house, four nonths is a goou starting point fron which to begin
planning.

Plan
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Using four nonths as a beginning, auu two nonths. No project ever runs as planneu, anu
when the inevitable uelays anu problens crop up, those extra two nonths will be neeueu
to ueal with then. In his bool Cn Vu:, publisheu in 1832, strategic theorist Carl Von
Clausewitz reconnenueu that nilitary staffs allow for a 1/3 nargin of error in their
planning: A leauer who thinls it will tale 2 uays to narch sonewhere nust allow for
three uays. This general rule worls well for Web site planning, too: If four nonths is the
lower linit to builu a site in-house, allow for six.

Allocate time for team members

An average Web site tales Web uevelopnent firns arounu 200 hours to builu. If your
organization`s Web tean is conposeu of people who have never built Web sites full-tine,
allow 250 nan-hours or nore. If there are five people on the Web tean, that`s at least 50
hours per tean nenber.

Also, when it`s tine for a tean nenber to worl on the site, that tean nenber shoulu be
given at least twenty hours a weel to worl on it. If site construction is less than a half-
tine project, uistractions anu intrusions fron other worl tenu to crowu it out.

Maintaining a site after it`s built tales tine, too. When allocating people`s tine for a Web
project, renenber that tine will be neeueu uaily, weelly, nonthly, or at sone other
interval for site upuates anu naintenance. After the site is built anu the site naintenance
guiue is createu, tine for naintenance can be estinateu nore accurately.

Plan
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udget for software, hardware, outside help, training

Site-builuing anu graphics software costs between $100 anu $500 per conputer for each
Web tean nenber. Also, nale sure that each nenber has a reasonably up-to-uate
conputer to run the software.

If the organization uoesn`t have an in-house graphic uesigner, set asiue $2000-$10,000 to
pay a professional graphic uesigner to generate uesign nouels anu tenplates for the site.

Goou training is essential for people to be effective at Web publishing. For people who
have the tine anu inclination to learn it, the how-to bools anu online resources listeu at
the enu of this bool offer an inexpensive way to acquire top-notch slills. However, nany
people neeu classroon training with a live instructor to get starteu. Quality Web training
in a classroon costs $175-$325 per person per uay. If an organization trains five people in
the reconnenueu five-uay curriculun, it shoulu plan for a total training cost in the
$5000-$8000 range.


Plan
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Cheese the right seftware

Choose site-building software

When the Web first gaineu popularity, Web sites were built by hanu-couing HTML.
Hanu-couing renaineu essential because point-anu-clicl site creation prograns weren`t
sophisticateu enough to prouuce connercial-quality Web sites. The first versions of
FrontPage, Dreanweaver, Fusion, et cetera naue creating sites nuch sinpler than hanu-
couing, but sites createu with then looleu sinpler as well.

Now the current crop of point-anu-clicl Web publishing prograns can be useu create
high-quality sites. While it`s still helpful to lnow HTML, it`s no longer necessary. Here
are overviews of the nost popular site-builuing prograns:

Adobe GoLive

Most of Auobe`s prograns are neant to
be useu by professional graphic uesigners,
anu GoLive (version 5; $285) is no
uifferent. Its spare interface will be
faniliar to long-tine Auobe users, but
people who aren`t graphics professionals
nay finu it challenging to learn. Once
nastereu, however, Go Live`s auvanceu
features can be useu to create
professional-quality sites.

Macromedia Dreamweaver

Dreanweaver (version 4; $299) is one of
the easiest to use site-builuing prograns,
anu the clean coue it generates lools
consistent on a wiue variety of conputers.
Tenplates are easy to create, anu pages
can be changeu repeateuly with no ill
effects. For these reasons, Dreanweaver
has becone popular anong organizations
builuing Web sites in-house.

Plan
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Microsoft FrontPage

FrontPage (version 2000; $149) is the
uefault choice for nany organizations
using Microsoft Office. Its interface is
sinilar to Woru, anu the current
FrontPage 2000 is a vast inprovenent
over previous versions. However, it
retains sone quirls: graphics can be
uifficult to insert, anu altering the layout
of a page can change it in unintenueu
ways. Also, it generates proprietary
HTML coue that uoesn`t worl well with
all browsers. The proprietary fornat can
be switcheu off, but when it is sone
functionality is lost.

NetObjects Fusion

Probably the easiest site-builuing
progran for novices to learn. Fusion
(version 5; $300) arranges its functions in
a colorful, user-frienuly interface. Its clear
controls allow people to lay out Web
pages with precision. But to gain
precision, Fusion sacrifices flexibility:
pages createu with it can`t stretch or
contract to fit the size anu resolution of
the nonitor useu to view then.


Plan
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Preduct Pres Cens est fer:
0oLive Powerful Confusin for most
people
Professional raphic
desiners

ureamweaver Creates paes that
accommodate
different computers
and platforms

5traihtforward
interface

Lacks wizards 0ranizations that want
the best all-around site-
buildin proram
available
FrontPae Familiar Microsoft
interface

Comes with Premium
version of M5 0ffice

"wizards" that lead
users throuh some
complex tasks

Proprietary features,
code

uirky functionality

0ranizations that must
use Microsoft products
Fusion Easiest for beinners
to use
5acrifices flexibility for
precision in pae layout
Rank novices
Plan
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Choose a web graphics program

Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop is the stanuaru for creating
Web graphics. It is the nost wiuely-useu
Web graphics progran, anu its latest
version (6; $609) incluues a variety of
Web-orienteu features. Geareu towarus
professional graphic uesigners, its
capabilities are overlill for creating anu
fornatting basic Web graphics. For basic
Web worl, Photoshop LE, a liniteu
version, uoes a fine job. Also, the LE
version costs less than $100.

JASC Paint Shop Pro

Paint Shop Pro (version 7; $99) uoes nost
of the things Photoshop can uo, but costs
unuer $100. Its low price anu relatively
unconplicateu interface have leu nany
site-builuers to use it for auuing graphics
to sites.

Macromedia Fireworks

Fireworls (version 4; $199) is a
purpose-built Web graphics progran,
with a sophisticateu interface sinilar
to Photoshop`s. It has extensive
urawing capabilities, anu worls well
in both creative anu basic Web
graphics applications.
Plan
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Preduct Pres Cens est fer:
Photoshop Extremely powerful

Plenty of books,
uides, online
resources available

Third-party plu-ins
extend its
functionality

5teep learnin curve

Expensive
Professional raphic
desiners

Paint 5hop Pro lnexpensive

Excellent web
functionality

hot quite as powerful as
Photoshop
5ite 8uilders who aren't
full-time desiners
Fireworks Combines drawin
and imae editin
tools

5old in discounted
packae with
ureamweaver

hew proram without
extensive support

0raphic desiners who
want a proram tailored
to the web

Plan
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1ip: Try before you buy

Auobe, Microsoft, Macroneuia, anu NetObjects all offer free trial versions of their site-
builuing anu graphics prograns. Before an organization ueciues which to buy, it shoulu
uownloau trial versions so the Web tean can evaluate then.

The trial software nay be uownloaueu at:

Adobe GoLive 5
www.auobe.con/prouucts/golive/nain.htnl

Adobe Photoshop 6.0
www.auobe.con/prouucts/photoshop/nain.htnl

Adobe Photoshop LE
http://www.auobe.con/prouucts/photoshople/nain.htnl

JASC Paint Shop Pro 6
www.jasc.con/psp6.htnl

Macromedia Dreamweaver 3
www.nacroneuia.con/software/ureanweaver

Macromedia Fireworks
www.nacroneuia.con/software/fireworls

Microsoft FrontPage 2000
www.nicrosoft.con/frontpage

NetObjects Fusion
www.netobjects.con/prouucts/htnl/nf5.htnl#



Plan
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1ip: lmplement content-manaement systems n lare, flud stes

Sone organizations have extensive Web publishing neeus. They neeu to put thousanus of
pages of uocunentation on their Web sites, or upuate hunureus of pages every uay, or
enable hunureus of enployees to post infornation to sites. In situations lile this, site
upuates require a content-nanagenent systen.

There are nany systens on the narlet that enable people to post infornation to a Web
site without touching a site-builuing progran. These systens incluue extensive
pernission control, ensuring that a person authorizeu to upuate one section of the site
cannot change other sections. They also autonate the approval process, allowing renote
review anu approval of uocunents before they`re posteu to the site.

Content-nanagenent systens tenu to be expensive. They require professional
configuration anu installation on the Web server. They also worl best when a site is built
to worl with a particular systen, so it`s best to choose one anu inplenent it right fron
the beginning of a site-builuing project.

