The proposal looks good. What is the next step? Usually some agreed
upon deposit is made towards the site. Upon the arrival of the deposit,
information architecture begins.
Let us say that you are my client. At this point, you must gather
the team of people that will be involved with the development of
the Site. The team can be one or many people. The team has homework
and a due date based on the deadline:
- Review sites that are similar to your own.
- Make a list of sites that are in your market.
- Review sites in general.
- Make a list of things that you like and hate?
- Create short descriptions of the kind of people (your audience)
that visit your site.
- Create a wish list of all the things you would like in this
- Create a wish list of everything that you wish the site to
- What is the Misssion Statement of the company and how does
the Web Site relate to this Mission?
The team produces the following documents:
- Competition Sites <so your new site is a competitor>
- Likes and dislikes
- Audience descriptions.
- Content wish list. <What you want in the Site, ranked in
loose order of percieved priority>
- Web Site goals. <What you want the Site to accomplish.>
- Mission Statement <used to determine a mission statement
for the Site.>
Once these documents have all been produced, a process of vision
and revision happens. Through email and telephone calls, the "Team
Contact" and I will question, clarify, distill, add, modify
and delete stuff from all of those documents to develop an actual
blueprint of the site The Blueprint contains the content, navigation,
structure, functionality, look and feel preferences, etc. All are
predefined before any code is laid down. The Blueprint, called the
"Information Architecture" is documented. Within the blueprint
is a "Content Inventory" that outlines all of the images,
prose, adcopy, biographies, etc required for each of the content
areas within the Site.
An actual quotation is produced, because at this point we know
what work actually needs to be done. The quotation usually has options
modularized so you can pick and choose what you want based on your
budget. The deadline is modified accordingly. Once the parameters
are defined and a contract has been signed, the Team gets another
homework assignment: "Content Preparation," with a due
date The Team begins to gather all of the content outlined in the
Content Inventory doc. The project moves into the "Look and
Feel" stage of development. The next page
outlines that process.