我该怎样开始设计我的网站?

这篇文章介绍了所有项目最重要的第一步:确定你想要做什么

前提:
目标: 学会设定目标来给自己的web项目导航

概述

当刚开始一个Web项目时,大多数人所关心更多是技术方面。当然你必须先能熟练运用各种工具,但是最关键的其实是你想要做出一个怎样的产品。这看上去很简单,但是有很多的项目的失败并不是因为缺少相应的技术水平,而是缺少一个明确的目标。

所以当你有一个想法并且想把它付诸实践的话,在一切启动之前你首先要问一问自己下面这几个问题:

  • 我到底想完成什么?
  • 网站如何实现我的目标?
  • 做什么,以怎样的顺序,才能达成我的目标?

这就是项目构思(project ideation),这是达成你目标的第一步,无论你是初学者还是经验丰富的开发者。

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深入探索

一个项目永远不应该从技术的一方开始建立。音乐家没办法谱写任何旋律除非他知道他要创作出怎样的歌曲,对于画家、作家、Web开发者来说同样如此。技术是我们接下来才需要考虑的。

技术显然是重要的。音乐家必须精通他们手中的乐器。但再好的音乐家也不能在没有想法的情况下制作出美妙的音乐。因此,在我们考虑技术(采用怎样的编程语言个工具)之前,你首先应该停下来好好想一想关于你想要做出的产品的各种细节。

和朋友们讨论讨论你的想法是一个好的开始,但是光这样还不够。你需要安静地坐下来好好缕一缕你的想法,为了能有一个清晰的思路关于如何实现你的想法。想要做到这些,你只需要一支笔和一张纸并回答下面这些问题。

Note: There are countless ways to carry out project ideation. We cannot lay them all out here (a whole book wouldn't be enough). What we will present here is a simple method to handle what professionals call Project Ideation, Project Planning and Project Management.

我到底想完成什么?

This is the most important question to answer, since it drives everything else. List all the goals you want to reach. It can be anything: selling goods to make money, expressing political opinions, meeting new friends, gigging with musicians, collecting cat pictures, or whatever you want.

假设你是一位音乐家,你可能希望:

  • Let people hear your music.
  • Sell goodies.
  • Meet other musicians.
  • Talk about your music.
  • Teach music through videos.
  • Publish photos of your cats.
  • Find a new girl- or boyfriend.

Once you have such a list, you need to prioritize. Order the goals from most important to least important:

  1. Find a new girl- or boyfriend.
  2. Let people hear your music.
  3. Talk about your music.
  4. Meet other musicians.
  5. Sell goodies.
  6. Teach music through videos.
  7. Publish photos of your cats.

Doing this simple exercise, writing goals and sorting them, will help you out when you have decisions to make. (Should I implement these features, use these services, create these designs?)

So now that you have your prioritized list of goals, let's move on to the next question.

网站如何实现我的目标?

So you have your list of goals and you feel you need a website to reach those goals. Are you sure?

Let's take a look back at our example. We have five goals connected to music, one goal related to personal life (finding your significant other), and the completely unrelated cat photos. Is it reasonable to build a single website to cover all those goals? Is it even necessary? After all, scores of existing web services might bring you to your goals without building a new website.

Finding a girl-/boyfriend is a prime case where it makes more sense to use existing resources rather than build a whole new site. Why? Because we'll spend more time building and maintaining the website rather than actually searching for a girl- or boyfriend. Since our goal is what matters most, we should spend our energy on leveraging existing tools rather than starting from scratch. Again, there are so many web services already available for showcasing photos that it isn't worth the effort to build a new site just to spread the word about how cute our cats are.

The other five goals are all connected to music. There are, of course, many web services that could handle these goals, but it makes sense in this case to build a dedicated website of our own. Such a website is the best way to aggregate all the stuff we want to publish in a single place (good for goals 3, 5 and 6) and promote interaction between us and the public (good for goals 2 and 4). In short, since these goals all revolve around the same topic, having everything in one place will help us meet our goals and help our followers connect with us.

How can a website help me reach my goals? By answering that, you'll find the best way to reach your goals and save yourself from wasted effort.

做什么,以怎样的顺序,才能达成我的目标?

Now that you know what you want to accomplish, it's time to turn those goals into actionable steps. As a side note, your goals are not necessarily set in stone. They evolve over time even in the course of the project, if you run across unexpected obstacles or just change your mind.

Rather than a long explanation, let's go back to our example with this table:

目标 要做的事
Let people hear your music
  1. Record music
  2. Prepare some audio files usable online (Could you do this with existing web services?)
  3. Give people access to your music on some part of your website
Talk about your music
  1. Write a few articles to start the discussion
  2. Define how articles should look
  3. Publish those articles on the website (How to do this?)
Meet other musicians
  1. Provide ways for people to contact you (Email? Facebook? Phone? Mail?)
  2. Define how people will find those contact channels from your website
Sell goodies
  1. Create the goodies
  2. Store the goodies
  3. Find a way to handle shipping
  4. Find a way to handle payment
  5. Make a mechanism on your site for people to place orders
Teach music through videos
  1. Record video lessons
  2. Prepare video files viewable online (Again, could you do this with existing web services?)
  3. Give people access to your videos on some part of your website

Two things to notice. First, some of these items are not web-related (e.g., record music, write articles). Often those offline activities matter even more than the web side of the project. In sales, for instance, it's far more important and time-consuming to handle supply, payment, and shipment than to build a website where people can place orders.

Second, setting out actionable steps leads to new questions you'll need to answer. Usually there turn out to be more questions than we thought at first. (For example, should I learn how to do all this myself, ask someone to do it for me, or use third-party services?)

总结

As you can see, the simple idea "I want to make a website" generates a long to-do list, which only grows longer as you think about it. Soon it may look overwhelming, but don't panic. You don't need to answer all the questions and you don't need to do everything on your list. What matters is to have a vision of what you want and how to get there. Once you have that clear vision, you need to decide how and when to do it. Break down big tasks into small, actionable steps. And those small steps will add up into great achievements.

 

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