Top 10 project page tips

Here are 10 tips to review when putting together a project page.

  1. Headers
    At a minimum, you must have headers with information for Needs & Benefits, Timeline and Funding information for the project. You can add Project News to keep readers up to date. Additional information, such as Historical Information or Environmental Impacts, can be added as headers with necessary information below.
  2. Keep your project schedule current
    Schedule changes? Update the information under the Project news, Budget and Timeline headers 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.
  3. Funding
    When you first put together your project page, your funding table will not immediatley be available. Give it up to two weeks to process and check back. In the meantime, breakdown the funding under the Funding header in your project body textbox.
  4. Tell the competitive bidding story
    Don't use the phrase "ad date," only transportation experts know what this means. Reinforce the message that we're conducting competitive bidding and avoid jargon. 
    "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."
  5. 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.
  6. Keep it simple
    Make your website easy to understand. Write using short sentences and bulleted lists. Your page shouldn't look like a novel, it should be broken up with lots of sub-titles and highlights to make scanning easier.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.