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In Web Site Strategy and Planning, Jen Kramer shows that there’s more to building a web site than just implementation. She describes how to create a plan that will ensure the end product meets the client’s needs and is as efficient and scalable as possible. Jen explains how to identify the right technology for the design, whether it is CMS-driven or static, and how to organize content and graphics. She shows how to create a project proposal that includes pricing and milestones that demonstrate to the client that work is being done. She also discusses how to measure the success of the design through analytics and user feedback.
If there are specific photos or drawings associated with the content, or if the page requires a PDF or other supporting documents, this can also be included on the content spreadsheet. How big are the images? Where do they go? And is there a special treatment for them? How are they being delivered? All of these questions are important and should be addressed in spreadsheet. For example, Hansel and Petal are thinking about having their Corporate Functions webpage look just like this. Note the three small images here inside the design.
Notice that they are all about the same width, but some are taller than the others. The designer here very specifically showed what it would be like to have some images that were taller and some images that were shorter along with a little bit of text next to it. Some clients are very bothered by different size photos, whereas other clients, it doesn't bother them at all. Some clients may say that the Rent Greenery item down at the bottom needs more content to feel more balanced than it does now, but the designer is trying to show possibilities in this comp.
In any case, what you should tell your client is that for the pictures on this particular webpage, you need to be sure to specify the width of each of the photos and I would specify the height of the Rent Greenery photo so that, perhaps, is the maximum height for a photo in that position, and you may wish to make it clear what the height is for the smaller photos. That way the client understands the range of photo sizes that are possible for this webpage. If we had images that were going in a header or a column in this design, which we don't in this particular mockup, but if we did, we would want to be sure to communicate those exact dimensions that would be required.
Likewise, sometimes there are PDFs, Word documents, PowerPoint files and so forth that are associated with a particular webpage. These can all be treated like images in that they should have a certain place on the website, they are stored somewhere on your hard drive, and they need to be under a certain file size to be useful. So let's go ahead and set up our spreadsheet so that we can track these images and files that are coming in. We are going to add a few columns to our spreadsheet. First of all, we are going to add a column called Supporting file names.
We will add a column describing the location on the webpage. This is likely to be a short description, something like left column, right column, content area, header or something like that. File location, so we know where on the hard drive we have saved the file. A column called Arriving by, so that we know whether to expect the file by e-mail or by DVD, and the Person responsible. Sometimes the Person responsible is not the same as the person who is responsible for the content.
It may, in fact, be the same person, but for example, if you are expecting three images for a particular content page, it may be the responsibility of the graphic designer to deliver those images and not the person who is writing the content. That's why we have a separate column for that. I am going to check my e-mail and see if I have any files that have arrived for this website. Over here in my Gmail, I see that Petal Jones has sent me some files for the Wedding page. I am going to go ahead and open the e-mail. It says, "Hi Jen, please see the attached photo and brochure for the wedding events page." So, she would like to include a specific picture to be used on that page as well as a PDF, which will tell more information about their wedding services.
I am going to go ahead and save these attachments individually by clicking the Download button. If I click the Download All Attachments button in Gmail, this will zip together all the attachments and save them as a zipped file. I don't want that. I'd like to have the individual photos and the individual PDF instead. So, I am going to click the Download button and I am going to download this to the location on my hard drive that I have set up for my Hansel and Petal assets. And I am going to repeat that process for the PDF, saving the file to my hard drive.
Now we are going to go back to our webpage and I am going to find my row of information here about weddings. I have highlighted that row by clicking on the number on the left hand column here and I am going to go to these Supporting file names column and I am going to type in the names of the files that I just downloaded. That was red rose 01.jpg and wedding brochure.pdf.
The location on the webpage, the rose will go in the content area, and the PDF is a link from within the content. The file location for these assets where I have saved them is going to be on my hard drive, and I save everything to My Documents folder on my computer. Inside of My Documents folder, I have a folder called Hansel and Petal and that's where I am putting all of my assets.
Those particular assets just happened to arrive. They arrived in my e-mail. It is possible that Hansel and Petal might put together a whole CD of images and send that to me later and I may want to mark off that some of the things arrived by CD, so that I would know to refer to a CD later. Since this particular set of assets arrived by e-mail, I'll make a note of that as well in case I need to go refer back to that e-mail. And the Person responsible in this case happened to be the same person who is responsible for the content, Petal Jones.
It may seem like you are taking an awful lot of time to track the supporting content upfront. You might be inclined to throw all of your photos and PDFs in a folder on your hard drive and forget about them until you need them or even worse, just leave them in your e-mail. However, you are likely to do just that, forget about them, causing you to do extra work later. Tracking them in the spreadsheet will save you from floundering to find a specific image the client wants on a certain page of content.
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