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Chapter 3. Developing the Content > Reconciling the content with the goals

Reconciling the content with the goals

After you know what visitors expect from sites similar to your client's and you know what your client's goals are, you're ready to create the site. Your client should provide you with a good deal of the content. In an ideal world, the client submits all images to you in electronic format, optimized and ready to pop into your design. However, it's been our experience that the client is most likely to send you images that you need to scan and optimize, or images in electronic format that you need to resize and optimize for the Web. Your client should also provide text for the site. In the Zen tradition of less is more, make sure that your client doesn't go over the top by providing too much information or by providing information that isn't relevant to site visitors. When reviewing text for the site, think like the site visitor and ask the question, What's in it for me? If some of the information doesn't address a customer question or need, suggest that your client delete it.

In addition to what your client supplies, you're creating content for the site. The content that you create should be based on customer needs and your client's goals. Based on this information, you might need to add or create the following to the site:

  • A secure server and an online shopping cart are necessities if your client wants to sell merchandise from the site.

  • Create an online catalog if your client wants to inform visitors about his goods and services.

  • Include an e‐mail newsletter if one of your client's goals is to keep customers informed.

  • A blog (a Web log) is an easy way for your client to maintain ongoing communication with site visitors.

  • The Web site needs forms and databases if the client wants to collect contact information from people visiting the site.

  • Use cookies if customers want to personalize their experience while visiting the site. Cookies are software that is downloaded to the user's computer. When the visitor next visits the site, the information from the cookie is recognized by the HTML code.

  • Use templates in your layout of sections of the site your client wants to frequently update. Templates save time and trouble. Creating templates enables you to delegate the work to a less‐experienced designer. If the client wants his staff to update the site, templates are imperative. Templates prevent inexperienced editors from corrupting navigation menus and so on. When you create templates, lock out the areas you don't want the client or other designers to modify.

  • If the client's staff is going to update the site, design your site so that it can be edited with Adobe Contribute and include the price of the application as part of your Web design fee. Also, make sure to include training sessions in your contract. Cover additional training and consultation in a separate contract or separate clause of your Web design contract.


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