To give you a helping hand for your current or forthcoming web projects, we have gone ahead and put together our 5 top tips on how to make your web implementation work best for you.
Know your software
- It's easy to be focused on what the end user will see and do. Don't forget what you'll have to do to get them to that point.
- The only way to know your software is to use it, heavy and often. Start working with it as soon as you have your first training session so you don’t forget what you’ve learned.
Remember that design is how something works.
- A working prototype of your site is worth a thousand Photoshop concepts.
- Site design works best when there is content for the design to manipulate. The longer your site is empty of content, the slower the design, build, and testing will be.
Test, test, test
- Your supplier should always test their work, but no test is as good as the one you perform when you know what you are expecting to see or do.
- Agree a shared repository for reporting issues from testing, such as a shared document or issue tracking system, with your supplier, and make sure everything (no matter how small) is recorded there.
- Don't report individual or series of testing issues via email. Always use the repository you've agreed with your supplier.
- You need to have content and data in your site before you can really test it, so…
Upload your content as early as possible in the project
- Don't be lulled into thinking you will have plenty of time for content. Content upload and architecture is the most labour-intensive part of any web project.
- Even small sites can take as many as 20 man-days to build up the content. You probably have a day job to juggle, too!
- Big content uploads can seem overwhelming, so do a little bit every day. Having a lot to do at the last minute is proven to cause stress and unhappiness.
Get user feedback
- Build in time in your project plan to do a "soft launch" to your end users. They will often notice things you and your supplier wouldn't pick up on.
- Commit to this phase; it's not a nice-to-have, it's a must-have.