Last changed 17 Oct 1997 ............... Length about 900 words (6000 bytes).
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CAKES talk

Who: Steve Draper
Where/when: 4pm, Friday 24 October 1997, room F161, 17 Lilybank Gardens

Title: "The software engineering of web pages: failing to analyse the problem"

This talk concerns lessons from 12 person-months of project work on departmental web pages. The first part reports some of the striking lessons, while the second discusses possible implications for new software engineering methods.

Findings include things such as: the users don't care, third party information brokers (e.g. HODs) are the one's with significant motivation; communication failures are a chief bottleneck in web page effectiveness (not prettiness, not deciding what information to provide); keeping information up to date is more important a design constraint than any aspect of page design. The software engineering issue is that requirements gathering may lead to changing decisions about what the software is for, what technology to use, and who should be hired to do it: in other words, requirements gathering is not really part of the same process as specification and implementation.

See also this longer report