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Website rennovations for a Bureau of Economic and Business Research

Martin Smith
October 13, 2007

Website rennovations for a Bureau of Economic and Business Research

Martin Smith

October 13, 2007


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

  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?
  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    out of date Only people with programming skills could do any advanced updates Lack of metadata, explanations Not optimized for search engines or basic accessibility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!
  4. None
  5. 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?
  6. 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)
  7. 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
  8. Examples of Research (cont.) Source: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/reading_pattern.html

  9. 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?
  10. 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?
  11. Design! (cont.)

  12. 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
  13. The Result: Screenshots

  14. 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)
  15. 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!
  16. Thank you! Questions, comments? This presentation and some annotated resources

    will be made available at: www.bebr.ufl.edu/martins/auber/2007/