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IWMW 1999: Beyond brochureware - building functional university websites

Slides for talk given at IWMW 1999 held at Goldsmiths College on 7-9 September 1999.

See http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/workshops/webmaster-sep1999/materials/ou/

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IWMW 1999: Beyond brochureware - building functional university websites

  1. 1. Beyond brochureware - building functional university websites (the ‘gestalt’ view) David Christmas Ian Roddis September 1999 ‘The Next Steps’
  2. 2. 2 Presentation Outline • Four classes of website we know • OU examples and their key characteristics • Summary of the evolutionary process • Lessons, recommendations and some questions - ‘OUr way’
  3. 3. 3 The four classes 1 Indie Sites 2 Webmaster Sites 3 Embedded Sites 4 E-business
  4. 4. 4 Key characteristics • What does it do ? • Who is involved ? • Who is it for? • How does it affect the organisation ? • What technology does it use, and who decides ?
  5. 5. 5 Indie-site 1 Screenshot of any classic home page (including picture of cat, motorbike and recent birthday party perhaps)!
  6. 6. 6 Characteristics of indie-site 1 What ? Vanity publishes static content Maybe accepts feedback Plenty of external links Who ? An (undefined) audience (possibly) The author Effects ? Develops author’s skills Uses up server space and bandwidth How can you measure? Technology ? Miscellaneous plug-ins Various authoring tools Personal Web server/ISP space
  7. 7. 7 Indie-site 2 beagle2.open.ac.uk/
  8. 8. 8 Characteristics of Indie-site 2 What ? Gives information about a specific activity. Maybe encourages feedback Links to useful resources Who ? An audience A (skilled) (paid) author The project owner/team Possibly a “host” institution Possibly tied into a network of similar sites Effects ? Supports a well defined activity Publices and enhances image at low cost Technology ? Fairly disciplined use of gimmicks Various authoring tools Institutional Web server
  9. 9. 9 A Webmaster site
  10. 10. 10 Characteristics of Webmaster sites What ? Provides “official information” Probably replicates brochures Allows feedback to a Webmaster May have forms for simple transactions Who ? Customers/students/funders/decision makers Enthusiastic management A Webmaster in the IT department Content owners (e.g. PR, Marketing from a distance)
  11. 11. 11 Characteristics of Webmaster sites Effects ? Raises internal Web awareness Establishes Web bridge-head in IT department Possibly contributes slightly to organisational objectives Technology ? Unadventurous, but robust Version control and backups (possibly) Institutional Web server
  12. 12. 12 Embedded site 1 - a prospectus www.open.ac.uk/courses
  13. 13. 13 Embedded site 2 - a web gateway www.open.ac.uk
  14. 14. 14 Embedded site 3 - Student record access www.open.ac.uk/students
  15. 15. 15 Embedded site 4 -summer schools booking www.open.ac.uk/residential-schools/
  16. 16. 16 Characteristics of embedded sites What ? Provides official information about a major activity Brochure data + database extracts + Web content Some interaction, but fitting around non-Web processes Who ? Customers/students Explicitly funded as a Web project Involves managers of the business function Multi-skilled development team Developed by Web specialists Web Agencies IT department Data maintenance staff
  17. 17. 17 Characteristics of embedded sites Effects ? Supports departmental objectives Begins to shift business to the Web Raises issues about IT support, security, testing, robustness, content ownership… Technology ? Robust professional IT approaches Some back-end integration, but incomplete. 24x7 a problem Partial automation of updating Possible parallel management of print and Web content
  18. 18. 18 An e-business site www.dell.com/
  19. 19. 19 Characteristics of e-business sites What ? A major organisational function Key to strategic aims Could possibly only exist in that form online Who ? Key customers/students Major funding stream Involves top management Highly professional developers Web agencies
  20. 20. 20 Characteristics of e-business sites Effects ? Transforms business model Vital to health of organisation Other media are subordinate to the website Technology ? Robust professional IT approaches Total integration with “back-end systems” Single access security Dynamic content Business driven
  21. 21. 21 The evolutionary process • Function • Organisational involvement • Effects • Technology
  22. 22. 22 The evolutionary process • Function – From “a website” – To “our business”
  23. 23. 23 The evolutionary process • Organisational involvement – Who is it for – Who makes it happen – Who pays for it – Who builds it – Who maintains it – Who evaluates it – Who cares
  24. 24. 24 The evolutionary process • Effects – Strategic impact – Process changes – Cultural consequences – Cost of failure
  25. 25. 25 The evolutionary process • Technology – Integration with other IS – Development tools – Robustness – Standardisation – Quality assurance – Security
  26. 26. 26 The evolutionary process Indie Webmaster Embedded E-business
  27. 27. 27 Moving beyond brochureware • Ownership • Involvement • Culture • Meeting needs • Processes change • Adequate technology

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