NewYork2008:PM Principles - Web Site Essentials

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  • Introductions
  • Colin's Happy Story and the Flow Chart
  • "What is a Database-Driven Website?" --> Site able to draw content from different database. Easier to change & update.



  • "What is the goal of the site?"
  • "Why do we have a website?"
  • "Who is your audience?"
  • "Who are the people generating the content?"
  • "What are their tech/time capacity?"
  • "What are the institutional constraints?"
  • "What is the budget range? (short term vs. long term)"
  • Colin: "Are you resource constrained or are you able to think of what you want and dig up the resources for them?"
  • "There's a minconception that when you deliver your initial website, it's all ready and perfect. It's usually not."
  • RFP (Request For Project)
  • "What is fixed and/or opened?"
  • Committees can be a drain on designing a website.
  • Web Plans: We'll commit x hours of coding. You commit y hours of content creation. We can't proceed until you're done with that.

Trouble in defining logistics for organizations in the planning phase.

SHOULD YOU EMPOWER EVERYBODY TO CHANGE THE WEBSITE? Hierarchy in managing website. You need somebody whose job it is to maintain the site. Having a consistent person who deals with look and feel can deal with possibly disastrous consequences?

Josh: Are there certain CMSs that are better suited for the level of control you want over content creation?


  • Set expectations as clearly as you can for developer roles, clients, deadlines, when expectations aren't meant, what the site will need. It should be on paper.
  • The smaller the site and the smaller the budget, the more you need to deliberate in the planning process.
  • Problems occur because the people who need it didn't know it and the consultant wasn't responsible.

Sarah: The importance of transparency. Radha's CMS Nightmare


You need to be able to visualize and conceptualize the project for your clients? (Specific/vague?) How do you deal with people not realizing what they got into until after the site is done? "How do you say 'holy crap'?" How do you test site usability and navigability? Limit the amount of reversibility.

  • Laura: The Boon of Paper Prototyping
 Have 20-30 pages.  Tests flows.


Continuation plan

Josh: You don't come to an end of a project with rises and falls of workflows. The Skeletal Site: Immediately posting a site and working on it to the needs of the clients (either as a demo site or as the site).-->That's how Google does their applications. How long does it take to code a skeletal site. It totally depends on the content and its availability. Also, what do you do with too much content?