Assignments 2011

Assignment categories:

Catalyst CollectIt : Catalyst Grade Sheet.

Technology Assignments

Assignment 1

To be done in pairs.

Identify six different websites that will form the basis of much of your analysis this quarter. There should be one from each of these genres. At least three of the sites must be based upon or incorporate WordPress or a blog.

  • an e-commerce web site (must have online ordering)
  • an entertainment web site (such as for a movie)
  • a government web site
  • a news media web site
  • a non-profit web site
  • a professional services site

On this course website, create a page for each of the websites.

The page title should be the site/company name.
The parent (Page Attributes, under the “publish button”) should be syllabus -> assignments -> web site genres. [So the url will include this string: syllabus/assignments-2011/web-site-genres/]

Include the following information for each site (example – no one gets to use Etsy!).

  • Site name and description
  • Site URL
  • Site type
  • Homepage screenshot (how to take a screenshot – utilities, Skitch (Mac) or Jing (Mac/PC)
  • Design overview
  • Audience (your deduction)
  • Business/Site Goals (your deduction)
  • Social media integration
  • Technologies used (your deduction)
  • Team members (only one person’s name will be associated with the blog post)
  • Reviews or analyses of the site

Publish the post and then copy the URL.

Navigate to the 2011 web site genres summary page and add your web sites to the appropriate sections. Keep these alphabetical by first letter of site name, such as “Washington Post” or “Avatar” or “EFF”. Link the site name to your site’s page. Follow the name of the site with the team member names.

Due 9 am Wednesday 17 October  

Graded on completeness; late assignments not accepted.
Total points: 50

  1. Student pairs here

Assignment 2

To be done in pairs (same pair as assignment 1).

Pick one genre for in-depth aesthetic (competitive) analysis. Use the site that you selected as well as at least two sites from other students. What are the similarities in visual design? What are the differences? How effective is the visual design? Develop at least one scenario to test the design, which must include who you have determined is the audience segment; what constitutes “success”? Give evidence for your judgment.

On the course blog, create a page for this assignment. Analyze each website; link your page to the summary page, Web Site Genre Analysis.

Once you have the data, then think about how to best present the results. At a minimum, each of the three sites needs:

  • Org name, URL, home page screen shot
  • Scenario
  • Analytical summary, including “do-s” and “don’t-s”

Due 9 am Wednesday, 14 November
Graded on completeness, quality of analysis; late assignments not accepted.
Total points: 50

Discussion Leader

Each student will research and lead discussion on a web-related technology; sign up in week 1 class. Short (5-10 minutes) explanation of the technology, how it is used, why it’s important. Create a PPT or PDF and post to Create a summary post on this course blog (link to the Slideshare post) as resource/reference and categorize it as “geekspeak“. Posts are due before the class session.

  • Sunday 14 October : 1-6 : LAMP [Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP] & CSS & FTP
  • Wednesday 31 October : 7-9-12 : Cookies (State Management ), HTML5, RSS
  • Wednesday 14  November : 13-14 : Cloud Computing, Google Webmaster Tools
  • Sunday 18 November : 10-12 : API, DNS record, Semantic Web

Term Project

Each student will install WordPress on a web server. Students will select a theme, install it and customize its CSS. Students will select and install widgets/plugins. The site should be hosted at HostGator, FatCow or MediaTemple. NO SITES AT GODADDY – it is not designed for WordPress. I have to minimize the number of hosts because of support requirements.

Deliverables to include a project plan, competitive analysis, incremental milestones and a “lessons learned” reflection. The final site will be graded based on aesthetics, usability, social network integration and creativity. Details on assessment.


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). The other (35 points) part of the participation grade is based on in-class participation.

For blog posts, use the existing categories and create tags to customize information.

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