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How this site was developed

The development of this site, as always, has been a learning experience for all concerned.

We started in the spring of 2001 with several large-scale surveys and a user-centred design workshop in which the basic information and structure requirements were defined.

The first version was managed by Nigel Claridge, with assistance from, among others, Patrik Burval. This version closely followed the results of the requirements work which actually indicated a far wider scope than we had resources to implement.

User tests took place during the autumn of 2001 and the spring of 2002, during which version two was planned, scoped, designed and tested.

The main concern for version two was that it should look better, should address some key issues more directly (eg, the Management Issues) and maintain the information-rich structure of sections about which we received positive feedback (eg, the resource pages). Cormac O Caoimh developed the visual design elements and implemented the nav structure for the second version, and Nigel Bevan finalised the appearance and content.

A key technology used in this second version is Flash. Although Flash is not yet a mature technology like for instance HTML, it is useful medium for enhancing user experience. One of our concerns is accessibility, and we have attempted to implement the pages in a way which makes them accessible. However, specific suggestions for how we could further improve the site are always welcome. Contribute to the site and join UsabilityNet.

In response to user feedback, we are planning to implement a new version of the site that does not use Flash!

In the mean time the site has been updated to remove linkrot.

Nigel Bevan, January 2006.

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