Planning your website is an essential task to undertake before any content, design or technical work is undertaken. Taking the time to plan your website will ensure that the end result will be a high-quality and successful website.

The keys to measuring the success of your website is that it will be that it is:

  • Accurate
  • Accessible (For WCAAG 2.0 compliance please see http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/)
  • Easy-to-use
  • Efficient and
  • Designed to meet users needs
  • Getting started

    Critical to the success of your website is the planning process. Planning your website should be done prior to any of the design elements, architecture or content creation is commenced. 

    Whether you are creating a new DRUPAL website, or migrating a UQCMS website to DRUPAL it is also important that you consider the following key steps:

    1. Appoint a team/committee to make decisions/approvals relating to the website development
    2. Establish a process to review the website and its content
    3. Apply timelines so that the web project team members know what milestones need to be achieved and under what time schedule.
    4. Allocate budget/resources to the project
    5. Appoint users to develop the website and define Site Editor, Site Coordinator roles
    6. Users to undertake Drupal training
    7. Determine corporate objectives
    8. Determine key target audience groups and identify their needs
    9. Review content and write new content where required
    10. If applicable, review the Google Analytics statistics on your website, i.e. review bounce rates, identify popular content/pathways etc, and implement the results of this analysis into your webpages
    11. Content to be reviewed and updated/consolidated accordingly
    12. Review current Information Architecture and develop accordingly
  • Resourcing/Budgets

    Having the necessary resources and budget is crucial to the success of your website. Before you commence your website project think about the answers to the following questions:

    Who will undertake the website redevelopment process? Will this be done by a member of staff within the work unit or is a third-party person required to be appointed for this process? Which budget is this to come out of and/or how is this to be paid? Does your website require additional custom functionality not availabilite within the standard Drupal website build?

    • Identify and appoint a content expert to dedicate time to the content review.  It is recommended this person have advanced writing and editing skills and work closely with a Quality Control Officer, usually the School Manager or Faculty Marketing Officer etc.  This can be a lengthy stage and it may be necessary to help facilitate a content editor or journalist to assist. 
       
    • Identify staff in the work unit who are to undertake roles of Site Editors or Site Coordinators. These roles are crucial and allow sites to be built and maintained with as much self-sufficiency as possible.

    All authorized DRUPAL users will be required to undertake Site Editor Training.  Site Coordinator’s should commence their training upon completion of the Site Editor Training. Users can book the DRUPAL Training on Staff Development.

  • Identify your target audience

    User-centred design is of paramount importance. When developing a new website or re-developing an existing website, user needs rather than organisational structure should be central to the design. The following questions will help to focus on user needs:

    • Who is the information for?
    • How will they be looking for it?
    • What will they want to do on the website?
    • If redevloping a website, which pages are most in demand?

    The following steps can help to answer these questions:

    • Consult with representatives of your various user groups using the following methods to help determine their information needs. These may be staff, current students, research partners, prospective students, alumni or any group who will use your site.
      • surveys
      • interviews
      • focus groups
      • feedback
         
    • Make use of website traffic statistics, which can help identify what information is in demand. Web Services can set up services such as Google Analytics to capture web statistics.
  • Writing web content

    Well written website content is crucial to the success of your website.

    When writing content for your website it should be measured for accuracy, accessiblity, ease of use, efficiency and designed to meet user needs. The successful implementation of these key measurements will ensure a seamless user experience and position your website so that it is easier to be found by search engines to therefore recommend your website in relevant searches.

    Further more detailed information on how to write content and search engine optimisation is located in the help guide.

  • Information Architecture

    When developing your websites information architecture a user-centred approach should be undertaken to ensure that your website is straightforward and efficient for the user to navigate. A website that is easy for the user to navigate, straightforward and intuitive to use will give a good user experience. If your website is difficult to use will increase your bounce rate.

    If you are migrating your website content from a UQCMS website, review current Information Architecture, i.e. navigation etc, and develop accordingly. 

    Points to consider are:

    • How does the site look?
    • Is it easy to navigate around?
    • Is information easy to find?
  • Website Imagery

    Where relevant, select and obtain appropriate imagery that is visually appealing and enhances the users experience of your website. Do not use an image for the sake of having an image on your webpage. Images should be used for a purpose beyond filling up white space or making a web page more visually interesting.

    For more information visit images for the web.

    To source images for your website we recommend that you visit the UQ Images website.

  • Design your Website

    Once you have taken into consideration the points noted above you can now move forward to bringing all of this information and resources together to create the first draft of the visual design of your website. 

    The design of your website should address the look and feel of the website focusing on useability and accessibility

    • Information Architecture, i.e. navigation should now be refined.
    • Imagery should be selected, approved and obtained.
    • Content should focus on useability and accessibility.
    • Wireframe of the homepage developed – NOTE: A site coordinator must be trained by this stage so that they have an understanding of how to create a homepage in DRUPAL
  • Website Compliance Requirements

    Before a website can be approved to go live and be supported it will need to ensure that it complies with the following:

  • Build your Website

    All users must have completed DRUPAL training before the website creation process can begin.

    • Create webpages in the structure as defined in the Information Architecture process.
    • Add content to the webpages as agreed upon in the design process.
    • Site coordinators to create blocks etc. as per Information Architecture process.
    • Site Coordinators to develop homepage and add newsfeeds and imagery where applicable.
  • Publish your Website

    The Website authoriser to do a final check ensuring it meets website compliance requirements. Once all process have been complete and compliance confirmed the Website authoriser/owner can now approve the website for publishing from the development environment to live to the internet.