Writing in the Disciplines

 

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Computer Systems Department
School of Business
WID Proposal

BCS 240: Principles of Website Planning and Development
Professor Paula Maurino

Course Description:

This is a course for future developers and designers on creating successful Websites. Topics covered will include planning, analysis, designing, and developing well-organized Websites that combine effective navigation with the use of graphics, text, and color.

Course Objectives: 

After completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. apply knowledge of HTML skills to build and design Web pages;
  2. plan and design effective Web pages using graphics, typography, and good navigation principles;
  3. compare and assess the effects of different browser and computing platforms on Web design;
  4. build portable, accessible Websites that clearly present information;
  5. critically evaluate Website designs; and
  6. write creative and effective text for use on the Web.

Capstone Project:

Students will plan and develop a Website using proper navigation, graphics, and typography principles.  Students will write and proof all text and copy for this Website.  All writing assignments will be linked to the Website and become part of the capstone project.

Grading Policy:

Lab Exercises: ................................................................................... 30 points
Capstone Project ................................................................................ 30 points
Presentation....................................................................................... 5 points
Writing Assignments:
    High Stakes (6 assignments below)................................................... 30 points
    Low Stakes (Web page copy)............................................................ 5 points

Writing Assignments

Writing Assignment 1:   Project Proposal (6 points)

Create a two page Word document in good narrative form describing the Website you are going to create.  At this stage, your proposal is primarily a draft.  You should print it out and save it.  You will post it to your Website at a later date.

  • Introduce yourself and describe your educational background, classes that you have taken, work experience, etc. 
  • Describe the type of Website you are interested in creating. 
  • Explain the content and goals of the site, such as billboard, customer support, catalog/e-commerce, informational, or resource. 
  • Discuss the main features of the site and estimate the number of individual Web pages that will be required. 
  • Portray characteristics of the typical audience for the site. 

Writing Assignment 2:  Research (5 Points)

Browse the Web and select at least two Websites that are similar to the site you want to create.  Print out the main page and at least two secondary pages. 

Write a short design critique of the two Websites.  Give examples of design attributes you like and don’t like.  Decide which Website is more effective and describe why. 

Print out the narrative and attach the print outs of the two Websites to the narrative.  Save the narrative for later uploading to your Website.

Writing Assignment 3:  Design Document (10 points)

Create a design document for your Website. Use the Design Document for the Dangerous Frogs Website created in Project 1 as a starting point guide.

Make sure to include the following:

  • Goals and purposes
  • Audience
  • Design requirements
  • Delivery requirements
  • Flowchart (make sure to include a FAQ page.)
  • Website design summary followed by specific content and layouts for all pages.

In addition to the above, justify your reasons for selecting this particular structure.  How does it suit your content?  How does it benefit the user?

Writing Assignment 4:  FAQs (3 points)

Write a short narrative describing the FAQs you have selected to include on your Web Page.  State why you feel they are important and in what way they will help the user.  Include the FAQs in the assignment as well as your responses to them.

Writing Assignment 5:  User Testing (3 points)

Create a user feedback form.  Describe the items you feel need to be tested and evaluated.  You may want to go online and investigate forms already created for this purpose.  There are many of them on the Web.  A sample will also be distributed in class.

Writing Assignment 6:  User Results and Changes (3 points)

During the next class, students will test your Website and fill out your user feedback form.  You may also have people outside the class try it out and fill out the form.  Compile the data and write a narrative detailing the results of the testing and what they indicate about the effectiveness of your design.  Discuss areas that you feel need to be improved and ways to make those improvements.