Here are several conpanies that prouuce Web content-nanagenent systens:

Interwoven
www.interwoven.con

Merant
www.nerant.con/pvcs

Reedy Creek Technologies
www.reeuycreel.con

Versifi
www.versifi.con

Dispatch
www.uispatch.net

Vignette
www.vignette.con




j


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jg
1rain


i. PIan the curricuIum
z. Prepare the Web team
j. Find a geed instructer
. Cenduct training


Train
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j6
PIan the curricuIum

A connon practice anong organizations is to oruer how-to bools for their Web
publishing staff anu say, Olay, you`ve got two weels to learn this. Go. Or they senu
their Web publishing staff to a two-uay HTML or FrontPage class, then put then to worl
on a site. This usually uoes nore harn than goou: cursory Web training teaches people
just enough to be uangerous.

1raining through books

If your Web tean`s training is uone through self-stuuy bools, tale care to choose goou
ones, anu give your tean sufficient tine to practice. Most how-to bools are too text-
heavy, containing too nuch tell, anu not enough show to be really helpful. Use
Visibools, or the Hanus-On Training bools by Lynua Weinnan. Also, give the Web tean
nenbers at least a nonth to worl through the bools anu practice what they`ve learneu.

web-based training

Web-baseu training is often inexpensive, but it`s not very effective when teaching
conputer subjects to beginners: it`s uifficult for people to learn ]:n the conputer while
they`re worling n the conputer.

Classroom training

Classroon training costs nore than bools, but it can be very effective, especially for
people who aren`t conputer-savvy. Stuuents learn by naling nistales, anu having a live
instructor hanuy to correct then puts nany people at ease.

If you senu your people to classroon training, senu then to several uays of classes.
Builuing Web sites is conplex worl, anu four or five uays of classroon training is
necessary to learn the basics well. Everyone on the Web tean shoulu get at least two,
preferably three uays of training in the organization`s chosen site-builuing progran. Each
Web tean nenber shoulu also receive a uay of Web graphics training.

ay i ay z ay j ay ay g

5ite-8uildin
Proram


5ite-8uildin
Proram

5ite-8uildin
Proram

web 0raphics

5ite Plannin and
usability (mornin)

Comprehensive
Exercise (afternoon)

It`s also helpful to get at least a half-uay of soft slills training in Web site planning anu
usability, the things that nale Web sites effective. Another half-uay can be spent
practicing what they`ve learneu.


Train

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Find a good instructor
The nost inportant factor in training is the instructor, so when choosing a conpany to
proviue Web training, the Site Cooruinator shoulu tall with the conpany`s Web
instructor. A goou Web instructor has substantial site-builuing lnowleuge anu goou
teaching slills, both of which are acquireu through experience.

The conplexities of Web worl aren`t easy to naster, so lnowleugeable Web people have
usually worleu in the fielu for a couple of years or nore, anu built nany sites. To see if a
Web instructor is lnowleugeable, asl to see sone of the sites built by that instructor. The
sites shoulu be attractive, easy to navigate, anu loau quiclly.

The ability to teach is uevelopeu in the classroon, so nale sure that your instructor has
taught for at least a few nonths previously. Even natural teachers neeu to have taught at
least a uozen or so classes to hit their striue. Also, asl to see an instructor`s stuuent
evaluations. Stuuents lnow a goou teacher when they see one, anu positive evaluations
inuicate that an instructor lnows how to teach.

An incempIete educatien

Once I taught a two-uay Web class at a governnent agency. I showeu the stuuents
how to place existing graphics in pages, but there wasn`t enough tine to teach then
how to fornat graphics for the web. A few weels after the class, I visiteu the sites
they`u built, anu saw that they`u incluueu BMP files in their Web pages, insteau of
GIFS anu JPGs. The BMPs uiun`t show up in Netscape, anu they tool forever to
loau.

Daviu Pierpont, Web instructor, Telenatique
Train
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Cover relevant topics

Many Web bools anu classes cover arcane tasls anu seluon-useu features, such as laying
out pages using Franes anu auuing scrolling narquees. Rather than learn everything
that`s ss||e, it`s better to concentrate on learning what`s :|u||e. Male sure that the
bools or classes you choose cover funuanental tasls such as laying out pages using tables.
Then have the Web tean practice these tasls to reinforce what they`ve learneu.

Here are guiuelines for what your Web tean`s training shoulu cover:

Site-building Programs (FrontPage, Dreamweaver, etc.) and HTML

Tke BusIcs
Set up a Web site
Fornat text
Create linls to new pages
Create E-nail anu external
linls
Insert graphics
Create a navigation systen

Luyunr unJ NuvIgurIun
Lay out pages using tables
Create navigation bars
Auu subsections to site
Place tables within tables
Linl to an external site using
franes
UrIlIrIes
Open an existing Web site
Finu anu replace
Checl spelling
Insert META tags
Change HTML coue



1nrerucrIvIry unJ Teunurk
Create Web forns
Use style sheets
Enploy tenplates
Uploau sites to a Web server

Train

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1ip: lnclude an HTML overvew

Although current site-builuing prograns can be useu to lay out sites with a fair uegree of
precision, sonetines nanual coue-twealing is requireu to achieve a uesireu lool or
effect. Male sure that training incluues an overview of HTML.

This overview shoulu inpart a basic unuerstanuing of how HTML worls, anu show how
to nale changes to the coue of a page. Even if it only teaches Web tean nenbers how to
uelete a basic <P> tag, training in HTML will be helpful to then in their uay-to-uay worl.

Web Graphics Programs

Tke BusIcs
GIFs vs. JPGs
Create GIFs
Create JPGs
Resize graphics
Crop graphics

FurnurrIng grupkIcs
Reuuce the color palette of
GIFs
Balance inage quality anu
file size
Male GIF baclgrounus
transparent
Convert print graphics to
Web fornat
Create thunbnails
Lighten/uarlen
CreurIng GrupkIcs
Enploy Text tool
Drawing anu painting (zoon,
paint, pencil)
Cut, erase, replace (pen tool,
eraser, nagic wanu, select color)
Enploy layers
Retouch (clone tool, blur euge,
sharpen filter)



Train
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Site Planning and Usability

PlunnIng
Iuentify the site's Auuience
anu Purpose
Deternine the resources
available to builu it
Get approval for worl

OrgunIzurIun
Develop a worl plan
Gather anu organize site
content
Conuuct user surveys
CunsrrncrIun
Proceeu accoruing to worl plan
Cooruinate worl of prouuction
tean
Test anu review site

UsuhIlIry
Being clear anu concise
Chunling anu group infornation
Site blueprint

MuInrenunce
Establish site upuate proceuures
anu guiues

Comprehensive Exercise

Generate a site blueprint for a Web site of your choice. Then builu a site
baseu on that blueprint that incluues:
At least 12 pages
A consistent, user-frienuly navigational systen
Linls to external sites using franes
E-nail linls
At least one original graphic on each page, anu at least one illustrative
graphic aligneu with text.
A table-baseu lool anu layout that stays consistent throughout the site
A non-functioning response forn

1rain the 1echnician differently

The tean`s Technician shoulu be faniliar with the organization`s site-builuing progran
anu how to create Web graphics. However, since nost of the Technician`s worl will
involve couing anu progranning, HTML anu JavaScript training nay be substituteu for
classes in the site-builuing progran.

Also, the Technician shoulu learn at least the basics of Web server auninistration, such as
how to uploau files to a Web server, anu how to install anu configure an e-nail forn-
hanuling script.

Train

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Prepare the Web team

It`s inportant to nale sure that everyone on the Web tean lnows Winuows well. A
worling lnowleuge of Winuows nales it nuch easier to learn prograns that run on it.

Assess the computer knowledge of team members

Each nenber of the Web tean shoulu
be faniliar with:

How uirectories worl
File extensions
Winuows Explorer
Basic woru processing


A large percentage of people who tale Web publishing classes aren`t proficient with
conputers, even if they say they are. Before Web training begins, it`s a goou iuea to give
each nenber of the Web tean a quicl test. Asl then to perforn the following tasls:

Create a foluer on their conputer`s haru urive
Create a foluer within a foluer
Nane the file extension of a Microsoft Woru or Corel Woru Perfect
uocunent (.uoc or .wpu, respectively)
Copy a paragraph fron one uocunent anu paste it into another.
Train
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ring people up to speed

If a nenber of the Web tean has trouble perforning any of the tasls above, set asiue a
couple of hours for then to learn the basics of Winuows file nanagenent. Have a Web
tean nenber who is proficient with conputers wall then through Winuows Explorer,
creating foluers anu beconing faniliar with file extensions. The person being traineu
shoulu also be walleu through the Cut, Copy, anu Paste connanus in a stanuaru woru
processing progran.

