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Top 10 Project Page Tips
- Keep Your Project Schedule Current
Schedule changes? Update the project status box, project facts, timeline and any linked pages or documents to be sure they're all accurate and consistent. Be sure to update your project page before you send out the news release.
- Tell the Competitive Bidding Story
Reinforce the message that we're conducting competitive bidding and avoid jargon.
Example: "In March, WSDOT will award the construction contract to the most competitive bidder." or "In January 2004, WSDOT awarded the construction contract to the most competitive bidder; Stella Too Construction of Skyway, Washington; for $2.2 million."
Don't use the phrase "ad date," only transportation experts know what this means.
- Use First Person Phrases
Use "We awarded ..." or "Crews are ..." rather than "Project was ..." or "WSDOT is ..." Projects don't build things or set timelines - crews, contractors, staff and WSDOT do. Use the first person (we) when talking about projects - it reinforces we own and are accountable for our work. The third person "WSDOT" makes us seem distant from our work.
- Keep it Simple
Make your website easy to understand. Write using short sentences and bulleted lists.
- Use Chunking
Users scan to find what they're searching for and ignore the rest. Your page shouldn't look like a novel, it should be broken up with lots of sub-titles and highlights to make scanning easier.
- Use a Page Top Synopsis and Links
Don’t assume your content will be read from top to bottom in sequential order. Each section should read as a stand-alone. Keep in mind any page on your site could be the first page a customer sees.
- Clear and Consistent Navigation
The user should have a clear idea of where they are in your website and how to get to where they want to go.
- Create User-Friendly Forms
Create forms that are self-explanatory and don't ask the customer to provide any more personal information than absolutely necessary.
- Encourage Customer Feedback
Let your users help you improve your site. Solicit website feedback through a simple e-mail address link. If you solicit it, take the time to respond, thanking them for their feedback. If you make suggested changes, let them know.
- Test for Usability
Test your website for usability during all phases of website development. Testing need not be expensive or complex. For more information on usability and testing, contact WSDOT Web Help.