Care recognizes the completive industry of childcare in the local area and is looking to establish a website and online objectives are to also provide an interactive to sharing information and to communicate to potential and exciting clients and stakeholders. The website aims to provide an interactive space for children to be part of as well. The Director of Yule-gig Child Care has sought the expertise of our organization to design the Yule-gig Child Care' web site. Web site Users and their needs. The expressed objectives of the Yule-gig website is multifaceted and is aimed towards stakeholders.
Yule-gig stakeholders include staff members, management, parents or radians that presently, or will potentially use Yule-gig Child Care services. Primarily the website will provide information about the Yule-gig Centre and it child care services with the intentions to prompt and market itself towards potential clientele. The web site will also aim to act as a means of communicating and interacting with existing organizational users; staff and families using Yule-gig services. The Yule-gig web site will provide a membership login access point for existing service users and staff members.
The membership login will allow web users to access individualized information. For example, staff will access roster plans, resources to support their work; this may include specialized needs about current clients, calendar event dates and links to organizational documents (leave forms, policies and procedures etc. ). The family login will provide access to content regarding their account, child progression reports and news, calendar events and information that will support their experience whilst intuiting the Yule-gig services.
The Yule-gig organization recognizes the importance of not only sharing information about their services, but also sharing valuable information and resources to support users information needs. Links within the website content aims to provide web site users with helpful links to outside resources that may be of interest to them. Such links will include, financial support services (Centerline), local community services, information and resources in child well being, and other supportive services.
Links within web site will also provide access to PDF organizational documents such as application forms , organizational policies, newsletters etc. Another objective of the website is to keep stakeholders up- o-date with programs and calendar events at the Yule-gig Centre. The website will be designed so information can be updated to reflect upcoming dates of importance and share industry and organizational news. The website will also aim to evoke the sense of Yule-gig being a positive environment for children to learn and play and invite website users to explore the website and learn more about Yule-gig.
This will be achieved through the use of images of the services and it curriculum / programs, the creation of positive marketing content, and ensure the site meets the commended usability and accessibility standards set by The World Wide Web consortium (WAC). WEB DESIGN THEORY and TECHNIQUES To assist designers in developing an effective and resourceful website, theories and techniques used in web design will be employed. Information Architecture (IA) is considered the backbone or blueprint of designing a website.
Using the principles of IA will ensure the website is functional, web site users can navigate and browse through web content with ease and the sites content is organized and probably labeled to support information searching. Web Content One of the first stages of IA is to collect and identify content about the organizations Care to explore what content should be included. The objective of the web site has to compliment the organization's objectives and meet the needs of the user. The three areas web designers will explore in helping construct a plan for the site are, the business context, the content and the users. Context. The Yule-gig Child Care organizational business objectives and mission. The organizations branding, culture and structure. Content. Information about the child care center's current position f business, their relationships with stakeholders and the local community. User. The existing services users and the potential users want and needs. (Barker, 2005) The next stage is to organize and classify the information and content that has been gathered for the website to determine what types of pages and functionalities will be used within the Yule-gig website.
There are three types of web pages the designers recommend using in the Yule-gig site: - The Navigation Page will provide users with active links to extend their information seeking needs such as links to outside sources, organizational documents and other internal web pages. - Content pages will provide users with information about the Yule-gig organization and services. - Functional pages, which will allow users to complete a form or task online, such as the enrolment application and enquiry forms (Callback, 2007).
The information within the pages should be relevant to Yule-gig's online objectives. The director of Yule-gig will provide designers with the finalized drafts of information that work in the guideline of good articulated (in plain English) to ensure ease of understanding. The use of sub-subheading within page content will assist web site users in scanning through page information (Robbins, 2001). Designers will use any lengthy and detailed information about the organization as a link to an outside PDF document with a short concise summary about the links content for users to scan before opening.
This will ensure that the web pages stays visually pleasing and invite users to explore further without users feeling overwhelmed with information. Using stakeholders to support web design decisions during the information architecture hash can help with categorizing and classifying content for web pages. Employing techniques such as 'card sorting (Spencer, 2009) with stakeholders will help designers in labeling and categorizing web content for web pages.
Structuring The websites structure needs to support the users of the Yule-gig web site and make it easy for users to navigate and locate what they are looking for in a couple of clicks (Shelley, Napier, Rivers, 2009). A hierarchical web structure is best suited for the Yule- gig web site. The hierarchy structure will allow the web users to navigate through botanical web pages from the Yule-gig home page (Lynch and Horton, 2008). The planned navigation mechanism employed for the Yule-gig website is a top menu bar that will be viewed on every page.
The use of internal linking between pages will enable the user to navigate between the Yule-gig web pages with ease. Interface and Design Elements To ensure the Yule-gig web site has continuity and is user friendly, the web pages will be consistent in their layout. The content within the page layout is best presented in a grid. This will comprise of the header; the organization name, manful-gig Child Care" which will also be used as an embedded link back to the home page. The top navigation bar will be visible on every internal website and will run horizontally any page within the website.
