[Marketing] Website Redesign

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at pobox.com
Fri Dec 12 10:07:12 EST 2008

Dear Marketing Folks,

Your budget includes $20000 for:

Following from Phase 2 above, redesign concepts for the website will be 
implemented. Including refocus of target groups and content, as well as look 
and feel

As a contributor to the website I'm concerned about how this is going to work.
How do you intend to turn a consultants design into something that is
merged into what exists, and the ideas that existing contributors have about
how things should work?

I'm concerned that we will end up either:

1) Giving the consultant free reign and the web site is radically altered
resulting in the loss of some existing valuable elements, and more importantly
the alienation of existing contributors who will presumably be left holding
the bag after the consultant is gone again.

- or -

2) Negotiation and reaching consensus with the existing web site contributors
(as well as dealing with the limitations of Drupal) will result in relatively
little being accomplished out of the consultants recommendations resulting in
most of the money/effort being wasted.


My suggestion to moderate the likely problems are to take into account the
following issues when selecting a consultant and giving them terms of

a) Drupal is our portal software and it is unlikely to be changed for the
convenience of the consultant.  We have limited expertise to do exotic things
with it so it is best try and limit proposals to what can be accomplished
with it in a practical fashion.  It would presumably be prudent to have Tyler
and Wolf involved in setting practical parameters.

b) The consultant should be encouraged to prepare material (content), and
appropriate sidebar (and center pane) entry points to serve the discussed
target groups.

c) I think there is substantial room to alter and restructure the
"About the Foundation" and "FAQ" materials.  The results would have to
be vetted of course, but these sections are clearly "on the table"
for improvement.

d) The consultant should not spend too much time dreaming up radical
simplifications that toss things we have already decided to be important
into some seldom seen subpage.

I hope you all understand that there are potentially negative dynamics
that could come into play dropping a short term highly (by volunteer
standards) paid consultant into an existing volunteer driven system and
giving them godlike powers to alter, with no long term responsibility
to maintain.

Needless to say, I'm speaking for myself, not the website committee as
a whole.

Best regards,
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at pobox.com
light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
and watch the world go round - Rush    | Geospatial Programmer for Rent

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