To retain what they`ve learneu, people being traineu shoulu perforn these tasls hanus-
on, using the conputer they worl on every uay. When they can perforn all these tasls on
their own with no auuitional help, they`re reauy for Web training.


Train

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Cenduct training

5chedule breaks and practice

Whether they`re learning fron self-stuuy bools or in the classroon, people neeu frequent
breals to rest anu process what they`ve learneu. Also, few stuuents can learn anything new
after about 3:30 in the afternoon, so long uays can be counterprouuctive.












For classroon training, here is a uaily scheuule that worls well:

:cc Class beins
1c:c 8reak
1c:q Trainin resumes
1z:cc Lunch
1:cc Afternoon session beins
z:c 8reak
z:q Trainin resumes
:c lnstruction ends. Practice]uestion and answer session starts
q:c Class ends

5tudents need breaks

Sonetines I`u get frustrateu trying to uo sonething, but the nore I struggleu with
it, the haruer it got. Then I`u tale a breal anu when I cane bacl I was able to worl it
out. Learning to builu Web sites was fun, but niuway through the afternoon ny
brain was frieu!

Susan Arnstrong, Web stuuent
Train
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Provide opportunities to practice

All of what it tales to builu professional-quality sites can`t be learneu in a weel or two.
The finer points of Web publishing are learneu through worling on sites anu talling with
other Web staffers. Just lile a uoctor in resiuency or an apprentice plunber, people
builuing Web sites conplete their euucation on the job.

The Web tean shoulu be given the opportunity to practice inneuiately after training.
With Web slills, it`s use then or lose then. If an organization can`t put the Web tean
to worl on its site right away, its Web tean shoulu be given a peripheral Web project to
worl on. When the tean uoes begin worling, the first pages it prouuces probably won`t
be inpressive, but the quality of its worl will inprove rapiuly with practice.

fncourage team members to enhance their skills

There are several popular Web sites that help people learn how to uo professional-quality
Web worl. Here are sone that Web tean nenbers can visit to increase their site-builuing
lnowleuge:

Webmonkey (www.webnonley.con)
A how-to site for people builuing Web sites, filleu with excellent tutorials anu resources.
Its tutorials, on auuing forns to sites, naling graphic baclgrounus transparent, anu
sinilar subjects, are clearly-written in plain English.

EchoEcho (www.echoecho.con)
Even nore tutorials than Webnonley, anu all clear anu uetaileu. Also, this site contains
helpful statistics on the percentage of people using uifferent browsers, nonitor settings,
platforns, anu other technology useu to view Web pages.

Project Cool (www.projectcool.con)
As its proprietors put it, Project Cool is a networl of websites sharing the connon belief
that anyone can nale a great website if given lnowleuge, guiuance anu inspiration. An
goou section of the site is Sightings, featuring a uifferent exanple of cutting-euge Web
uesign every uay.



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0rganize


i. etermine site centent
z. 5tructure centent greups
j. Create the site bIueprint
. Create the werk pIan
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etermine site centent

With logistical aspects squareu away, the Web tean can now auuress the question What
shoulu the site contain anu uo: A goou place to start is by brainstorning.

rainsterm ! vaIuate ! 5urvey ! Cet ApprevaI

rainstorm

All the Web tean nenbers shoulu neet in a conference roon away fron interruptions.
Have everyone propose iueas about what the site can uo anu incluue. Can, not
shoulu, is the watchworu when brainstorning: no iuea is too silly, because the point is
to generate as nany iueas as possible. Be sure to have soneone write uown iueas as they`re
proposeu.

fvaluate

The Site Cooruinator tales the list of iueas proposeu anu evaluates each for relevance
accoruing to the site`s auuience anu purpose. Each content iuea anu proposeu feature is
scrutinizeu accoruing to the criteria Will this be useful to the site`s auuience: anu Does
it serve the site`s purpose: Content anu features that aren`t relevant are renoveu. Write
uown those renaining in a list.

5urvey

The only way to be certain that a site contains what its auuience wants is to asl auuience
nenbers thenselves. At this stage, show the site`s content list to the Auuience Test
Group. Asl each test group nenber if any content seens unnecessary, anu what content
is particularly appealing. Along with their answers, they nay suggest goou content iueas
that weren`t previously consiuereu. After spealing with the Auuience Test Group, revise
the site`s content list baseu on its nenbers` input.

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Cet approval

Show the content list to the Decision-Maler, nale any necessary changes, then have the
Decision-Maler sign off on it. Since this is the first uocunent that the Decision-Maler
approves, establish a preceuent for tinely approval.

1ip: Lmt approval perods

Open-enueu approval perious can slow uown worl significantly, so when subnitting the
content list, try to have the Decision-Maler agree to approving it within a certain periou
of tine. If the Decision-Maler is the sole reviewer, two uays is iueal. That way, if there are
any changes to be naue, the content list can be resubnitteu anu approveu within a weel.

If the Decision-Maler woulu lile to solicit input fron other nenbers of the
organization`s nanagenent tean, count on the approval process taling fron one to two
weels. Whether the content list is revieweu by one person or nany, try to set a linit of
two uays to a weel for approval, anu naintain that approval periou linit throughout the
site-builuing process.




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5tructure centent greups

Understand the importance of structure in web sites

When infornation is hyperlinleu, as on the Web, it can becone confusing anu haru to
finu. The purpose of a Web site is to proviue a logical, organizeu structure so infornation
is easy to finu.

In traditional media such as bools anu viueo, pages
anu franes are vieweu in sequence. Trauitional neuia
have a linear structure in which infornation is strung
together lile beaus on a string, front to bacl,
beginning to enu.
# ## #!# ## #!# ## #

Hypermedia, in which it`s possible to junp fron page
to page anu screen to screen, are non-linear. Unlile
trauitional neuia, hyperneuia have no built-in
organization. It`s easy to get lost.


Web sites are organizeu hyperneuia. Web sites show
people where they are, anu where they can go.
Infornation is structureu anu organizeu so it nales
sense.


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1ip: Thnk user-frendly

Usability is beconing recognizeu as the nost inportant factor in the success of Web sites.
A site can lool sleel anu enploy sophisticateu technology, but if it`s not user-frienuly,
people will avoiu it. The converse is also true: a site can be sinple, but it`s lilely to be
well-receiveu if it nales infornation easy to finu anu unuerstanu.






















Structuring site content is the first step in naling a Web site user-frienuly. In this anu
subsequent steps in the site-builuing process, strive to nale the site easy for people to use.

User-friendIy success steries

IBM makes site easier to nagivate, increases sales
The best result of the relaunch is that the IBM Web site is nuch easier to
navigate...The conpany says in the nonth after the re-launch, traffic to the Shop
IBM online store increaseu 120 percent, anu sales went up 400 percent.

Jin Battey, IBM's Reuesign Results In A Kinuer, Sinpler Web Site
InfoWorlu: www.infoworlu.con/cgi-
bin/uisplayStat.pl:/pageone/opinions/hotsites/hotextra990419.htn


Schwab makes site easier to use, gains 1/3 more customers
The reuesign is nainly an attenpt to nale the interface easier to use...Officials saiu
the focus has been on inproving usability anu sinplifying navigation...With 6
nillion active accounts, Schwab last weel uiscloseu that custoner assets were up 36
percent for the year.

Jeffrey Schwartz, Schwab Reuesign Stresses Usability
Internet Weel: www.internetwl.con/shareu/printableArticle:uoc_iuINW19990520S0006
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go
The next several sections of this bool incluue tips on naling a site user-frienuly. More
infornation on Web usability can be founu in the following Web sites anu bools:

www.usableweb.com
Keith Instone's collection of linls anu infornation about hunan factors in Web uesign.

www.useit.com/alertbox
Web usability articles by Jalob Nielsen, Web usability guru.

Tke Nun-DesIgner's DesIgn Buuk Robin Willians
A goou introuuction to the basic principles of uocunent uesign. It concerns printeu
uocunents, but applies uirectly to the Web.

1n]urnurIun ArckIrecrnre ]ur rke VurlJ VIJe Veh
Louis Rosenfelu anu Peter Morville
A sonewhat acauenic but infornative overview of structuring infornation online.

Veh NuvIgurIun: DesIgnIng rke User ExperIence Jennifer Flening
Case stuuies anu exanples in user-frienuly Web navigation.

Dun'r Muke Me TkInk! A Cunnun Sense Appruuck ru Veh UsuhIlIry,
Steve Krug
A straightforwaru, infornative lool at what goes through people`s ninus when they`re
trying to use a Web site. Excellent resource.



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0etermine content groups

Worling with the site`s list of content, the Site Cooruinator organizes then into a
hierarchy of relateu groups. At this stage, a sophisticateu chart isn`t necessary. A tree
uiagran sletcheu out with pencil anu paper will uo, because the site`s content hierarchy
will change frequently before it reaches its final arrangenent.

