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This public wiki holds notes related to the 2013 Headlights task force on redesigning the W3C site. See the Proposal.

Thanks to the participants for their work! See #Meeting_history. Discussions on public-site-design@w3.org (archive) and irc.w3.org:#site-design

Questions? Contact Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>.


    • Identify W3C audiences and their priority needs
    • Catalog key resources available on w3.org
      • What we have (e.g., specifications, blog posts, etc.)
      • What we don't have and want
      • What we expect to live elsewhere (e.g., Web Platform Docs)
    • Ensure the W3C Web site:
      • Addresses primary needs
      • Makes it easy for different audiences to find key resources
      • Communicates the W3C brand proposition (cf related task force)
      • Communicates clearly the nature and impact of the Open Web Platform
      • Motivates people to participate and helps fuel activity.


    • Phase I: Create a Proposal; see Calendar
    • Phase II: Implement the new site (and any processes)

Phase I

This task force will write a Proposal expected to include the following information.

High priority

    • What is the vision of the site?
      • Community. W3C is a community of developers, researchers, standards professionals, and Web enthusiasts who are helping build a Web with a long-term vision of One Web for all. W3C offers a number of activities and services to realize this vision. The primary activity is standardization. Value of Membership.
      • Web The Open Web platform vision. How the Open Web platform is transforming various industries and why those industries need to be at the table.
    • Who are the primary external and internal audiences?
    • What are their needs? How will they benefit?
    • Scope of redesign
    • Budget
    • Timeline

Lower priority

    • What we want the site to do (stories)
    • Critical design questions
    • Implementation requirements
    • Potential sponsors

Phase II

What we will want

  • Work with stakeholders (marketing, business, systems, developers, etc.) to define & draft a website governance document (see website-governance.com)
  • Governance document should cover: KM: Added a few things that I've seen included in an effective 'governance doc'.
    • Business strategy/vision
    • Systems administration (if this doesn't exist)
    • Development standards
    • Content strategy (creation, maintenance schedule, workflows, etc.)
    • Design (style guides)
    • Social media & online community
    • Internationalization
    • User experience
    • Information & data architecture
    • Analytics
    • Security
    • Archiving
    • Accessibility
    • Legal issues (privacy, copyright, etc.)

Vision for the site

W3C Audiences


  • Developers and designers
  • C-Level audiences in diverse industries


  • Members (notably Advisory Committee Representatives)
  • Chairs (of all types of groups)

Staff Stakeholders

  • Developer relations team
  • Business development staff
  • Web Accessibility Initiative
  • Systems Team
  • W3C Management ("W3M")


One view of W3C's main products:

  • Standards (and supporting materials like tests)
  • Venue for standards development (groups, Membership)
  • Validator service
  • Additional offerings for developers (webplatform.org, training, w3conf, html5 logo, ...)

Analytics and Surveys

From Google:

    • What are top 25 search terms?

From logs:

Home page questions:

    • Does anyone use mobile/print views? (low priority)
    • Does anyone use the W3C by region form?

Hits on pages from site redesign"

    • /standards/Overview.html
    • /Consortium/Overview.html
    • /participate/Overview.html
    • /Consortium/membership.html
    • /TR/Overview.html and /TR/tr-*
    • /standards/status/*
    • /standards/history/*
    • /standards/(webdesign, webofservices, webofdevices, webarch, agents, semanticweb, xml)
    • /standards/(webdesign, webofservices, webofdevices, webarch, agents, semanticweb, xml)/*
    • http://www.w3.org/Consortium/siteindex

Member site:

Not planning to ask given our setup:

    • How many unique visitors?
    • Where are we losing users?

Other ideas:


DRAFT survey in surveymonkey


  • Ian can do 1-1 interviews with Members in June during AC meeting (though we will need other data by then already)
  • Include in survey "Do you want to have 1-1 to discuss site?" (Can't guarantee, but can get data.)
  • We plan to use survey monkey (anonymous responses).
  • We plan to have a single survey and depending on people's roles, they will get different questions.
  • Bev idea: Offer a gift to randomly selected person for completing survey?
  • What questions are we going to ask once we have data (e.g., views of members v. others)?

Where we might find people to respond

  • Community Group participants (2500 people)
  • W3C Member developer communities
  • Information Architecture Institute
  • IAI Partners? W3C Partners?
  • W3C Membership
  • W3C twitter account
  • A List Apart


See Survey Analysis Notes



Home Page News

  • Owner: W3C Marcomm
  • Frequency: Several weekly
  • Audience: Primarily technical


  • Owner: W3C Marcomm
  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Audience: Primarily technical

Weekly Digest

  • Owner: W3C Marcomm (Coralie)
  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Audience: Primarily technical

Twitter feed

  • Owner: W3C Marcomm (Coralie)
  • Frequency: Ongoing
  • Audience: Primarily technical


  • Owner: W3C Marcomm
  • Frequency: 5-10 monthly
  • Audience: Diverse


  • Need skins in new design


    • Talks
    • Meetings
    • Supported Conferences
    • Idea: make it easier for groups to publish their own calendars and aggregate them in the site calendar.


