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With the legwork and planning of the site essentially completed, now is the time to create, implement, and integrate. Phase 4 is where the actual building happens. You have defined and structured the project and have developed a look and feel — here is where you put together all the pieces you have designed, planned, and gathered. If this were pie baking instead of web design, consider your fruit sliced, your ingredients measured, your oven preheated, and your crust shaped. After one more check of your recipe, you are ready to bake.
This phase is divided into three sections — Prepping, Building, and Testing — a production workflow aimed at keeping the project's HTML construction on track. Whether your budget is upwards of $100,000 or under $10,000, the steps delineated here work for all web projects — redesigns and initial designs alike. Either way, your goal is simple. No duplication of efforts. Code each HTML page only once.
Right here at the beginning of the production phase we must address an important fact: The web is driven by HTML. We assume that you or someone on your team has an understanding of the HTML process, either through pure hand-coding using BBEdit or Allaire's Homesite or the like, or by using a WYSIWYG editor such as Adobe GoLive, Macromedia Dreamweaver, or Microsoft FrontPage. Here's the burning question: What is the level of that understanding?
And before any coding truly begins, a final just-before- production-starts review of audience needs (browsers, screen size, connection speed), technology (plug-ins, scripting, backend needs), and redesign goals (download size, user experience goals) can only help. You will have to address complex questions about servers, directory structure, and the HTML production specifics that may have been left until this phase. The Client Spec Sheet will help.
Your goal? No misinterpretation of user capabilities or project goals. No backtracking. Code each HTML page only once.
The Client Spec Sheet is available for download from www.web-redesign.com. Due to its length, we could not show it in its entirety in this book, so we show only the first two parts: Target Specifications, and Functionality and Features (see worksheet on next page). All told, it is five parts long, as follows:
Part 1: Target Specifications
Part 2: Functionality and Features
Part 3: Design and Layout
Part 4: File Structure and Directory Preferences
Part 5: Server and Hosting Information
As tedious as filling out this worksheet may be, the information needs to be addressed and answered before any HTML production can begin, and that includes conferring with the visual designers at the onset of Phase 3: Visual Design and Testing. Encourage client feedback within a short timeframe. This information should be back to the team and analyzed before the visual designers start developing concepts and definitely before the production designers start building the Protosite.
The team's lead HTML production designer should be the team contact; the project manager may or may not be as technically savvy. Have the client — or the client's key tech lead — answer all questions as thoroughly as possible, adding additional comments as necessary. Encourage the client to write “N/A” next to nonrelevant items and to identify areas in which advice, suggestions, or clarification is needed. Filling it out should be taken seriously; the results from this analyzed worksheet serve as a set-in-stone guide for production.
The worksheet on the following pages will help you articulate and identify the technical parameters of your site redesign, including specific questions regarding target audience connectivity capabilities, browser versions, functionality, and actual file structure. When you are finished, please return all compiled information back to the project manager on the web development team.
|Case Study: Baby Center||8|
|1||Keys to a Successful Redesign||9|
|Case Study: Smug||16|
|2||One Process Fits All||17|
|Case Study: LiquidMedium||38|
|3||Phase 1: Defining the Project||39|
|Case Study: Internap||86|
|4||Phase 2: Developing Site Structure||87|
|Case Study: K2 Skates||116|
|5||Phase 3: Visual Design and Testing||117|
|Case Study: DiverseWorks||142|
|6||Phase 4: Production and QA||143|
|Case Study: Janus||176|
|7||Phase 5: Launch and Beyond||177|
|Case Study: Food.com||204|
|8||Testing for Usability||205|
|Case Study: Casey Claybourne||226|
|9||Analyzing Your Competition||227|
Web ReDesign: Workflow that Works describes what you should do (necessary), what you can do (extra), and what you should watch out for. We also highly recommend two additional processes — testing for usability and analyzing your competition. Should time and budget allow, your adaptation of the Core Process should incorporate these processes..
This overview offers a singular panorama of the entire workflow — you can actually see the entire Core Process from start to finish. It is often helpful, especially when in Phase 1, to see everything still to come. When you are building your budget, budget by task, and tick off each task in each phase as you allocate hours. When you are scheduling, you can see all the steps laid out in list format and gain a better timeline view. For project management, being able to see the next several steps at any point in the process can be valuable for staying on top of your team..
What follows here is a Cliff Notes version of the Core Process — an abbreviated overview. We also include ready-to-use tools, charts, helpful lists, and more. Here we provide a concise overview...sprinkled with a few helpful tips..
