My upcoming workshop on quality websites

Not all the resources I’ll be taking along to share at the workshop I’m leading at the Engage your community conference on Friday 13 November are actually finished.

My copy of a “Website owner’s manual: the secret to successful websites” by Paul Boag is available online as an unedited draft. It comes as an e-book from Manning Publications who specialise in a book publication process which engages a book’s audience in the creation process.

Through the early access program new chapters are made available as they are being written. I can interact with the author to ask questions and provide feedback which will actually feed into the final manuscript. Once finished I will receive the completed book in electronic format (with hardcopy also available). Somewhat ignominiously I printed out the 280 page ebook (on OfficeMax 100% post consumer recycled) as I was struggling to read it on screen.

Many of the topics I’m covering in my workshop are touched on the book by Boag, an experienced web designer, consultant and podcaster. Those that are particularly pertinent include: defining roles, setting objectives, planning and measuring, commissioning websites, working with designers and accessibility.

Rather than trying to teach people how to actually design a website, my workshop is for managers, coordinators and others with responsibility. We’ll take a helicopter view of the whole shebang then focus on a few critical areas in more depth. I’ll also be sharing a simple self-guided health check so participants can assess and improve their  website’s performance.

At the main EYC event conference there’s a presentation on “Putting your users first – ways to improve your website”, which looks to be a great overview of usability. Presenter Natasha Lambard is a founder of the Webstock conferences and was Head of User Experience at Trade Me, so she has lots insights into how you let ‘users’ needs drive development of your website.

I admit I’m biased as I’ve been involved on the organising team, but she’s just one of many top notch presenters on day one. Fundraising, community building, Second Life and communications strategies are some of the other topics being covered.

I look forward to sharing a few battered copies of some of the resources I have if you come to my workshop, along with enthusiasm for high quality websites. See you there.

In big letters: Places are still available to both the full-day EYC conference on Thursday 12 November (register here), and six half day workshops offered on Friday 13 November. The event is being in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand.