Small Individual Project Assignment Directions

This assignment is designed to give you a concrete opportunity to begin working with some of the technical, aesthetic, and intellectual issues of web development. In addition to practice using the tools and techniques made possible by applications such as Photoshop and Dreamweaver, this project also encourages you to put into use what you have observed and learned about design, layout, navigation, and organization of content. Although your projects will have diverse goals depending on who you are designing for, your site should effectively and invitingly communicate with its intended audience. The design should be appealing and the navigation and flow of information should be user-friendly.

Guidelines for What You'll be Developing
At the end of this assignment, you will have a small, complete, fully-functioning web site (though it may have room for later expansion and development). At a minimum, it should include the following:

  • 5 fully developed pages
  • a clear navigation system for moving between the pages
  • 10 images (these can be photos, illustrations, text graphics, buttons, etc.)
  • a clear indication of the site's purpose
  • a purposeful layout and color system
  • attention to common monitor sizes (main content/design should fall within 800x600 pixel size)
  • contact information for whoever will be responsible for maintaining the page or fielding questions/comments
  • outside links as appropriate

Depending on the needs and interests of your project's client and audience, your site may contain additional features such as:

  • pop-up menus
  • Flash introduction or interactive features
  • sound
  • video
  • etc.

Due Dates
The final version of this project will not be due until the last day of class, however, preparatory work and early versions will be due as follows:

Written Project Proposal
In 300-500 words, write up a proposal for what you hope to accomplish in your site. Please address and describe the following categories to the best of your ability. Remember that the more thinking and planning you do up front, the less backtracking and revising you'll have to do later.

  • purpose- what do you hope to accomplish with this site?
  • target audience- who are you trying to reach with this site? why? how will you identify their needs & interests?
  • media- what media do you plan to include & why?
  • description & site concept- what do you plan to do in this site? how do you plan to reach your audience?
  • rationale- what justifications can you offer for your design ideas & choices? (in other words, how can you convince your client that what you plan to do will help them to attain their goals?)

Screen-based Design Mockups
The purpose of doing three different on-screen mockups is so that you can explore how different approaches and ideas might begin to work in a digital context. Often times, what seems like it will work fine on paper does not translate well on screen either aesthetically or functionally. Also, when working with clients, they will want to see several options before giving the OK to continue development. This is an extremely important step because without approval here, you may get to the end of the design and development process only to find that your client is not happy with the entire site. You will present these mockups to each other (standing in as clients) to receive feedback and insights that are often overlooked when you are immersed in a project.

First Version of Working Site
On this day, your site should be online (though not linked to anywhere else except your class page) and fully functioning. This will be a chance for you to observe others as they use your navigation and to solicit their feedback on your overall design and content. Your objective is to here critiques and suggestions while there is still time to revise your approach and fix errors and glitches. Although your navigation should be fully operational so that users can get to all pages in your site, the project does not have to be completely finished (an impossibility in web design anyway) on this day.

Final Version of Site
The final version of your site should should be fully functioning and should include attention to all of the criteria outlined at the top of this page.