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Phase 1 Summary

The kick-off meeting signifies the end of the first phase of our Core Process. Your project has been organized, approved, scheduled, budgeted, staffed, and kicked-off. Defining the scope of a redesign project, as we have shown in this chapter, involves a great deal of legwork and a huge amount of planning. After reading through this, the longest chapter in this book, you may be questioning the effort. Why spend the time? Why poll the client so extensively? Why not simply take the information the client provides to the team and work with that?

Data. The more data you have at the outset, the better you will set the stage for your redesign project. The Client Survey alone contains more than 30 questions. The Expanded Tech Check worksheet, the Maintenance Survey, and all the tools presented in this chapter are designed to help you gather the information you need for your redesign project.

A project that is clearly defined establishes several points of reference, including the tone and the overall goals for the redesign. By making these known to all team members as well as to the client, you have ensured that everyone is working with the same assumptions and terminology; everyone sees the same finish line. Also high in importance, you have defined your target audience(s) and their needs. You know all about their online habits and their technical capabilities. At each step in every phase that follows — Structure, Design, Build, Launch — the entire team must work at redesigning for the end user. But if you don't understand your audience… Enough said. Only after defining the project can you begin hands-on site development.

Structuring the site, the second phase of the Core Process, begins right on the heels of the kick-off meeting. Armed with defined goals and specified direction, you will begin to design the site's information and address site content.

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