Creating mobile websites procedure

Procedure

Intent

This procedure provides processes for managing mobile websites and applications. It details the planning, creating, maintaining, evaluating, deleting and archiving of these. It establishes standards of quality and consistency in mobile web design with an emphasis on user needs and task completion.

Scope

This procedure applies to all staff members who plan projects for the RMIT web presence or contribute content, design components and coding to the RMIT web presence.

Exclusions

This procedure does not apply to:

  • courseware, including scholarly work, student work and learning and teaching materials
  • websites that have no relationship to RMIT (for example, personal or private sites)
  • social networking sites set up on Google Apps for the purpose of internal project management and collaboration
  • web authoring tools not provided or supported by the university.

Procedure steps and actions:

Procedure (including key points)

Responsibility

Timeline

  • Business Owner
  • Technical Owner
  • Web Editor
  • Web Manager
  • Digital and Customer Experience Strategy

Ongoing

Refer to the relevant section below, depending on whether you are creating, maintaining or evaluating either a:

  • Mobile website or
  • Mobile application

Mobile websites

Mobile websites are mobile-optimised websites that work in partnership with full websites. They form part of the Main web presence, as defined in the Information Architecture Instruction. They are considered “Primary” in terms of audience scale and impact.


Project Manager

Web Manager


Ongoing

Planning

Before commencing the creation process:

A. Review

i. User needs

  • Review the user requirements captured in your approved New Website Proposal.
  • Review existing user research materials, such as personas and the mental model.
  • If more target audience information is required, use the User Research Instruction to extend knowledge.

ii. Benchmarks and other useful data

  • Review competitor best practices using the Web Benchmarking Instruction.
  • If the project involves replacing an existing website, ask the Web Manager for recent evaluation materials, including those created with reference to the Usability Evaluation Instruction.
B. Plan

i. Create a copy of the User-Centred Design Checklist for use throughout the project. This will be used at review and feedback points (in conjunction with your Web Accessibility Checklist).

ii. Allocate time in the project, especially during the early design phases, for addressing usability issues. See the Usability Testing Instruction for recommended approaches.

iii. For Primary websites or those involving large-scale custom interface design, consider whether specialist usability advice will be required during the project. WSIP can provide:

  • Specialist advice relating to techniques and
  • Recommendations relating to external usability consultant services.
C. Communicate

i. Ensure that the project team, including the Business Owner, is aware of the:

  • User-Centred Design Procedure and the benefits it will bring to website effectiveness.
  • Accessibility standards articulated in the Web Accessibility Policy.

Creating

1. User research

1.1. Consolidate user research with reference to your approved New Website Proposal and any additional research conducted during the planning phase.

1.2. Refer to existing user research, such as personas and mental modeling.

1.3. Document the primary user groups and their key needs.

2. Content

2.1. Refer to the content plan documented in your New Website Proposal.

2.2. Create mobile-specific content that is written with brevity in mind. Refer to the Creating Text Content Procedure and the Creating Content for Mobile Websites Instruction.

2.3. Content should accord with existing Metadata Procedure.

3. Information Architecture

3.1. Information architecture, or site structure, must follow the Information Architecture Instruction.

3.1.1. If variations on the IA are required, refer the Information Architecture Procedure.

4. Design

4.1. Visual and interaction design must follow the GUI Design Instruction.

5. Develop

5.1. Mobile websites must be built on an official web platform, in reference to the Official Web Platform Instruction, unless an exception is agreed by the both the Executive Director ITS and Director Digital and Customer Experience Strategy.

5.2. Mobile websites must validate to HTML and CSS standards. Refer to web development standards (instruction TBA).

5.3. Mobile websites must be tested on mobile devices and browsers. Refer to the Usability Evaluation Instruction.

6. Launch

6.1. Conduct a thorough test immediately after launch, involving all stakeholders.

6.2. Remediate any bugs.

7. Maintaining

From launch and then during the lifespan of a website, the Web Manager should continuously monitor the user experience and identify opportunities for enhancements.

Refer to maintaining steps in the User-Centred Design Procedure.