    • Index (/TR)
    • Specifications themselves
    • Status pages
    • Clear indicators of status, done-ness
    • Integration with webplatform docs and testing

Mailing lists

Group subsites


  • Validator
  • Other future services

Member subsite

  • Should member home page be a dashboard of an individual's view of W3C?
  • Do members use the home page? News page?
  • Relation of news page to optimized email strategy to members (e.g., batch non-critical emails to be once weekly)

Miscellaneous pages about W3C


    • Strong W3C brand story
    • Clear presentation of Open Web Platform
    • Clear presentation of all the ways to get evolved
    • Landing pages for verticals (e.g., auto, digital publishing)


    • Web Platform Docs
    • Website Governance Docs:
      • online strategy
      • systems & software administration, hosting
      • online marketing & communications
      • online brand strategy, brand management, reuse, licensing, etc.
      • e-commerce
      • customer service
      • business development
      • online community & social media
      • content strategy, guidelines
      • translation guidelines
      • website graphic design
      • user experience (analysis/design)
      • information/data architecture
      • website analytics
      • website security guidelines
      • website archiving?
      • website outsourcing?
      • website accessibility guidelines
      • website legal issues (i.e.: copyright, DRM, trademark, privacy policies, etc.)
      • website information ethics, users, user data, etc.
      • website training, knowledge management, knowledge guildlines
      • W3C organizational needs and objectives
      • website size, metrics, performance guildelines
      • website team, roles, responsibilites
      • workflows, processes, models
      • website multi modal strategy
      • website multilingual & multimodal content strategy
      • content authoring guidelines, rules, style guidelines
      • pre-translation guidelines, global standards, etc.
      • website localization
      • internationalization
      • geopolitical policy
      • website updates, refinement policy
      • API guidelines

Critical Design Questions

    • Sponsor logos on the home page (links? limit to 1 year? how many ok?)
    • How to manage long lists of technology (e.g., see McMaster.com approach)
    • How to convey that new specifications are available (e.g., people still visiting HTML 4 learn that they should move to HTML5)?
    • How do we let people find specs fast?
    • How do we convey spec status?
    • How do we convey the power of the Open Web Platform (e.g., centralized space for cool designs, demos, connections to webplatform.org, ...)?
    • Better view of events (past and future in same view); not split like member calendar.
    • Clear communication of a user-friendly privacy (but one that let's us get information useful for the site evolution).

Notes on Implementation Requirements

    • Move to HTML5
    • Use of standards
    • Typography (especially for specs)?
    • WCAG 2.0
    • Establish importance of content in multiple languages
      • What are users currently doing with translations?
    • Mobile-friendly
    • Analytics? (may require privacy policy change)
    • Search strategy.
      • Internal: Custom search results
      • External: SEO
    • User testing (get 5 people to do 10 tasks related to HTML or CSS)
      • Watch over their shoulder (or use teleconferencing)
      • Q&A session after user testing can be very informative

Notes on Possible BizDev Ideas

    • Stickiness of various items on the home page (e.g., services, sponsorships)

Notes on content strategy

    • Cardsorting - talked with Shari Thurow about it.
    • What content will be centralized (e.g., through w3t-comm)
    • Getting shared vision in the community for the site's intent (for content creation over time)
    • CMS?
    • What content do we expect to centralize?
    • Distributed editing (in terms of responsibility)
    • Any tool that produces HTML
    • Org commitment to pages / maintenance
    • Glossary
    • Templates for frequently used information (e.g., templates for workshops, meetings, minutes)
    • Guidelines not rules
    • Iconography, iconathon, visuals about the Web, inclusion/participation. (cf SimpleScott)
    • On home page - query box for finding stuff like html elements, css properties? cheatsheet.

Notes on Preliminary Qualitative Brand Research


    • "Describe W3C"
      • Develops, publishes and promotes Web standards
      • Does this in way that’s best for society
      • Improves accessibility on the Web
      • Sets the stage for the Web to evolve
      • Provides interoperability, openness
      • Process is based on consensus, transparency, neutrality
    • Strengths
      • Competent staff
      • Open, inclusive environment
      • Solid technology foundation
      • Offers framework for innovation (but not all agree W3C is, or should be, innovative)
      • Collective collaborative culture
    • Weaknesses
      • Slow, reactive
      • Lack of W3C Brand awareness


    • Re-evaluate W3C’s Brand Position
    • Do more marketing, esp. of W3C
    • Better promote W3C’s membership benefits
    • Address perceived business process issues

Notes from 2008 Redesign Experience

    • We wrote our own content management system. I don't recommend that we do that again.

Meeting history