Project management


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In this session Simon will share his considerable experience of managing projects; from the initial client meetings to getting sign-off on designs to finally going live, and all that comes inbetween.

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Project management

  1. 1. PROJECT MANAGEMENT Simon Collison Business of Web Design Online Conference 17th August 2010
  2. 2. Everybody does it differently. This is my way.
  3. 3. Choosing projects
  4. 4. • Instinct and warning signs • Timescales and phases • Budgets • Payment structures • Analysing anomalies • Third parties • Willingness to take bold steps • Flexibility • Personalities and experience
  5. 5. Contracts and finances
  6. 6. • Issuing contracts • Payment staging • Insurance • Variation notices • Adjusting budgets
  7. 7. Client documents
  8. 8. • The original RFP, project sheet or brief • Sitemaps, wireframes, mind maps • Spreadsheets and flowcharts • Pre-prepared content • Brand guidelines • Images, downloads and other assets
  9. 9. Specification document
  10. 10. Timescales and deadlines
  11. 11. • Dictating the schedule • Adding contingency • Ability to move milestones • Resources across all projects
  12. 12. Meetings and communication
  13. 13. • In person • Set-up meetings and workshops • Skype and telephone • Email • Basecamp and other apps
  14. 14.
  15. 15.
  16. 16.
  17. 17.
  18. 18. Goal-directed design
  19. 19. • Immovable constants • Project backbone • Engaging with the client
  20. 20. Collaboration
  21. 21. • The creative team • The creative team & the client • The creative team, the client & the audience
  22. 22. Audience
  23. 23. • Accountability • User cases • Audience grouping • Audience hierarchies • Tools and techniques
  24. 24. Me Experience Interaction Others Environment Instruction
  25. 25. Control Understanding Outcome
  26. 26.
  27. 27. Features versus Requirements
  28. 28. Methodology
  29. 29. • Waterfall • Agile • Sprint • Freestylin’
  30. 30. Waterfall Research, process, build, test, launch, pub.
  31. 31. Agile Research, process, build, test, launch, pub. Learn, repeat, relaunch, pub. Learn, repeat, relaunch...
  32. 32. Sprint Pub, build, test, launch, pub. Nervous breakdown.
  33. 33. Roadmap
  34. 34. Content
  35. 35. • Content audit • Content strategy • Client guidance • Rules and suggestions
  36. 36. Web writing is... Good writing adapted to the limits of the web as a medium and the needs of users.
  37. 37. Reflected and Projected Light Reading on paper, we see light reflected off paper Computers do not reflect light, they project it. Thus light is shooting into our eyes, rather than gently reflecting. As a result, we are not reading in the way we learned... ... we get tired faster.
  38. 38. Other limits... People read about 25% slower on screen. Attention span. It is said that users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% ismore likely. Scanning. Higher-literacy users are much more likely to scan text on websites than read it in detail. Findability. Numerous alternative sources of information
  39. 39. User needs... Trust in the the website and information source. Brevity and swift delivery of information Retrieval of key facts and information very quickly. Understanding the context of the page and website. Looking for calls to action or next steps. Email, print or respond to information immediately.
  40. 40. How a visitor decides... 1. Scan the headlines to see what the content is about. 2. Look at the pictures to see what the content is about. 3. If the pictures are compelling, read the captions. 4. If the headlines, pictures, and captions are compelling, read the rest of the copy—if they have time.
  41. 41. Trust and credibility... Domain name, branding and design. Links - verification through inbound and outbound links. Sources - evidence of findings. Volume - the more you write... Voice - what are you writing about, and who is it for? Duration - match length to intended audience and subject. Credits - about the author and their experience.
  42. 42. Voice... Your character and nuances of you personality show up in... • the words you choose • the grammatical choices you make • the phrasing you choose Ensure your style matches your subject matter. The best writers manage to express their voice or personality across whatever writing style they engage in.
  43. 43. Techniques... Relevance, Titles and Headings Blurbs Pull quotes Icons, drop-caps and images Descriptions Linkage and Sources Lists Summarise
  44. 44. Body copy... • Does the copy get to the point quickly? • Is the copy shy about the subject? • Is it easy to respond to? • Does the copy overcome every objection to replying, leaving the reader with no choice but to act? • Does the copy use simple words? • Does the copy use active language (does it address the site visitor as ‘you’)? • Is the copy broken down into simple sections and bullet points?
