Web ReDesign 2.0: Workflow That Works

Kelly Goto and Emily Cotler’s Web ReDesign 2.0: Workflow That Works is the most comprehensive book on the design/redesign process. With the second edition, the authors bring the book up-to-date with the integration of web standards and CSS into the workflow.

Workflow That Works refers to the Core Process developed by Goto and Cotlers. The Core Process – consists of five phrases: Define the Project, Develop Site Structure, Design Visual Interface, Build and Intergrate, and Launch and Beyond – has been successfully applied to real world projects. After reading the well-documented phrases along with useful tips, checklists, forms, and worksheets, I can see why the workflow works. Each phrase is carefully designed to help keeping up the paste. As many web designers know, keeping the process flowing is not an easy task, especially with contents. I know the feeling of waiting around for the contents to come.

Beside the Core Process, I find the chapter on “Testing for Usability” is an important addition to the workflow. The authors have done a great job of clearing up the concept of usability, as they point out, “Many companies think they are already conducting usability tests, but in actuality they are running focus groups or online surveys.” After the brief explaination, they provide readers step-by-step process on conducting a small-study usability session.

“Working with Complex Functionality” is an invalable chapter for anyone who deals with e-commerce, dynamic contents, or any heavy technical related issues. The author not only teaches the assessing, creating, and inplementing of the complex functionalities, but also show how to bridge the gap between designers and engineers.

While Goto and Cotlers contribute their expertise on the workflow of web design, other expert contributors provide their advices on various topics, for instance: Jeffrey Zeldman on web standards, Eric Meyer on CSS, Jakob Nielsen on usability, and many more… On top of the expert topics, the real world examples, provided with screenshots and clear explanation, help readers visualize the before and after redesign look and feel.

Web ReDesign 2.0: Workflow That Works is clearly not a technical manual but a process guideline. While the authors aim at both high and low budgets web sites, I highly recommend it more toward the high budget ones. It will garantee to save you tremendous amount of effort and money in the long run. While this book might be helpful to web designer and developer, it is definitely beneficial to web manager and director. It will help them keep the project on track while managing the designers and developers through the process. Though the title is for redesign’s workflow, the Core Process can be apply straight to any newly design website as well.