DC2009:Web Site Redesign: How to do it Right

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Session Notes

Experiences: Common themes – human nature underlying, communication, definition of roles, clarification, clear process. Determine benchmarks. Be able to make a case and define. Everyone agree on a common process.

Challenges: Started with static site, moved to dynamic. PM not technical but need to keep technical people moving along. Outside consultant helping.Introduction of dynamic features to website. Stakeholders not happy. How to reintroduce new look and feel. How does SEO fit into website when dealing e-commerce. (Global Fund for Children.org) Adding CMS (?) Working with vendors. Constraints of PM & design hours. Overall time constraints. Added scope/changes to requirements. Implementation to CMS without SME developer. Functionality missed.

Points for discussion: Is it easier to build from scratch or pick pieces to redesign. Avoid design by committee.

Opportunities to test interactive features (blogging) in smaller site redesigns.

Legacy CMS system Matriarce. Limitations on document size. Need support to upload.

Set Goals. Dealing with Vendors. Who? It can be done internal, lacking knowledge/skills. Stakeholders involved in definition. Define strategy to include Target Audience. Very important to fully define online Strategy!!! As an organization what are the top priorities.

What can be included: Graphic Design Navigation/Site Map/IA/User Interface Features – Cool new tools Content Website Management (database) Internal Process Changes/Org Changes Marketing – draw people to site – SEO (search engine optimiation) Metric

How do the site redesign elements interrelate? Interdependent issues. How do you know what needs to be changed?

Approach: User centered design. Visitors/Users Who is the target audience? What are the needs of the visitors? What are the needs of the organization?

Great tools: Create visitor/audience profiles called personas so the design becomes focused on site visitors rather than the orgnization. User stories. Characteristics of audience so the PM can stay focused on the goal – target audience. Catalyst demographic date is valuable. Donor blast email/action alerts.

Understanding process. What does a redesign mean? Freshen up. OR Complete redevelopment – added functionality (CMS, etc). Deferentiation on branding and redesign can cause a challenge. 1.Vision/Discovery 2.Definition and Requirements (functional, blogging capability, abiltiy to register for events) 1.IA, Content, Features, Functionality – Blueprint 2.Analysis of CMS 3.Content development (separate than design by design launch is interdependent on content redesign. 3.Graphic UI / Visual Design / Look & Feel 4.Development 5.Testing 6.Launch

Local organization called Net Squared – Pimp my nonprofit once a month – present your website design/redesign project – get free ideas and advice on what to do.