Netmag issue 238 – Fulham FC makeover

.net magazine dropping through my door is always a highlight of the month. It’s a time to sit quietly away from a screen (rare time indeed) and read about what everyone else in the industry is doing. What’s especially nice is when you recognise people you know being able to show off their expertise and projects that they are proud of, and it’s even better when you were also a part of that. Happily, one such feature is in this month’s issue, regarding the redevelopment of the Fulham FC site (p116-117).

I’ve spoken about the site build briefly before, and what I love about the attention it has been getting is that there is a lot of appreciation for the planning that has gone into the project. As you probably know by now I’m a huge advocate of doing up-front thinking and planning. Whilst projects obviously need room to expand and evolve as they progress, doing certain activities and investigations initially can help both client and designers/developers clearly establish what needs to be achieved, and how best to do it.

The article itself was written by my good friend Paul Swain, who was part of the UX and strategy team that worked on the project. It takes the reader through some of the challenges we faced, the activities that we carried out, and the way that we approached the thinking. I was responsible for the technical planing and investigations, but in addition to this some of the wider strategic activities included:

  • Stakeholder interviews.
  • Competitor analysis.
  • Heuristic analysis.
  • Content creation/publication process understanding.
  • Wireframing.
  • Creation of content templates.
  • Definition of KPIs and associated tracking strategy.
  • Working with third party hosting supplier.
  • Responsive planning.
  • CMS solution matching.
  • Rethinking the information architecture.
  • Defining style guides and visual assets to provide to third parties.
  • Working with existing and new suppliers to establish the capabilities and limitations of their platforms for integration purposes, as well as the overall build. This included discussing how video was to be served, impact of advertising options, social integration (user-generated and official, both absorption and generation), single sign on, newsletter options, consumption of real-time external data (from Opta), integration of retail and ticketing.

…and then it had to be built!

Of course, as Paul has pointed out in his blog post, this wasn’t a purely strategic engagement and the project was worked on by a number of people, some of whom are featured in the article’s The Team image:

FFC Lightmaker team photo

The individuals above span account and project management, front-end development, design, back-end development, analytics and data analysis, native app development, user experience and project strategy, and technical planning. A couple more people, namely Marney Booth and Paul Hudson are not featured in the lineup above.

If you want to read the full article you should really go out and buy .net, but for preservation’s sake Lightmaker have put a copy online: http://www.lightmaker.net/tmt/articles/NET_Fulham_FC_Article.pdf