Assignments

Each student will meet with a client to conduct a needs analysis—specifically, what the goals are for the site and what the site must accomplish.  Students will also find out more about the typical users (personas), determining which typical tasks they will need to complete when using the site.  Students should also get input from the client about aesthetic-oriented wishes, if any, and 2-3 competing/similar sites to emulate.  The student should include a discussion of the 2-3 sites and how he or she hopes to learn/be inspired by these other sites.

Readings:

All of this information will be compiled in a initial report that must include:

      1. A needs analysis
      2. Two personas
      3. Content list
      4. Competitive Analysis
      5. At least two example designs (paper or online).

The report should include a cover page, headings, and bullet points, as needed.

Once a design (or combination of designs) is approved, the student will create the site, showing both the client and Professor Sarachan work along the way (at least once every two weeks for Professor Sarachan).  Students are encouraged to use Axure (available in the lab), Balsamiq or Ninjamock to create the wireframe mockups.  Depending on the need to update the site, the student might create a hand-coded site or use a CMS (e.g., WordPress).

Once the site is finished, a usability test will be conducted with 2-3 individuals, possibly recruiting them through suggestions made by the client.  The results will be discussed with the client and the professor—and then changes will be made.

To prepare to conduct usability testing, I recommend purchasing a copy of “Don’t Make Me Think Revisited“.  The first edition, while not as up-to-date, is probably sufficient, and much cheaper.  Alternatively, borrow Professor Sarachan’s copy of the book.

During finals week, the student will present the site to the client.  The site should be hosted where the client can access it (and if necessary, the client pays for the hosting).  If directions are needed for the client to revise the site, these should be written and/or presented to the client.

Needs Document with Content List, personas and designs 20%
Completed Project 70%
Final Documentation/Presentation 10%

The project must be completed by finals week (or when needed by the client) to receive a passing grade.