Session 2 : 5 October


  • Schedule change: no class on Wed Oct 26 – class instead on Wed Dec 7. Due date for second tech assignment adjusted.
  • Communication: reminder to put COM585 in email subject line, please; my cellphone is on every email; y’all can talk to one another via the class email listserv
  • Experiment? use Google+ for conferencing (pairs)
  • Pairs and GeekSpeak
  • Lecture and Discussion (remember to record the lecture for Joanna)
  • Lab

Pairs and GeekSpeak

  • See the Assignments Page
  • Pairs:
  • Discussion Leader Recap
    Each student will research and lead discussion on a web-related technology. Short (5-10 minutes) explanation of the technology, how used, why important. If PPT used, please post to Summary post on the course blog would be great as resource and note-reference. (Also on About page).

Lecture and Discussion

Geek Speak

More on Design

Design is a process for developing solutions that effectively integrate task, context of use, and “user.” (read more)

Core Skills of Design (from Designing Interactions)

  • Synthesize a solution from all relevant constraints
  • Frame (or reframe) the problem and objective
  • Create and envision alternatives
  • Select from those alternatives
  • Visualize and prototype solutions
Key Concepts From Designing The Obvious
  • Three layers: people, interfaces, data
  • Obvious design= “don’t make me think” design
  • Keys: clear purpose, focuses on activities (tasks), avoids scope creep/feature bloat, conforms to visitor mental model, it’s ethical in prompting us to action, mistake recovery is easy but the design focuses on preventing errors, reasonable consistency
  • User experience should be central, a “clear and well-defined end goal for what the user experience should look like, why it should look that way, and how a team will achieve it”
  • What follows why (Apple) is like form follows function — things follow beliefs
  • Re-read: competitive analysis section: an assessment of competing sites to see how your site compares in terms of features, scope, aesthetics

Genres Lecture (PPT)

We have to train our brains to analyze. (This is the core of tonight’s work and the assignment for next week). Questions include:

  • What is this site about? How would you explain it to a friend?
  • Who do you think is its audience? Why are they visiting this site?
  • Observations on design, navigation – does the interface make it easy for a person to do what she wants to do?
  • Resultant suggestions for the designer
1. Genre Discussion (seeding – for the in-class exercise)

2. Discussion : Our Blog (thinking about group blogs and best practices, which also apply to your own blogs even though there is only one writer!)

  • Class Profiles: Check out the author photos on our course blog. If your login name is showing instead of your name (or if it looks like a login name), fix that in your WP profile ASAP! [Display name publicly as … should be first name or first name + last initial or first name + last name]
  • Categories: Remember to pick a category for your posts. Notice that “uncategorized” posts don’t show up in the post categories in the right hand navigation. How might I have done that?
  • Style: Use the “MORE” tag for posts that are more than one paragraph in length [demo]
  • Audience: it’s bigger than the class. 🙂

MindMap Summary


  • In pairs, begin working on your genre assignment. Goal: everyone get one page published (even if it’s not final!) before we leave for the evening. (That way, I know that you understand how to accomplish the assignment). Figure out who is going to do what and how the final product can be a collaboration.

Before Our Next Class – Sunday 16 October

Getting ready for the lab

  • Sign up with a webhost (HostGator, Fat Cow, MediaTemple – if something else, email me for an OK)
  • Send me an email by Friday October 14 telling me which host you are using
  • Print and bring your signup info email to Sunday’s lab; it should the the email that contains your login info, including FTP info
  • Read Using WordPress, Introduction, Chapters 1, 3, 5. 6. Bring the book with you to class.
  • Read Beginning Web Programming, Chapters 1, 3, 11. Bring the book with you to class (that is, if you have a laptop, tablet or eReader)
  • Question: who has Beginning HTML, XHTML, CSS and Javascript?

The first Technology Assignment is due October 14


  • Part (40 points) of the participation grade awarded based on four posts to course web site; posts should be relevant to course topics (design, usability, web technologies) and spread out throughout the quarter (only one allowed per week). They must be properly categorized! Use this as an opportunity to practice writing for a global audience.

Before Our Class On Wednesday 2 November

About Kathy E. Gill (@kegill)

Digital evangelist, writer, teacher. Webmaster at King County Elections; educator at UW. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill,,

3 responses to “Session 2 : 5 October”

  1. Tiger Saenz says :

    eCommerce Group: Janae, Ting, Cheryl, Kat, Dacia

    Good Sites:

    Bad Sites:

  2. Derek Walker says :

    Rachel, Rachael, Thor, Dominique, Derek, Elizabeth – Portfolio/Service sites


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