student at ABC
21 June 2004 15:11pm
Dear experts of e-business,
I am currently operating a private web service to friends and would like to expand into e-business. What are some of the main issues I need to take into account? Please advice. An eager-to-start e-business dummie.
Partner at Philip Atherton
21 June 2004 20:02pm
In my humble opinion and through some hard experience, don't be too eager to build, but more keen to define the goals and functions your visitors will want. Then compare this to your business goals. (What you're looking for are mismatches, and the strongest customer routes balanced against business objectives.
Use the basic preparatory disciplines like paper prototyping that allow you to play around with different aspects and priotize. Some simple user testing - not friends - will also give you playback, might also be useful.
Keep a content catalogue on everything and every possibility! Even ideas that didn't make it to the finished site. This is part of your blueprint discipline instilled in me many years ago as a planner. It works on the simple principle that an unworkable idea now may have an application some time in the future. (Also, it tells others what you have considered.)
Hope this helps. A really useful quick reference chart is Jesse James Garrett's 'Elements of the User Experience'. I've seen it in so many offices, so it must be helpful to someone! Also, don't be misled by the title. For instance, 'site objectives' involves business goals and requirements.
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