Interview all liferay.com stakeholders about website redesign.
Create affinity diagram to find common issues and brainstorm solutions.
Create plan for improving liferay.com site flow and site metrics.
Propose new site flow and metrics.
Revise and re-propose site flow and metrics.
Answer to random inquisition and fears about site flow and metrics.
Get over our own fears about site flow and metrics.
High fives around the house.
So after a couple hours of giving each other high fives (a couple hours is all the office can sustain, since we do have noise level rules to maintain around here), we each realized: "Oh right. We still have to like, make the redesigned website. Right." But being the clever guy I am, I said to myself, "No wait. Let's blog first." After all, I cannot deny who I am.
All exagerated explanations and untruthful introductory paragraphs aside, our team was ready to move forward with wireframes. But being the clever team we are, we said to ourselves, "Let's make the wireframe a clickable document. No wait, let's also make it editable so people can collab over content. No wait, let's just turn the wireframe into a wireframe website. Totally. Sweet."
So that's what we did in Liferay. It's kind of like when you use google docs with other people to create something that would normally take much longer if you did it separately. You're working on one paragraph, while someone else is fixing punctuation, while someone fixes grammar, while someone else is pasting in pointless animated .gifs of cats... Ok, guilty.
It's like that, but with an entire website instead. Design created a wireframe for us, we created a new site instance, created a new theme, and after dragging a bunch of gray, content-hungry portlets onto each page, we now have a website sketch pad, ready to go.
So our site skeleton is in the perfect place for multi-department collaboration. The marketing team is plugging in content and scheming page flow metrics, design is dreaming up the theme and layout, and the webteam is going to code in functionality to make the site more interactive and intuitive than ever before. Throughout this process, the whole company will be able to see and click through the site as it takes shape day by day.
And the beautiful part is, once we bring the website to a place that we like, going live with it should be as simple (fingers crossed) as exporting the new community onto the production server, and revealing it. What we see is what we get. If anything, we have more fear about just getting all the departments *agree* on things than actually getting the implementation done!
If all goes well (no promises, but we're definitely rooting for it), we also fancy the idea of opening the beta site up to the community to get feedback, since you guys are the people who use the site the most anyway =) That's definitely been my motto as of late: "Just give 'em what they want!"
Cheers! Cap'n Ron + The Webteam Pirates YAARR