Thursday, May 24, 2012

Creating a Website

Essential points for creating a good website (The website of your dream)

Site Prototyping and Revision

A critical aspect of planning and producing a Website is creating a prototype (functioning model) of your site. Prototypes are the basis by which you create, test, and evaluate your site before it is complete – thus saving the time and money of rebuilding a finished site from scratch if and when things go wrong.
If you aren’t creating a site from scratch, but rather looking to revise an existing site, then the Site Revision is the thing to do.

Why create a Prototype?
Creating a site prototype allows you to visualize what the final product will look like, before it is a full-fledged site. This preview can be very useful, especially if you realize halfway through the process that you need to redesign key components of the site! Creating a prototype is a way of controlling the cost in both time and money, thus allowing you to be more flexible and creative in the design process.
Creating a prototype is even more critical in the case of multimedia Web sites. Creating multimedia is quite a labor-intensive process. The prototype allows the Web author to think concepts through and to revise designs and techniques before investing valuable time in the actual production of animation, audio, video, and other costly operations.
Before you design creating a prototype of your site, you’d better have a clear picture of your site’s content and structure. This preliminary visualization is an entire process in itself. The first part of this chapter provides some tips that will help you conceive and organize your site’s content prior to creating your prototype.

Brainstorming is the act of creating spontaneously and rapidly, with as little preconceived thought of hesitation as possible. This is the first and most important step in the creation of your prototype, because it is here where the ideas that you will turn into the prototype, and eventually the actual Web site, are formed.
How do I do it?
First, you must let yourself be creative, Let yourself play, even if the project you’re working on is serious, and don’t worry about the outcome (for now). Take a walk and let the walk show what you want to create. Jump up and down. Sing drum, pound, yell- let it out!
Methods for brainstorming
Even though this may seem rather chaotic, there is a method to this madness. Brainstorming can be invoked by different techniques. The following are a few basic suggestions for letting yourself brainstorm if you’re felling stuck, of rind it difficult to just let loose:
Write stuff down and don’t worry about it. Writing is one of the best methods of brainstorming available, especially when you used the writing process to unleash your ideas.
Sketch your ideas. Like writing, drawing can be good way to document your ideas, on paper or on screen.
Find a physical expression of what you’re thinking. Do whatever allows you to express what’s in your head. Take a walk. Dance around your office. Wear funny hats. Whatever works, just do it.
Software outlining tools can also be very useful in the brainstorming process. One such tool is Inspiration Software’s “Inspiration” a software-based outlining tool designed specially with brainstorming in mind.

Creating a structured list
This is where things get tricky. Although there are techniques that may help you in the process of creating a structured list (some of which are discussed below), there isn’t one “best way” to create such a list. As you read the suggestions below, keep in mind that the best way to find out what works for you is to experiment.

Find the primary idea
The primary idea is the underlying concept that creates the center of the site you are going to design. When looking over your brainstorm list, you may find an idea or phrase that jumps out at you. If it seems like this idea is the primary idea that the other ideas center around, you’re probably right.

Determine Your Sub-ideas
Once you determine the primary idea of your site, you may want to break down your list into subideas. Sub ideas are the motifs that run throughout your site, and from the “glue” that hold the site together.
For e.g. some of the sub ideas I wanted to express on my first site included:
1)      Playfulness
2)      Accessibility
3)      Creativity
4)      Self-development
5)      Guidance
6)      Education
Group your sub ideas
The next step is to group your sub ideas (and primary ideas, if there more than once concept deriving your site).

Creating a Rough Model
After you’ve grouped your ideas, you need to organize them to create a rough model of your prototype. Outlines, storyboards, and flowcharts are useful ways to organize your prototype’s structure.
Outlines – An outline is a text, broken down into topical section and sub-sections. Outlines provide a simple way to organize the structure of a work to be created, whether that work is a novel or a Web site. Most word processing packages include an outliner, although you can use pen and paper to achieve a similar result.
Storyboard – If you are working on a site that relies heavily on graphics and/or video, storyboards are the best way to go. Storyboards are based on rough sketches of what the final site will look like, allowing greater flexibility while providing a common reference for collaborators on the site.
Flowcharts – If you are using networked languages (such As Java or JavaScript) as part of your web site, you may want to consider using flowcharts. Flowcharts are diagrams that illustrate the element and step-by-step progression of a process. That process could be the workings of a software application or the functional relationships between a series of Web pages.


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