Having just gone through a major redesign and re-launch of a web site for one of the world’s best-known private universities, David Jarmul has plenty of advice to offer anyone facing a similar web task.
Jarmul, assistant vice president for news and communications and director of Duke News Service, offers his own “Top Ten” list of do’s and don’ts:
1. Be clear about what you’re trying to accomplish, and why.
2. Produce a site that accurately reflects your organization’s mission and values.
3. Organize information according to the needs of users.
4. Communicate frequently with everyone, and have a formal feedback mechanism.
5. Don’t be afraid to make difficult decisions — but be sure to explain them.
6. Celebrate the diverse skills and perspectives you need on your web team.
7. Recognize that design, editorial and programming must reinforce each other.
8. Scope the project carefully. Don’t agree to change more than you can.
9. When faced with a choice between “cool” and “practical,” be practical.
10. Don’t plan any late-night projects during Duke basketball season.