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Building a
Collaborative
Web Project
Define
Design
Deliver
Upload and test
Project Reflection & Narrative
Evaluate your Project
Publicize your
success
Summary
1. Upload your project
2. Beta test
3. Final check

2. Beta Test

Side Bar

Houston. We have a problem.

The crew of
Apollo 13

Side Bar

Don't be surprised when you first upload your Web project if it doesn't work exactly as you had hoped.

That's why it is so important to test your project as early as possible. If your project decides to do a meltdown a month prior to the final deadline, you have a chance to make changes.

Test early, test often

This is just what it sounds like. Test early, means to test as early as possible in the development phase.

Alpha test- The Alpha test is the first version of your Web site that can actually be reviewed. It usually consists of a mock-up of your site with placeholders for much of your content.

The reason for this test is to check for site structure, logic, and flow. Does the Web project make sense? Does the navigation scheme assist you in finding the information you need?

This Alpha test also provides a much needed sense of accomplishment. You've been working hard and it appears you have nothing to show for it. By putting up a mockup of your Web project, you can see just how far you've gotten. It also reminds you just how far you need to go.

Beta test- The Beta test is really like your Web project's first flight. At this point, content should be almost complete. Navigation is functional. Your graphics and multimedia are in place. Scripts and programming are running. Your site is now ready for real feedback from a test audience.

Test Group

It's a good idea to have other people check out your site for review. These people can be friends, family or fellow students. The best test group would be similar to your audience. For example, if you're creating a Web project for Middle School kids, ask some Middle School students to review your Web project.

You'll also want to make sure to solicit honest opinions. Be careful of the "Oh, that's nice" response. Ask for real input. Remember, you're not just trying to get validation for your Web project, you're trying to make your Web project even better.

Watch how the test group navigates through your project. Do they get lost? Are they having problems finding the information they need? If your perfectly sensible navigation scheme is confusing your audience, maybe it's time to re-evaluate.

If someone has a problem with your design or content, that doesn't mean you throw your work out the window. Many times, it's just a matter of taste. Definitely, don't become discouraged. Just go back to your work. Look at the problem from all sides. Take into consideration any suggestions and work from there.

page 1: Upload your project
page 2: Beta test
page 3: Final check

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