W3C Website redesign - RFP

Publication date: 7 november 2019
Due Date: 13 December 2019 1700 UTC
Project Management:
Coralie Mercier, Head of W3C Marketing & Communications
Access level:
This document is public; the work will be conducted in the open.

1. Summary

1.1 Project Summary

The W3C is accepting proposals from outside vendors to redesign the existing W3C website (https://www.w3.org). The current website was redesigned in 2008, moving to a responsive layout, revised architecture and a custom CMS. Now over 10 years old, the website is showing its age. W3C is looking to incrementally redesign its Website and revise the information architecture, to show the world who we are and what we offer, to improve the organization and usability of the website for key audiences, communicate the W3C brand more effectively, and motivate people to participate in the organization.

1.2 About the W3C

W3C celebrated its 25th anniversary last October. The W3C’s mission is to lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing protocols and guidelines that ensure the long-term growth of the Web. The social value of the Web is that it enables human communication, commerce, and opportunities to share knowledge. One of W3C's primary goals is to make these benefits available to all people, whatever their hardware, software, network infrastructure, device, native language, culture, geographical location, or physical or mental ability. W3C's standards define key parts of what makes the World Wide Web work.

W3C does not have a single physical headquarters and staff members are distributed around the world. There are four institutions that "host" W3C: MIT (in Cambridge, MA, USA), ERCIM (in Sophia-Antipolis, France), Keio University (in Tokyo, Japan), and Beihang University (in Beijing, China).

2. Background

2.1 Why are we doing this?

2.2 Objectives

3. Project purpose

3.1 Goal

The current website was implemented ten years ago and the organization has determined that it is not as effective in supporting the W3C’s mission and goals as it could be.

W3C explored a redesign in 2014 but that project was not fulfilled. We are building on the research conducted by the W3C’s ‘2013 Headlights Redesign Task Force’ that identified key audiences, collected usage patterns (via site analytics) and user feedback (via a 30 question user survey) in order to craft a new vision for the website. The research supported anecdotal evidence that the website navigation is often unintuitive, useful/important information is difficult to find, and designs are cluttered and inconsistent.

W3C believes that by implementing current web best practices and technologies, revising the information architecture, creating a content strategy and revamping the visual design, we can provide our audiences with the best information in a more user-friendly fashion, motivate participation in the organization, and communicate the nature and impact of the W3C more effectively.

3.2 Research

2013 stats

The outcomes of the W3C’s 2013 Headlights Redesign Task Force research can be viewed at https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-site-design/2013May/att-0022/web-stats.html and https://www.w3.org/2013/05/site_survey_20130530.pdf.

2019 stats

Matomo (1) September 2019: https://www.w3.org/2019/10/export-page-urls-september-2019.xlsx
Web stats for www.w3.org, 2019 W41: https://www.w3.org/2019/10/export-week-traffic-2019-W41.html

(1) People who block JS or who have enabled DNT are not taken into account by Matomo.

3.3 Key audiences & benefits

Audience Type Benefits of redesign to audience Impact on W3C
Web developers & designers
External Get work done more easily; learn more about W3C's many activities; find useful materials that already exist Increase feedback, participation, relevance
C-level decision makers External Learn about the value of Web, Membership Increase visibility in new industries, generate more interest in W3C work
W3C Members Internal Easier administration Increased participation and satisfaction by Members
W3C Groups Internal Lower cost of managing group operations Improve participant experience across groups
Business Development Constituency New resources for business development Drive membership

4. Project scope

4.1 Phases

W3C wants to proceed in several phases. The first phase is a subset of the public-facing pages that are the most “corporate”:

(2) The four primary categories we have today may be artifacts of the current design. We should clearly identify who the targets for the site are and then determine what that means from an architectural perspective.

(3) This page is not public-facing but the public account pages lead to it, hence it’s in scope.

The design chosen for Phase I needs to look at the rest of the site, so we don’t run any risk that Phase I will not scale well to cover the expectations for the rest of the site.

Future phases: Member and team spaces, internal (non-restricted) Work Groups homepages, specifications template, mailing lists archives, W3C Community Groups and Business Groups, wikis, blogs.

4.2 Requirements

4.3 Services

Bidders need to include line items, rates, resources, expenses, estimate vs. cap. Please itemize to explain how your fees break out for each portion requested.

Bids should include cost estimates for the services W3C is seeking outside vendors for:

(4) The 2013 user research provides some elements, but it was conducted on 35 persons and is probably not sufficiently representative.

W3C will provide:

5. Timelines

RFP timeline

November 2019
7 - Announcement of the RFP
7-29 Open Questions and Answers period (Directed to public-website-redesign@w3.org)
December 2019
13 - Bids due no later than 1700 UTC
January 2020
10 - Project awarded & notification sent to all bidders by 1500 UTC

Project initial timeline

The vendor is expected to propose a timeline which makes clear what the phases are and what the process is to accept feedback from the W3C community (website team, Communications team, systems team, W3C management, W3C team, W3C Advisory Board, broader W3C Community).

We have an ambitious schedule. In responding to this RFP, bidders are asked to balance the target schedule, completeness, and quality - and identify trade offs where the tight schedule could impact completeness or quality.

The following milestones are upcoming opportunities on the W3C side.

January 2020
Kick-off meeting: planning begins, approve work items, approve timeline
March 2020
Update W3C management, W3C Advisory Board, W3C Team
May 2020
W3C Advisory Committee Meeting update
June 2020
Proposed Drop-dead date (no new concepts/functionality added)
Update W3C management, W3C Advisory Board, W3C Team
July 2020
Alpha site launch (internal/private)
August 2020
Beta site launch?
October 2020
TPAC 2020: W3C Advisory Committee Meeting update
December 2020
Launch site

6. Proposal guidelines & evaluation criteria

Please submit a written proposal to Coralie Mercier by e-mail to public-website-redesign@w3.org no later than 13 December 2019 1700 UTC.

Note: all proposals will become available for public viewing but costs figures and schedules you wish to keep confidential may be submitted as separate attachments to Coralie Mercier.

W3C will evaluate all proposals based on the following criteria:

  1. Overall proposal suitability: Proposed solution(s) must meet the scope, requirements and needs included herein and be presented in a clear and organized manner.
  2. Organizational Experience: Bidders will be evaluated on their experience as it pertains to the scope of this project.
  3. Previous work: Bidders will be evaluated on examples of their work, notably, bidders must have a demonstrable ability to produce accessible websites.
  4. Value and cost: Bidders will be evaluated on the cost of their solution(s) based on the work to be performed in accordance with the scope of this project
  5. Technical expertise and experience: Bidders must provide descriptions and documentation of staff technical expertise and experience.

Language: English must be used for proposals and milestone publications. As the project managers are French native speakers, some meetings can be conducted in French upon request.