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  • Aalto University

    School of Science

    Degree Programme in Computer Science and Engineering

    Hanne Aho

    Managing Outsourced Image Content Production in an Image-Oriented Web Project

    Master’s Thesis Helsinki, August 16, 2015

    Supervisor: Professor Petri Vuorimaa Advisor: Kiril Jovchev M.Sc. (Tech.)

  • Aalto University School of Science Degree Programme in Computer Science and Engineering

    ABSTRACT OF MASTER’S THESIS

    Author: Hanne Aho

    Title: Managing Outsourced Image Content Production in an Image-Oriented Web Project

    Date: August 16, 2015 Pages: viii + 73

    Major: Media Technology Code: IL3011

    Supervisor: Professor Petri Vuorimaa

    Advisor: Kiril Jovchev M.Sc. (Tech.)

    The objective of this thesis was to examine how outsourced image content can be managed in an image-oriented Web project. The research was conducted as a single-case study that involved developing tools and processes for integrat- ing outsourced image content into an international construction company’s Web platform. The results of the project were evaluated by analyzing log files and con- ducting interviews with people involved in the project. Furthermore, the results of the project were compared to the insights gained from a literature review.

    The management of outsourced image content production is a unique process that depends on the characteristics of each individual Web project. Prior to engaging in an outsourcing relationship, the organization must have a profound understanding of the functional, visual, and technical requirements of the project. The organization must also make a plan for integrating images into the website and monitoring their quality.

    Integration and quality monitoring are the two major challenges in outsourced image production. The integration process should be automated, where possible, but manual work is needed for tasks that require decision-making based on visual content. Quality monitoring should be conducted as a part of the integration process, and it should cover both the technical and visual properties of images as well as the integration data.

    Keywords: image, image content, outsourcing, web, management, inte- gration, validation, quality monitoring

    Language: English

    ii

  • Aalto-yliopisto Perustieteiden korkeakoulu Tietotekniikan koulutusohjelma

    DIPLOMITYÖN TIIVISTELMÄ

    Tekijä: Hanne Aho

    Työn nimi: Ulkoistetun kuvien tuotannon hallinta kuviin painottuvassa Web-projektissa

    Päiväys: 16. elokuuta 2015 Sivumäärä: viii + 73

    Pääaine: Mediatekniikka Koodi: IL3011

    Valvoja: Professori Petri Vuorimaa

    Ohjaaja: Diplomi-insinööri Kiril Jovchev

    Tämän diplomityön tarkoituksena oli selvittää, miten ulkoistetusti tuotettua ku- vasisältöä voidaan hallita kuvamateriaaliin painottuvassa Web-projektissa. Tut- kimus suoritettiin yhden organisaation case-tutkimuksena, joka kohdistui kan- sainvälisen rakennusalan yrityksen Web-projektiin. Tutkimuksen yhteydessä ke- hitettiin tarvittavat työkalut ja prosessit, joiden avulla ulkoistetusti tuotettu ku- vasisältö voidaan integroida yrityksen Web-järjestelmään. Projektin onnistumis- ta arvioitiin analysoimalla lokitiedostoja ja haastattelemalla projektissa eri ta- voin mukana olleita henkilöitä. Lisäksi projektin tuloksia verrattiin kirjallisuus- katsauksen avulla kerättyyn aineistoon.

    Ulkoistetusti tuotetun kuvasisällön hallinta on yksilöllinen prosessi, joka muotou- tuu kunkin Web-projektin ominaispiirteiden pohjalta. Ennen ulkoistamishank- keeseen ryhtymistä yrityksen on selvitettävä, millaisia toiminnallisia, visuaalisia ja teknisiä vaatimuksia projektiin liittyy. Lisäksi on laadittava suunnitelma siitä, miten kuvat integroidaan Web-sivustolle ja miten niiden laatua valvotaan.

