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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)


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