Midterm Assignment

Thoughts and Decision making process:

1. In doing the design for the SMC Design Technology website, I wanted to maintain a clean and modern look while incorporating social media and a minimalist look to the site. When the user goes to the site, they see pleasant imagery of the campus and the students and therefore are more enticed to apply.

In researching other designs and trends, the minimalist look was the way to go. I also wanted to incorporate modern web technologies such as css3 and html5 along with JQuery for the behavior of the site.

The production process was much easier once the layout and the wireframe/sitemap were completed.

the only concern with the production is the scalability and the post delivery process to update the site. In most likely scenarios, I would have build the website off the wordpress platform which allows users to add/delete pages as well as add their own content and it’s built on a strong framework.

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Week 5 Assignment

What is a “site map?”

A sitemap is a tool that shows a visual representation of the site’s structure, organization, flow, and grouping of content and information. It communicates, it defines and it strucutes. It is a representation of the entire project, from a broad vantage point to many of the most minute of details. It is a chance to view te site structure and organization as a whole…

What are the two types of naming conventions that are addressed in the book?
Organizational/numeric naming
HTML naming

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Week 4 Homework

What are the “three views” discussed in the book involving the content of the site. And what are the differences between the three views?

The three views discussed in the book are:
1. Content-View
2. Site – View
3. Page – View

Content view is really addressing the content. It’s looking at the existing content, auditing it, coming up with a content delivery plan. Site View is coming up with the sitemap, addressing the existing organizational structure of the site and coming up with a new structure. The Page view relates to wireframing, looking at navigation and the overall labeling and naming of the site.

What is a “content audit?”
a content audit is an evaluation of every piece of content(whether it’s text, images or media) in the outgoing site that is relevant to the redesign.

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Week 3 Homework

Name a few examples of “overall goals” for the web site design or re-design.
1. increase traffic
2. increase sales
3. highlight a new product
4. make a dynamic, content-driven website
5. decrease calls to customer service
6. create an intuitive navigation
7. streamline browsing and purchasing
8. create a scalable structure for growth.

What does a Project Plan consist of?
1. Project overview
2. Schedule
3. Budget breakdowns
4. Communication brief
— could also include target audience info, audience profiles, testing plan,etc.

Give examples of good documentation practices for a project.
1. creating folder to store all the documents for each project.
2. getting client signatures for faxes received
3. if email approvals, follow up with hard copy with clients signature for the approval.

When is an Additional Charge Form used? (oftentimes referred to as Change Order) When project creep happens, a AC form is used to document changes in the scope of the project.

What are the two ways to approach the Scheduling task?
1. create an overview schedule that shows methodology chronologically.
2. build a detailed date-by-date format that itemizes deliverables and approval reviews according to due dates.

What is the difference between a Visual Designer and an Information Designer?
The visual designer is responsible for shaping the overall creative vision of the project. The information designer works to create a design that incorporates the content in a visually stimulating manner.

What is a “staging area?”
A staging area acts as a hub of communication and it is usually divided into two sections, client staging site and team development area.

What is included in the agenda of a “kick off” meeting?
1. Project Overview
2. schedule
3. deliverables
4. details and assumptions.

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Week 2 Assignment

What are the differences between a Formal and an Informal Industry Analysis?
A formal analysis involves a larger team, a niched area of expertise and a larger budget. This would also include the analysis review which would be much larger for a formal vs. informal.

Name a few of the features you might look for when you are doing a Competitive Analysis.
graphics, download speeds, social media integration, message boards/registration/etc/…

What are the three main areas for rating when evaluating for a Competitive Analysis?
1. Overall Experience.
2. Functionality/Ease of Use.
3. Look & Feel.

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Week 1 Homework

Core Design Process
How many phases are part of the Core Process and what are they?

5 phases:

1. Define the Project
2. Develop Site Structure
3. Design Visual Interface
4. Build and Integrate
5. Launch and Beyond

What is “Scope Creep” and how can you prepare for it?
Scope Creep is the slow changing or a project scope. I would prepare by establishing realistic deadlines and deliverables within the project. Confirm with the client these deadlines and what they are expecting to prevent further changes in the project.

What are the two ways to combat content delay?
Sticking to deadlines/project schedule and having a good mechanism in place to get content from client, ie. a plan.. Hiring a content manager, someone that has the accountability and responsibility to get content from the client in a timely manner.

What does the “QA” in QA testing stand for?
Quality Assurance

What do the authors mean when they refer to “Smart Design?”
Smart Design is elegantly intertwining functionality with user experience. The page should load fast and look good. The design shouldn’t take away from the user experience.

Gathering Information
What does the word “Discovery” refer to?
Discovery refers to the process of gather information from the client, to include budget, expectations, what their goals are for the site, etc.

Give me a couple examples of “good client” attributes and “red flag client” warning signs.
Good Client attributes would be a client that’s responsible, has a clear defined plan to what they want in the site, and is responsive to emails, phone calls, etc.

Red flags would be a client that’s in a hurry to get a website up, doesn’t have a clear defined plan, perhaps wants a lot of technology thrown into the website without understanding why.

Understanding your Audience
What is an audience profile? What is another name for it? An audience profile would be a description of who is viewing the site and how your product/services pertain to them…another name would be Personas.

Name some of the things you need to analyze when determining an audience’s capabilities? Would be some of the technical aspects, ie. bandwidth, screen size, resolution, browser compatibility…

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