[Marketing] Website Redesign

Paul Ramsey pramsey at cleverelephant.ca
Fri Dec 12 11:16:54 EST 2008

IMO: it's about content, not look-and-feel. If you let look-and-feel
into the paddock, a lot of time will be spent juggling colors and
visual elements, and not enough juggling topics and words.  Break the
project into two.  Do content first, *then* address putting lipstick
on the pig.


On Fri, Dec 12, 2008 at 7:07 AM, Frank Warmerdam <warmerdam at pobox.com> wrote:
> 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
> reference.
> 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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