Process for Selecting Web Content

1 If you already have a draft or a previous web page, put it aside. (I know this is difficult, but it is the best way to rethink a web page.)

2 Think about the topic from your site visitors' point of view.

3 List the questions that your site visitors ask about the topic. (It's best if you actually know what questions they ask. Use all the sources in Chapter 2 to find out about what your users want to know.)

4 Decide which question your site visitors would ask first - and which they would ask next - and next after that - until you have all the questions in an order that is logical to your site visitors.

5 If you have a draft or previous web page, use it as source material to answer the questions you have written down. (It's okay to cut and paste as long as you edit what you paste so that it's a good answer to the question.)

If you do not have a draft or previous web page, write answers to the questions in your list. Just answer the question. Don't add fluff.

6 If you are working from a draft or previous web page, look over what is left that hasn't yet gone under a question in your list. Do your site visitors care about any of what is left? Is any of it critical for your site visitors to know? If it is critical, write a question that your site visitors might ask so that you can give them the answer.

7 If you have questions in your list for which you do not have an answer, find the person who can answer the question and include the answer on your web page.

8 Read your new draft. Does it flow logically?

9 Discard what you have not used. If your site visitors neither need nor care about the information, why include it on the web page? This may be the most difficult step to take, but remember that the web is about what people want and need to know, not about saying everything there is to say on a topic.

Case Study 6-1 shows how we might apply this process to create a web page inviting people to participate in an art contest.

Case Study 6-1

Using users' questions to plan a web page

Think like a site visitor: If you saw a link about entering an art contest, what would you expect to find on the page the link takes you to?

International Aviation Art Contest

"Create an Air Show Poster" is the theme of this year's contest for children ages 6 to 17. Enter now.

Think about the conversations site visitors would want to start about this topic.

Thinking of people's questions is a great way to analyze web content even if you do not end up using the question-and-answer format in writing your web pages.

Continuing in this mode, you might end up with these questions, in this order:

• Who can enter? • What types of art are acceptable?

• What is the deadline? • What will the judges look for?

• What are the prizes? • Where do I send my entry?

The answers would make a good web page about the contest. It might look like this:

International Aviation Art Contest This year's theme: Create An Air Show Poster Who can enter?

All children from age 6 to age 17 may participate The child's age on December 31. 2001 is what counts

What is the deadline?

Entries must be postmarked by January 10, 2005

What prizes are there?

Entries will be divided into three age groups: 6 to 9 years. 10 to 13 years; 14 to 17 years. The contest; starts or. the state level

State prizes

Winners and runners up in each state get a certificate and recognition from their state The top three entries in each age group from each state go on to the national competition

National prizes

Judges will pick a national winner and two runners up in each age group. They all get certificates, ribbons, and a iramed photograph of their artwork - and their worfc will be sent on to the international competition. The first place national winners also get a professional work of art from the American Society of Aviation Artists.

International prizes

Winners in the international competition get certificates and gold silver, or bronze medals.

What types of poster are acceptable?

• Size should be 11 inches by 17 inches

• by 11 Is not acceptable because of International rules.

■ All artwork must be hand made by the chl id

Acceptable media wabercotor acrylic or oil paints indelible markers colored pencils felt tip pens soft boll-poi nt pens indelible ink

Crayola or similar Indelible media

NOT acceptable media pencil charcoal other non-permanent media computer generated work collage workinvolvf ngthe use of photocopies

What will the judges look for?

The judges will look for creative use of the theme in relation to aviation.

Who must certify that the child made the poster?

A parent, guardian, or art teacher must certify that the enure artwork is the original work of the child.

Make sure the certificate is fastened to the poster with tape or glue Also, please print the name of the artist on the back of the poster and please print legibly

Where do we send the poster?

Get the Entry Form for the 2005 International Aviation Art Contest

When it is ready, send the poster with the appropriate paperwork to your state's sponsor office.

My version; adapted from the facts of the actual art contest

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