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Planning Successful Products

Presented with Heather O'Neill

With all the courses available online, it’s easy to access the technical tools needed to build a website. However, the actual process of how to go about it is less clear: what goes on the website, who it’s for, and how it should be organized are just a few of the questions that need to be answered before coding can begin.

In this 2-day training, Jen Kramer and Heather O’Neill explain how to plan and design a website—from choosing a target audience and defining site goals to designing a page architecture and establishing a tone of voice. By the end of the course, you’ll be able to plan and design a website or application so that when you’re ready to code, you know what you are building.

This course is not a coding course; it focuses on the other aspects of web creation.

Day 1 overview

On Day 1, we create the foundation for our plan. We review important information about our business, then see how it relates it to the website or app we are building and the people we need to reach. Key areas of focus include:

  • Business overview and goals
  • Website or app project plan
  • Ethnographic studies
  • Market research
  • Persona development and creation
  • Branding and tone of voice

Day 2 overview

On Day 2, we use our basic plan to determine the impact on the design of our app or website. We define the bare bones of the site, using user testing to confirm the direction we choose. We prioritize the next steps, and we finalize our plan for moving forward. Key areas of focus include:

  • Information architecture and card sorting
  • User flows
  • Scenarios
  • Usability testing
  • Analysis and prioritization

Outcomes

  • Understand how organizational goals, user goals, and goals for the website or app are different, including how they potentially conflict and how they reinforce and build on each other
  • Identify relevant personas to help drive development features, functionality, and architecture
  • Recognize the appropriate brand and tone of voice for the app or website and learn how to implement them
  • Develop appropriate information architecture and user flows
  • Create scenarios to test user flows and information architecture
  • Test scenarios through usability testing
  • Perform analysis of prioritization of results and develop next steps