‘Don’t just say No. Advise them a little after you say No. That small bit of advise really helps people and as a side-effect may build relationships with them as well. Recently We had to say no, to a project that would helped a lot of people. And here is how we advised them (in an email) so that the project would succeed who-ever did it. (names changed of course).
It was good to meet you during your Briefing process two weeks ago. Unfortunately, our firm has decided not to apply for your website project at this time because we don’t have the time and the resources to dedicate to your proposed project at this time.
As a Nepali and concerned citizens I look forward to seeing a functional website of the ‘…………. authority’ of Nepal. I realize it is extremely important to strengthen our ‘…………. authority’ to make sure we produce better leadership in Nepal. Thank you for helping such an important entity in Nepal.
We wanted to add in a few suggestions, that might help your project become a resounding success !
a) Since 75% of youths are youths and 1.4 million use Facebook, Integrate social media into your online presence. information sharing means listening in to what the Nepalis common citizens want also. This will be a powerful way to get response from youths as they love using this medium (in increasing numbers). For a start, showing presence in Facebook, twitter would help immensely :)
b) Since in the next 5 years, each of us in Nepal are going to carry a smart phone more powerful than the iPhone, and using this to look at the’…………. authority’s website, maybe think of “responsive designs” with this in mind
c) Language localization is important especially when Nepal is going to go on federal structure. Open source content management system like WordPress can easily be used to transform the site into Tharu, Maithali, Tamang dialact or …. Maybe think on that too…
d) I would in the future still suggest using cloud systems like Google docs (or others similar to it) as a powerful system (why reinvent the wheel). International Banks have started using google on the cloud. so safety and security is their priority.
In fact, Someone from Google is coming here to meet me next week. I will ask more on the safety and reliability of the cloud. It helps us all in the future :) Google does have an initiative to help governments also.
e) I feel, having a small group (<10) of a diverse citizen user group to test functionality of the website (from the beginning stages) is as important as your institution testing it yourself. (as citizens are themselves going to be using it). User testing would help tremendously (in our experience).
f) In my experience, too many features on a single site, is a over-kill. Users would value simplicity since they usually would go to a site for one purpose only and need to find it fast there. Otherwise they would go back to google search and get it from another site. Hence defeating the site’s single most important purpose, “Help”.
Thank you, Good luck, and as a Nepali Citizen, I am always willing to help you. Feel free to ask.