Organizing 2.0: How to Plan for Your Website Redesign


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This presentation was given as part of the Organizing 2.0 Conference on Saturday December 5th in NYC.

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Organizing 2.0: How to Plan for Your Website Redesign

  1. 1. How to Plan for Your Website Redesign Julie Blitzer & Fureigh Organizing 2.0 Conference Saturday, December 5, 2009
  2. 2. Who are we? <ul><li>Julie Blitzer </li></ul><ul><li>New Projects Coordinator </li></ul><ul><li>Advomatic, LLC </li></ul>Fureigh Web and Online Communications Strategist Fureigh Consulting, Inc.
  3. 3. What are we going to discuss? <ul><li>Internal planning & research, budgeting </li></ul><ul><li>Content Management Systems (CMSes): what, why and how to choose? Open source or not? </li></ul><ul><li>Customer/Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) </li></ul><ul><li>Writing a good request for proposals (RFP) </li></ul><ul><li>Selecting a vendor </li></ul><ul><li>What to expect from your vendor </li></ul>
  4. 4. “ We want a new website!” <ul><li>The Board or Executive Director asks for a new site. Now what?? </li></ul><ul><li>Answer: Plan, plan, plan! </li></ul>
  5. 5. Planning, Part 1: Logistics <ul><li>What technology capacity (skill and time) do you have inside your organization? </li></ul><ul><li>What is your budget for the project? </li></ul><ul><li>What can you get with $1,000, $10,000, $50,000 or $100,000? </li></ul><ul><li>How soon do you want your site to launch? (Note: “ASAP” is not the right answer to this question.) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Planning, Part 2: Your Organization <ul><li>What are your organization’s stated mission and goals? </li></ul><ul><li>What is your organization’s character? </li></ul><ul><li>What portion of your members are online? </li></ul><ul><li>How big is your email list currently? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Planning, Part 3: Target Audiences <ul><li>Who are you trying to reach? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential donors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Current members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Activists </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Think about demographics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Age </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Location </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Familiarity with technology </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Planning, Part 4: Basic Goals <ul><li>What do you want your site to do? </li></ul><ul><li>Nonprofit/Advocacy Websites 1.0 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Brochure” sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bad designs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nonprofit/Advocacy Websites 2.0 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Action tools (e.g., “Write your representative”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social media integration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community functionality </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Planning, Part 5: Internal Feedback <ul><li>Talk to your staff. What do they need? How do they use the site? How would they like to use the site? What would their ideal website provide? Relevant staff members may be in communications, development and political departments. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Planning, Part 6: Information Architecture (IA) <ul><li>Leave it to the pros: Do IA only if you have internal expertise. </li></ul><ul><li>Information Architecture documentation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>User research: Personas, interviews, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Site map </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wireframes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content inventory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User permissions </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Sample Site Map:
  12. 12. Sample Wireframe: New Leaders Council
  13. 13. Planning, Part 7: CMS & CRM <ul><li>What’s a CMS? </li></ul><ul><li>Why you need a CMS </li></ul><ul><li>Open source vs. proprietary (Don’t go custom!) </li></ul><ul><li>Popular open source options: Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress </li></ul><ul><li> comparing_os_cms/ </li></ul>
  14. 14. Planning, Part 7: CMS & CRM <ul><li>What’s a CRM? </li></ul><ul><li>Sample features </li></ul><ul><li>Popular CRMs: CiviCRM, DIA/Salsa, Convio, Kintera, Salesforce </li></ul>
