17 June, 2008

The Nine Pillars of Successful Web Teams

The most successful Web teams build their team structures and their
processes on these nine essential competencies:

Project Management: The hub that binds all the tactical competencies
together as well as the engine that drives the project forward to completion,
project management requires a highly specialized set of skills all its own.
Neglecting this area often results in missed deadlines and cost overruns.

Concrete Design: Before the abstract design can become a fully realized
user experience, you must determine the specific details of interfaces,
navigation, information design, and visual design. This realm of concrete
design is essential to creating the final product.

Content Production: Knowing what content you need isn't enough. You also
need to know how you'll produce it. Gathering raw information, writing and
editing, and defining editorial workflows and approvals are all part of content

Technology Implementation: Building technical systems involves a lot of
hard work and specialized knowledge: languages and protocols, coding and
debugging, testing and refactoring. The more complex your site, the more
important a competency in technology implementation becomes.

Abstract Design: Information architecture and interaction design translate
strategic objectives into a conceptual framework for the final user
experience. These emerging disciplines addressing abstract design are
increasingly recognized for their value in the Web development process.

Content Strategy: Content is often the reason users come to your site. But
what content can you offer to meet your users' expectations? How much
content is appropriate, and what form should it take? What style or tone
should it have? Before you can produce that content, you need to answer
fundamental content strategy questions such as these.

Technology Strategy: Web sites are technologically complex, and getting
more intricate all the time. Identifying the technology strategy for the site –
platforms, standards, technologies, and how they can all interoperate – is
essential to avoiding costly mistakes.

Site Strategy: Defining your own goals for the site can be surprisingly
tricky. Arriving at a common understanding of the site's purpose for your
organization, how you'll prioritize the site's various goals, and the means by
which you'll measure the site's success are all matters of site strategy.

User Research: User-centered design means understanding what your
users need, how they think, and how they behave – and incorporating that
understanding into every aspect of your process. User research provides the
raw observations that fuel this insight into the people your site must serve.