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Success is in the eye of the beholder

In analyzing whether we will be successful with our site and specifically what indicators will let us know that, I started thinking about what success really is. Generally, it is achieving something that you have planned. But what I think is successful might not be what somebody else thinks is successful. I think that spending an hour to finally win a game of spider solitaire is successful while someone else would think that was a waste of time (which its not). As individuals, we are all going to have our own opinions about what will make our project successful. But I think one thing that we might all be able to agree on is that our success can be measured by looking at if we achieved our short-term and long-term goals. Specifically, this can be done in a number of ways. One such way that would indicate whether or not we were successful is to conduct usability tests. For example, one of our long-term goals is extreme organization. An organization scheme and an organization structure are two main ways to organize the information on our site according to Morville and Rosenfeld (2007, 58). There are also sub-strategies within these two overarching types; each with their own pros and cons. So when evaluating whether the organization of our site was successful, we can use usability testing to see if people can easily access information and understand the site without confusion.

In looking back to our set of goals, they are fairly clearly defined. They have become our plan in terms of what we want to achieve and what we want our users to be able to do when they come to the site. This was talked about in our reading for this week. According to Brown (2007), teams need a plan and must have a way to track the progress for that plan (97). There are a few ways to note the progress of the individuals and the group as a whole. They include keep members informed about what everyone does, adjust the plan if necessary, and document actions and decisions (Brown 2007, 108). For our site, perhaps some of the ways we can track our progress is through Twitter, our blog site, del.ic.ious, etc. Tracking our progress would be an indication if we are on task to achieving our goals and therefore becoming successful.

Finally, I think another indication of success is reflection. I think it is important for us to individually and as a team to reflect on our site. Having this discussion and hearing what everyone thinks will also help us to gage our success.

Comments

I really like the idea of employing usability tests Kaitlin. I think it should be used before and as well as after the site is launched. We should first test it amongst us and than by people outside of the project. I also like how you included reflection in your definition of success because we are indeed working as a team. It is not just what one person thinks but rather a collection of opinions.

I also think that it would be a good idea if we ran usability tests with outside people. Just because we can navigate the site, doesn't necessarily mean that everyone can. We created it, so hopefully it should be easy for us to use. If in the tests we find a problem, we can then brainstorm a way to fix it to be more user friendly and then have that person try again to see if we succeeded in solving the problem.

(Note to reader- Yes this is a repetition because I forgot to include my name. *Points* to post labeled "Anonymous") I really like the idea of employing usability tests Kaitlin. I think it should be used before and as well as after the site is launched. We should first test it amongst us and than by people outside of the project. I also like how you included reflection in your definition of success because we are indeed working as a team. It is not just what one person thinks but rather a collection of opinions.

I agree with a lot of the points you've made about success. It is very individual and it's hard to agree on what could be considered 'successful' when people have such differing ideas about it. I think a main reason people set goals - and specifically in our case, short-term and long-term goals - is to measure their success. Having goals to reach gives success a more tangible meaning and something to strive for that can be seen as accomplished or not.