3.1 What and (who) is the site for and what is it about?
What is the Web site for?
The first step in the planning process is answering some basic questions about the use and value of the Web site you are about to build. These do not form part of a bureaucratic process (for clearance and/or review) but are intended to help you build a better site.
Firstly, outline why the new Web site will be useful by answering questions such as:
Keep a record of your findings, notes and minutes of brainstorming meetings.
If a site already exists and a redesign is proposed, what reasons are there to re-design the site? Reasons might be to:
Thus, basic questions to consider could be:
Whom is the site for?
At the planning stage, it is important to collect some specific information about the users for which the Web site is being designed. Identifying a target audience (actual or potential) includes drawing up a list of probable personal characteristics. Ad-hoc user research may be carried out - or it may be a matter of pooling what information is already known about the target group(s). For more information see 3.4 Define your audience.
What is the site about? (Subject scope)
While planning design work on a Web site, whether new or a redesign, define the subject area of the Web site. This is worth documenting formally at the beginning, in order to review during the site development process to ensure that the site design work stays focused.
To define the subject scope of the Web site:
1. write a description (a sentence or two) and a list of concepts/topics that best describe all aspects of the subject that the Web site will cover. This list will also be the vocabulary for the Web site. For example, for the International Portal on Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health, the topics are a list of commodities, issues (such as additives, certification, disease, labelling, pesticide, risk analysis, etc.), countries and document types (standards, regulations, scientific evaluations, notifications, etc);
3. check the site vocabulary against formal vocabularies: AGROVOC is an FAO standard thesaurus in multiple languages. Use the standard terms and concepts whenever these match ones identified in your Web site;
4. develop a specific list of concepts when the existing vocabularies are insufficient for the Web site; and
5. for a Web site redesign:
See also in the guide