  45. 45. True? • Website content is internally rather than publicly focused? • Much of it is copy/pasted from paper and press releases? • Too many buzzwords, too much jargon and multi-syllable phrasing? • Too little exploitation of the publishing tools available? • Not enough organisational pride in publishing the website? • No shared voice, tone or approach? • Not enough proofreading or drafting?
  46. 46. Cause Related Globalisation Marketing Green electricity CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons Human Rights Impact areas BITC, CR, CSR, 8000, ) Child Labour Marketplace NGO, SRI, SORI, EHS, Millennium Clean Development Mechanism Development Goals EMAS, DJSI, APPG, Climate Change NGO Not-for-profit AA1000 etc CO2 (Carbon Off-Set Agreement Dioxide) Philanthropy Community Corporate Recycle Triple bottom line Renewable Energy Citizenship Reputation Venture Philanthropy Corporate Governance Assurance Responsible business Global compact Corporate Responsibility (CR) Shareholder Equator principles Influence Corporate Responsibility Index Social Accountability Etc... 8000 (SA8000) Corporate Social Social Audit Responsibility Social capital Digital Divide (digital Social Enterprise inclusion) Social Exclusion Diversity Social Firm Dow Jones Social Inclusion Sustainability Indices Social Investment (DJSI)
  47. 47. The Business Action on Economic Renewal Leadership Team guides Business in the Community's work on regeneration and economic renewal.
  48. 48. What should boards do to ensure companies behave responsibly, and why? Both corporate responsibility and corporate governance have climbed the corporate agenda in recent years. But there has been little consideration of how these two areas interrelate or about the specific board contribution to corporate responsibility. Both the Combined Code on Corporate Governance and the new Company Law Reform Bill give directors duties related to corporate responsibility. This report outlines the challenge boards face in fulfilling them, and the actions they can take in order to do so.
  49. 49. Narrative
  50. 50. • A single design direction • In tandem with Basecamp • Signals not noise • Demonstrating a clear direction • Dedicated staging area
  51. 51. Creativity
  52. 52. • Fast, confident design and build sessions • Organic collaborative process • Scrapbooking, moodboards and other tools • Physical project space
  53. 53. Conventions
  54. 54. • Quality control • Team conventions • Benefits of convention • A reusable package
  55. 55. A base layer of rules and conventions that act as starting points for HTML, CSS, JavaScript and CMS for all projects.
  56. 56. • Basic HTML files & naming conventions • PHP for basic templates prior to CMS integration. • CSS: Stylesheets, IE-specific, reset, scratch files etc. • JavaScript: jQuery, onload triggers, transparency support • Other Assets such as folders for images, Flash etc.
  57. 57. A bumper compendium of cascading CSS files, naming conventions, modules, plugins and scripts that ensure any project will stay on convention, and be simple for anyone to step into and work with at any time.
  58. 58. • Allows better collaboration within the team; the designer can jump into the developer’s code and vice-versa. • Anyone who hasn’t even worked on a certain project can jump in and quickly solve problems because everything is on convention. • Keeps output fresh and ensures use of best practices. • Establishes a thoroughly connected layer of base files allowing for swift CSS and JavaScript implementation and other assets. • Makes life easier for developers and designers... and anyone really • Helps maintain quality control
  59. 59. • Naming conventions • Reset browser defaults • HTML & XHTML • CSS Frameworks • HTML5 ? • Scratch files • JavaScript • Mobile & Handheld • jQuery & Libraries • Print stylesheets • PHP • PNG support • Templating • Flash and SWF • Wireframing • Image folders • IE6, IE7 & IE8 • Content Management
  60. 60. Communicating your design
  61. 61. • Sketching • Prototyping • Designing in the browser • Explanations and context
  62. 62. Feedback
  63. 63. • The working prototype • Soft-launch • Gauging user feedback • Private testing • Iterating the prototype
  64. 64. Sign-off
  65. 65. • Establishing sign-off points • Personal discussion • Tools and apps • Training and documentation • Testing
  66. 66.
  67. 67. Launch
  68. 68. • Preparing all parties • Checklists and procedures • Something isn’t right • When to delay • Your commitments
  69. 69. Post-launch
  70. 70. • Bug fixing, feature requests and support • Evaluation • Documentation and promotion • Subsequent phases • Costed phases, quick features, retainers • Keeping the relationship sweet
  71. 71. Thanks Simon Collison @simoncollison