1ip: Chunk content nto small roups

When confronteu with groups of over seven itens, people begin to get confuseu anu
forgetful. That`s why license plates anu social security nunbers are segnenteu into groups
of two, three anu four uigits: they`re easier to renenber that way.

To nale it easier to grasp, arrange site content in groups of three to seven. The Web site
pictureu below chunls its nain-level content into three groups:


Three main sections let
people feel in control, not
overloaded with information.







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Group content accoruing to the things people want to finu (object-baseu), or accoruing to
the tasls people want to acconplish (tasl-baseu). Exanples of each are below:










0b|ect-based hierarchy 1ask-based hierarchy

Both object-baseu anu tasl-baseu groupings can be useu within the sane site. For
instance, the content for a conputer conpany`s site coulu be groupeu this way:

Keme Page
" "" "
Cemputer 5uppert 0b|ect-based
" "" "
Find the Cerrect 5eftware river Task-based
" "" "
List ef rivers 0b|ect-based

Ancient Art uy a Car
gyptian Creek Check Prices Find a eaIer
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Sonetines sequential organization can also be useu. For instance, articles can be brolen
up into several Web pages, with linls to go forwaru anu bacl anong the pages.






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Create the site bIueprint

The site blueprint is a chart showing how the site`s content groups are organizeu. Next to
the statenent of auuience anu purpose, the site blueprint is the nost inportant
uocunent useu to builu a Web site. It guiues the Web tean in builuing the site, just as the
blueprint of a house guiues its construction.

Besiues guiuing site construction, the site blueprint leeps the site organizeu over tine. It
shows where new pages anu sections shoulu fit into the site. The site blueprint is nost
often shown as a tree uiagran.

This site blueprint.

.was useu to create this web site:


Response Form
A Better 8(a) Services Clients
RSA DOT NCD VETS
Management
PCEPD CDC ETA DOT
Technical
Projects
Home Page
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Put the site blueprint on paper

The Site Cooruinator can create the site blueprint using a flow-charting or uiagranning
progran. The Organization Chart nouule in PowerPoint is auequate for nost sites. To
prouuce a site blueprint with nore sophisticateu graphics, a flow-charting progran such
as Visio can be useu.


0ettin to the 0ranization Chart
module in Power Point

5olicit audience input

Once the site blueprint has been createu, the Site Cooruinator shoulu show it to the
Auuience Test Group-the snall group of site auuience nenbers that revieweu the site`s
proposeu content. Asl then:

Does it show any content groups that you consider unnecessary?

Does it leave anything out that's important to you?

Does the arrangement of groups make sense to you?

Revise the site blueprint

Lile the site`s content list, the site blueprint shoulu be reviseu baseu on the input of the
Auuience Test Group.

Cet approval

After the Auuience Test Group proviues inpressions of the site blueprint anu it is reviseu
accoruingly, have the Decision-Maler review the site blueprint. After it`s approveu, nale
a copy of the site blueprint anu have the Decision-Maler sign off on it.

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Create the werk pIan

The worl plan is a uocunent that shows how worl on the site shoulu proceeu. To create
it, the Site Cooruinator first neets with the other nenbers of the Web tean so everyone
can reach agreenent on their tasls.

finalize roles and responsibilities

The Site Cooruinator checls with the nenbers of the Web tean to nale sure that the
tean nenbers are confortable with their roles in site construction. Usually the nenbers
of a Web tean will perforn the following tasls:

Editor
Writes anu euits the site`s text content.

Graphic Designer
Proviues uesign tenplates anu original graphics.

Site Builders
Tale text anu tenplates anu builu the site`s pages.

Technician
Integrates forns anu other interactive elenents with prograns on the server.

Site Coordinator
Keeps worl on tracl, checling to see if things are uone right anu on scheuule.

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0raft the work plan

After uefining the tean nenbers` tasls, the Site Cooruinator uraws up the worl plan,
which shoulu incluue:

A task list
A list of all the things that neeu to be uone to builu the site: creating pages, writing anu
euiting text, conposing graphics, progranning, etc.

A schedule
The uates when each of these tasls will be starteu, checleu, anu conpleteu.

Approval points
Points uuring site construction at which the Decision-Maler anu others nust give
approval.





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Sample Work Plan


Step

Task Date Who Notes
Site Blueprint/
Design Plan
Site Coordinator,
Site Builders (2)

First draft

2/16/99 Site Coordinator,
Site Builders

Web Team
Review
2/17/00 Site Coordinator,
Site Builders,
Editor, Graphic
Designer

Leadership
Review/
Approval
2/29/00 Leadership team
Final

Mid March Site Coordinator,
Site Builders

Site Content Editor, Site
Coordinator

All first drafts Editor
Web Team
Review
Site Coordinator,
Site Builders,
Editor, Graphic
Designer

Leadership
Review/
Approval
Leadership team
Final

Mid April Editor
Design Models Graphic Designer,
Site Builders

First drafts of
templates
Graphic Designer
Web Team
Review
Site Coordinator,
Site Builders,
Editor, Graphic
Designer

Leadership
Review/
Approval
Leadership team
Final Mid April Graphic Designer


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Step

Task Date Who Notes
First Site Draft Site Builders
First draft

Site Builders
Web Team
Review
Site Coordinator,
Site Builders,
Editor, Graphic
Designer

Pilot Team Test 8 Audience
members

Revise

Site Builders
Leadership Team
Test
Leadership team
Final

Beg. May Site Builders
Go Live 06/01/00 Site Builders,
Hosting company

Update Ongoing Web Team Different team
members will have
different updating
responsibilities.


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Consider building a work site

A worl site is a snall Web site containing infornation about the site being built. Worl
sites proviues a convenient place to get infornation about Web projects, letting the Web
tean, the Decision-Maler, anu anyone else involveu with the site stay current on its
construction.


Timetable

Contact information

Links to site blueprint, desin
models

If the uonain of the Web site being built is www.yoursite.con, the worl site coulu be
posteu to a subuirectory such as www.yoursite.con/project.




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8uiId


i. Cenerate design medeIs
z. Prepare centent
j. Censtruct a werking draft
. Cenduct audience testing
g. Pest the site Iive


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Cenerate design medeIs

Create a model home page

Designing a site`s lool anu feel begins with the Graphic Designer creating a nouel of the
site`s hone page. When uesigning it, the Graphic Designer consiuers factors such as:

The site's statement of audience and purpose
The site blueprint
The organization's existing visual identity
The size of the site

In the exanple below, the Web site`s lool echoes the lool of the conpany`s existing visual
iuentity, as uisplayeu in its business carus anu letterheau:


web site


Letterhead, usiness card



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Also, the site`s size will ueternine its layout to a certain extent. Large sites neeu both
horizontal anu navigational areas. Snall sites can use one or the other.


1otal pages in site: 6
Main sections listed in horizontal
navigation bar

1otal pages in site: zq
Main sections listed in horizontal
navigation bar
5ubsections arrayed in vertical
navigation area

When the nouel is finisheu, it shoulu be revieweu by the Web tean to nale sure it can be
easily upuateu, uownloaus quiclly, anu incluues a user-frienuly navigational layout. It
shoulu also be shown to the Auuience Test Group to solicit their inpressions.

Cet approval

Before the Site Cooruinator presents the hone page uesign to the Decision-Maler, it`s
inportant to plan how it will be presenteu. Design is subjective, anu whether a uesign is
approveu or not uepenus to a great extent upon the perceptions anu personality of the
reviewer.

When subnitting site uesigns for approval, the Site Cooruinator shoulu use the
personality profiling charts on pages 11 anu 12 to present uesigns in a way that`s
confortable to the Decision-Maler.

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Create main- and sub-section models

After the uesign for the hone page is approveu, the Graphic Designer creates a nouel for
the site`s nain section pages. The uesign of this nouel is baseu on the uesign of the hone
page.

When the uesign of the nain-section nouel is approveu, nouel pages are uesigneu for the
site`s subsections. The uesigns of these are, in turn, baseu on that of the nain sections.


Rome pae desin model.
uesins of second- and third-level paes
echo its look and layout.

5econd-level desin model.
used to enerate paes A and 8.


Third-level desin model.
used to enerate look of numbered paes.

1 2
) *
1 2 3
+
0A 2=CA
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1ip: lncorporate user-frendly desn prncples

Clean layout
When uesigning the page nouels, the Graphic Designer shoulu incorporate user-frienuly
uesign principles, the founuation of which is an uncluttereu layout. Web pages present
both infornation anu navigation for people to leep tracl of, so uesign shoulun`t get in
the way.

