19 April 2012

Author Mike Pinnington

So this should be interesting, from a personal point of view as much as anything, having launched The Double Negative at the back end of December 2011. Will we be sitting pretty, safe in the knowledge we did all the right things first time, or kicking ourselves?

The guys delivering this workshop are the developers of the new FACT website by the way, which may inform your opinion of how this will go, one way or the other.

Ben Capper and John Walker get the talk underway. They'll be talking us through their approach for designing a good website, boiled down to a few tips, which hopefully, will be useful for people with a website launch in mind.

WHAT? HOW? WHY?

These quastions need to be dealt with when you put together a brief for the shiny new websiite you're after.

What: Should be "funky", "fresh", "professional" and get involved with social networking.

How: "We need to sell stuff" and it needs to be on a "smartphone"

Why: The fundamental question, according to Ice. "The WHY is all about what it's going to be there to do and this should be how you go about the thought process of talking about a website."

"if you can't answer the why, you'll struggle with the first two questions... leaving you with an incomplete picture."

Be user focused: Insight, co-create and engage ... 3 steps to a truly user centred web development.

Insight: your values, your mission, your audiences and your priorities.

Co-create:Creating the user journey - craft and test

Engage: Plan, do, review ... build, measure, learn ... MVP: minimum viable product - "good to go right now, but with room for development ... the site doesn't need to stay as it is."

Tools of the trade...

Responsive Design. "A site which responds to the user based on their behaviour and environment ... where the key content sits, essentially."

Key to how a site works and is managed is a content management system (Umbraco and wordpress, for example). It should be simple, so that even people like us can use it! The site should also have room for further interaction - social media integration is absolutely key: the likes of twitter and facebook have proved useful and powerful tools for us. 

Why? You're giving your users a space where "they can interact with the site meaning there are no barriers to engagemnt".

Embrace Transmedia. Huh? Yeah, us too! Ben explains the importance of "incorporating and understanding wider media, potentially driving trafic to the site ... and engagement your audience is comfortable with".

Job done? Not quite. With so much changing, you're website should never be 'finished'. Ice use Pinterest as an example. Nobody was using it 6 months ago, but it's something that now is becoming a powerful director of trafic for sites, ours included.

Essentially, always make sure you are providing as much access to the 'end' product as possible, generating a loyal following. 

Sat here, we're satisfied our site was built with these things in mind, which is nice. From our point of view, Ice, though seeming to offer a simplified view of the process, have certainly put across the key elements for consideration. When it comes to what you need to incorporate from the word go, it really does go back to starting with those key questions: WHAT? HOW? WHY? 

A word of warning though, the process is easier said than done...

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