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BEST PRACTICES VS REALITY
How to create amazing websites
under un-amazing circumstances

NICA LORBER
@nicelobster
NICA LORBER
Creative Director & Web Strategist
chapterthree.com
•

You get inspired

•

You meet cool people

•

You learn new techniques

•

You get psyched about the future

•

And you learn…
!
BEST PRACTICES
Yet, the internet is a very big place.
Can there really be one set of BEST PRACTICES to rule them all?
WHAT MATTERS:
RESULTS
on time • on budget • happy client
WEBSITES

WEB APPS

MOBILE APPS
DRUPAL "
WEBSITE "

#
THIS IS OUR CONTEXT
PICK THE RIGHT “BEST PRACTICE” FOR YOU

ASK:

1. What are the goals?
2. What’s my timeline?
3. What’s the budget?
4. Who is my team?
5. What are their strengths?
WHAT ARE SOME OF THESE BEST PRACTICES?
BEST PRACTICE: CONTENT FIRST
THE REALITY: THIS CLIENT DOESN’T EXIST
SO WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?
CREATE STRUCTURE WHERE YOU CAN,
AND FLEXIBLE SYSTEMS FOR THE REST
Identify opportunities for structured content
"
"

"

"
"
"
"
COMMON STRUCTURED CONTENT
BLOG

IN THE NEWS

PRESS RELEASE

•Title

•Article

•Title

•Author
•Body
•Categories
•Image/Video
•Comments

title
•Article source
•Image (optional)
•Logo of source (optional)
•Date
•Author

•Body
•Date
•Link

to download
•Press contact
•Categories

EVENTS WHITE PAPERS VIDEOS

LEADERSHIP

•Title

•Title

•Title

•Thumbnail

•Location

•Author

•Video

•Name

•Time

•Date

range
•Date (s)
•Description
•Register

•Teaser
•Download

Imbed
•Thumbnail
•Categories
•Date

•Title
•Bio
•Social

media links
CREATE FLEXIBLE DESIGN SYSTEMS

#
“Chunks,
not blobs”
EXAMPLE:
GOALS

CONTENT CHUNKS

•Communicate

•Video/key

•Increase
•Entice

value of services

brand trust

people to delve further

•Text

chunks (2 - 8)

•Imagery
•Client

CTAs
•Sign

up for a live demo

•Contact
•30

US

day trial

image + text

optional

endorsement quote

•Related

content

•blogs,

white papers, videos, webinars, data sheets
NOTE…
Few clients still spend that much time on their content even when given these flexible systems.
The content problem is often rooted deep within the structure of the organization.
BEST PRACTICE: MOBILE FIRST
THE REALITY:
Many clients don’t have the money resources to do this.
SO WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?
HELP CLIENTS SHORT TERM
WITH THEIR BURNING NEEDS.
!

CRAFT MORE THOUGHTFUL SOLUTIONS
WHEN THEY HAVE RESOURCES.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

HOW CAN WE ADD VALUE?
FORM LONG TERM PARTNERSHIPS
WE ARE HELPING CCA WITH:
" MOBILE DESIGN
" USABILITY TESTING
" CONTENT STRATEGY
" NEXT: IA OVERHAUL
CONTENT STRATEGY
BEST PRACTICE: 

DESIGN IN THE BROWSER
THE REALITY:
REFINE IN THE BROWSER
The design process still stands
" DEFINE GOALS
" RESEARCH
" SITE MAP
" ARCHITECT
" VISUAL DESIGN
DESIGN IN THE BROWSER IS GREAT FOR:
•

Highly interactive sites

•

Responsive design refinement

•

Quickly responding to user testing

•

Or if that is your fastest and most effective tool
BUT IT’S NOT ALWAYS NECESSARY
Many sites are straight forward and don’t need it.
Rapid Drupal architecting without understanding the detailed
functionality the whole website can have significant trade offs…
This is the architecture equivalent of Agile development.
PICK THE RIGHT “BEST PRACTICE” FOR YOU

ASK:

1. What are the goals?
2. What’s my timeline?
3. What’s the budget?
4. Who is my team?
5. What are their strengths?
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

HOW CAN WE ADD VALUE?
WHAT IS A BUSINESS?

http://book.personalmba.com/5-parts-of-every-business/ - by Josh Kaufman
HOW DO WE HELP WITH THESE PROCESSES?

WE HAVE TO GROW - WE ARE BECOMING
MORE THAN WEB DESIGNERS AND DEVELOPERS
http://book.personalmba.com/5-parts-of-every-business/ - by Josh Kaufman
WE ARE:
• BUSINESS STRATEGISTS
• MARKETERS
• PARTNERS
GOALS NOT TOOLS
ANALYSIS

EXECUTION

STRATEGY
KPIs
GOALS
http://moz.com/blog/setting-goals-not-tools-as-the-foundation-of-your-marketing-whiteboard-friday
Mackenzie Fogelson
PICK THE RIGHT “BEST PRACTICE” FOR YOU

ASK:

1. What are the goals?
2. What’s my timeline?
3. What’s the budget?
4. Who is my team?
5. What are their strengths?
THANK YOU

NICA LORBER
Creative Director & Web Strategist
chapterthree.com

$ nicelobster

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Best practices vs. reality: How to create amazing websites under un-amazing circumstances