The page below is an exanple of clean, sinple layout that nales the page`s infornation
easy to unuerstanu:


Clear headline

5hort description

Contact information

CAPS
Color, alignnent, proxinity, anu size, or CAPS, can be useu to express relationships
anong groups of infornation. Relateu itens can be the sane color, size, or close together.

8uild

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66
Color
Male one color nean one thing. In this case, blue neans navigation:





8lue naviation bar

8lue links

Alignment
Align sinilar infornation along the sane axis:


All content is alined alon
the same line, clearly definin
what is content and what isn't.

8uild

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Proximity
Group relateu itens close together. Enploying subheauings above paragraphs is a goou
use of this principle:


5ubheadins are placed
directly above the text they
describe.

Size
Differentiate inportant infornation with uifferent size graphics or text:


Main headins are three times
larer than body text.

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6B
Clear navigation
Navigation is an integral part of site uesign, so the Graphic Designer shoulu nale sure
that page uesigns incorporate elenents that show site users you are here:


Lihter area of naviation bar
shows current section.

Also, linls shoulu be chunleu on the page. Too nany linls in one place are confusing, so
group then into categories of sinilar linls:

AI's Fruit Cempany Web 5ite

Fruits We 5eII
Apples
8ananas
Cherries
0rapes
0ranes
Kiwis
Kumquats
Manos


rune's Fruits Web 5ite

emestic varieties
Apples
8ananas
Cherries
0rapes
0ranes


xetic Fruits
Kiwis
Kumquats
Manos



Long lists can be confusing. Chunked links are easier to grasp.

8uild

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6
Prepare centent

Cather content

Once the site`s content groups are organizeu, the Web tean gathers the site`s actual
content. When it is collecteu fron its various sources-brochures, reports, spreausheets,
CDs, etc-this content is put into uigital fornat. Docunents are saveu as plain text files,
anu graphics are saveu in TIF, EPS, PICT, or other uigital fornat.

# ! $

fdit content

The tean`s Euitor tales the raw text uocunents gathereu anu euits then uown to
approxinately half their original length. The Euitor shoulu use as few worus as possible
for Web text because:

1. Reading text on a Web site is harder than reading text in print.
Web text is usually reau on a low-resolution conputer nonitor. Scrolling uown a
page nales it easy to lose one`s place.

2. People usually don't want text-rich information from Web sites.
Most people visit Web sites to finu specific infornation, so they tenu to slin.
Lengthy text passages prevent then fron uoing this.

3. Succinct text is more easily understood.
Salesnen have a saying that the nore worus you use, the less they renenber.
People who builu successful Web sites lnow the sane thing.

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/o

A goou exanple is this text fron a
conpany`s capability statenent.
.that was euiteu uown to this
for use on its hone page.

ACMEs corporate experience has been both diverse and
wide-ranging. As a small, responsive organization,
ACME has had the opportunity to develop itself in a
uniquely different manner than that pursued by most
other 8(a) companies. ACME recognizes the importance
of the maintenance of a steady cash flow coupled with
prompt and consistent payments to vendors,
subcontractors, and especially its own employees.
ACME meets these financial goals by continually
maintaining accessibility to working capital in excess of
one million dollars. In addition to sound financial
practices, the combination of responsible business
management strategies and employees' extensive
technical skills have created for ACME a reputation of
quality, reliability, and fiscal integrity unmatched by
comparable 8(a) firms.

ACME
Management and technology
consulting on Health and Disability.

Why work with ACME on health and
disability projects? Were a better 8(a).




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Censtruct a werking draft

At this point, a uraft version of the site is createu. Worl on the site uraft proceeus
accoruing to the worl plan, with the Site Cooruinator supervising construction anu
leeping things on tracl.

To nale pages in the site uraft available for review, they can be posteu to a test uirectory.
For instance, if the Web auuress for the live site is www.organization.com, the worling
uraft coulu be posteu to www.organization.com/new

1ip: mploy pae templates

Using pre-fabricateu page tenplates is an excellent way to leep sites consistent. Tenplates
save worl, nale auhering to stanuarus easier, anu nininize nistales. All current site-
builuing prograns allow the creation of tenplates, anu nost autonatically upuate pages
createu fron the tenplate when the tenplate is changeu.

Using the uesign nouels, create a tenplate for each section of the site. Male the tenplates
available for use by the Web tean in builuing the site uraft.


Page template in Macromedia 0reamweaver




This template can be used to
create paes in these four
subsections


Editable reions of pae
content

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/z
1ip: Make design and navigation consistent throughout

Design anu navigation shoulu be consistent throughout the site uraft. Sites that preserve
consistency in uesign anu navigation nale people feel confortable anu in control.

For instance, people naturally assune that if linls are reu on one page, then linls will be
reu on every page, so leep the linl color the sane throughout the site. Just as people get
useu to a certain color that neans linl, they get useu to linls being in a certain oruer, so
list linls in the sane oruer on every page.


0ifferent sections, same navigation:
1he links in these two sections of a web site are in the same place, same order,
same font, and same color.

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1ip: Clarfy ste navaton

Proviue uescriptions below or besiue linls. This clarifies where the linl will leau, aiuing
navigation:


Link

uescription of link



Another way to clarify site navigation is to use verbs as linls. For exanple, a linl that
reaus Subscribe to our mailing list is clearer than one that just reaus Mailing List.







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1roubleshoot the site

The lool of a site can vary wiuely when vieweu on uifferent conputers. To ensure
consistency, view the site on a variety of uifferent:

Platforns (Winuows, Mac, Unix)
Browsers (Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator)
Screen resolutions (640x480 pixels, 800x600, 1024x768).


Page viewed on monitor 1ozq pixels wide

5ame page viewed on monitor
6qo pixels wide

If the site uraft uoesn`t lool right on sone systens, the Site Builuers shoulu fine-tune it
until a consistent lool is achieveu.


obby
hete: Try to build the site to be
handicapped-accessible. 8obby, at
www.cast.or]bobby, lists uidelines for
site accessibility.

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/g
Cenduct audience testing

5et up the test

Arrange to have the Auuience Test Group test the site uraft. If possible, have then uo this
at a place outsiue the office to avoiu uistractions. Before the test session, interview each
nenber to iuentify the tasls they want to perforn, anu the infornation they want to
finu.

Conduct the test

Have each group nenber clicl through the site for 20-40 ninutes. As each nenber of
the Auuience Test Group attenpts to acconplish his or her uesireu tasls, note if they
were successful. If not, note the problens encountereu.

Feel free to asl each tester questions such as, Why uiu you clicl there: anu What`s
your reason for going that way: However, uon`t proviue any help.

5ummarize the results

After the auuience testing is finisheu, conpile the finuings in a report. Each nenber of
the Web tean anu the Decision-Maler shoulu review this report. If a pet feature of the
site was founu to be unpopular or haru-to-use, the auuience testing report can supply the
objective proof neeueu to change it.

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Sample Audience Testing Form

Name:
E-Mail:
Organization:


What do you want to
do at t he sit e?



Were you able t o do
what you want ed?

What couldnt you
do?



What do you like
about t he sit e?





What would you
change about it ?




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//
Pest the site Iive

Revise the site

Now the site is alnost reauy to be uploaueu to the server. Before it is, clarify linls anu
uesignations that the Auuience Test Group founu confusing. Using the results of the
Auuience Group testing, change the site`s functionality, layout, anu navigation to reflect
their preferences.

Cet final approval

After the site has been reviseu, show it to the Decision-Maler anu obtain final approval
for it. Get the Decision-Maler to sign a uocunent expressing final approval.

Upload the site

Upon final approval, publish the finisheu site live at the correct Web auuress. Clicl
through the site to checl linls anu uownloau tines. Correct any last technical problens
encountereu, anu the site is uone.





/B


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Maintain


i. stabIish guideIines fer structure and design
z. 5et update scheduIe
j. 5pecify werkfIew fer site additiens
. Create a site maintenance guide



Maintain

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Bo
stabIish guideIines fer structure and design

No Web site stays the sane for long. As a site unuergoes changes anu auuitions, it can
easily uevelop inconsistent lools anong its sections, accunulate ueau-enu linls, anu
accrue superfluous infornation. The ley to avoiuing this is to establish guiuelines for the
site`s structure anu uesign.

Implement design guidelines

Establishing guiuelines for site uesign ensures that upuates anu auuitions to the site lool
consistent with the rest of its pages. These shoulu incluue instructions for:

How the logo shoulu be uisplayeu

What colors anu fonts shoulu be useu

How navigation anu content shoulu be arrangeu

Include the site blueprint

The site blueprint, which uiagranneu the site`s content groups for its construction, can
help ueternine where new content shoulu go. When auuing infornation to a site, lool at
the site blueprint anu figure out into which content group it logically fits. Then post it to
the site in the appropriate section.

