iws fall 2012 weekly homework

About Homework Assignments

The assignments that are listed on this page are to be completed before class starts the day they are due. The latest assignment will be placed at the top to reduce scrolling.

for Thursday, October 25

On top of the reading for Thursday (Stolley: Chapters 14-20; Marcotte: chapters 3 and 5) this homework assignment is going to start getting you thinking in earnest about your Professional web site design. To complete it, you’ll need to think in terms of usability and emotional web design. Please complete, in this order, the following:

  1. A User Persona (Walter, pp. 33 – 35) in which you detail who your primary user will be. Though most design personas are based on significant research, we are going to just jump in and see who you think your primary user will be (note: it’s not me and it’s not your family). Create a blog post for your user persona. Your persona should include descriptions of the following:
    • their current job and a brief job description
    • a biographical sketch detailing their gender, age, general education and work history, hobbies, interests
    • comfort level with technology
    • how they will find your site and on what kind of device(s) you anticipate them accessing it
    • their goal for using your site.
  2. A Design Persona (Walter, pp. 35 – 40; Walter’s online template, which is not all that useful because it is in PDF format and not editable) in which you detail the personality of your site. Your persona should include descriptions for each of the inclusions Walter lists in bold on pages 36 and 37. Note that your so-called brand is going to be you and your name. It is important that you don’t get too into thinking about yourself and your site in corporate terms because the goals of your site are different from a corporation. And, of course, you are not a corporation. So, when you see “brand” on those pages, think “your site” instead. Also understand that you most likely won’t have a logo since (from what I know) none of you are graphic designers. Still, this is an important part of thinking about how to design your site. Create a separate blog post for your design persona.
  3. A Simple Wireframe, modeled after the one depicted in 4.11 on page 107 of Goto and Colter, which I handed out last week. Construct your wireframe by hand using a pencil and a ruler on a piece of blank white copy paper. You will no doubt go through several iterations with lots of erasing. When you are happy with something you like, create a final draft on blank white paper, scan it into the computer, and create a separate blog post in which you introduce it and discuss it a bit. Then, create another version (using pencil) on the graph paper I handed out in class on Thursday. Bring both drafts to class; don’t scan in the one of graph paper as it won’t scan well. We’ll be working with the graph paper to discuss grid-based layouts.

for Tuesday, September 13

As a way to start thinking about the course and what you’d like to get out of it, please compose a 500 – 750 word essay that discusses just that: what you would like to get out of the course, out of learning web design, and so on. This will become your first blog post once we have those set up. You’re welcome to make reference to the readings bit you don’t need to.

Please read the following:

  • Stolley: Preface, chapters 1-5, 9-13 (much of what is here should seem abstract and confusing; that is expected; we’ll be doing some hands-on work based on the chapters and it will become clearer as the semester goes on)
  • Rettberg, “What is a Blog?” (download in the Readings page)
  • Johnson, Silver, and Atwood Twitter (links to be added)
  • The Web Standards Readings on the Readings page

Please download and install the following free software applications and browser plugins (or add-ons) on your home/primary computer. We will be using them throughout the semester:

  • Mozilla Firefox Browser: this is a more streamlined and user-friendly web browser
  • Web Developer Toolbar Firefox Plugin: this plugin allows for dynamic interaction with web sites when in the process of developing them
  • FireFTP Firefox Plugin: this is an excellent browser-based File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client
  • HTML-Kit (pc only): an outstanding and robust HTML and CSS editor for the PC
  • Smultron (Mac only): an excellent and robust HTML and CSS editor for the PC

In class each of us should have selected professional URLs, and many of you might have made decisions about if you want to pay for your own hosting account or use my hosting account for now. If you have decided to pay for your own account, go to Bluehost and register your domain and create an account. Be sure to have the confirmation email that you receive with you in class on Thursday, as well as the username that was created for you, your password, and your domain name.

Please also start browsing through the links under the “all about web design” heading in the right sidebar to get an idea about the kinds of things the web design community is discussing and what is available for your use. We’ll become more familiar with the community as the semester develops, especially through the social bookmarking assignment. The most invested you are in the community (in terms of reading and commenting on blogs, for example) and web design practices, the more you will get out of this class.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

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