Monday, June 12, 2006

Common Mistakes Specifiying Fucntional Web Specification

Considering usability skills in functional specifications ...

"Ineffective functional specification for Web projects such as Web sites, Intranets or Portals contribute largely to delays, higher costs or in applications that do not match the expectations.

Independent if the Web site, Intranet or Portal is custom developed or built on packaged software such as Web-, enterprise content management or portal software, the functional specification sets the foundation for project delays and higher costs. To limit delays and unexpected investments during the development process, the following pitfalls should be avoided:

Too vague or incomplete functional specification: This is the most common mistake that companies do. Everything that is ambiguously or not specified at all, developers do not implement or implement in a different way of what site owners want. This relates primarily to Web features that are considered as common user expectations. For example, HTML title tags, which are used to bookmark Web pages. The Web steering committee may specify that each page contains a page title, but does not specify that HTML Title tags needs to be implemented as well.

... Ambiguous functional specification can result due to the lack of internal or external missing usability skills. In this case, a one-day usability best practice workshop transfers the necessary or at least basic usability skills to the Web team. It is recommended, even for companies that have usability skills or rely on the subcontractor's skill set, that an external and neutral consultant reviews the functional specification. Especially, as such reviews relate to marginal spending as compared to the total Web investments (e.g. about $10 K - $15 K dollars for a review)."   continued ...   (Via WebProNews)

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