The home page will differ from other pages; this will include a left vertical menu bar with fast track links to pages within the site. The home page will also be the only page for members to login, this application will appear on the right side of the page. Clearly labeled titles and subtitles within the body content will assist users to easily identify information with the page. Visuals and hemolytic cues that complement the content will aid users in identifying links to web site pages. An important element to for designers to consider is the visual appeal and complementing the genre of the site with its potential users.
Mongols and Salomon (2009) argue the importance of the genre; being the design and aesthetics of a website aims to attract the socio-cultural needs and expectations of their users. In other words, the Yule-gig web site will aim to attract parents / guardians that are looking for a professional organization that offers a playful, safe, learning environment to enroll their children. The site has to appear consistent and portray a sense of credibility and professionalism. The ambitions of the Yule-gig website will also aim to attract children by providing a visually pleasing web space which they can look and interact with.
This will be supported by a parent login to access photos of their children during Yule-gig programs and links to online learning activities the children can partake in. A bold animated color scheme with black text and images of the centre will be used to attract users into the website. ACCEPTANCE and MANAGEMENT SUPPORT Establishing good working relationships with all Yule-gig stakeholders will ensure the objectives of the web site are being met. These relationships will provide support and direction during all stages in the web design process.
The initial stage of the web design project will involve interviews and group discussions with Yule-gig stakeholders in order to attain an insight into the expectations of the site (Goodwin, 2009). This stage can be considered as a brainstorming exercise; a stage where web designers will gather information about what stakeholder groups may expect from the Yule-gig website. Interviewing stakeholder will not only make them feel like they ate an import role in the web development process, but will also give them a sense of ownership to the product.
The interviews and group meetings process should evoke a clear picture of the components that need to be incorporated into the web site and how the site should be navigated. During the project stakeholders will be asked to test and evaluate a web site prototype. This exercise is performed to gather any feedback and evaluations on usability, content within the site, concerns with the structure and design. Designers will take time to observe the users interaction with the site to pick-up on any hesitations in navigating the site or queries regarding web page content.
LIMITATIONS and BARRIERS With every web design project there will be potential limitations and barriers to consider. The Yule-gig Child Care Centre web site will take time to ensure accessibility and usability does not pose any issues to the web site objectives. Testing the websites usability with different stakeholders is an essential role in ensuring the website meets the users expectations and needs prior to publishing on the web. Any issues and concerns raised from the testing can be addressed before further testing stages are carried out.
Although designers will work do their best to ensure the Yule- ensure this is the case for new platforms that are being constantly designed. Designers will make efforts to meet the selection criteria presented by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WAG) 2. 0 and the four principles of accessibility, perceivable, operable, understandable and robust (Chapman & Chapman, 2006). Assessing and testing the site will take time which may affect the delivery the final reduce. The Central Coast Region has a diverse multi-cultural population to which English is not always a first language.
The planned site content will be written in English which may result in some language barriers for website users. Unfortunately due to time and resources constraints, the site cannot be translated into many other languages. The designers and the Yule-gig director, who has the responsibility of finalizing information content, will take this into consideration and provide content that is simply written and clear. The use of symbiotic such as small diagrams and humbly will be used to aid users navigation in the site sand offer some support to users with language and literacy barriers.
As the Yule-gig organization is only small and the objectives of the site will not pose as too complex in locating information, website search features within the site would not be necessary. The primary method of navigation will be the top menu that will appear on every window. This will allow users to navigate to topical pages within the site with ease. Managing the site once published on the internet will lay in the hands of the organization. The Yule-gig staff(s) ember will need to undergo training to ensure the web content is maintained and kept up to date.
We recommend that procedures are implemented by the Yule-gig management to ensure the functionality of the site is constantly checked, with specific attention to the information within the site and links to outside resources that are used in web content. Another issue that will need to be addressed is the use of children's images in the web site. Yule-gig will need to gain consent from client's next of kin, or persons responsible to include images as part of the web site content. CONCLUSION The Yule-gig Child Care web site objectives are to promote and market Yule-gig childcare services to the grater community for future business prospects.
The websites will also be designed to enable staff and families / clients to log-in to access personal information to support their Yule-gig experience and to provide a supportive platform to interact with the organization. The web site content will provide web site users with information and resources about the Yule-gig organization. The site content will also enable users in searching for information related to child care revise outside the organization by providing links to other resources. Stakeholders will play an important role in supporting the development of the sites content and how the site should function.
The principles of information architecture will be employed to assist in the functionality and construction of the website. As the Yule-gig organization is relatively small and the online prime objective is to inform, share and promote its services, designer have selected to use a menu bar that will be viewed on every page for users to navigate through the web site. The home page will provide an additional left side menu bar for quick links to pages related to the age specific rooms and programs. The home page will also be the access point for members to sign in.