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Website rennovations for a Bureau of Economic and Business Research

Martin Smith
October 13, 2007
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Website rennovations for a Bureau of Economic and Business Research

Martin Smith

October 13, 2007
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Transcript

  1. Web Site Renovations
    Martin B. Smith
    [email protected]
    October 15, 2007

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  2. Brief Outline
    Problem: Our old website
    Fix: Steps we took
    Result: Our new website
    Conclusion: What have we learned that you
    can take and use for your organization?

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  3. The Problem
    Site looks 10+ years old
    Lots of information out of date
    Only people with programming skills could do
    any advanced updates
    Lack of metadata, explanations
    Not optimized for search engines or basic
    accessibility guidelines
    People just can't find things!

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  4. The Fix #1: Identify
    Who is your audience? What are your goals for
    them? User stories for each?
    Do you have peer institutions? Identify likes
    and dislikes of each's web presence
    What resources can you devote to this project?
    Will these resources be provided short-term
    or continuously?
    Do you have caveats such as software or
    network or access requirements?

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  5. The Fix #2: Research
    Conduct informal interviews with web presence
    stakeholders, present synthsized results for
    review to each (conflicts?)
    Ask your customers or visitors for feedback!
    For technical feasibility studies, record
    information about current visitor capablities
    Make sure you include anyone who might
    speak with a website visitor (perhaps later on
    the phone when filling a phone order, etc)

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  6. Examples of research
    13% of visitors have a screen resolution at or
    below 800 by 600 pixels
    Compare purchase intentions by medium:
    0
    10
    20
    30
    40
    50
    60
    70
    80
    Print
    Electronic

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  7. Examples of Research (cont.)
    Source: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/reading_pattern.html

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  8. The Fix #3: Make Decisions
    What is a priority now and what in the future?
    What does your research show is missing from
    your current website that your visitors want?
    What kinds of technology can your visitors
    support (Flash, JavaScript, etc)?
    Consider a style guide and commit to a single
    visual style, writing style, word usage (check
    AP Style for email, E mail, e-Mail)
    Where will you host your site? Will you have
    minimum requirements for access?

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  9. Design!
    Typography & color - make or break design
    Consistency is critical for a happy user
    Recognize that people have feelings about
    your website and your visual design
    Recognize that your website also has a
    personality and behavior
    Do user expectations match the way your
    website looks and behaves?

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  10. Design! (cont.)

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  11. Design! (cont.)
    Paper prototypes
    Photoshop prototypes
    Working models
    (create content?)
    Inserting content
    Final product
    Now keep doing it!
    Avoid looking like
    spam or ad content
    Keep critical info
    above the fold
    Keep it simple
    Segment to create
    flow and momentum
    Users will give up

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  12. The Result: Screenshots

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  13. The Result (cont.)
    F/OSS, Drupal as a content management
    system, database driven, standards based(!)
    RSS feeds with current news, no more
    surprise links, a lot more metadata about
    each page, version control for content and
    files, redirect all old addresses, daily
    validation of spelling, accessibility, standards
    1000 more unique visitors per month (20%
    more), 1100 more page views (15% more)

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  14. Benefit from others' experiences
    World Wide Web Consortium: w3.org
    Consult with your institution for requirements
    on accessibility, graphical standards, and
    privacy policies that may affect you
    See resources for user interface advice,
    technical standards, and tools
    Most importantly: Involve your stakeholders
    and your expected visitors!

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  15. Thank you!
    Questions, comments?
    This presentation and some annotated
    resources will be made available at:
    www.bebr.ufl.edu/martins/auber/2007/

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