This first class of website projects deals with the smallest web presentations we normally build and use. Such projects are short, cheap, and simple to manage.
Small and Static Website Projects
Small static websites are written in HTML, more modern sites in XHTML, or in Flash only. They are static in sense of not changing automatically during their runtime period. If you want to change anything in such a website, you need to reload Dreamweaver and manually edit what you need to change. These websites are used for personal presentation, a display of pictures, family activities or as web presentations of small and mid-range companies.
3 Steps for Graphic Design
These small websites are built using short running projects. When we can use templates for design and navigation, for example when building micro sites that have to be similar to the company’s main homepage, the design phase is short and divides into three steps:
- Concept (vision, mission, structure, monitoring, maintenance)
- Content (information structure, verbal and nonverbal communications)
- Text and Graphics design
When we have finished these steps, we normally know everything about the website we want to build. These steps should be completed with input from the customer. The goal is to solve the customer's problem. Graphics design may sometimes be refined by fine art work or special usability features. Small websites sometimes demand many time consuming details that are mostly problems stemming from graphic design.
Seven Steps for Implementation
For the implementation we now have normally seven steps to follow:
Build empty site templates (library or Dreamweaver)
- Create navigation that connects the site templates (Dreamweaver)
- Make the graphics (Photoshop as usual or Fireworks) and give them out to Dreamweaver for integration
- Fill in the texts (written using Word means that they were possibly converted before filling in and someone needs to read the text before the customer does)
- Arrange the graphics in detail and add SEO
- Perform testing and repair of bugs (especially with compatibility and performance)
- Upload and documentation
These 7 steps are not a fixed way of course, but they are a process that normally fits all the needs that may occur in a small website project. Establishing this process as a standard may be a process pattern that saves time and money, and also prevents bugs and problems with the customer.
Simplicity is King
Project management is completed by giving a simple set of milestone templates to organize the required steps. The most important thing in these small projects is the factor of time. Such projects are normally very lean in budget and thus we cannot complete much in the way of project management. Normally the process includes one to three coworkers including one web designer, one programmer, and one graphic artist.The web designer in this process takes the role of the project manager and this consumes 10 to 15 percent of his working time.
Roles in Small Teams
The programmer takes on the technical support (scripting, database construction, and database implementation) as well as the system operator’s management tasks. The graphic artist has to create and photoshop the graphics, perhaps take photos, define corporate design features, write text, and define the parameters for style sheets. The web designer has to integrate all of the parts, coordinate work as well as communication, and defines quality, time, budgets, technical frame work conditions and tests. He is ultimately responsible for the success of the project.
How to Keep Website Design With 10 steps
One of the most important best practices in building small and static websites is using a web-based project management tool. You can reduce time needed for communication, and you can manage very short deadlines because of the 24/7 access ability of each step of the project. Depending on the customer, you may decide not to show each step, but instead hide steps to avoid superfluous discussions and bug alerts. Such projects are best organized by using standard templates, and defined organizational structures and roles. A predefined project label sheet is possibly enough to organize everything. Highly defined processes are applied whenever possible to improve accuracy of predictions of expected results. Remember CMM/CMMI/SPICE/BestCPI to improve and measure the quality of your processes.
To learn more about these processes, please refer to the Q-Course book or Wikipedia. CMM is the Capability Maturity Model and it is the first quality development process that really works. CMMI is its successor, SPICE is the European brother of CMM, and BestCPI is mostly about German projects.
Website Design Projects
This short series gives some ideas, not perfect solutions, about website design, website projects and some depending processes. The reader gets a distant point of view to reorganize his web projects using some possibly helpfull ideas.
- Website Design Method: Project Planning for a Website
- Website Design Method: The Implementation Phase
- Implementing Websites Using Automatic Code and Graphic Generation
- Website Design: The Project Management View
- Small Static Website Projects