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((((((((((((((((( WEBREFERENCE UPDATE NEWSLETTER ))))))))))))))))) September 4, 2001

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This newsletter is sponsored by: 802.11-Planet.com FlashKit.com IMG Events Internet Breakfast Forum

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In our back to school special this week we review the new book "Web ReDesign: Workflow that Works." Want to avoid the dreaded scope creep? Designing or redesigning a Web site? You need this book. Michael has the tagline of the week, "Smart Tags: Dumb Technology?" and the Doc continues his quest to script IE's print functions.

In other news Jakob tweaks his Google text ads for higher clickthrough, A List Apart discusses content management, Web Reviews Netscape 6.1, and Slashdot's Jon Katz contemplates e-mail overload. Oh yeah, HP's buying Compaq and the pink slip is in the (e)mail.

http://www.webreference.com *- link to us today http://www.webreference.com/new/ *- newsletter home

New this week on WebReference.com and the Web:

1. XML: Smart Tags: Dumb Technology? 2. JAVASCRIPT: Print Templates, Part II 3. BOOK REVIEW: Web ReDesign: Workflow the Works 4. OTHER VOICES: * Technically Speaking * Designing Web Ads Using Click-Through Data * Evolving Client Content * Meet Mozilla (and Netscape 6.1) * E-mail Overload: Welcome Back to School 5. NET NEWS: * HP To Merge With Compaq For $25 Billion * Pink slips greet post-vacation techies

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. EXPLORING XML: Smart Tags: Dumb Technology?

Need some smarts on Microsoft's latest innovation? Our XML expert Michael Classen discusses the pros and cons of Smart Tag technology and shows you how to use XML to create your own.

http://www.webreference.com/xml/column38/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2. DOC JAVASCRIPT: Print Templates, Part II

Having created a print template for previewing your Web pages, you're now probably wondering how to actually print them. Our own Doc JavaScript once again comes to the rescue by introducing you to the TemplatePrinter element. By Yehuda Shiran and Tomer Shiran.

http://www.webreference.com/js/column91/

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3. BOOK REVIEW: Web ReDesign: Workflow the Works

The Web has become so pervasive that redesigns are now more common than new designs. In fact, nearly all Fortune 500 companies now have Web sites (those that don't shall remain nameless), so redesigns are now the norm. This book is the first to address the Web site redesign process.

The book codifies the workflow work co-author Kelly Goto lectured extensively on at Thunder Lizard conferences since 1997. After one of her sold-out lectures on Web design workflow one of her loyal fans would invariably ask, "When are you going to write a book?" This book, and its accompanying Web site, is the answer.

Anyone can design (or redesign) a Web site. But to do it on time and on budget requires a disciplined approach. This book logically lays out that process. The authors concentrate on the "Core Process" common to all Web site design and redesign projects. By following their methodology, you can raise your chance of success for your next design project.

"The idea is to put everybody - the client and team alike - in the same frame of reference, using the same terminology, following the same path," says Emily Cotler, co-author of the book. "The Core Process that we developed can apply to any sized web team, with any sized budget, whether an initial design or a redesign."

Primarily aimed at project managers, this book is designed to streamline the redesign process for everyone involved. Whether your budget is $10K or $1M, the Core Process still applies. What is the Core Process you ask? It's a five phase roadmap of the workflow required for redesigning a Web site. The phases are:

* Defining the Project * Developing Site Structure * Visual Design & Testing * Production & QA * Launch & Beyond

The book follows this outline, expanding on each topic with detailed action items for each phase (discovery, clarification, planning for phase 1). The wonderful thing about this book is the synergistic effect it has with its companion Web site:

http://www.web-redesign.com

which offers free on-line worksheets you can use in your own redesign projects. Client questionnaires, meta tag builders, and budget spreadsheets are all included and discussed extensively in the book. You save money by not buying an out of date CD-ROM, and everyone wins by having access to these battle-tested workflow worksheets.

Although only 253 wide pages, the book is packed with useful information. The authors liberally sprinkle the text with site redesign examples, illustrations, flowcharts, and checklists. Plus they feature full-page in context contributions from Web experts like Nielsen, Siegel, Veen, Lynda, and Zeldman (who all happen to be New Riders authors).

The advice is good, though marred by some minor technical errors. Gather are much data as you can beforehand, get client signoff on key documents, perform a competitive analysis and usability testing. However, I found one common misconception, the latest Flash plug-in is not supported by 96% of current browsers, as stated on page 124. It's Flash 3 that has a 96% penetration rate. Flash 5 has less than 80% penetration worldwide, and less than 70% in the US, according to a survey by NPD research for Macromedia.

http://www.macromedia.com/software/flash/survey/whitepaper/

To their credit the authors are collecting these types of errors and listing them on the accompanying Web site.

I wish I had this book when I was working at a Web design firm in the '90s. It would have saved us all a lot of headaches. Recommended.

Web ReDesign: Workflow the Works By Kelly Goto and Emily Cotler New Riders, $45.00 ISBN: 0735710627

http://www.web-redesign.com/ http://www.newriders.com/ Interview with the authors - New!

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 4. OTHER VOICES: Technically Speaking, Designing Web Ads Using Click-Through Data, Evolving Client Content, Meet Mozilla (and Netscape 6.1), E-mail Overload: Welcome Back to School

>Technically Speaking

Five years ago, it seemed that we'd all be talking to our computers by now, and could throw away those pesky keyboards. What happened? While speech recognition has become ubiquitous with call centers and voice portals, it's a long way from letting us talk to our PCs. http://www.informationweek.com/thisweek/story/IWK20010831S0008 Information Week, Sep. 3, 2001

>Designing Web Ads Using Click-Through Data

Jakob takes a liking to Google's text ads, and tunes them for higher clickthrough, from 55% to 310% higher. http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20010902.html Useit.com, Sep. 2, 2001

>Evolving Client Content

Content management systems are only as good as the content they manage. Steven Garrity explores the care and feeding of low-budget clients who need high-quality content. http://www.alistapart.com/stories/clientcontent/ A List Apart, Aug. 31, 2001

>Meet Mozilla (and Netscape 6.1)

Netscape 6.1, Mozilla's packaged-up counterpart, is much more stable and speedy in this new release, and it's ready for prime time. http://www.webreview.com/2001/08_31/developers/index01.shtml Webreview.com, Aug. 31, 2001

>E-mail Overload: Welcome Back to School

E-mail, arguably the most successful of all computer applications, has grown so rapidly that it threatens to veer out-of-control for many people. By Jon Katz. http://slashdot.org/features/01/08/31/162221.shtml Slashdot.org, Sep. 4, 2001

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 5. NET NEWS: HP To Merge With Compaq For $25 Billion, Pink slips greet post-vacation techies

>HP To Merge With Compaq For $25 Billion

Hewlett-Packard Tuesday says it will merge with Compaq Computer in a stock swap deal worth about $25 billion. HP and Compaq said the merged company would be in a position to compete with IBM across virtually its entire product line. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/04/technology/04DEAL.html http://siliconvalley.internet.com/news/article/0,,3531_877361,00.html New York Times/internet.com, Sep. 4, 2001

>Pink slips greet post-vacation techies

The vacation pink slip has emerged as one of the summer's biggest trends - and, employees say, one of the most offensive. http://www.Laidoffcentral.com http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-7026469.html News.com, Sep. 3, 2001

That's it for this week, see you next time.

Andrew King Newsletter Editor, WebReference.com aking@internet.com

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