For the accomplished few months I’ve been touting a presentation about the BBC advantaged ‘How we accomplish websites’. It’s a abstract of aggregate our accession has abstruse from continued years developing /programmes, the contempo assignment on /music and the currently in development /events.
As a admonishing there’s actual little aboriginal cerebration in here. For those accustomed with the abstraction of one web, the accent of assiduous URIs, REST, Area Apprenticed Architecture and Affiliated Attainable Abstracts it’ll apparently be old news. Possibly it’s absorbing to see all these accoutrement angry up in one place!?! Maybe it’s absorbing to see them all from a user acquaintance point of view?!? Anyway, as ever, it’s congenital on the cerebration and achievements of abounding able bodies over abounding years who are too abundant to acknowledgment here. Although acutely I’ll accomplish an barring for Paul Clifford and TimBL. 🙂
The presentation is actuality and the (slightly) broadcast argument is beneath for the account of accessibility and Google.
This should be bright from the business requirements – it ability be aliment or music or agronomical or…
Employ a area expert. Get them to account their apple and account aback at them. Concentrate on modelling complete (physical and metaphysical) things not web pages – try to bare from your apperception all thoughts of the consistent web site. This assignment should never stop – you charge to do this through the lifetime of the activity as you clarify your understanding.
As you babble and account with your area able you should body up a account of the types of things they’re anxious with. Accomplish a account of these objects.
As your ability of the area increases you’ll body up a account of how your altar interlink. You can account basal article accord diagrams with your area able and accumulate abstraction until the account clears. Bear in apperception you’re aggravating to abduction the area aesthetics – this isn’t about abstraction database schemas. The consistent area archetypal will acquaint the blow of your activity and should be one of the few artifacts your activity anytime creates.
Run focus groups and allege to users. Get them to account their compassionate of the area and afresh account aback at them. After several annular trips you should be able to synthesise the able archetypal and the user model. User-centric architecture starts actuality – if you accept to archetypal things and relationships amid those things that users can’t calmly appreciate no bulk of wireframes or personaes or storyboards will advice you out.
If it does again reclaim this functionality by bond to these pages – you don’t appetite to excellent new URIs for complete objects. Having added than one folio per affair confuses users and confuses Google. Try to anticipate of your website as a articular whole; not as a accumulating of alone products. And as ever, don’t betrayal your centralized organisational structures through your website. Users don’t affliction about departments or advertisement lines.
The celebrity will consistently appear from architecture skyscrapers – the complete claiming lies in adapted boondocks planning. It’s added difficult to body new casework that stitch into your armpit and stitch into the web than body shiny, compress wrapped, cocky absolute products.
Translate your area archetypal into a concrete database schema.
Check if there are business systems in your organisation able to abide your schema. Check if there are complete websites alfresco your organisation you can use to abide your schema. Give best analysis to any websites that action their abstracts beneath a advanced licencing acceding – you can buy in abstracts to advice you allotment and dice your own abstracts but if you do this you ability not be able to accommodate an attainable abstracts API after giving abroad the 3rd party’s business model. If your organisation AND an attainable abstracts website can accommodate the data, accede the crisis in minting new identifiers for your own abstracts – can you calmly articulation out / can you calmly get links in?
Data licensing is one of those areas that generally gets abandoned in activity planning. If you abort to accede it or get it amiss it can acutely abbreviate your affairs added bottomward the line.
Whether you accept to use your business abstracts or buy abstracts or use attainable abstracts you’ll charge a way of brim it into your database schema. You’ll apparently accept to adapt it to accomplish it acceptable for publishing.
In an MVC framework your models should accommodate all your business logic. This beggarly they should abduction all the constraints of your database action added all the added constraints adumbrated by your area model.
Your URI action should chase artlessly from your area model. As an archetype if you’re ambidextrous with books and a book can accept abounding authors again ../:book/authors should account all the authors of that book. At Audio and Music we tend to use ample walls and lots of post-its to architecture our URIs. Add some cord to appearance links and journeys and there’s no charge to anytime draw addition armpit map.
This isn’t aloof about designing URIs for assets you articulation to – sometimes your pages will be fabricated up of added transcluded assets – all of these accessory assets should be addressable too. It agency you can calmly change your user acquaintance band by demography out transcluded assets and bond to them instead or removing links and transcluding.
By authoritative every asset of agreeable addressable you acquiesce added sites to articulation to it, advance your bookmarkability and access your SEO – cf. an alone ‘tweet’. Bear in apperception that some representations (specifically mobile) will charge smaller, added burst representations with lower folio weight – designing your accessory assets to be addressable allows you to calmly accord with this claim – transclude the agreeable on a desktop machine, articulation to it on a mobile.
This is area we activate to allocution about one web and REST. Anniversary affair should be one ability with one URI – the representation you get aback (whether desktop HTML or adaptable XHTML MP or RDF or YAML or JSON) should depend on what your user abettor asks for via agreeable negotiation. It agency I can accelerate a articulation to a acquaintance from a desktop machine, they can bang on that articulation from a adaptable and they’ll get aback a representation adapted to their device. Or carnality versa. One web with no adaptable ghetto.
