Web Sites & Intranets

Whether your web site resides on an Intranet or the World Wide Web, our planning, design, writing and programming services can help your library implement a web site, or make-over an existing one. We have implemented 1500 page and 10 page sites using the same successful step-by-step approach to produce dynamic, content-rich and visually interesting sites.

Defining the Web Site Project

There are so many variables in a web site project that a “one-size fits all” approach is impossible. At Chris Olson & Associates we tailor our web site services to your specific needs. Regardless of whether your project is a make-over of an existing site or a new venture, we identify your objectives and customers requirements before we draft the site’s functionality.

Information Architecture and Site Plans

We begin with an evaluation of the current and anticipated content, data sources including news feeds and active server pages, and the display and security implications of PDF, e-book and PDA output. Our team works closely with you as the organizational scheme and hierarchical methodology for the site is developed. Menu systems and browsing paths are identified. And from all these and other pieces, we develop a detailed blueprint and wiring diagram used by our designers and programmers to construct a mock-up for testing and evaluation.

Design, Page Templates and Writing

A successful web site employs graphic design elements to visually convey information. Our experienced designers understand how to exploit graphic elements to achieve desired results. Color, typography, design elements, and page layout are augmented with graphics, banners, icons, buttons, animations, and splash screens. As in all our communications work, we do not allow the graphics to obstruct messages. Our designs are as simple or complex as required.

We rely on our unique understanding of information services to compose original copy for web pages, or edit existing copy for web site reading. Our vocabulary is targeted towards intended site visitors and we effectively exploit the multidimensional structure the web offers to create a dynamic, yet easily browsed site.

Usability Testing and Evaluation

We urge our clients to schedule a series of customer feedback activities and user tests into the overall project plan. It is our experience that members of the targeted user group are the best resources to tap for uncovering jargon, misleading menu labels, cumbersome hierarchies, and missing information. Our evaluation and testing activities include paper-based tests and interactive test sessions using live site mock-ups and realistic questions. Our team is experienced in gathering qualitative and quantitative test data, the results of which refine and finalize the overall architecture, vocabulary, and content of the web site.


Site Production, Action Scripts, and Database Links

The programmers, designers and page production teams of Chris Olson & Associates bring the site to life. Our programmers are experts in the Adobe GoLive and MacroMedia Dreamweaver web site building programs, as well as original HTML coding. Interactive menus, response forms, database links, shopping carts, and other script-dependent elements are coded using CGI script, JAVA, Lasso, and Cold Fusion. Animations, self-paced tutorials, movies, sound and other dynamic site features are created using MacroMedia Flash, QuickTime, and ITunes. PDF files, PowerPoint presentations, and other content materials are incorporated into web pages with or without security features. Depending on the site blueprint, the interactivity designed into the site, and the page layout, either tables, frames, or mix of both is used to achieve desired screen displays. We rely on templates to streamline our production and Server Side Includes to speed page downloads. We work on Macintosh and PC platforms, using Netscape and Microsoft browsers to ensure cross-platform performance.

Your Web Site Project

Chris Olson & Associates employs a number of secure development sites hosted on Macintosh and PC servers. We can use these facilities to implement and test your web site under a password-protected configuration, or we can develop the site using your server. If your site resides on an Intranet, we will work with your IT/IS department representative to load the final files onto your server. If you need an Internet Service Provider (ISP) we can recommend several based on your requirements. We also index and submit your site to search engines and offer maintenance plans.

Web Site Rollouts and Launches

Twelve weeks prior to the activation of your web site we will begin to identify the rollout and launch plans. Because Chris Olson & Associates is a marketing firm, you have all the ideas and resources necessary for a successful launch right at your fingertips. We work with you to develop a dynamic mix of activities and messages aimed at generating “opening-day” excitement and sustained interest in your web site.

Web site projects have many options making generic price quotes impossible. To discuss web site options and costs, contact Chris Olson at 410/647-6708, or write to Chris@ChrisOlson.com. Please allow a 4 to 6 week lead time for your project.

Updated 11/19/02