5ite bIueprint








hew centent


AnimaIs
irds Fish MammaIs
%
AII
Abeut
1reut
Maintain

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Bi
5et update scheduIe

5chedule pageJsection updates

Deternine which sections anu pages of the site neeu to be upuateu. Then ueternine when
each neeus to be upuateu: Daily, weelly, nonthly, or every few nonths.

work from a local copy of the site

Site upuates shoulu be uone first on a copy of the site, best lept on an office`s file server.
Worling fron a local copy allows site upuates to be testeu before they`re posteu live, anu
also proviues a current baclup of the site in case of Web server failure.

!
!

"

"
5ite uilders Copy of site on office
file server
web server


Maintain

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Bz
5pecify werkfIew fer site additiens

When new pages or sections neeu to be auueu to the site, worlflow proceuures shoulu
specify who will uo the worl anu how it will be approveu. The following worlflow systen
streanlines site auuitions:

1. Submit
New infornation to be posteu on the Web site is subnitteu to the Site
Cooruinator.

2. Designate
The Site Cooruinator ueternines where in the site the new infornation shoulu go,
then uelegates the tasl of posting it to a Site Builuer.

3. Test
Site Builuers create pages with the new infornation using appropriate tenplates.
After senuing then to the site copy on the office`s file server, the Site Builuers test
then for linl integrity anu fornatting.

4. Post
The Site Cooruinator reviews the changes on the local file server. After approving
then, the new pages are posteu live to the Web site.

1ip: Use workflow features

All current site-builuing prograns contain worlflow features that allow pernissions anu
tasls to be controlleu anu nonitoreu.

Maintain

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Bj
Create a site maintenance guide

When the site`s uesign guiuelines anu upuate proceuures have been uevelopeu, set then
uown in a site naintenance guiue. Having that infornation in one place helps the Site
Builuers who upuate the site leep it consistent.

Sample Site Maintenance Guide

Site Maintenance Guide

Personnel
(Site Builder) updates the site. (Site Coordinator) approves changes to the site before they go live.

Schedule
On the first day of every month the home page is updated. The site as a whole is also reviewed for
link integrity and currency at that time.

Site Structure




Subsection 1
Subsection 2
Subsection 3
Section A
Subsection 1
Subsection 2
Section B
Subsection 1
Subsection 2
Section C Section D
Home Page
Maintain

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B

Design Guidelines

Links

Style: Bold

Color: Orange. Hexadecimal #FF3300

Visited Color:

Same

Text


Body Text:

Font: Arial, regular
Size: -1

Headlines:

Font: Arial, bold
Size: +1 for second level, +0 for third

Subheads:

Font: Arial, bold
Size: -1

Layout


Colors
Graphics Size
Placement
Navigation Bar Location

See existing site

Templates:

G:\Site\Templates






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Bg
Neb Preject 5cenarie



5cenario

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&$
Web preject scenarie

The following scenario traces the creation of a Web site fron beginning to enu. It uetails
how an organization-a fictitious conpany calleu Mortgage Unliniteu-enploys in-
house staff to builu its Web site. The scenario is organizeu into sections that corresponu
with the previous sections of this bool: Plan-Train-Organize-Builu-Maintain.

1he 5ite Coordinator's perspective

In the scenario, your perspective is that of the Site Cooruinator. Connon questions are
poseu as if the Site Cooruinator asleu then, anu the other characters in the scenario
responu accoruingly. The nenbers of the Web tean also asl questions, which are
answereu as a Site Cooruinator night.

ackground

You`re the connunications uirector for Mortgage Unliniteu, a
hone nortgage conpany. The conpany has a Web site,
basically an online brochure built by an outsiue contractor,
who upuates the site every weel.

You`ve revieweu your site anu conpareu it to others, anu you believe that it`s lacling. You
want to be reuesign anu expanu it. You`u lile it to contain infornation on loan rates
that`s upuateu uaily. Since you`u neeu to train people for uaily site naintenance anyway,
you ueciue to train the conpany`s staff to builu an entirely new site.

After neeting with the conpany`s general nanager, you get approval to builu a new site
in-house.

5cenario

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PIan

Identify the ecisien-Maker

You arrange a neeting with the General Manager anu asl hin if he`ll be approving worl
on the site:


Ceneral Manager
I |un n us|ng e|e vu e, n|, |u I`|| |e nu|ng
]nu| Je.sns u|u e se.

I v|| vun :un ngs us u: |uv,e:, ug. I`ve neve:
Jne |usness n e Ve|, unJ I vun nu|e su:e eve:,ng
s |egu|.`

5cenario

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BB
5eIect the Web team

As the conpany`s connunications uirector, you assune the role of Site Cooruinator anu
select the following people to builu the Web site:


The conpany`s Publications Person, who lays out the custoner
newsletter, will function as the Site Builuer. Since he is the person
in the office nost experienceu with conputers, you uesignate
hin site Technician as well.



The Marketing Coordinator, who writes copy for print
publications, will serve as Euitor.



The Graphic Designer, who uesigns the conpany`s brochures,
aus, anu catalogs, will perforn the sane job for the Web site.



5cenario

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B
Cenduct an initiaI meeting

This initial neeting gives you a chance to answer questions:


Marketing Coordinator
V|| e se |e Jne
n ne :n e
Ve| uJJ:ess n u:
nuguzne uJs?
Su|nssn JeuJ|ne s
:ee vee|s uvu,.`

You tell the Marleting Cooruinator that nost Web sites tale three to six nonths to
conplete, because one person's proviuing the content, another's creating graphics,
progranning nay be necessary, anu it all neeus to be revieweu anu testeu. This tales
tine, even with the nost basic Web site.


Craphic designer
I`n useJ |u,ng
u nuguzne uJs unJ
.uu|gs. V|| I uve
J se.u| g:u.s ]:
s Ve| se?`

You tell the Graphic Designer that Web sites uo require special graphics, but that he'll
learn how to create then in a training class.

5cenario

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o

Lawyer
Des Jng |usness n e Ve| :eu:e uxes :
|.enses?`

You tell the Lawyer that Internet taxation is still being worleu out in Congress anu state
legislatures, but that if she woulu research the latest laws to see which apply, that woulu be
helpful.

5cenario

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i
efine the audience and purpese

After ueternining that the Manager will be the Decision-Maler for this project, you asl
hin who he thinls will be using the site:


Le`s see.Te e|e v ge n:guges :ug us enJ
|e nJJ|e-n.ne ]un|es. I guess e e|e vsng e se
vu|J |e e n:e .nue:-suvv, e|e n u g:u.`

Then you asl hin what he thinls the site shoulu uo:


I n| e se su|J |e e|e see u: |un :ues unJ
u||v en J u |un u|.un ve: e Ine:ne.`

5cenario

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ReseIve the success criteria

You asl the Manager what will nale the site successful, anu what he`ll be happy with
when the site is conpleteu:


Te:e u:e |s ] .nunes u J n:guges, |u u:
:ues u:e |ve: un ns eve:,ne e|se's. Iu,|e e Ve|
se su|J s:ess u.

I] nu|es euse: ]: e|e .e.| u: :ues unJ J u
n:guge u|.un, I`|| |e |euseJ.`

You write uown the auuience, purpose, anu success criteria for the site. You put these in a
uocunent anu have the nanager sign it. Then the Manager asls:


B, e vu,, vu`s nv|veJ v |u|Jng e Ve| se? Hv
nu. v|| .s?`

5cenario

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List the reseurces avaiIabIe

You tell the Manager that the site will probably tale six nonths to builu, anu that you`ll
neeu the help of the publications person, graphic uesigner, anu narleting cooruinator.
You asl how nuch noney is buugeteu to builu the site:


Ve`:e n s nu. |neJ |, nne, us |, ne. Te:e`s u
| ] n:guge v:| J, unJ ve .un` uve e|e
v:|ng n e Ve| se ]u||-ne.`

You inforn the Manager that to leep site worl on the site noving, your Web tean
nenbers shoulu worl on it at least half-tine.


Ve`|| uve see u|u s.eJu|ng, |u :g nv I n|
u v|| v:|.`

5cenario

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Cheese the right seftware

You uownloau trial versions of site-builuing software prograns anu, together with the
Publications Person who will use it nost of the tine, you ueciue which one to buy.

You asl the Graphic Designer if he neeus new software for Web graphics, but he ueciues
to sticl with his existing software, which worls well for Web applications.

