The Webmaster Guide to Project Documentation – For Small & Medium Businesses


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This allows for everyone to be on the same page and keeps momentum and excitement up with your team leaders. Weekly or bi-weekly hour long meetings should start at 3 months out. At one month you can shift to a regular weekly meeting and one week out you may even find it useful to have at least three check-ins, if not a daily meeting. On Monday of each week, the project manager should send out organizing actions and each Friday set up a recurring organizer report back call.

Not every check-in will need to be an hour and some, especially in the last sprint work best as just a quick standing check-in. You can adjust your schedule according to team need and availability.

Web Standards For Business

Again, all of these are estimates. Some people can plan for 6 months or pull together events in 6 weeks or less. First off you want to settle on a few things and answer the following questions:. Depending on the goals of your group, you may have different needs and roles. These roles are not set in stone and one person can frequently take on more than one role, but this division of labor can serve as a model that has worked and will hopefully give you a sense of how to build your own organizing team.

Successful events occur when everyone rolls up their sleeves and is responsible for making sure everything gets done. The project manager deals with the idea and the message behind the hackathon. They make the main decisions about what problem you want to tackle. She or he coordinates the organizing team and check-ins.

The sponsorship manager identifies and manages all sponsorship support and needs. Frequently this is lead by the Project manager but depending on the size of your event can be a big job and require focus from someone with business development experience. This person leads the creative process, supports participant project needs and helps to guide the flow of the event. Space manager frequently comes from host Definition: The space manager is mainly responsible for the space where the hackathon takes place.

The parent helps feed the people and keep the space in order. The webmaster is in charge of building and maintaining updates on the website. The IT manager is in charge of all backend technical support including contacts and survey data management. The designer is in charge of creating logos and signage to brand your event. The reporter is responsible for all live coverage and generating buzz around the event.

The registration manager is the master of the registration table and the front face to greet all guests. To build a hackathon you need people. And you want to cast a wide net in an inclusive and inviting way. A company that has made a decision to adopt a non-standards based Web design can be contented with a style guide comprising purely graphical rules typography, colors, layout , or provide HTML templates for each type of pages. Specifying only guidelines for graphical elements is a sure way to end up with a plethora of Web sites, each with different behaviors, code base, and other characteristics.

Providing templates has the advantage of reducing errors, but this often forces the company to limit the use of Web editing tools to the product with which the templates have been created. If a team or an individual within the company uses a different tool, it may break the templates if this authoring tool does not handle the code in the same manner. It is possible to produce more restrictive templates to reduce errors, but since the templates cater for both content and presentation, it soon becomes difficult, if not impossible, for designers who enforce the company guidelines to produce templates for every situation; furthermore, it becomes a problem to maintain them on an ongoing basis.

Without stringent control from those who enforce the guidelines and the goodwill of site owners, this workflow shows its limitations very quickly. Web standards greatly ease the production and maintenance of corporate style guides. At first glance, creating the guidelines using Web standards seem to require more effort; however, we shall see that these guidelines reduce both the subsequent workload and risks of errors. Style guides based on Web standards will require some consideration on two levels: We can immediately see that this separation of content from presentation draws a distinction between two territories: The managers of the corporate image and brand can now enforce the standard look and feel in a much easier way by using the stylesheets, since this is now independent of the content.


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If the guidelines have been well-designed, it will be possible to modify the presentation by a simple modification within the style definitions without touching the content — imagine the benefit of being able to apply a site-wide style modification by changing a single file! Likewise, adding a new site to existing guidelines can be achieved more quickly by adding definitions for new content components, and if necessary, the relevant style descriptions. This method still requires good team work from all parties involved. Thanks to content definitions within the new Web standards-compliant guidelines, content managers can now focus entirely on creating and disseminating content both inside and outside the company, without having to be concerned with presentation differences between these sites.

Web standards allow a company to manage its contents in a meaningful and structured manner that can be adapted to its own corporate vocabulary.

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Web Standards For Business - The Web Standards Project

Presentation is handled separately with the use of style sheets. These concepts of meaningful content and style sheets are not immediately obvious, but are neither fundamentally different nor more complex than the concept of styles within Microsoft Word. For example, a company may want to standardize the structure of a press release by defining meaningful elements such as title, headline, location, date, body and contact names. An immediate benefit is that the content is now stored in a neutral and open format. This content will remain available for a longer period of time than if it were stored in a proprietary format, or if it were mixed with presentational elements, thereby risking obsolescence as soon as those elements are outdated.

The most important benefit is the independence between the corporate content and its publication channels. Content that does not depend on presentation can be more easily disseminated through the various communications channels of a company. A press release created according to a common corporate standard will be easily published on its external Web site, its intranet portal, a mailing list, or an RSS news feed. It becomes truly possible to centralize content and reduce or eliminate duplicates without being limited by the medium of communication. Quite the contrary, by adopting Web standards, a company opens itself to a new breadth of existing media and emerging technologies that are based on these standards.

For years, these divergences have imposed a costly burden on companies that were forced to either support and test several proprietary environments, or to face legitimate frustration from the part of their potential audience using a browser they chose not to support — if not both at the same time! The introduction of visual editors such as Dreamweaver or GoLive has reduced the problem, but only by hiding it.

Event Design

Companies that ignore Web standards continue to be exposed to these risks and have become confounded by the need to support several browsers on their Internet sites but only one on their intranet, in the hope of simplifying the problem. Unfortunately, the consequences of such a choice are largely ignored by most of those companies. Firstly, the company is forced to maintain different guidelines between their Internet, intranet and extranet sites.

