The Iterative Web


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A starter guide to re-evaluating your web strategy. Developed for the Vermont League of Cities and Towns Conference.

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The Iterative Web

  1. THE ITERATIVE WEB getting where from here? a what-to starter guide
  3. A LITTLE GUIDANCE It’s easy to jump to the how of building and maintaining a website. Start with the who, what, and why.
  4. audience who is your audience? what are their abilities? why are they using (or not) your website?
  5. THINGS TO CONSIDER Accessibility includes everything from connection speed, to language, to user agent (browser, etc.), to user abilities... The most important role of visual design on a website is usability. Approach your content from the perspective of the reader, not the publisher.
  6. content who are the sources of your content? what do you have to publish/share? and, what is the frequency of change? why do you make this content available? and, why do you make it available on the web?
  7. THINGS TO CONSIDER Consider your content as discrete units of data. What kinds of content do you have, and what pattern does each follow? One-size-fits-all content management fits none. Not everything needs to be on your website. While your website may encourage engagement, that engagement doesn’t need to happen on your website.
  8. process who maintains your website? what are your constraints? why do you use the tools you use?
  9. THINGS TO CONSIDER Be realistic about the time investment required to manage content. Implemented tools are often under-utilized. There is a business case for having an ongoing maintenance budget. Maintaining is cheaper than building. Use existing services (SaaS) where possible. Benefits include increased accessibility and little (or no) maintenance costs. Use software and services that grant you an open license. Publish your content using a Creative Commons license or release it into the public domain.
  10. NOW WHAT?
  11. MENTAL PREPARATION Technology will help you achieve usability, accessibility, managing content, etc. A shift in how people think of the web and their content/data is required for technology to implement the larger vision.
  12. ...letting go...
  13. Yes, you have to say it.
  14. ...letting go...
  15. LETTING GO OF WHAT? assumptions about user abilities, user needs and what your website should be ownership of content and editorial ability (you are part of an ecosystem) control based on personal preferences and vision
  16. WHY LET GO? Increased relevancy Better access, user engagement and participation More efficient budgetary spend
  17. TOWN MEETING DAY 2009 Letting go of ownership and editorial control generates participation (creates a commons) Packaging simple concepts adds value (tagging, aggregation) Tagged content was aggregated from social Specific learnings: media sites around Town Meeting Day Vermont '09. Contributors included: individual citizens, Vermont Public Radio, Seven Days, tmd-vt-social-media-recap.html Vermont Community Access Media, CCTV Channel 17, Burlington Free Press
  18. simplicity has value
  19. iterative improvements are effective and efficient
  20. focus on the goals, not the technology
  21. QUESTIONS? Jason Pelletier • Email/Chat/VoIP: • Website: • Twitter: @jason_pelletier • SlideShare: jason.pelletier • Delicious: jason_pelletier