Organising Web Projects
What You Will Learn Today
Explain the web planning and development process in detail, e.g.
- Describe some common goals of website development.
- Define target users and describe the client.
- Define site content.
- Describe members of a large web development team.
- Select development tools.
- Design the development process.
- List and schedule development tasks.
- Create a site design specification document.
- What is the functional purpose of the site?
Why are you designing the site?
- To sell, advertise, persuade, recruit, support, inform, educate, communicate,
- The goals should be well-defined. The site should not try to do
everything for everyone.
- Create a mission statement of the site in a few paragraphs.
- What determines the success of the site?
What criteria will you use to measure this success? (quantitative and
- What benefits will your users gain from the site?
e.g. products, services, information, education
- What benefits will your organization gain from the site?
e.g. sales, publicity, customers, donors, friends
- What categories of users should the site reach?
- Who is the target audience? Who should be the most important users of the site?
- What are the users' characteristics?
- demographics: age, gender, languages, ethnic group
- occupations: career background and goals, role in society
e.g. consumer, businessperson, employer, student, teacher, mother
- abilities: educational level, reading level, technical aptitude
- computing platforms: types of computers and browsers, connection speeds,
- What are the users' needs?
- Why will they visit your site? What will attract or repel
- How often will typical users visit the site?
- How long will they spend on the site? What will they do?
- Who should have access to the site?
- On what types of networks should the
site be available?
the whole world (Internet), members of the organization (intranet), other
companies (extranet), etc.
- How many users will be able to access the site? How many will
actually use it?
- Get information from your potential and current users, before and after
the site is made available
- Discussions and observation (e.g. interviews, focus groups, usability tests)
- Surveys (e.g. using web-based or paper forms)
- Document analysis (e.g. site visit and file access statistics from the
- Who is the client? For whom is the site being created? Who is
commissioning/paying you to design the site?
- yourself, your organization, or another organization
- Caution: The client should define the site purpose, but the users
should drive the site design.
- Some types of content
- web-based brochure or billboard, publishing, virtual gallery
- e-commerce, catalog, on-line shopping, product support
- special interest, public interest, nonprofit organization, education
- Some characteristics of content
- Size: How much content? How many pages? How much disk space used? How quick to download and view?
- Format: How much and what types of files and media are used?
Text-based or graphics-based?
- Mutability: Static or changing/dynamic/interactive? How often updated/changed?
How will the site change and grow over time?
- Longevity: How long will the site live and be used before it is
- How many people will the development team have?
- Like books, web sites often have more than one author.
- Even members of small teams have professions or roles such as:
- project managers: manage project tasks and resources
- web architects: design file and site structure
- web server administrators: maintain server hardware and software
- network administrators: maintain local and wide area networks
- database administrators: maintain databases
- content and subject matter experts: provide content
- writers and editors: design textual content
- visual designers and graphic artists: design screens and graphics
- software programmers: write code for interactive pages
- HTML coders: create HTML code
- marketers, usability experts, psychologists: predict, measure and
analyze human response to the site
- What tools are available for each task?
- What functionality do the tools have? Are they powerful and
- How easy to learn and useable are the tools? Are they appropriate
to the size of the project?
- What do the tools cost? (commercial/shareware/freeware, initial
cost, site license, upgrades, etc.)
- What expertise do the development team members have with each tool?
- A product reflects its development process. A systematic
process leads to a well-designed product.
- How will the site be proposed, planned, designed, developed,
tested, evaluated and maintained?
- What roles and tasks will each person on the development team take?
- When and how will team members meet, interact, share documents and
- How will users be involved in needs analysis and design processes?
- Identify available resources and constraints.
- Make a budget including hardware, software, facilities, staff, etc.
- Make a list of tasks for developing the site and deliverables
to be produced.
- Create a chart of task dependencies to determine task sequence.
- Create a timeline of what needs to be done by what dates.
- Schedule people and times to different tasks.
- Create a maintenance plan for ongoing development after the site is
- The web is a hybrid of engineering and art, science and
- For most sites, engineering is more important.
Innovation is 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration.
- Functional design goals focus on how the site works:
the user's efficient and effective use of the site.
- Aesthetic design goals focus on how the site looks and feels:
the user's intellectual and emotional experience with and attitudes toward
- Function determines form.
- Separate content from format.
- Create functional design before structural design.
- Decide what the site should do before worrying how it
should be constructed.
To Do After Class
- Browse the list of final project topics,
list possible topics for your website, and write down considerations.
Select your topic based on the considerations and start writing your project
- References: CIYF3 Module 8B, Nielsen Ch. 1, Sklar Unit C