The need to maintain a consistent image between all those sites then increases the costs and delays, especially in the case of corporate changes reorganizations, mergers, partnerships where the Web is expected, ironically, to ease and speed things up! Secondly, the IT department usually thinks that the choice of a particular browser on the intranet shields them from a lot of problems. However, the decision to employ a single browser, especially in an environment which nurtures a mono-culture amongst the developers, can lock a company into proprietary technology, a move that is dangerous and undesirable.

Indeed, this disregards the fact that the company extends further than the theoretical comfort of its standard computing operating environment. If you are contracting out the production of the web site, you will also need to interview and select a site design firm. Ideally, your site designers should be involved as soon as possible in the planning discussions. Not every site will require detailed consideration of every item on the lists below. Web teams within corporations or other large enterprises can often count on substantial in-house technology support when creating web sites.


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Every successful new web site makes a transition from a development project to an ongoing editorial process that keeps the site alive and fresh over time. Some editors do all the work of maintaining site content, relieving their coworkers of the need to deal directly with web page editing. Other editors coordinate and edit the work of many contributors who work directly on the site pages, aided by a maintenance plan that specifies who is responsible for the content of each section of the site. When multiple people contribute to site maintenance, the site editor may choose to edit pages after they are created and posted to avoid becoming a bottleneck in the communications process.

A blueprint for designing hackathons

However, high-profile public pages or pages that contain important information should be vetted by the editor before posting. A site editor will also typically bear the primary responsibility for keeping the site content as visible as possible in local enterprise or general Internet search engines.

Broken links and scrambled content organization schemes can harm your search engine rankings and make your content harder for users to locate. The site editor is also the logical person to handle the collection and analysis of web site analytics and to produce periodic reports on the usage of the site.

In addition to ensuring editorial quality, a site editor must also make certain that the content of the site reflects the policies of the enterprise, is consistent with local appropriate use policies, and does not contain material that violates copyright laws. Many people who post pictures, cartoons, audiovisual files, or written material copied from other sites on their own sites do not understand copyrights and the legal risks in using copyrighted materials inappropriately. At this stage you need to detail the content and organization of the web site.

The team should inventory all existing content, describe what new content is required, and define the organizational structure of the site. Once a content architecture has been sketched out, you should build small prototypes of parts of the site to test what it feels like to move around within the design. Site prototypes are useful for two reasons. First, they are the best way to test site navigation and develop the user interface. These prototypes can be used to test the information architecture with users.

Second, creating a prototype allows the graphic designers to develop relations between how the site looks and how the navigation interface supports the information design. The key to good prototyping is flexibility early on: At this stage the project acquires its look and feel, as the page grid, page design, and overall graphic design standards are created and approved.

Now the illustrations, photography, and other graphic or audiovisual content for the site need to be commissioned and created. Any programming, database design and data entry, and search engine design should be well under way by now. The goal is to produce all the content components and functional programming and have them ready for the final production stage: Whether you develop your site on your own or hire a professional web developer, you should develop page templates for your new web site.

If you have a team working on page development, you will want to share templates, along with standards on how to handle page text and content graphics. Popular web site development software such as Adobe Dreamweaver offer powerful templates and standard reusable libraries of site graphics and html that make it easy to create new pages and maintain consistency in your site. In most large enterprises, providing universal access to web pages is long-established institutional policy, and in many instances it is required by state or federal regulations.

It is critical, therefore, that you validate your designs and page templates and the content of your site throughout the development process to ensure that your pages are accessible to all users. Use the guidelines and techniques developed and maintained by the Web Accessibility Initiative wai as a measure against which to test the accessibility of your pages.

Making sure that web sites are accessible and usable by people with disabilities is the focus of web accessibility. WAI efforts are focused on developing tools and best practices that promote the development of universally accessible web sites. Most validation tools use the WAI guidelines as the standard against which to measure sites.

By waiting until you have a detailed site architecture, mature content components, fully tested wireframes and prototypes, and a polished page design specification you will minimize the content churning, redundant development efforts, and wasted energy that inevitably result from rushing to create pages too soon. Of course, you will always learn new things about your overall design as the prototype matures into the full-blown web site. Be prepared to refine your designs as you and your users navigate through the growing web site and discover both weak spots and opportunities to improve navigation or content.

Once the site has been constructed, with all pages completed and all database and programming components linked, it is ready for user testing. Testing should be done primarily by people outside your site development team who are willing to supply informed criticism and report programming bugs, note typographic errors, and critique the overall design and effectiveness of the site.

Fresh users will inevitably notice things that you and your development team have overlooked.

The Webmaster Guide to Project Documentation – For Small & Medium Businesses The Webmaster Guide to Project Documentation – For Small & Medium Businesses
The Webmaster Guide to Project Documentation – For Small & Medium Businesses The Webmaster Guide to Project Documentation – For Small & Medium Businesses
The Webmaster Guide to Project Documentation – For Small & Medium Businesses The Webmaster Guide to Project Documentation – For Small & Medium Businesses
The Webmaster Guide to Project Documentation – For Small & Medium Businesses The Webmaster Guide to Project Documentation – For Small & Medium Businesses
The Webmaster Guide to Project Documentation – For Small & Medium Businesses The Webmaster Guide to Project Documentation – For Small & Medium Businesses
The Webmaster Guide to Project Documentation – For Small & Medium Businesses The Webmaster Guide to Project Documentation – For Small & Medium Businesses
The Webmaster Guide to Project Documentation – For Small & Medium Businesses The Webmaster Guide to Project Documentation – For Small & Medium Businesses
The Webmaster Guide to Project Documentation – For Small & Medium Businesses The Webmaster Guide to Project Documentation – For Small & Medium Businesses
The Webmaster Guide to Project Documentation – For Small & Medium Businesses

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