    Kuvasisällön integrointi ja laadunvalvonta ovat ulkoistetun kuvien tuotannon suu- rimpia haasteita. Kuvien integrointi voidaan teknisten ominaisuuksien osalta au- tomatisoida, mutta manuaalista työtä tarvitaan silloin kun päätöksenteko tapah- tuu kuvan visuaalisen sisällön perusteella. Laadunvalvonta on hyvä sisällyttää osaksi integrointiprosessia, ja sen yhteydessä on otettava huomioon kuvien tek- niset ja visuaaliset ominaisuudet sekä mahdollinen integrointia varten tarvittava metatieto.

    Asiasanat: kuva, kuvasisältö, ulkoistaminen, web, hallinta, integrointi, validointi, laadunvalvonta

    Kieli: Englanti

    iii

  • Acknowledgements

    I would like to thank my instructor, Kiril Jovchev, for making this Master’s thesis possible. For quite some time, I was worried that combining my thesis with the interests of Siili Solutions will be a difficult, if not impossible, task. Thank you for taking the time to help me find a topic and kick-start this project.

    I wish to thank Samuel Salmenlinna for giving me the opportunity and the official support to write my thesis for Siili Solutions. I also want to thank Matti Kiviluoto for all the small acts of encouragement during this project. Thank you for giving me the feeling that the company has my back on my efforts to graduate.

    I want to express my gratitude to my supervisor, professor Petri Vuori- maa, who has given me valuable feedback and advice for the writing process. Thank you for the patience and the supportive words even when my thesis turned out to be quite a lot longer process than I expected.

    I want to thank all my friends, coworkers, and relatives that have given me their support during this project. A very special thank you to my lovely friend and workmate, Vikki, who has lived through the ups and downs of my thesis with me. Another special thank you to my grandmother who made me the woolly socks that have kept my feet warm during the long days and nights that I have spent writing this thesis.

    Finally, I want to thank my family: my brother Mika, my sister Joanna, my brother Jukka, mom and dad. Words cannot describe how much you mean to me. Thank you for always being there for me when I needed it.

    Helsinki, August 16, 2015

    Hanne Aho

    iv

  • Abbreviations and Acronyms

    CAD Computer-Aided Design CEE Central Eastern Europe CSS Cascading Style Sheets GIF Graphics Interchange Format HTML HyperText Markup Language HTTP HyperText Transfer Protocol JPEG Joint Photographic Experts Group JSON JavaScript Object Notation PNG Portable Network Graphics RFP Request for Proposal SEO Search Engine Optimization SOW Statement of Work SVG Scalable Vector Graphics UAT User Acceptance Testing URL Uniform Resource Locator WCAG Web Content Accessibility Guidelines XML Extensible Markup Language

    v

  • Contents

    Abbreviations and Acronyms v

    1 Introduction 1 1.1 Objectives and research questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 1.2 Structure of this study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

    2 Outsourcing 4 2.1 Motivation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 2.2 Outsourcing life cycle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

    2.2.1 Strategic assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 2.2.2 Needs analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 2.2.3 Vendor assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 2.2.4 Negotiation and contract management . . . . . . . . . 9 2.2.5 Project initiation and transition . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 2.2.6 Relationship management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 2.2.7 Continuance modification or exit strategies . . . . . . . 11

    3 Image production for the Web 13 3.1 Image formats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

    3.1.1 GIF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 3.1.2 JPEG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 3.1.3 PNG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 3.1.4 SVG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

    3.2 Images on Web pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 3.3 Image optimization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

    3.3.1 Accessibility optimization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 3.3.2 Search Engine Optimization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 3.3.3 Performance optimization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

    vi

  • 4 Research methodology 23 4.1 Exploratory single-case study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 4.2 Literature review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 4.3 Data collection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

    4.3.1 Research interviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 4.3.2 Web server logs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 4.3.3 Image importer logs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 4.3.4 Technical qualities of images . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

    5 Case study 26 5.1 Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

    5.1.1 Company introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 5.1.2 Concept . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 5.1.3 Team structure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 5.1.4 Web platform . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

    5.2 Image production workflow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 5.2.1 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 5.2.2 Image content specification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 5.2.3 Image package creation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 5.2.4 Image importer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

    5.3 Image integration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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