8. Evaluating

When planning a significant upgrade or redesign of a website, the Web Manager should conduct a thorough evaluation of desired user experience versus actual user experience.

Refer to evaluation steps in the User-Centred Design Procedure.

9. Deleting and archiving

Deletion of mobile websites must follow the Deleting Websites Procedure and Deleting and Archiving Web Content Procedure.


Procedure (including Key Points)

Responsibility

Timeline

Mobile applications

Mobile applications are device-specific solutions that designed to solve very specific user needs. They form part of the Main web presence, as defined in the Information Architecture Instruction and are considered “Primary” in terms of audience scale and impact.


Project Manager

Web Manager


Ongoing

Planning

Refer to planning for mobile websites above.

Creating

Project managers must use the User-Centred Design Checklist throughout this phase and share with Digital and Customer Experience Strategy where indicated.

10. User research

10.1. Consolidate user research with reference to your approved New Website Proposal and any additional research conducted during the planning phase.

10.2. Refer to existing user research, such as personas and mental modelling.

10.3. Document the primary user groups and their key needs. Refer to these throughout the creation phase.

11. Content

11.1. Refer to the content plan documented in your New Website Proposal.

11.2. Create mobile-specific content that is written with brevity in mind. Refer to the Creating Text Content Procedure and Creating Content for Mobile Websites Instruction.

11.3. Content should occur with existing Metadata Procedure.

12. Information Architecture

12.1. Draft the information architecture, or site structure, using the Information Architecture Procedure.

12.2. Draft page wireframes.

12.3. Validate the website structure using the Information Architecture Procedure.

12.4. Share the proposed IA and wireframes with Digital and Customer Experience Strategy for review and feedback using the User-Centred Design Checklist.

13. Design

13.1. Visual and interaction design must follow the framework provided by the GUI Design Instruction. This provides a basic website shell and specifications for common user interface elements (e.g. navigation systems, icons), ensuring that the app maintains some level of consistency and seamlessness with the wider web presence.

    13.1.1. Custom design elements.

    Design custom elements with reference to the GUI Design Instruction, ensuring that consistency is maintained wherever possible.

    13.1.1.1. User testing must be conducted. Refer to the Usability Testing Instruction.
    13.1.1.2. Analyse the testing results.
    13.1.1.3.Iterate the design and content as needed. Proceed to section 13.2 below.

    13.1.2. Vendor-supplied mobile applications.

    Off the shelf mobile apps often have limited design flexibility. Where practical, follow the GUI Design Instruction for the basic website shell, which includes branding elements and primary navigation systems.

    13.1.2.1. User testing must be conducted. Refer to the Usability Testing Instruction.
    13.1.2.2. Analyse the testing results.
    13.1.2.3. Iterate the design and content as needed. Proceed to section 13.2 below.

13.2. Share the proposed design with Digital and Customer Experience Strategy for review and feedback using the User-Centred Design Checklist.

14. Develop

14.1. Mobile apps must validate to HTML and CSS standards. Refer to RMIT web development standards (instruction TBA).

14.2. Mobile websites must be tested on mobile devices and browsers. Refer to the Usability Evaluation Instruction.

14.3. Conduct User Acceptance Testing with stakeholders in a test environment and remediate any bugs.

14.4. Share a pre-launch preview of the website with Digital and Customer Experience Strategy in accordance with the User-Centred Design Checklist.

15. Launch

15.1.Conduct a thorough test immediately after launch, involving all stakeholders.

15.2.Remediate any content or technical errors.

16. Maintaining

From launch and then during the lifespan of a website, the Web Manager should continuously monitor the user experience and identify opportunities for enhancements.

Refer to maintaining steps in the User-Centred Design Procedure.

17. Evaluating

When planning a significant upgrade or redesign of a website, the Web Manager should conduct a thorough evaluation of desired user experience versus actual user experience.

Refer to evaluating steps in the User-Centred Design Procedure.

18. Deleting and archiving

Deletion of mobile websites must follow the Deleting Websites Procedure and Deleting and Archiving Web Content Procedure.

[Next: Supporting documents and information]