Banner_Cert IV WebBTech-C1

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Today’s Class

  • About the Importance of Planning
  • Before Designing a Website
    • Needs Assessment
    • Results of the Lack of Planning
    • Aligning a Website With the Marketing Plan
    • Project Roles
    • Website Content Needs to be Determined
  • Questions to Ask a Client
    • TASK: Create a Catalogue of Questions
    • Screenshot of In-class Work
  • Feedback

About the Importance of Planning

Why do we need to plan a large-scale or even smaller-scale project? Let us look at something we might be able to relate to: imagine you have purchased a house in Melbourne (I know you may think – ‘at these prices, how unrealistic is this example’…), so anyway, let us imagine you were lucky and received a well deserved payment from your previous job and are in the position to purchase a house in Melbourne. The house needs some structural work and changes before you can move in. You also want to built a second floor with 2 additional bedrooms and a bathroom.

Now, let’s cut a long story short: you need to get a morgage from your friend – the local bank and contract a builder to do the job.

What will happen without plans/drawings of the changes and new structures? What will happen if you do not specify facts such as:

  • amount and locations of power points
  • amount and locations of light switches
  • where do you want the dining area?
  • what heights do you have in mind for benches?
  • cupboard finishes
  • floor finishes
  • wall finishes

We get the picture. No project can be completed if you do not have a plan. Plus, you never know when you are finished unless you define a clear outcome!

Before Designing a Website

When you are designing a website there will be a number of pages, technical aspects, payment systems, membership options, design considerations and many other characteristics that need to be considered.

Needs Assessment

’10 hours spent on a needs assessment can save 30 hours of development time’

It is a common fact that clients don’t necessarily understand the efficiencies gained by up-front assessment. Discovering the needs of a client halfway through a project can lead to:

  • headaches
  • extended development time
  • cost overruns
  • missed deadlines.

Results of the Lack of Planning

Usually the lack of planning can lead to:

  • the web designer is forced to make decisions based on assumptions, which may lead to significant mistakes
  • the design team and client will be bogged down in back and forwards communication, this is a waste of time and can be annoying for everyone involved
  • back tracking can lead to misunderstanding and dead lines may be missed as a result
  • extra work may lead to a gowth of project cost

Aligning a Website With the Marketing Plan

The website must work in sync with the overall marketing plan. The needs assessment for the website might overlap with the other efforts and approaches of the marketing department, which is fine.

Note that the established branding and marketing of the business should inform the structure and design of the website.

Project Roles

Every project is different, but these are the typical roles in a sizable Web project:

Internal stakeholders (aka “clients”), who represent all primary aspects of the business:

  • Project manager;
  • Copywriter or editor;
  • Web designer
  • Web developer

Website Content Needs to be Determined

As you prepare to add content to the website, think about who will contribute. In a five-person business, it might be just two of you, and that’s fine.

In a large business or organisation, 5, 10 or 15 people might be contributing content. The time required to edit and proofread both copy and visual content grows exponentially in proportion to the number of people who contribute content.

Questions to Ask a Client

TASK: Create a Catalogue of Questions

  1. In teams of 2 spend 15 minutes developing a list of questions that you would need to ask a client for a website before you could commence planning the website. We will discuss your catalogue of questions in class. You will be able to improve on your list and afterwards …
  2. post it here as a comment! (Make sure to include both your names, but only one of you needs to post) .

The examples of the Design Process form last week may help you with this, so find below the links again and a third one:

Here is another example for the design process that can be used for Web Design: Design Process for Web Design 2 (Source: Dreamweaver CS4, R.Rate & J.Campbell, Natcoll Publishing 2009)

Last week’s Design Process for Web Design 1 (Source: Go Wild Web, Carol Green, Natcoll Publishing 2006)

Last week’s Design Process for Graphic Design (Source: Go Wild Photoshop, Jamie Campbell, Natcoll Publishing 2006)

Screenshot of In-class Work



Please leave your feedback in form of a comment. Your feedback and suggestions will help me to make this blog more user friendly. Thanks!

Banner_Cert IV WebBTech-C1

Link to all Classes     Class1     Class 2     Class 3     Class 4      Class 5     Class 6

Today’s Class

  • The Web
    • Web Services
    • What is the Internet?
  • Designing for a Client
    • Design Brief
  • Feedback

The Web

Let us first have a look at this medium, that we seem to know so well. It was  1991 when the World Wide Web became active as a platform for anyone to participate in. It had its origins in military data accessing systems.

Web Services

For the Web to functions it requires a number of Web Technologies. In order to understand what Web Technologies are used for it is important to have a common understanding of web publishing languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript or XML.

To view any website on the Internet most people use a web browser. Web browsers work by connecting over the Internet via modem or ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) via a server or ISP (Internet Service Provider) to remote machines, asking for a particular document (or page) and then formatting the documents they receive for viewing on a computer.

To allow you to view a web page on your computer, web browsers use a special language called HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol). The remote machines containing the documents run HTTP servers. A HTTP server receives a request for a page, and sends it to the computer. The page can then be viewed through the browser.

Each document that is stored on the Web has a particular URL (Uniform Resource Locator). This tells the browser which server to go to to get the document. The syntax of the URL is simple to understand.

The standard for web documents is HTML. HTML is a Mark-up language that uses tags to create all the Web pages. HTML can be used to create formatted text that allows web browsers to make web pages viewable on their screens.

HTTP can also include images, sound, animation and video clips. HTTP weaves together all the relevant elements of the page and describes how it should be represented on your browser. It can also link to other pages or sites on the Web through hyperlinks.

What is the Internet?

So, what is the Internet? I would like to post this as a question to the class.

Let us share our views of what the Internet actually is. What do we see in it, what it is it made up of? What does it symbolise or represent to you?

Please participate in the class discussion before reading on. If you have missed the class and are following the notes online please stop for a moment and think about the question above. You may want to write your responses down before you continue!

Image source: Data Center Knowledge
Image source: Data Center Knowledge

Andrew Blum, a journalist and author of the book ‘Tubes’ explored what the Internet actually is in a physical form. Please use your head phones and view this video from his TED talk in September 2012: Andrew Blum: Inside the physical.

So, has your answer to what the Internet is changed? Please post your responses as comments on this post. Make sure that you add your name, so that I can track back your comments.

Designing for a Client

Before we design a website for a client we need to establish what the client wants and needs. We do this in form of a design brief.

Design Brief

The design brief needs to include relevant data of a client job. This includes due dates, expected outcomes, technical data (eg software and hardware requirements), it may include design concepts expected, and will cover client expectations such as what they are trying to achieve with the project/design.

It is your task to understand the requirements of a client and to translate them into a successful product or outcome.

The first step in this journey is to establish a design or project brief.

The brief may be given to you by the client. You will then need to analyse and rephrase to ensure that you understand the desired outcome.

In my experience you will more likely need to establish the design brief by collecting information from e-mails, verbal statements from client meetings and asking a number of key questions.

Business entrepreneurs know to have a system of questions in place to ensure that they know what to ask the client.

The following step is to contact the client and get him or her to agree on a brief. This can be done in form of an e-mail and asking the client to read through the brief and respond to it.

Please open the file below: Design Process for Web Design (Source: Go Wild Web, Carol Green, Natcoll Publishing 2006)

We will read through it together and discuss it in class.

Compare the list to this list: Design Process for Graphic Design (Source: Go Wild Photoshop, Jamie Campbell, Natcoll Publishing, 2006)


Please leave your feedback in form of a comment. Your feedback and suggestions will help me to make this blog more user friendly. Thanks!