Web Project Management

Jesse Rodgers
Associate Director, VeloCity, University of Waterloo

October 5

Presentation: http://2009.highedweb.org/presentations/MMP4.pdf

  • First committee meeting make a memo of understanding

  • follow process, deliver product

  • constraints: scope, time, cost

  • manage resources

  • identify risks

  • breakdown action items on a timeline

  • agile process: ‘sprint’, ‘scrum’

  • get involved:

    • basecamp, excel, word

    • breakdown

    • time estimates

    • followup on times

    • share info

  • Use version control

    • github

    • subversion

    • cvs

    • team foundation

  • Track issues

    • document milestones

    • track conversations, changes in rationale

    • generate reports if needed

  • Track issue software

    • bugzilla

    • trac

    • team foundation

Jesse Rodgers

twitter: jrodgers


General Session (Lunch Keynote)

Keynote by Jared Spool, founder of User Interface Engineering, the largest usability research organization of its kind in the world. Learn more about the speaker.
October 5, 2009

On a scale there are varying degrees of …

  • Tricks
  • Techniques
  • Process
  • Methodology
  • Dogma

Successful teams use Tricks and Techniques.

Three Questions:

  1. Vision – Can everyone on the team describe the experience of using your design five years from now?
  2. Feedback – In the last six weeks, have you spent more than two hours watching someone use either your design or competitor’s?
  3. Culture – In the last six weeks, have you rewarded a team member for creating a major design failure?

Five-Second Page Test – take real or mockup to a small group and ask a question. http://fivesecondtest.com/
There are 14 different types of questions people ask on inuksuk sites irregardless of the industry.
[This is like HDC top 12] Inukshuk means a place where people have been before – like a blog where people comment.

Implementing Reason CMS with Small Teams and Small Budgets

Nathan White
Web Application Developer, Carleton College

Charles Fulton
Computer Support Specialist, Kalamazoo College

Steve Smith
Reason Programmer/Analyst and System Support, Luther College

Melissa Dix
Assistant Director for Web Services, Beloit College

October 5

Presentation style is round robin each college sharing some details of their implementation.

Uses WYSIWYG editor also developed by Reason.

Allows ‘type’ creation: like ‘page’ or ‘form’ or ‘WhatEverIWantToNameIt’

Uses Google Docs Form tool (e.g. Form Builder)


Nurturing Communities with Social Networking

Kristofer Layon
Director of Web Design & Online Collaboration, University of Minnesota

October 5

Social media can create community:

  • Group of people having a religion, race, profession or other particular characteristic in common

  • Feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes interests

  • Group of interdependent organisms of different species growing or living together in a specified habitat

Are you bringing people together that are similar or different?

Principles of good social media personae:

  • be factual most of the time

  • be sincere and polite all of the time

  • carefully weigh entering into politics…or otherwise straying off-topic (80/20 rule)

  • be consistent (singular voice)

  • be human


  • blogging, social networking:ning, photo sharing: youtube, micro-blog: twitter

  • integrated social media: minnewebcon

What was ROI for minnewebcon09:

  • twitter: 1400%

  • facebook: 285%

  • banner ad: -54%

Social media feels immediate, but you need to plan for the long term. It takes time. Use the plan. It may change some, but it guides you and should be used.


  • plan

  • humility

  • persistence

twitter: klayon

Using WordPress MU as a Web Content Management System

Sarah Barnes
Web Developer, West Virginia University

Alisha Myers
Professional Technologist, West Virginia University

October 5

Why use it

  • Core is solid but doesn’t do everything
  • Extensible open source
  • Available to more people over a in-house solution
  • It works because of the admin side: multiple managers managing multiple users
  • Create multiple themes and lock them down from changes
  • Admins can approve plugins

Why not use it

  • Media library: everything all together organized by day, month. Plugin to fix: custom upload directory
  • Running PHP on page/post needs plugin
  • Forms have issues. Plugin to fix: Contact Form 7

Audience Input:

