I work from my home in the Docklands (Melbourne, Australia).
Phone me now and I can answer any questions you may have. Call me on 0410 346 344 .
Alternatively email me: Justin O'Dea
EXECUTIVE LEVEL 1, Technology Applications for Publication Production Workbench (PPW), Australian Bureau of Statistics 1998 – 2008
Appointed to a team to redevelop the publishing of ABS statistical data and its associated analysis.
Automated the production of PDF, HTML and Excel output to the ABS website. The system refreshed data from the ABS’s Data Warehouse and then formatted it for different media.
Provided major input into the design of the new system and built/enhanced many major parts of it (Lotus Notes/ Lotus 123/ Lotus Wordpro).
Managed the incremental release of major enhancements in my last 5 years in the area. This included enhancements that enabled the production the ABS Yearbook and substantial classifications such as ANSZIC and ANZSCO, as well as the release of automated Excel output to the ABS website.
Served as the main contact officer for PPW and provided quality client service. Achieved 3 merit awards and was highly regarded by client areas for commitment and knowledge.
Worked in an environment where publishing deadlines could not be moved. They were advertised up to 12 months in advance. At times this meant working long hours under great pressure. Resolved issues so that deadlines were always met.
8 Setting the scene Although stakeholders may be enthusiastic about going online, they may not have much experience of the factors that drive web production. As such — before commencing such a session — it can be worthwhile inviting in a web expert to speak about current trends and successes. This can be useful for equipping delegates with the knowledge they need to understand the types of website that could be built, and to narrow in on the one that is most suitable for them. Such a review could include: • Industry & market trends: What your peers are doing. • Technology: What new content & design options are available. • Online society & culture: How audiences are behaving online. The cost of development It is also important that stakeholders understand constraints on development. There is an old saying in the consulting business: "We can give you 3 things: • A high quality deliverable. • High speed turnaround. • Low cost. Now, choose any two." The most important constraints on website development are budget and time. They set absolute limits to what is possible. 9 For example, you may want an all-singing, all-dancing website to golive in 5 weeks – but if you only have the budget to employ 1 designer and have not yet started to create any of the content you need – such an outcome is merely aspirational. The overall lesson is … “Cut your coat according to your cloth”. Only build what you can afford in time and money – both now and with regard to the effort you will need to invest in ongoing maintenance. Setting Smart Goals When choosing goals for your website, it is not enough simply to produce eloquently worded statements of aspirational intent. Your goals are commitments to yourself (and to whomever pays your bills) that the site will deliver real, tangible value. You goals must be reasonable and actionable. That is, they must be SMART : • Specific. Goals must focus on a particular area of activity and not be so broad as to be meaningless, e.g. “Reduce telephone calls about closing dates by 50% by putting highly accurate, clearly written, easily navigable information about closing dates online”. • Measurable. It should be possible to gauge when a Goal has been achieved. For example, if a website Goal is to "increase awareness”, the key measure will be public knowledge. A survey can help establish if that has happened and how much of it was due to the online campaign. • Achievable. There is no point setting a Goal that cannot be achieved, e.g. would the Goal “to increase revenue by 250%” be achievable? 10 • Realistic. A target must also be realistic. That is, it may be possible to achieve a 250% increase in revenue, but it would require 100 extra staff. How realistic is it that these resources will be available? • Timely. Finally, the Goals must be timely, meaning they should be bound by a timeframe. For example, you may set yourself 12 months within which to achieve your target. User Needs Who do you want to use your website? What do they want? Those are the key questions you need to answer about your users. There is often confusion about who the users of a website are. This frequently arises because data about online traffic misleads people into thinking their websites are a success, when in fact they are failing. For example, your traffic statistics might show that your site attracts thousands of visitors from many places worldwide (e.g. Africa) and that they read hundreds of articles on your site, again and again. This might seem like a success. You could be forgiven for thinking you are serving your users well. However, unless these people are members of your target audience, they must not be counted as users of your site. Their activity is inconsequential and must be ignored. This might sound strange, but the reason is very simple. You are spending limited resources on your website in order to generate maximum value. As such, you cannot be concerned about everyone – 11 you must only focus on those users who are most important to you and steadfastly ignore everyone else. Successful websites do this. Websites that fail, do the opposite. As such, before you create a website you must decide exactly who you are aiming it at. Your website audience is unlikely to be a homogeneous mass. Most organisations find they have at least two or three core audiences. When you know who you are building the site for, you can compare them to your goals and then decide what content to give them by researching their needs. Researching User Needs Without doubt, the best way to establish the needs of a website audience is to get out and talk to them. This ensures the planned site will reflect 'actual' user preferences—not those you think users want. Some of the most popular research techniques include: • Online survey. • Focus group. • Examine website feedback. Based on all the data gathered, you can then create Personas. A persona is a description of an idealised website visitor that matches the attributes of the audience being targeted. Personas have been shown to be of great assistance when gathering information about user needs. This is because they provide a focal point for discussing requirements.