Presentation on theme: "Practical Tips for User Friendly Web Design Kirsti Mijnhijmer 22 April 2009, Copenhagen."— Presentation transcript:
Practical Tips for User Friendly Web Design Kirsti Mijnhijmer 22 April 2009, Copenhagen
Summary Parts 1 & 2 Projects have a communication strategy, which forms an integral part of project implementation Project websites meet the EU publicity requirements Project websites focus on project outcomes: products/services: Attributes are clearly defined (marketing arguments) Project websites demonstrate what is under development The operation/cooperation is of secondary importance Project websites demonstrate the business potential of products/services and by that demonstrate their viability
Summary Parts 1 & 2 Project websites are adapted to different target audiences: Project websites keep the goals of their end users in mind Project websites reassure end users that they will get what they are looking for Project websites justify the invested funding Project websites make a professional impression
How to Plan your Website Start from your communication strategy What are your communication objectives How does the website fit in the strategy in relation to other tools/measures Define the goal of your website A goal is a state of being, not a state of doing Simple, realistic, specific Visualise, methods for measuring success Define target groups User needs Reassure your users
How to Plan your Website Plan your website on paper Structure your content Design your website to meet the needs of your users Assign staff resources to content/editing Contract web designer: draft specifications Budget + timeframe Testing/monitoring
Staff Resources Assign a person/team responsible for collecting copy, drafting/editing texts, operating Content Management System. Set up routines for editorial review To outsource or not to outsource Be realistic about staff resources in terms of skills and time Remember resources available in your own organisations
Testing/Monitoring Keep track of website statistics (e.g. Google Analytics) Overall visitor numbers (progress, need for more promotion, etc.) Who are your visitors and how did they find you Which pages/sections are most visited It is worth testing usability and user satisfaction Testing can also be useful to get to know your target audience
Also Consider Usability: optimising user experience such as ease of use of a website, efficiency, ease of learning, minimising mistakes, minimising irritation Accessibility: making a website available to the widest possible audience. Writing for the Web: different from conventional writing styles Features: different types of website applications: relevance for users Web 2.0: new generation of user controlled web applications
Usability Usability is the quality of a user's experience when interacting for example with a website. It is a combination of factors: Ease of learning Efficiency of use Memorability Error frequency User satisfaction (important to avoid irritation) Applies to design, navigation, content, functionality of features, etc.
Writing for the web People do not read online texts, they scan: Start with the conclusion: inverted pyramid Use headings and sub headings that make sense Use bullets and white space Users read in an F-shaped pattern: the first 2 matter (words, lines, paragraphs) Write concise Wording Use objective language: credibility Use plain English (or any other language): do not use jargon, acronyms, and do not be afraid of using simplified language. Use style guides e.g. BBC
Web 2.0 New generation of user-designed/controlled web applications: E.g. social networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn), blogs (Twitter), Wikipedia, etc. Advantages: Generally cheap in use Very popular and very versatile Worth considering: Need to fit with your overall communication strategy and target groups: not ad hoc Do not overcommit yourself : very time consuming Could backfire! You could lose credibility
Summary Plan your website carefully: Goal Target groups Staff resources Budget + time Testing/monitoring Consider: Usability Accessibility Writing for the web Features Web 2.0
Discussion Points To outsource or not to outsource: what are your views/experiences? How can I improve the usability of my project website? Which elements spoil a user’s experience of my project website?
Thank You for Listening! www.northernperiphery.eu
References Ben Hunt, 2008, “Save the Pixel. The Art of Simple Web Design”, www.savethepixel.org www.savethepixel.org Usability: Norman Nielsen Group, www.nngroup.comwww.nngroup.com Ivana Doulgerof, Management Organisation Unit, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Greece Accessibility: World Wide Web consortium (W3C), www.w3.orgwww.w3.org