Plugin for images: NextGEN Gallery

twitter: srbarnes

twitter: alynnmyers

Client-side Interactivity Through Javascript – jQuery and AJAX

Jason Woodward
Director of Administrative Computing, Cornell University

October 4, 2009



Part 0: Bookkeeping

Part 1: Tech Review








Part 2: jQuery

$ is a function as in $(document) that returns jQuery object.

ready is the method

Getting Started

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" lang="en" xml:lang="en">
    <title>#heweb09 Twitter Session Companion</title>
    <script type="text/javascript" src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.3.2/jquery.min.js"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript">
      $(document).ready(function() {
      alert('DOM ready!');






Effects and UI


Browser State Preservation

Use browser state preservation when someone bookmarks a page with AJAX code.

Part 3: The Project

Wireframe / Mockup

Break it Down

Build The Pieces

Putting them Together


#heweb09 twitter session helper API


And any other read-only Twitter API  http://apiwiki.twitter.com/


http://heweb09.jdwcornell.com/api/heweb09/attend session=TPR1 (POST)

Better or Worse Getting to HighEdWeb 2009


What’s worse, 40 minutes of a bumpy airplane ride or the guy sitting next to you is big as an ox and he sneezes. What’s worse, the cab driver sounds like he has emphysema or arriving in a strange city with $40 in your pocket and the cab costs $30. What’s worse, the annoyingly catchy tune blaring from the cell phone in the next hotel room or the person that kept calling and burning that tune into my head.


What’s better, getting to Milwaukee for #heweb09 or having laughs, beer and good times with some of the folks presenting. What’s better, crashing a private party at Mo’s or finding the private-private party that was behind the private party. What’s better, finding hidden cash to buy a couple beers or paying a single-digit tab for several beers.

If I return home without gaining 10 lbs because of all the beer and good food in Milwaukee or returning without swine flu – those would be good things. Learning something I can put in to practice at my shop or getting some swanky swag – those would be good things.

Let Geek Camp begin.

Don’t let down during the build up to a conference

CoIB‘s post this morning brings up another good point about conferences – maintain interest. Don’t burn out your excitement planning to get there. Leave some thrill for the days you make new friends, get inspired with new ideas, and try to absorb information like a sponge. Yes, planning is fun, but the point of any conference is to meet peers and learn something.

I’ve experienced burnout as both the planner and the attendee. It’s tough to keep people interested after you let them know registration is open and they register. They either forget about it or they do everything there is to do on your website in a week and then forget about it.

Last year’s SXSW was a good example of burnout before the conference started. They opened up registration in September for a conference in mid-March. I was an early-bird and tried to learn everything I could about the events at the conference, the location, other events happening, etc. By October I was burned out. I didn’t think about it (or tried not to) until February. During my initial sweep I registered for the newsletter, subscribed to the RSS feeds, and registered on the somewhat anemic social networking site. Not much traffic came through until January – then it trickled in. My interest grew again and I started to pay attention to details like schedule changes and planning my schedule.

This year, at HighEdWeb 2009, the build up has been gradual. They have a social networking site (ning.com) that keeps my interest. Then there are tweets to keep up interest – even after the early-bird deadline.

iPhones, Social Media and Higher Education

A possible friend/kindred spirit from the HighEdWeb conference posed the question on twitter today:

ColB: Not exactly a shock but — what does it mean for how/what we develop? Via Mashable: “iPhone Dominates Mobile WiFi Usage” http://bit.ly/f3dX9

To which I responded:

teamsiems: @ColB We use http://www.medu.com/ @tamuwww on iPhone to see class schedules, contact info, maps, and more

But seriously, what are we (Higher Education) going to do with iPhones? What should we do at this point with an untested technology (small, wireless, social media)?

Face it, twitter is running wild. No one is controlling it, there is no advertising, and fewer teenagers (future students) using it. Do we migrate with the herd? We sure fell into the social media trap almost as quickly as the rest of the world. And why not, money is money, and public universities need it as much as commerical businesses.

Only time will tell – tell how soon we continue with the soon to be old technology or jump ship for the next best thing.