  15. 15. Site Audit, Part 1 <ul><li>Why should you audit your current site if you are going to replace it anyway? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the goals? What’s the audience? </li></ul><ul><li>What works? (“Name a few things that you love about the website, things that have been working.”) </li></ul><ul><li>What doesn’t? (“Name a few things that have been problems.”) </li></ul><ul><li>Look at your metrics. Very useful: Heat map of home page in Google Analytics. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Site Audit, Part 2 <ul><li>On your new site, what do you want (functionality, features, design)? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you want a rebranding process? Or do you want to stick with the logo and/or colors you have and redo the rest around it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do you not have that you want? Why do you want it? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If you have separate sites or blogs, what are your thoughts on keeping them separate or integrating them? </li></ul><ul><li>Priority for each of these items? </li></ul>
  17. 17. Writing Your RFP <ul><li>RFP means “Request for Proposals.” Sometimes also called RFQ, as in “Request for Qualifications.” </li></ul><ul><li>Why do you need an RFP? </li></ul><ul><li>What you get with a good RFP </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More precise estimates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fewer unanswered questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No sticker shock when you get your first vendor bill </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. What makes a good RFP? <ul><li>Be specific! Include documentation from your internal research, your site audit, and feedback you’ve received </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t leave anything out: List budget and time constraints </li></ul><ul><li>Include clear feature descriptions </li></ul>
  19. 19. RFP Outline, Part 1 <ul><li>Organizational background : 1–2 paragraphs </li></ul><ul><li>Scope of this project : Information architecture? Website redesign? Complete online communications strategy plan? CRM integration? Hosting? Maintenance & ongoing support? </li></ul>
  20. 20. RFP Outline, Part 2 <ul><li>List your goals: Include what you’re planning to achieve and how you'll know it’s been successfully completed. </li></ul><ul><li>Specify your target audiences. </li></ul><ul><li>Present the results of internal feedback and your site audit. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify key features and functionality. This is the most important part of your RFP, so we gave it its own slide... </li></ul>
  21. 21. RFP Outline: Key Features & Functionality <ul><li>Helpful: &quot;We need a calendar that will appear on one page and can have private events as well as public events, with registration restricted to current members, and that provides reports of event registrations.” </li></ul><ul><li>Not as Helpful: &quot;We need a Google Calendar,&quot; or &quot;We need a widget from .” </li></ul><ul><li>What goes on each page? </li></ul><ul><li>Include a rough site map if you can. </li></ul>
  22. 22. RFP Outline, Part 3 <ul><li>Provide a budget framework. Include what you expect that budget to cover. It's reasonable to ask for a line-item budget from prospective vendors in return. </li></ul><ul><li>Give your anticipated timeline for deciding on a vendor and, if possible, your desired timeline for creating the site. </li></ul><ul><li>List specific requirements for vendors : e.g., expertise with a certain CMS or CRM (if you already have one). </li></ul>
  23. 23. RFP Outline, Part 4 <ul><li>Briefly explain your criteria for evaluating proposals. </li></ul><ul><li>Include contract terms, if applicable (ex: government grant restrictions). </li></ul><ul><li>Include your contact information so prospective vendors can ask you follow-up questions. </li></ul><ul><li>Deadline: By when do you need proposals? Give vendors at least 2 weeks, if not 3 weeks, to prepare proposals. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Selecting a Vendor <ul><li>Follow-up phone calls or meetings are common practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider budget AND experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid: Developers without experience in your selected CMS/CRM, retainer contracts for a single project, flat rate billing that doesn’t get specific about the services provided. </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure to contact references and ask a lot of questions. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Website Creation, Part 1 <ul><li>Vendor creates an internal (i.e., not-yet-public) site. This is more of a process than we’re laying out here. </li></ul><ul><li>Client (or a consultant) rewrites content to be web-friendlier, if necessary. This can often happen at the same time. </li></ul><ul><li>Client or vendor imports content into the site. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Website Creation, Part 2 <ul><li>Vendor sends client the go-ahead to review the site. </li></ul><ul><li>Client reviews the internal site, provides feedback. (Usability testing is an awfully good idea.) </li></ul><ul><li>Vendor incorporates feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>Client reviews one final time and signs off. </li></ul><ul><li>Site goes live! </li></ul>
  27. 27. Q&A
  28. 28. Thanks! Julie Blitzer Twitter: @zhuli Fureigh @fureigh