Steps in creating or redesigning a site

The timelines for each step depends on the scope of the project, the ability of the client to create content quickly and how many other projects are in progress. During the project, Web Communications will estimate a timeline for each of these steps.

If Web Communications is redesigning the site or creating a new site, there are several steps necessary to complete the project. Here is what you can expect:

Initial meeting to determine

  • Audience(s)
  • Goals of site
  • Initial content discussion (old content/new content)
  • Tone of images
  • Sites liked by site owner
  • Usability testing required
  • Process of adding content to template
  • Software used
  • Long term maintenance
  • Next Steps

The content is the most important topic to explore; the Web site is designed around content needs. If your office needs help determining the content and how to structure it, we can set a separate meeting.

Creation of a content outline

An outline of the content topics and the visual structure is the most important tool in creating a usable site in an efficient amount of time. For example, we will need to know the main category of links and subpages under each of those categories. If your subpages are further divided into categories, it’s important to provide a third or even fourth level of links. We have samples of outlines for simple and complex site to provide guidance.

Before the graphic design begins, the outline of the site must be developed to give us an idea of the depth of navigation and organization of links. Part of this process is determining the keyword to use to help the site be findable via search engines, including UNC’s search tool.

Design options discussion

After looking at the content and the initial meeting results, the graphic designer will propose the basics of the design, including the navigation structure. Template options will be decided upon.

Creation of site

The Web Communications staff will build the template for the site from option you have chosen. Depending on the decisions in step 1, we will either turn the template over to you to add the content or the Web Communications staff will add all of the content.

User testing

If required, user testing can either be before or after the content is added to the site. We will assist in developing questions and conducting the testing. You are responsible for finding the users and providing the incentive, if any.

Presentation of completed site

When we are adding content, the HTML pages will be published on a test server for your review and corrections.

Access to Web server

We will help you fill out the forms to get access to the Web server, if required and create any new Web directories.

Publish site

Old files will be archived and deleted and new files published. The UNC index will be updated if necessary.

Ensure long-term maintenance

If needed, we will help you set up a process to make sure information is updated as needed.