Recap: Web Design Process… More or Less

For our July meeting we were lucky enough to have Colleen Case and Maria Gosur from Schoolcraft College to talk about the Web Design Process.

The talk was about a framework for the web design process, taking 45 hours of teaching time and compressing it to 45 minutes. They discovered 40% of the population is re-tooling skills to the web, while 60% have grew up with the skills and looking for something advanced. Colleen is an interactive teacher, shifting from sage on the stage to guide by the side.

“The medium is the message”
– Marshall McLuhun, 1964

The content of the communications is blended with the medium. With the way it is sent, the interface is content.

Framework for team dynamics

  • Together everyone achieves more
  • It starts with a common vision
  • Creating a swing

Process (stages of development that are happening concurrently)

  1. Define the project
  2. Scope of the project
  3. Information architecture
  4. Build and integrate
  5. Site publishing

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Define the project

  • Figuring out who is on the team and what they do
  • It’s important to define these up front

Scope of the project

  • Common vision, defining an audience, review the data, technical needs
  • Audiences can mean more than one
  • How do we talk to the audience as a human
  • Persona’s should have names and refer to them as actual individuals
  • How can we best deliver your content to your audience
  • The scope of a website doesn’t end when it launches, it stretches for years after.
  • You can’t jump ahead in the process

Information architecture

  • Looking at all the information and start recognizing patterns
  • Sticky notes are a great way to visualize information to recognize patterns
  • Chunking is grouping information
  • Queueing is prioritizing information
  • Filters is creating unique access for multiple users
  • Abstracting is creating a consistant look from page to page to orient the user and allow them to get around
  • Where does the complexity of the site lie? In the back end or frontend for the user?

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Build and integrate

  • File management and naming conventions
  • Optimizing multimedia
  • Populating content
  • Site testing, not just functional but also the ascetics

Site publishing

  • Site Launch
  • Training, Updates, Maintenance
  • Debrief

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Things often overlooked

Your client knows the problem. Design is problem solving.

The project manager talks to the client so there is a single voice and ears for the entire project. One person can have multiple roles.

The content expert might not always be client. Writer/Editor. Usability Testing, Information Architect. Technology Researcher.

Visual designers are the person on the team that everyone’s favorite. Photographer. Illustrator. Multimedia Designer. Bringing the illustrator in early on can yield a lot of illustrations that explain the process to get everyone on the same page. It can expand understanding.

Technical designers look at everything that makes the website possible. Database developer. IT security specialist.

Usability designer. Test/focus group coordinator. Search engine optimization manager. Social media manager. Site analytics. Transition coordinator.

We consume web content as snacks, not meals. We scan, pick and choose what to interact with.

More Information:

July 13th meeting – Web Design Process…More or Less

Most facets of society, work, play, education are reinventing themselves in response to social networking and the growing presence of digital media, visual communication and access to an ever expanding universe of knowledge. As software and hardware platforms change, a solid design process can allow a method for collaborative teams to approach complex learning and development.

Solid design processes can help direct a group, increase project success rates, and inspire the next generation of innovative thinkers who will utilize communicative technologies and visual media to meet the challenges of current times. Maria and Colleen will share their collaborative work creating a design process that can assist the management and workflow of web design.

Colleen Case

As an associate professor in Computer Graphics Technology at Schoolcraft College, Past Education Director of ACM SIGGRAPH, Fulbright Scholar to China, and co-chair of other diverse international workshops and events; Colleen synergizes years of instructional design, graphic design, artistic endeavors and professional business experiences.

Colleen Case is published in the “International Journal of Web Based Communities”, “LEONARDO”,”SIGGRAPH Conference Abstracts and Applications” and “Elsie Vier”. She has done technical review and jurying for Eurographics, ACM SIGGRAPH, Thompson Learning and Scott Jones publishers.

Colleen has both business and educational experience in the fields of Computer Science and Computer Graphics. She established and tested a web design process for the classroom that evolved during a sabbatical into a workbook and is being further developed for publication.

Maria Gosur

Maria Gosur carries experience in diverse areas of design, business, and education. As an independent web and graphic designer of I Can Create That, for over six years Maria has been providing her creative services to many organizations, school systems, and design groups. Her various project experiences led her currently to a full-time Web/Application Developer position at Schoolcraft College where she also teaches Computer Graphics Technology courses part-time. Maria has also taught Digital Media Design courses at Baker College of Auburn Hills and has shared her expertise with volunteer groups and advisory committees.

For more details and to pre-register for this free meeting visit:

Register for Event


July 13th at 7:00 pm


Quicken Loans [MAP]


Free! You must pre-register by the morning of July 12, 2011
Sign-up now, even if you’re unsure. If you’re bringing a friend have them sign-up today also.

We look forward to seeing you there!

June 2011 Events in Metro Detroit Area

Since I’m involved with many web, social media and usability groups in the area, I often get asked about upcoming events. I’ve made a habit of announcing events at our Refresh Detroit meetings. We don’t have a calendar in our area that tracks all events (yes, Nick I’m giving serious thought to creating one.

I created a list of June events that you may want to attend. It’s a mix of the areas I’m interested in and many of the events are free. If you know of an event you would like added, please contact me.

June 1, 2011
D-New Tech Meetup
Detroit, Michigan
June 6, 2011
Mobile Monday Ann Arbor
App Promotion – Great, You Built It, Now What?
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ann Arbor SPARK
June 7, 2011
Joomla! Detroit User Group
Detroit, Michigan
Quicken Loans
June 8, 2011
Social Media Club Detroit
Pleasant Ridge, Michigan
June 10, 2011
Small Business Tools Summit 2011
Northville, Michigan
Hampton Inn
June 13, 2011
Mobile Monday Detroit
Android Software Development
Detroit, Michigan
June 13, 2011
Ann Arbor Adobe User Group
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ann Arbor SPARK
June 14, 2011
Michigan Usability Professionals’ Association
Pioneering the Agile UX Frontier
Ann Arbor, Michigan
June 16, 2011
Happy Hour
Utica, Michigan
Red Ox Tavern
June 22, 2011
Michigan Flex User Group
Mobile Workflow with Adobe Evangelist Ryan Stewart
SRT Solutions
June 30, 2011
Social Media Day Detroit 2011
Detroit, Michigan
MotorCity Casino Hotel’s Sound Board

Deborah Edwards-Onoro is a group leader of Refresh Detroit. She owns Lireo Designs, a web development company, is an officer of the Michigan Usability Professionals’ Association and host of Plymouth Tweetea. You can find her tweeting about web design, user experience, accessibility and higher education @redcrew.