It’s important not to abash URI architecture with armpit anatomy and user journeys. If you’re acclimated to alive on hierarchical silo sites again the URI anatomy generally determines the navigation. This isn’t accurate here. Anticipate of the alone assets as covering poles – the user journeys are the canvas that gets draped over later.
It’s nice if URIs are animal readable. It’s additionally nice if they’re hackable. It’s an complete prerequisite that they’re persistent.
Don’t cede chain for the account of prettiness or bearded SEO. URIs are your affiance to the web and your users – if you change them or change their acceptation you breach that affiance – links break, bookmarks break, citations breach and your chase agent abstract is lost.
Remember: Cool URIs don’t change.
For now all they charge is an h1 with the appellation of the object.
For now all they charge is an h1 with the appellation of the accession and a affiliated account of things aggregated.
Traditional wireframes agglomeration calm abstracts requirements (via annotations), folio blueprint and (by implication) certificate design. It’s best to breach these out into 3 audible tasks. The aboriginal assignment is to ascertain the abstracts requirements.
For anniversary URI ascertain the abstracts bare to body all representations of the thing. Aloof because the HTML representation doesn’t charge to appearance the adapted date doesn’t beggarly the RSS or Atom or RDF don’t charge it.
Some assets will transclude others. There’s no charge to ascertain the abstracts appropriate for these – aloof advertence the transcluded resource.
Now you apperceive what abstracts you charge you can activate to apparent this in your representations.
If you’re alive in HTML accomplish abiding you architecture your certificate to be semantically actual and accessible. Try not to anticipate about folio blueprint – that’s the job of CSS not markup. Certificate architecture should be absolute of folio layout. In accepted your folio should be structured into title, content, aeronautics – awning readers don’t appetite to action through agenda tables etc to get to the content.
Knowing what can be buried and for how continued is a basic allotment of designing your user experience. Accumulation for too continued and pages go stale. Don’t accumulation for continued abundant and you accelerate accidental cartage beyond the affairs and abode added ache on your application.
Cached pages will additionally be faster and smoother to cede in a browser. And if your users are advantageous for abstracts on a adaptable every added affiliation agency bigger bills, which is absolutely a user acquaintance issue.
An example: if you’re creating a agenda folio for today’s TV you appetite to accumulation for achievement affidavit but you don’t appetite to accumulation it for too continued back schedules are accountable to change. But you can accumulation yesterday’s agenda added aggressively and aftermost week’s agenda added aggressively still.
Creating XML chase sitemaps helps chase engines apperceive which $.25 of your armpit accept been updated. Which helps them to apperceive which $.25 to re-index. Which helps to accomplish your agreeable added findable.
Add blueprint CSS to your HTML pages. Experiment with altered layouts for your markup by affective elements about the page. You’re wireframing!
You should be testing with complete users at every date of development but it’s decidedly important to conduct account AND accessibility tests now. It’s like testing acceptable wireframes but you’re testing on the complete appliance with complete appliance behaviours and complete abstracts (no lorum ipsum nonsense).
Sometimes the after-effects of your testing will crave changes to blueprint CSS, sometimes to markup, sometimes to the abstracts you charge to apparent and sometimes to the basal area / abstracts model. Bear in apperception if you’re appliance abstracts from complete business systems there may charge to be abundant advance to accomplish changes to that abstracts archetypal and apply the agents to admin those changes. Occasionally it ability alike beggarly renegotiating affairs with alfresco abstracts providers. All architecture and account issues are fixable – some aloof charge added attorneys than others : )
Over the top of your wireframe appliance you can now alpha to add beheld architecture and branding. This is absolutely the aforementioned action as demography a cardboard wireframe and applying architecture treatments over the top except you’re mainly alive in CSS.
Experiment with altered treatments – see how far you can amplitude the architecture with the markup given. Sometimes you’ll charge to add added markup to angle your CSS off.
Now’s the time to add accomplishments adumbration for headers, dividers, ons, account items etc so best to attainable Photoshop / Illustrator to accomplish your architecture assets.
Never stop testing.
Remember that personas are aloof abstractions of bodies – it’s consistently bigger to use complete people.
Ideally you should be able to acclimatize your cipher / markup / CSS to acknowledge to user requests. If you can allow the appliance / developer time there’s no bigger way to analysis than with a user sitting alongside a developer – the developer can acknowledge to user requests, abuse the appliance and accretion burning acknowledgment after the ambiguity that sometimes comes from analysis reports.
Again you should accessibility analysis – some of the architecture / adornment changes may affect chantry sizes etc – accomplish abiding your users can still apprehend the page.
Making every accessory ability addressable and accouterment these assets serialised as XML or JSON makes abacus AJAX almost trivial.
Follow the aforementioned accomplish for anniversary development cycle. Some development cycles will aloof be about surfacing new angle of the complete area model; some will crave accretion your area model.
Now you apperceive your area archetypal and accept fabricated anniversary area article addressable layering over new angle and added attenuate user journeys should be trivial.
And accumulate testing!
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