In Phase 1, you set the stage for your redesign. Many of the items that get addressed here affect every phase, and a few, like knowing your audience, figure into every step. When defining project scope, you must have an understanding of everything from budget to maintenance..
This is the biggest phase of the Core Process. The work you do here will define the entire project — every move you make and every deliverable you create..
Phase 1 is divided into three stages: DISCOVERY, CLARIFICATION, and PLANNING, each containing several steps. Phase 1 helps you set the stage for your project..
Phase 2 looks at the site structure (as its forms) from three views: CONTENT-VIEW, SITE-VIEW, and PAGE-VIEW, each containing several steps. Phase 2 helps you structure your redesign project..
Production designers also start working during Phase 3. They begin to test functionality and assumptions. By developing a Protosite, they can confirm navigation and content organization..
Visual design and testing, whether through the development of a Protosite or through straight functionality testing, work toward the same goal on all sites — to create an overall interactive design that meets the needs of the user and that will smoothly translate to HTML..
Phase 3 is divided into three stages: CREATING, CONFIRMING, and HANDING OFF, each containing several steps. Phase 3 helps you stay on budget and on schedule while you design the visual face of your website..
Phase 4 is divided into three stages: PLANNING, BUILDING, and TESTING, each containing several steps. Phase 4 helps keep you on track as you complete the actual HTML building of the pages of your site..
Phase 5 is where the distinction sharpens between in-house teams and external web development firms. In Phase 5, we are careful to note where the responsibilities of the different teams usually start and stop..
Phase 5 is divided into three stages: DELIVERY, LAUNCH, and MAINTENANCE, each containing several steps. Phase 5 helps get your project properly published and smoothly transitioned into maintenance..
The following sections cover some overall tips — things to keep in mind as you follow the Core Process..
For every project, create a project folder (or a physical binder) to house all signed documentation: contracts, briefs, the initial proposal and subsequent revisions, the approved sitemap, visual design directions, and so on. Clients sometimes suffer from short-term memory loss. Gently remind them of things they have approved and dates they have agreed to throughout the process..
Posted October 16, 2001
'Web ReDesign - Workflow that Works' proved to be every bit as enjoyable, intelligent, down-to-earth, and practical as I had hoped. I have been to two Thunder Lizard Conferences, and had the opportunity to listen to Kelly Goto's presentations about usability and workflow. She was far and away my favorite speaker, with practical, common-sense approaches to tackling web site projects of varying sizes and scopes. When I heard about this book, I was very anxious to see how it would turn out. <P> Kelly Goto and Emily Cotler do a tremendous job on several levels with this book. For one, the book is designed very attractively, and the design makes the reading experience all the more enjoyable. There are countless visual examples of web sites (before and after studies, for example), as well as tips and articles from other leaders in the web design world, such as Jeffrey Zeldman and Jim Heid. Every chapter begins with a ¿What This Chapter Covers¿ overview and ends with a checkoff list and summary. The layout as clean and polished, making it very readable. <P> There are no secret, convoluted schemes presented in it -- everything is practical, makes sense, and is universal to whatever web project is at hand. The progression of information is very straightforward. The authors lay out specific phases to the project, from defining the project to going beyond the actual launch. The most valuable subject of this book for me personally concerned testing for usability. There are many suggestions and tactics for tackling this sometimes-overlooked key to a successful design. <P> Complemented by worksheets to an accompanying website with files and information for download/printing, the book ought to be valuable time and time again. I had very high expectations of 'Web ReDesign' based on Kelly's wonderful presentations, and I was very pleased with the results. I know I could have used this book long ago, and plan on incorporating as many elements from it as I can in future projects. It's a must have for web developers and designers.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 25, 2001
'Web Redesign Worlkflow That Works' is every developers dream. It is the Bible of web site redesign. This book offers an essential step by step process of developing a web site project. It helps readers to understand how to get the clients perspective and how to deliver above and beyond what is expected in a professional and efficient manner. How do you get content from the client? How do you budget for site tasks versus site team? How do you know a good client from a bad client? How do you understand your target audience? 'Web Redesign Work Flow That Works' answers them all. Every site project has these issues and not going through every step as stated in this book could make or break a project. It's all about the user not only the company. My company has developed many sites. I only wish I had this book as a resource in 1998 when I first founded my business. I would have saved thousands of hours and heart ache. This book is easy to follow and provides links to downloadable forms that help implement the site development process referred to with in the book. I recommend this book to any and all involved in developing a site project. IT IS AN EXCELLENT BOOK!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.