Maybe the Purpose of Our Redesign is Only to Serve as a Warning to Others

(Winner of Best of Track MMP)

Anthony Dunn
WCMS Coordinator, CSU, Chico

October 7


or local copy Maybe the Purpose of Our Redesign is Only to Serve as a Warning to Others

Background Info:

In 2007 Chico had a web committee (formed 1996) that governed the internet.

It was/is political environment.

Current site was november 1999

Current design april 2004

Jerry Spool “redesigns always fail.” If you do it right you don’t have to redesign. It grows as needed.

Someone needs to take responsibility, and establish a web governance structure.

They should take ownership of the content (brand). Then others come to them and ask for a recommendation of how to put something on the web.The benefit is that it removes politics for the process.

In the beginning it was hard to decide what each (of 4) group does; what is their role. But with time it got ironed out. “If you don’t have high-end buy-in, you will fail.”

Create a competent and sufficient team. A team of designers is not enough. A team of programmers is not enough. You need a team of all of these. If you a lacking one it will be evident.

Define the project. Identify what’s wrong with the current site. Set the scope; sign off on it (accountability). Ask what do you want it to do (brainstorm); don’t bogdown. Define the phases, deadlines, milestone to be accomplished.

The biggest constraint was budget. It didn’t exist. Having no budget helped to pair-down the site. Focus on what needs doing not what they want to do.

Do the research: crazyegg, google analytics, user surveys. Helpful, but not a lot of useful information.

It help find best practices. It helps to learn from other sites’ mistakes. Get input; focus groups, meetings with stakeholders.

Plan your content. Number 1 reason it fails is because of content. Make information architecture(?). Make wireframes. Keep track of every piece; inventory the content.

By doing all this stuff it defused negative reactions for future designs.

Frameworks = no budget friendly. Write a bunch of extra (custom) stuff.

Take Away:

  • get buy-in and high-level ownership

  • make sure you have the right people on your team

  • clearly define the project and its scope

  • do the research

  • get input and feedback

  • have a content strategy and plan