5cenario

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g
1rain

PIan the curricuIum

You asl the Manager for a full weel of classroon training for the nenbers of the Web
tean:


Huvng eve:,ne u ] e ]].e ]: u vee| vu|J |euve u |
] v:| unJne. BesJes, :unng s exensve! Le`s use v-
||s ]: e :unng.`

You ueciue to get a goou self-stuuy bool about the site-builuing progran your tean is
using. You proviue each tean nenber with a copy, along with an HTML how-to bool
anu one on creating Web graphics. You also arrange to have every tean nenber reau Te
Vsuu| Leu:ne:`s CuJe Iunugng Ve| P:e.s to nale then faniliar with systenatic
Web uevelopnent.

You also lnow it`s inportant that your Web tean practice what they`ve learneu, so you
set asiue two weels for the ten to builu a practice site fron scratch.

5cenario

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6
Prepare the Web team

You lnow the Publications Person, Graphic Designer anu Marleting Cooruinator are
goou with conputers because they use then every uay. However, you uon`t use
conputers every uay. You get by, but you`re not proficient with then. You believe that,
since you`re leauing the Web tean, you ought to be able to use the site-builuing software
well.

Before you go to training with your tean, you have the Publications Person tutor you in
conputer file nanagenent.


Tun|s ]: |eng ne sv ,u u ]ev ngs u|u
nunugng ]|es n e .nue:. I n| ,u`|| ge u
| n:e u ] e :unng, nv u ,u`:e u
seeJ v e |us.s.`

Cenduct training

You anu the Web tean worl through the how-to bools over a three-weel periou, helping
each other as you go. After you`ve finisheu the bools, the tean tales two weels to builu a
practice site together:


web site for a fictional company, built
from scratch by the web team.


5cenario

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0rganize

etermine site centent

You have another neeting at which everyone brainstorns about what the site shoulu
contain anu uo.


I`s seens :e,
s:ug]:vu:J. e se su|J
n.|uJe n]:nun u|u u:
|un :g:uns unJ :ues unJ
nu,|e sne ]:ns u|, ]:
|uns :ug e Ve|.`

The uay after the neeting, you contact several of the conpany`s custoners anu asl then
if they woulu lile to serve as a test group uuring the uevelopnent of your conpany`s site.
Seven agree to serve on the test group, so you asl then what they woulu lile the site to
contain anu uo. Most echo the sentinents of this custoner:


Customer
I n| u s n v g u|u geng u
n:guge vu|J |e e|]u|. I :enen|e: u e
:.ess vus .n]usng un| ,u: e|e ex|uneJ
ne. I n| vs:s ,u: Ve| se vu|J
u:e.ue , .`

After spealing with the custoners, you ueciue that the new Web site shoulu incluue a
Helpful Tips section, anu auu that to the site`s list of content.
5cenario

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5tructure centent greups

You asl the Marleting Cooruinator if she can gather the conpany`s existing print
naterials, such as brochures:


I gue:eJ u: |:.u:es, us ve|| us sne |un u|.un
]:ns. I u|s :neJ u u see ] u: .u::en |un :ues s
e, .un g n e Ve| se.

I u u|| e ex n ]|es, s 's eus, .u e ex unJ
use n u: Ve| uges.`

The site`s content list incluues these groups:

Online Loan Application
Loan Infornation
About Interest Rates
Insurance Auvice
Mortgage Tips
Contact Infornation
Touay's Rates
Personal Assets

5cenario

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Create the site bIueprint

You create a site blueprint that organizes the content groups:




You show the site blueprint to the auuience test group, all of whon lile it. Then you get
the general nanager to sign off on it, agreeing that the site will be structureu accoruing to
this blueprint.

You uistribute a copy of the site blueprint to each nenber of the Web tean.

About lnterest Rates
lnsurance Advice
Mortgage Tips Today's Rates
Contact lnfo
Loan lnfo
Personal Assets
Online Loan Application
Home Page
5cenario

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ioo
Create the werk pIan

You uraft the following worl plan anu uistribute it to each nenber of the Web tean, as
well as to the Manager.

Week 1 2 3 4
Task
Establish work site

Begin designing model
home page

Begin writing and
editing site copy
Get approval for
home page design

Begin designing
second-level model


Get design model for
second-level pages
approved

Finish writing site
copy
Begin building sites
pages

Begin working with site
hosting firm on
enabling loan
application form
Staff
Publications

Graphics

Marketing
Graphics Graphics Pubs

Graphics

Week 5 6 7 8
Task
Continue building sites
pages and forms


Complete site draft

Post site draft on
server for approval,
testing
Test site

Revise site based
upon testing

Obtain final approval
Post site live

Establish Site Update
Guide
Staff
Publications Publications

Publications

Graphics
Publications

Site Coordinator

5cenario

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ioi


Ts v:| |un s e|]u|. I |es ne |nv
v ve'|| |u|J e se, unJ ven ngs
u:e suseJ uen.`


I`n g|uJ I g || u s v:| |un. I |es ne
|nv vu I'|| |e us|eJ sgn ]] n, unJ ven.`

5cenario

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ioz
8uiId

Cenerate design medeIs

You give the site`s auuience, purpose, success criteria anu blueprint to the Graphic
Designer, so he can uesign a nouel hone page.


Tun|s ]: gvng ne e se ||ue:n. Le ne .ne
u v sne J]]e:en ||s, unJ I'|| sv ,u sne
Jesgns n u Ju, : v.`

5cenario

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ioj
Three uays later.


He:e u:e sne Jesgns I've .ne u v ]:
e se. V. ne J ,u n| v:|s |es?`



You thinl that the site with the uarl baclgrounu is colorful anu striling, but busy.
There's too nuch on the page to easily focus on inportant infornation.

The site with the white baclgrounu, on the other hanu, is crisp anu clear. You choose it,
anu subnit it to the general nanager for approval. The Manager approves it anu signs off
on it.

5cenario

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io
Three uays later.


I .:eueJ u Jesgn nJe| ]: e se.nJ-|eve| se.ns ]
e se. Vu J ,u n|?`

The graphic on the right is nice, but is it
worth waiting for: Other than visual
interest, it uoesn't proviue nuch. You asl
the Graphic Designer if he can replace the
graphic with neaningful content-the
loan application forn.


The Graphic Designer puts an
application forn on the page:


5cenario

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iog
You suggest that the forn coulu be naue a little nore user-frienuly by proviuing sone
contrast between the input boxes anu the page baclgrounu.

The Graphic Designer agrees, anu
prouuces this page:


You subnit this page uesign to the Manager for approval:


Tese Jesgns || e::].! I .un' vu see
e v|e ng. Bu .u|J ,u nu|e u .u|e
] .unges?

Cu|J ve uJJ n:e nu ]e|Js e ]:n?
I'J ||e n.|uJe n:e n]:nun u|u
e |::ve:.

A|s, .un ve .unge e ]:n |u.|g:unJ
||ue? I've u|vu,s ||eJ e .|: ||ue.`

5cenario

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io6
You agree to change the forn, but explain to the Manager that the color blue is useu
nowhere else in the site, anu woulu lool out of place on this one page.


I unJe:sunJ vu ,u neun. I un u:u|
e .|:, |u I :eu|ze Jesn' v:| e:e.`

Prepare centent

As she`s writing the text for the Mortgage Tips section of the site, the Marleting
Cooruinator asls,


He:e`s sne ex ]:n ne ] u: .usne: su:
J.unens. Cun ve use n e 'I:guge Ts' se.n?`

5cenario

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io/

Oftentimes it can be a mistake to choose a mortgage company based solely on the interest rate offered by
the company. Interest rate is one of many different factors that affect the determination when figuring
the overall cost of loan programs. Borrowers can benefit from consideration of the total points or any
other fees charged when the procurement of a loan is commenced by the borrower. When anyone is
shopping for a mortgage program, the TOTAL loan points should be inquired about, without forgetting
to ask about the inclusion of any origination fee. It is surprising to some borrowers, but when quoting
loan points, some mortgage companies do not factor the origination point into their quotations. In these
situations, a 2 point loan quoted by the company in question may in fact be a 3 point loan when the
addition of a 1% origination point is taken into consideration. Borrowers must also be very careful to
consider other factors, including the comparison of non-apparent fees that may be charged by the
mortgage company and undertake a comparison of all fees charged at the settlement.

You review the text, anu see that it`s too woruy anu unclear. It neeus to be reviseu, so you
have the narleting cooruinator euit it. The Marleting Cooruinator euits it uown to:

Don't choose a mortgage company based only on interest rate. Interest rate is not the only factor
determining the overall cost of the loan. You must also consider the total points or fees charged on a
loan. When shopping for a mortgage, ask for the TOTAL loan points including any origination fee.

