Akatombo Web Log
Friday, October 10, 2003
CEATEC Wrapping Up
CEATEC JAPAN 2003 comes to a close later today, and we are quite satisfied with how the website came out in the end and the feedback we have received so far. We were responsible for the English, French, German, and Korean versions of the website (in partnership with Export-Japan who provided the Chinese and Spanish pages), and we hope that we produced a product that was useful for attendees to the exhibition, and for those viewing from afar.
It is a unique challenge to develop a website for a large event that will occur over a specific period in time. There are many stages in the development of such a website, the four most important in this case being promotion of the event to potential exhibitors, promotion to potential visitors, providing useful information during the event, and providing a useful record of the event for visitors after the fact while promoting the next year’s event. Trying to make sure that the website is at the appropriate stage at the right time is crucial to successfully providing the experience that is most useful for the end user, which should be the ultimate goal of any website.
To accomplish this goal, and make the site development manageable, we opened sections of the site up gradually over time, shifting the top page of the website to the section most appropriate for the phase we judged ourselves to currently be in. In the first stage, the top page was the exhibitor’s section, providing exhibitors with information about how to apply for space, rules and regulations, and giving a general overview of the events focus and themes.
In the second stage our top page became the visitor’s page which we opened in a limited state along with a limited version of the press section, the visitor’s section has remained our top page until the end, but has grown substantially since we opened it for the purpose of visitor promotion. At the time we launched it we provided general information about the event, and gave a preview of what some of the main attractions would be. We also opened a link to a site (created by another company) to preregister for event tickets.
In the third stage, which is the stage at which site usage reaches its peak, we needed to provide useful information for people navigating the event itself. Terminals displaying the website were available at information booths scattered throughout the event, so it was crucial that the website provide immediate information useful attendees. The search section of the website played a key role in this, allowing users to search for topics of interest and find exhibitors displaying products related to those topics. A search for ‘security camera’ returns links to the information pages for two exhibitors. A look at the top result, Omnivision Technologies, Inc., provides a description of the company, as well as their booth number and a link to a map showing where that booth is located in the exhibition hall. Moving the mouse pointer over Omnivision technologies in the exhibitor list in this page, highlights exactly where in the hall their booth was located, allowing interested visitors to find the booths they are interested in quickly, and driving targeted traffic to exhibitors’ booths.
After the event has finished, the page will remain much as it was during the event. We will remove links to the Pre-registration pages, and put up a “Thank you for attending, see you again next year” message up on the front page. We may also add photos from the event.
We have a lot of ideas for how we hope to improve CEATEC’s site next year, and make it much more user-centric. Among these ideas are putting booth maps directly on exhibitor pages, and trying to provide more complete information in languages like German, French, and Korean. We also hope to make the site much more accessible for impaired users, while streamlining the site. This will be accomplished in part by utilizing a more standards compliant design.
Creating this site in four languages, made for many late nights and is one of the main reasons why, as of this writing, the Akatombo Media website is still far from complete. It is nice to step back and take a breather, but the creation process for this website was a very interesting and satisfying experience. We hope that any of you who used the site found it useful. How do you think we could do it better next time?
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
Thanks to Presentation Attendees
We’d just like to thank everyone who showed up to listen to us talk about web standards at the Tokyo PC Users Group meeting last Thursday. We hope that you were able to get some valuable information out of it, and if you have any questions, just let us know, and we’ll do our best to answer them. We also plan to put up a fleshed out version of our presentation notes available on this site in the future.
In English we have the writings of Jeffrey Zeldman and Eric Meyer to guide us into the realm of standards compliant and accessible design, but we don’t know of a similar resource in Japanese. We hope to fill part of that gap by writing about these topics in the Japanese section of our site, and by making presentations about web standards in Japanese when opportunities arise.
Any suggestions on how to improve our presentation would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again for coming, we really appreciate the opportunity to discuss web standards with you, and hope that we’ll get a chance to work with you in the future.
Wednesday, August 06, 2003
Web Standards Presentation - Tokyo PC User’s Group
We are just putting the finishing touches on a presentation on Web Standards for the Tokyo PC Users Group today, and thought we had better add an entry here about the presentation.
We will strive to focus on topics of interest to the audience and stick to subjects that are relevant for the non-designer. If we start to mention terms or concepts that you aren’t familiar with, please feel free to remind us to explain more or not go so deep into the nuts and bolts and things that don’t matter to people who aren’t doing the actual designing.
We plan to make the PowerPoint slides (oh how we hate to use PowerPoint) from the presentation available on the Tokyo PC users Group website, and to put up a fuller more detailed version of the presentation (hopefully in Japanese as well) up on this website in the future.
We hope that our presentation will help some of you to improve the way you communicate online, and if there is any way we can help you with that effort, please let us know.