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Making Ends Meet
 

Making Ends Meet

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My workshop session at Paris Web 2007 on how to communicate within a typical team, and also how to push a vision of Web quality forward.

My workshop session at Paris Web 2007 on how to communicate within a typical team, and also how to push a vision of Web quality forward.

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    Making Ends Meet Making Ends Meet Presentation Transcript

    • Making Ends Meet Building beautiful, robust sites on best web practices Stephanie Troeth CloudRaker, Montréal/Amsterdam Samedi 17 Novembre Paris Web 2007 Tuesday, November 20, 2007 1
    • Problem: In an every day context as professionals, we find ourselves in situations where we have to make choices about what we build. Tuesday, November 20, 2007 2
    • How do we make sure that we and our team always know which decisions are better? Tuesday, November 20, 2007 3
    • Today’s aims 1. Build a rational basis for our pursuit of best web practices in our day-to-day work. 2. Come up with ways to convince, persuade others around us that web quality is important. 3. Discuss practical methods to establish good web- building habits in the workplace. Tuesday, November 20, 2007 4
    • 1. Build a rational basis for our pursuit of best web practices in our day-to-day work. Tuesday, November 20, 2007 5
    • The usual constraints • Too many team members on a project (too many cooks) • Too few team members on a project (not enough manpower) • Team members have different skill levels • Team members don’t have the same outlook, whether because of vocation or viewpoint. Tuesday, November 20, 2007 6
    • The usual constraints •Project timeline •Project budget •Scope creep •... Tuesday, November 20, 2007 7
    • Aargh. Tuesday, November 20, 2007 8
    • How do we ensure we know what to do while facing these daily constraints? Tuesday, November 20, 2007 9
    • Let’s begin by learning how to rationalise to enable us to judge. Tuesday, November 20, 2007 10
    • Why best web practices? Many of us already know the “what” and the “how”. But how well do we know why? Tuesday, November 20, 2007 11
    • Group Brainstorm In your groups, list and discuss the following: 1. List top 5 common reasons why people believe we should follow best practices 2. What is your personal reason? 3. List top 5 common reasons why people don’t believe we should follow best practices Tuesday, November 20, 2007 12
    • Group Brainstorm summary: “Why standards?” •Search engine optimisation •Common basis to work together (standards in the workplace) •Not reinventing the wheel •Accessibility / interoperability •Ethical Tuesday, November 20, 2007 13
    • Group Brainstorm summary: “Why standards?” •It’s THE way •Code will be easy to re-use / refactor •Code quicker to write •Client asks for it (sometimes) •Competition with other companies •Good quality of work Tuesday, November 20, 2007 14
    • Group Brainstorm summary: “Personal reason for Web standards?” •Good community support •Code quality •Proudness / pleasure/ fun of doing good work •It’s a good challenge Tuesday, November 20, 2007 15
    • Group Brainstorm summary: “Personal reason for Web standards?” •Having a reference compared to rest of community. •Maximum number of people can see my site Tuesday, November 20, 2007 16
    • A few typical “whys” •It seems like a good idea. •It makes sense. •It saves money. •It’s the way of the future. •It’s a good bandwagon to jump on (a.k.a other people are doing it) Tuesday, November 20, 2007 17
    • A few typical “why-nots” •Training is expensive •It’s not cost-effective •It’s too difficult Tuesday, November 20, 2007 18
    • The true goal Tuesday, November 20, 2007 19
    • The true goal Web for everyone. Tuesday, November 20, 2007 19
    • The true goal Web for everyone. Web on everything. Tuesday, November 20, 2007 19
    • The true goal Web for everyone. Web on everything. Web by everyone. Tuesday, November 20, 2007 19
    • 2. Come up with ways to convince, persuade others around us that web quality is important. Tuesday, November 20, 2007 20
    • How would these people talk to one another? •Information architect •Client •Usability specialist •Account manager •Designer •Manager •Developer •Producer •... •... Tuesday, November 20, 2007 21
    • A couple of scenarios Let’s examine possible conversations between: •A developer and a designer •A producer and team Tuesday, November 20, 2007 22
    • Common issues between design and development •Designer: “Here’s the PSD!” •Design decisions: round corners, pixel- perfect, fixed screen size, non “standard” font for texts, different widths in PSDs, text of different length are not texted •How do we go about communicating our constraints to designers? Tuesday, November 20, 2007 23
    • Common issues between design and development Developers can show we care about the design: •Try to challenge and understand what designer is trying to achieve in order to negotiate “are all those three shadows necessary?” •Show how we make their design come to life Tuesday, November 20, 2007 24
    • [Right about this point we had a discussion of the different roles in the team, and talked about their different responsibilities and realities. We also talked about looking at who we can get on side (such as a decision maker) in order to be able to improve the work process if we are not in a politically favourable position.] Tuesday, November 20, 2007 25
    • 3. Discuss practical methods to establish good web-building habits in the workplace. Tuesday, November 20, 2007 26
    • Chicken and egg •Having a quality vision or a quality production process? •Having testable metrics or a quality production process? •Quality vision or quality metrics? Tuesday, November 20, 2007 27
    • How do we break the chain? Tuesday, November 20, 2007 28
    • Discussion 1. In your professional environment, which “chicken and egg” issue applies to your team? Why? 2. Tell us, what is likely to work best in your professional context? And why? Tuesday, November 20, 2007 29
    • First, a vision. A vision of quality should rightly come before any process or techniques. Tuesday, November 20, 2007 30
    • First, a vision. Use a vision of quality to give direction to your team in: •what level of training all team members need •what level of work is globally expected from them •enable them to decide the right thing to do. Tuesday, November 20, 2007 31
    • Give your team a sense of pride. Show how your team members can be proud of what they do, and enjoy the challenges. Tuesday, November 20, 2007 32
    • Defining quality •Every role has their own definition of quality. •Your quality definition for your team •has to be generic enough so that it can be interpreted in each context •specific enough so it contains a clear vision Tuesday, November 20, 2007 33
    • An example of a quality vision 90% of sites we produce should be • accessible • relevant • aesthetic • robust • usable • secure • measurable • cost-effective • searchable • scalable • interoperable • refactorable Tuesday, November 20, 2007 34
    • Some Suggestions •Hire wisely (you won’t regret hiring the right people) •Extend training and working with 3rd parties •Respect all skills that your team members bring to the table Tuesday, November 20, 2007 35
    • Conclusions •You begin doing good work by having a good team and instilling good habits. •A vision that provides a means of making correct judgement is more powerful than any dictatorial process •Make your vision a belief system that your team can own themselves. Tuesday, November 20, 2007 36
    • Conclusions Once you get your team to believe in the same values, you would know how you can improve your processes, techniques and methods together. It’s always a work in progress. Tuesday, November 20, 2007 37
    • Questions? (but we didn’t really get time for this) Tuesday, November 20, 2007 38
    • Your (non-suicidal) hostess Stephanie Troeth steph@unadorned.org (No, I don’t blog anymore.) Images used without permission but with a lot of gratitude: “The Book of Bunny Suicides”, Andy Riley. Tuesday, November 20, 2007 39