adaptive path » the nine pillars of successful web teams

adaptive path » the nine pillars of successful web teams

this model of what is required in building successful web teams really sings true in my experience…. i have amended some of the text and diagram to bring it closer to the naming conventions I use when talking about experience and Interaction design (the bits i have added are in italic)  See the link above for the original text from jesse james  garrett .

The Pillars

The Pillars range from strategic competencies needed to develop broad-ranging, long-term approaches to tactical competencies needed to address the immediate, practical details of execution.


1. User Research: User-centered design means understanding what your users need, how they think, and how they behave — and incorporating that understanding into every aspect of your process. User research provides the raw observations that fuel this insight into the people your site must serve. The basic output of user research should be a series of prioritized user tasks that are founded on real user needs. These tasks form the foundation for later user testing and evaluation of the success of the Project. 

2. Site Strategy: Defining your own goals for the site can be surprisingly tricky. Arriving at a common understanding of the site’s purpose for your organization, how you’ll prioritize the site’s various goals, and the means by which you’ll measure the site’s success are all matters of site strategy. The basic output of the Site Strategy should be a prioritized set of business requirements that inform the design drivers for the project.

3. Technology Strategy: Web sites are technologically complex, and getting more intricate all the time. Identifying the technology strategy for the site — platforms, standards, technologies, and how they can all interoperate — is essential to avoiding costly mistakes.

4. Content Strategy: Content is often the reason users come to your site. But what content can you offer to meet your users’ expectations? Where and how will the content be sourced, what is meta data is available . How much content is appropriate, and what form should it take? What style or tone should it have? Before you can produce that content, you need to answer fundamental content strategy questions such as these. Content often falls into two categories – Site Furniture and Dynamic Content. Its important to have a content strategy and management tools for both types of content.

5. User Experience Design: User Interface Design, Information architecture and interaction design translate strategic objectives into a conceptual framework for the final user experience. These emerging disciplines addressing abstract design are increasingly recognized for their value in the Web development process. This activity is focused on understanding how to satisfying the User and Business Requirements, and weave these individual requirements into a well connected and flowing user experience. The output of this activity should be focused on communicating a clear end user vision for the project.  

6. Technology Implementation: Building technical systems involves a lot of hard work and specialized knowledge: languages and protocols, coding and debugging, testing and refactoring. The more complex your site, the more important a competency in technology implementation becomes.

7. Content Production: Knowing what content you need isn’t enough. You also need to know how you’ll produce it. Gathering raw information, writing and editing, and defining editorial workflows and approvals are all part of content production.

8. User Interface and Interaction Design: Before the user experience design can become a fully realized, you must determine the specific details of interfaces, navigation, information design, and visual design. This realm is essential to creating the final product.

9. Project Management: The hub that binds all the tactical competencies together as well as the engine that drives the project forward to completion, project management requires a highly specialized set of skills all its own. Neglecting this area often results in missed deadlines and cost overruns.

About Jason Furnell

design thinker . experience designer . lo-fi sketcher . workshop facilitator . visual thinker . diagrammer . agile believer . multidisciplinary collaborator . build sequencer . incrementing and iterating . architecting information . presenting and pitching . master of design (its a degree, not a self assigned title) . dyslexic . misspell-er of many many many things....
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