Surprisingly, some mort gage companies do not include originat ion point s when quot ing loan
point s. Therefore, a 2 point loan you were quot ed may in fact be a 3 point loan when a 1%
originat ion point is added. You must also compare t he hidden fees charged by t he mort gage
company and compare all fees charged at t he set t lement .

This shorter version of the Mortgage Tips text is nuch clearer, so you give it to the
Publications Person to be incluueu in the site.
5cenario

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ioB
Censtruct a werking draft

Worl begins on the site uraft. The Publications Person builus the site`s pages baseu upon
the nouels uevelopeu by the Graphic Designer. One weel later, the site uraft is conpleteu
anu posteu to www.nortgageunliniteu.con/test.


When the Marleting Cooruinator sees the
text she euiteu in the Mortgage Tips
section she says,



I`n n su:e v,, |u even ug e ex s .|eu:, e uge
s s|| u ||e u:J :euJ.`

You suggest to the Marleting Cooruinator that the page can be naue easier to reau by
incluuing subheauings before paragraphs. She writes a subheauing for each section, then
subnits this new text to the Publications Person.

The publications person then revises the
page to incluue subheauings:


5cenario

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io

Te uge s nu. euse: :euJ nv. I ||e v
,u've u|en e nun Jeus ] e uge unJ se
en n |u:ge, ||J ex.

Ven I g Ve| ses, I Jn' vun un ]:
n]:nun. I vun ]nJ vu I neeJ unJ ge n
v e :es ] n, |]e. Ts uge nu|es eus,
J u.`

The Publications Person inforns you that by worling with the Web hosting conpany, he
was able to nale the site`s online loan application worl:


Te e-nu| :.essng s.: n e
se:ve: s v:|ng. I's :euJ, |e |n|eJ
u v e n|ne |un u|.un
]:n.`

The publications person goes on to say,

I] snene su|ns u ]:n ||e s.


.,u ge un e-nu| ||e s.`





5cenario

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iio
While troubleshooting the site, you notice that when an online loan application for a 15-
year loan is subnitteu, a 30-year tern is receiveu.

The publications person checls the online forn anu finus out that, because of an error in
the coue, the server thinls the 30-year tern button is the sane as the 15-year:

utten Cede

input type="radio" name="1yr"

input type="radio" name="1yr"

The publications person corrects the problen.

5cenario

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iii
Cenduct audience testing

No other technical problens are uncovereu, so you have the test group of custoners clicl
through the site uraft. You observe each custoner inuiviuually to see firsthanu if they
experience any problens.

One of the custoners asls,


A:e ese :ues .u::en?`

Despite the fact that one of the site`s
buttons is labeleu "Checl Touay's Rates,
the tester still isn't sure if the rates are still
current. You nale it easy for her by
having the graphic uesigner anu
publications person change the hone
page to show Touay`s Rates
proninently, anu in large text.


Now that you`ve naue sure the site worls properly anu that it`s easy to use, you subnit
the site uraft for final approval:


I :eu||, ||e e se! C:eu |. I n| 's
:euJ, g.`

5cenario

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Pest the site Iive

The full site is then posteu live at its true uonain.

5cenario

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Maintain

Create a site maintenance guide

You create a site naintenance guiue that uocunents:

How the site will be updated
Content: accoruing to the site blueprint.
Lool anu layout: accoruing to page tenplates.

Who will update the site
The publications person, with the graphic uesigner uesignateu as baclup.

What will be updated, and when
Loan rates get upuateu every uay; other content upuateu as necessary.

How workflow progresses
You, the Site Cooruinator, ueternine where new content shoulu go. The
publications person upuates the site. You review worl uone anu approve it before
posting live.

5cenario

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Two weels after the site goes live, the Marleting Cooruinator asls:


Yu |nv, ve've |een geng u | ] e-
nu| uesns us|ng ]: Je]nns ]
n:guge e:ns. Pe|e u:e u|vu,s ve:,
u:e.uve ven ve ex|un vu ngs
||e '|un--vu|ue' unJ 'Je| :u' neun.
Cun ve uJJ u 'I:guge Te:ns' se.n
e se?`

You thinl that`s a goou iuea.
Mortgage Terns are the sort of
infornation custoners night lool
for in Mortgage Tips, so you
ueciue to put A Glossary of
Mortgage Terns on the Mortgage
Tips page.

You have the publications person
nale that change to the site:



END OF SCENARIO

In this scenario, you traceu the creation of a Web site fron beginning to enu. Your own
organization can enploy in-house staff to builu its Web site in a sinilar way.





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iig
5ite-uiIding CheckIist



PLAk

Identify 0ecision-Maker

Primary uecision-Maker:


0efine site's audience and purpose

Audience:




Purpose:




Resolve success criteria

Thins that will make the web site a success:






Checklist

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ii6
0etermine resources

Time available:


Money:


Personnel:






Choose site-building staff

5ite Coordinator:


5ite 8uilder:


5ite 8uilder:


Editor:


0raphic uesiner:


Technician:


Checklist

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1kAlk

Prepare

5elect a capable instructor
5elect a site-buildin proram
Test web team for windows knowlede

1rain staff

5ite-buildin proram
RTML
web raphics
5ite plannin and usability
Exercise]practice


0k6AklZ

0etermine site content

8rainstorm site content and functionality
Evaluate for relevance to audience]purpose
Conduct Audience Test 0roup survey
0et approval

0rganize content

0ather content
0roup content
Create site blueprint
Conduct user survey
Revise the site blueprint
0et approval

Checklist

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Create work plan

Create task list
Establish schedule
lnclude approval points
Establish work site

0esign look and layout

0enerate home pae desin model
Conduct user survey
0enerate models for second, third, etc. levels
Conduct user survey
0et approval


8ulL0

Create workin draft of site
Conduct user testin
Revise the site based upon user testin
0et final approval
Publish the site live on web server


MAlk1Alk

Establish site update uide


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lndex

arbiter ................................................................................................................................16
audience.............................................................................................................................24
Clausewitz..........................................................................................................................26
content...............................................................................................................................16
Content........................................................................................................................ 34, 48
chunling ......................................................................................................................53
euiting...........................................................................................................................71
evaluation of.................................................................................................................48
gathering.......................................................................................................................71
grouping .......................................................................................................................50
nanagenent systens....................................................................................................34
organization of .............................................................................................................55
Decision-Maker................................................................................................20, 24, 25, 77
Design
CAPS............................................................................................................................67
consistency...................................................................................................................74
franes.............................................................................................................................5
layout ............................................................................................................................65
nouels ..........................................................................................................................64
user-frienuly.................................................................................................................51
HTML .................................................................................................................... 29, 36, 39
Internet Service Providers ................................................................................................17
Personality Type..................................................................................................................9
charts ............................................................................................................................11
Site Blueprint.....................................................................................................................56
Site Building ........................................................................................................................4
approval..................................................................................................................49, 57
buugeting......................................................................................................................27
checllist ......................................................................................................................119
uocunentation.............................................................................................................24
initial neeting ..............................................................................................................20
resources.......................................................................................................................25
testing...........................................................................................................................76
worl plan .....................................................................................................................58
worl site .......................................................................................................................62
Site Bulding
scenario ........................................................................................................................89
lndex

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Site Maintenance...............................................................................................................82
guiue.............................................................................................................................85
scheuule........................................................................................................................83
tenplates ......................................................................................................................73
worlflow ......................................................................................................................84
Software.............................................................................................................................28
Dreanweaver ...............................................................................................................29
Fireworls......................................................................................................................31
free trial ........................................................................................................................33
FrontPage .....................................................................................................................29
Fusion...........................................................................................................................30
GoLive ..........................................................................................................................28
Paint Shop Pro.............................................................................................................31
Photoshop ....................................................................................................................31
Web graphics................................................................................................................31
Training.............................................................................................................................36
classroon......................................................................................................................37
practice .........................................................................................................................45
relevant topics ..............................................................................................................39
self-stuuy bools............................................................................................................36
usability........................................................................................................................41
Web graphics................................................................................................................40
Usability
principles ......................................................................................................................67
resources.......................................................................................................................52
Web site
revision...........................................................................................................................7
Web Site...............................................................................................................................4
assessnent ......................................................................................................................4
auuience .......................................................................................................................21
navigation.....................................................................................................................70
purpose.........................................................................................................................21
success criteria ..............................................................................................................24
uploauing .....................................................................................................................79
worling uraft................................................................................................................73
Web Team..........................................................................................................................13
arbiter ...........................................................................................................................16
euitor ............................................................................................................................13
graphic uesigner ...........................................................................................................13
IT staff ..........................................................................................................................18
optinal size ..................................................................................................................14
preparation...................................................................................................................43
site builuer....................................................................................................................13
site cooruinator ............................................................................................................13
technician.....................................................................................................................14









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