Designing a website from scratch is a bear, but ActiveStandards believes it has the solution with its Standards Hub, a new component of its ActiveStandards service that enables users to create website standards documents in (supposedly) minutes instead of months.
The Hub is an automated online tool designed to guide web managers through creating website standards documentation online, thus reducing the time, cost, and complexity of creating and maintaining a comprehensive website standards library.
As Simon Lande, CEO of ActiveStandards describes, "Creating and defining standards documentation from scratch has traditionally been an expensive, time-consuming process…We're giving businesses a choice: you can hire a consultancy and spend 12 months creating standards, or you can use Standards Hub to achieve the same result in minutes."
What Exactly Is A Standards Library?
Website standards are what ActiveStandards calls “the building blocks of a successful web presence.”
Among the standards covered on the Standards Hub:
- Co-branding, offering guidance for production of co-branded sites.
- Cookies, with a framework for creating cookies statements.
- Search engine optimization standards for increasing the findability of web content and improving search engine rankings.
- Social media governance and management.
- Usability principles for design.
- Web content publishing guidance and standards.
The principle is the same as the web templates that come with, for example, the latest iteration of Windows. But these standards are for business, and have been vetted by ActiveStandards customers like Unilever, Rolls-Royce, GlaxoSmithKline and the British Parliament.
Users select from a library of standards templates and tailor them to their organizational needs by completing an online questionnaire. Standards Hub then generates a complete set of actionable standards documentation based on templates built by
ActiveStandards' team of standards architects who were behind those brand sites described earlier
Rolls-Royce in 2008 began a website overhaul, really a reboot, as it moved from a static HTML site to a content-management system (CMS), which required rebuilding the site from scratch. The company used ActiveStandards to develop a comprehensive set of website standards, and its Website Quality Management (WQM) tool to ensure that those standards were effectively implemented and that its sites remained compliant.
Rolls-Royce reports that where before its content might be four years out of date, it is now updated day-to-day. The company set standards allowing many of its 39,000 employees to make those updates, lifting the burden off of its central web team.
Unilever with its dozens of consumer brands (including Axe and Dove) reports that the tool has helped it streamline its complex launch process with a consistent QA process. "Because ActiveStandards is completely automated it takes the complexity out of this process - it’s fantastic," enthused Johannah Bailey, Programme Director, Global Communications - External Channels.
Strangely absent from its list of customers: ad agencies, marketing agencies and creative studios—the type of companies that compete based on their ultra-creative websites.
Standards Hub is available at no cost to all ActiveStandards customers.