So you have finally decided to start your website redesign, your team is ready, senior management has given the go ahead and your ready – where do you start?? Not only that but you just had a casual conversation with the senior VP who offhandedly mentioned that the website has to be upgraded to web 2.0. Needless to say this is more than just a suggestion, it is tantamount to being an order.
Web 2.0 is a concept rather than a “software release” – Microsoft et al have successfully convinced us that anything with a numeric reference is actually a physical upgrade ( and of course one has to pay for it). Now this term web 2.0 has become the “mot de jour” or flavour of the day and despite the wide use of the term, common understanding of the implications of this on a website is little understood ( at least by the vast majority of middle and upper management).
Just a rudimentary search via Google will result in a broad definition and application of web 2.0 as a social networking phenomenon which manifests itself in many different ways, from facebook to myspace and more. Even scarier is that there never has been a web 1.0!!! I confess that I am not an expert in this area so if you are looking for more info follow the search engine paths, a delightful journey into the new web world.
Back to reality, as a manager tasked to start a redesign project, how do you incorporate web 2.0 into the whole process?
The answer is basic, follow a structured project management process. This is a time honoured but proven approach to any successful project. You need to start at the beginning, re visit your organization strategic plan, and if necessary revise it to include your web strategy. Then assess the current website user experience by a complete website audit and competitive assessment. Finally perform an environmental analysis which includes a detailed stakeholder analysis. With the proper customer expectations understanding, you can then begin to look at the implications of web 2.0 on your website visitors.
If necessary bring in a trained facilitator to guide your team and to ensure that you have collected sufficient information on your target visitors to determine what your design needs to provide. Only then can you determine what features of web 2.0 will meet both your customers needs and your organizational needs.
With this new redesign plan in hand you can not only satisfy your management teams requirements but also incorporate the latest in technology and best practices to meet your customers needs.