For this year’s Museums and the Web Conference, my colleague Witt Siasoco and I wrote a paper about our experiences designing the new Teen Programs and WACTAC website. Our paper is now online: From Boring and Non-Offensive to Dancing Unicorns and Glitter Text: How to Create a Teen Web Site with Teenagers. Here’s an excerpt:
Our first goal was to provide WACTAC with a sense of ownership of the site. Teen Programs’ staff believe that in order for programs to be successful, WACTAC must be involved with the process. All of the WACTAC programs and events are conceived and implemented by WACTAC members themselves. In order to make WACTAC ownership a priority, the staff had to treat teens.walkerart.org as an educational program in itself. The staff realized that if WACTAC actively engaged in the site, other teenagers would be interested. While a new site might bring increased traffic, we decided our measure of success would be the site’s relevance to WACTAC teens and their social circle.
Witt and I will be part of a panel, Designing with Teens, on the last day of the conference, discussing the paper and process of making the site and our favorite. We may also have some super-slick give-aways. We hope to see you there.
As for the title of our paper, From Boring and Non-Offensive to Dancing Unicorns and Glitter Text: How to Create a Teen Web Site with Teenagers, it started off as a joke. Then we decided it accurately described the design process and reflected the tone of the site, so it stuck. And whenever we mention the name to people, they get a kick out of it.