The development and launch of a website is a a strategic communication challenge. You need to research to define a plan that will present your rich content in a layout that engages visitors, and energizes the relationships that you want to create. Then you need to define and implement the specific steps to get you there. Finally, you need to assess whether the work is accomplishing your goals.
There are two central guiding principles I follow when planning a website. The first is that content is still king and the design should showcase the content (not its own design bells and whistles). The second is that form follows function: decide what it is you have to offer on the web and then build a site that allows you to do this clearly and effectively.
The most important work that goes into building a successful website starts long before the first web page is composed. Developing a plan that defines what you want to accomplish (your goals), who you want to reach (your audience), and the specific effective strategies that will get you there will ensure a project that is on course to success.
As project manager, my objective is to ensure that the overarching goal for the site remains in focus, while managing each of the elements necessary in its development:
- Assess current activities
- Analyze the competitive environment
- Set goals
- Define strategies and specific elements
Define the Website
- Technical requirements
- Information architecture and navigation
- Design and imagery
- Collect and organize all content for
- Write and revise content
- Plan for new content
Manage the Development of the Site
- Work with all stakeholders to get inputs
- Develop requirements and working documents
- Manage the quality assurance process
- Get inputs and approvals
Assess Impact and Define a Life Cycle Plan
- Monitoring and metrics
- Routine maintenance
- Strategic additions