Editor's Notes

  1. {"38":"When you question what the best way is to do something, always start with the famework.\n","5":"People tout a lot of best practices as absolutes\nIt can leave you feeling like you’re not doing things the right way…\n","44":"When you question what the best way is to do something, always start with the famework.\n","33":"Get ready for your rant.\n","22":"Modular slices\nRelated content\nCTAs\nCustomer Quotes\nThis also had a robust easy to admin back end\n","11":"When you question what the best way is to do something, always start with the famework.\n","39":"There is a larger concept that should drive all projects - which is what are the goals, and how can we provide value. The longer I’m in this industry, the more I realize that we are in charge of things far greater than just web design and development.\nMention that we all need to branch out from our normal tasks and realize that we are a more important partner than most people realize. We have a serious responsibility to really help these businesses as the web becomes the face of their things. \nYour UX strategy IS your business strategy.\n","28":"CCA is like may schools - they only have a limited budget each term. We worked with them to make their existing site and make it work on mobile. In doing this we had to dig deeper into their site. \n","17":"A lot of sites need types of content which are standard across the web. You can begin there.\nThis is a typical sitemap for a project, where a client needs some areas for marketing copy, and areas for dynamic content.\n","6":"In the end of the day, what matters are results\n","45":"10 YEARS EXPERIENCE DOING WEB DESIGN\nWORKED AT CHAPTER THREE FOR 5 YEARS\nONLY DESIGN DRUPAL WEBSITES\nThe longer I do my job the more business books I read (less about design, and more about solving issues… but more about this later)\n","34":"Get ready for your rant.\n","23":"So Jeffery Zeldman’s point still holds true that some of the work we end up doing IS decoration. But we can at least make things more structured, work for mobile, and flexible enough to empower their team long term. \nOne solution is to forge long term relationships so that you can eventually help them with their content\n","12":"I’ve come back from conferences wanting to implement some of the cool things that I learned but I’ve stumbled into blocks.\n","1":"I wanna talk about the gritty reality between what people tout as the best practices and the realities of how those play out in the real world with the constraints of time, money, and resources\n","40":"Get ready for your rant.\n","29":"There is a larger concept that should drive all projects - which is what are the goals, and how can we provide value. The longer I’m in this industry, the more I realize that we are in charge of things far greater than just web design and development.\nMention that we all need to branch out from our normal tasks and realize that we are a more important partner than most people realize. We have a serious responsibility to really help these businesses as the web becomes the face of their things. \nYour UX strategy IS your business strategy.\n","18":"Here are a list of content types that I include on the majority of sites we build. Within any of these, there will always be variables, but you can assume that when you’re building a Drupal site, that you're going to have some structured content that looks kind of like this. \n","7":"CMS or not?\nLots of content or not?\nResponsive?\nBrochure site\nHighly interactive?\n","35":"Get ready for your rant.\n","24":"Hells Yes! When it’s possible - this is great. But what about when it’s not possible.\nI have lots of clients that just need to “Make it squishy” as a stop gap solution.\nEverybody agrees that mobile is the future. And people are scrambling to catch up. But budgets don’t always allow for comprehensive solutions.\n","13":"I absolutely LOVE this idea. It makes 100% sense and lots of people have been touting this as the ideal. \n","2":"10 YEARS EXPERIENCE DOING WEB DESIGN\nWORKED AT CHAPTER THREE FOR 5 YEARS\nONLY DESIGN DRUPAL WEBSITES\nThe longer I do my job the more business books I read (less about design, and more about solving issues… but more about this later)\nWhy: i\n","41":"Get ready for your rant.\n","30":"Our goal is to get to the Mobile first stage in the IA overhaul. For now, they’ve taken our advice to try to allocate resources to the content problem. \nOne of the issues is that they were using their external site for a type of INTRANET because they didn’t have one. \n","19":"So, there was a time when you had just a couple choices: Landing pages could be fully designed and then you were locked into that design, \nOR\nYou could have a sort of free for all WISYWIG page which was as good as the content admin could make it. We needed to look beyond and give our content editors more flexibility\n","8":"The approach and focus for a site like the Avengers is quite different\n","36":"Things change in the design phase \nTalk about zact, and about how sites are built in general. Explain the success of Mashery\n","25":"Hells Yes! When it’s possible - this is great. But what about when it’s not possible.\nI have lots of clients that just need to “Make it squishy” as a stop gap solution.\nEverybody agrees that mobile is the future. And people are scrambling to catch up. But budgets don’t always allow for comprehensive solutions.\n","14":"I have personally worked on almost 100 websites, and I’ve only had 2 clients who were on top of their content, and that simply meant that they had it by the time we said we would launch.\nGE doesn’t have their content and neither does OSR\n","3":"Being a process junkie, I love to hear about the different ways people tackle problems. I love learning new things, getting energized, and passing that energy on to my team\nI’ve been annoyed about the fact that best practices are touted as ultimate solutions, and I feel like there is a larger narrative that people aren’t talking about\n","42":"Get ready for your rant.\n","31":"We’ve begun to stretch our offerings at Chapter Three to really help our clients where they need it most.\nWe’ve succeeded in convincing them that Content is king and that they should focus on that for now.\n","20":"So for these pages the goals were:\n","9":"Than the approach for something like UCSF OSR\n","37":"Talk about zact, and about how sites are built in general. Explain the success of Mashery\nBest sites are architected when you know the details of what you’re building\nThings change in the design phase\n","4":"People tout a lot of best practices as absolutes\nIt can leave you feeling like you’re not doing things the right way…\nI’ve been annoyed about the fact that best practices are touted as ultimate solutions, and I feel like there is a larger narrative that people aren’t talking about\n","43":"Get ready for your rant.\n","32":"Our goal is to get to the Mobile first stage in the IA overhaul. For now, they’ve taken our advice to try to allocate resources to the content problem. \nOne of the issues is that they were using their external site for a type of INTRANET because they didn’t have one. \n","21":"So for these pages the goals were:\n","10":"For the purposes of today’s talk, the stories I will be sharing today involve approaches making Drupal websites.\nWe have made apps as well at Chapter Three, but that is not the general case.\n"}