Group Project Directions
assignment is designed to give you realistic experience designing web
sites for a client as part of a development team. Working with two to
four classmates, you will propose, design, and create a fully functioning
web site for the MTU Writing Center. If your design meets all of the functional
and aesthetic needs of the client, your design may become the new Writing
Center web site.
for What You'll Be Doing
on your discussions with Writing Center staff, your research into what
the Writing Center does, and your analysis of other University Writing
Centers, you will develop a web site for the MTU Writing Center. This
is a complex project which will need to result in a sophisticated and
usable site. Although I cannot specify what you need to include (because
these decisions are part of the design process in which I want you to
engage), at minimum, the site your group creates should:
the Writing Center's goals and purposes as outlined in the discussion
with the Assistant Director
- put forth
a positive and inviting image of the Writing Center, the Humanities
Department, and the University
to the intended audiences of the Writing Center
- have a
usable hierarchy and navigation system so that web users of all levels
can find what they need quickly and easily
- have an
aesthetically pleasing interface and design
appropriate resources and links as suggested by staff and users
The final version of this project will not be due until the last week
of class, however, preparatory work and early versions will be due as
Project Proposal, 3 screen-based design mockups, & Pitch Presentation-
version of working site- 7/31
& final revised version of site- 8/5
In order to complete this proposal, you may want to do some additional
research with Writer Center staff and clients to help you better understand
how to position and construct your site. You should also refer to your
notes from the client's presentation, as well as your analyses of the
current site and sites from other universities. With that in mind, write
up a proposal (about 500 words) 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.
what do you hope to accomplish with this site?
audience- who are you trying to reach with this site? why? are there
multiple audiences (for example, international students, undergraduates,
graduates, etc.) how will you identify & meet their needs &
what media do you plan to include & why?
& site concept-
what do you plan to do in this site? how do you plan to reach your audience?
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?)
The purpose of doing multiple 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.
purpose of giving a Pitch Presentation is to help you prepare for the
process of presenting initial design ideas to a client. During such meetings,
your role is to provide the client with a limited variety of design options
so as to begin narrowing in on the design and features that will best
accomplish the goals and interests of the client. At this time, you also
give a rationale for your design choices. You want to facilitate as specific
feedback as possible, while also listening sincerely to their concerns
and suggestions. Although I would prefer all members of your group to
participate in some way in these presentations, you may choose to designate
a certain member or members to work as sales representatives if others
in the group also have specific roles within the development team.
(Alpha) 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. This stage of usability
testing is often called alpha testing (most sites and applications go
through a later round of beta testing when it is more complete and nearly
finished). Your objective is to hear 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.
This will be an opportunity to show off all of your hard work and
to celebrate your accomplishments. On this day, your site should be completely
finished so that the rest of the class can see it in all of its glory.
Your presentation should include a walk-through of the site, as well as
a discussion of your design process and the choices you had to make along
to Final Projects