Writing to the World Wide Web
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Final Design Project: Web Design Document

Your final design project will consist of three items:

This page contains information on the first stage of the project, writing the design document. The design document is a (paper) report that describes your overall plan for the design, development, implementation, and promotion of your web site. The purpose of the document is to help you identify and address the issues that you will face as you plan and code your site. You might think of this document as similar to a specifications document in software design, or a storyboard in media planning. Ideally it should facilitate communication among all people in the design group, function as a guide when coding the system, and help others who may be brought on to maintain or update the site after it is completed and online. Listed below are several items you should consider when writing the document.

Conceptual Analysis
This is a general description of who the web site is designed for and what its purpose is. It should include:

In addition, for help in writing this section (and others) look at Chapter 6, "Integrated Case Studies" in Designing Business. Each case study presents a brief "business goal," "technology mandate," and "design challenge." Your document should include similar information (but go into even more detail). For instance, each case study includes past tense discussions of the thought and rationale that went into the design. As you read these case studies, if you transcribe the descriptions into the future tense, you'll get an idea of the general description I'm expecting for this section.

Content Analysis
This is a discussion of the content that will be included in the web site to meet the objectives. This discussion will include:

Web Structure, Content, and Interface Design
This section includes details of how the actual site will be structured, how the pages will look, and how the user will navigate the site. It should include:

Development Information
This section includes any information you need to specify to facilitate smooth development by all members in your group, including:

Web Promotion and Maintenance
This section includes considerations of how you intend to let your audience know of your web site's existence (how it will be indexed, how it will be announced in other outlets and other media etc.) and a plan for who will be responsible for maintaining and updating the site when it is put online.

For help in determining what to include in this document, consult chapters 4 through 10 in John December and Neil Randall's HTML and CGI Unleashed. This book is in the library.


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Created 1.12.97. Updated 3.19.97.huntk@rpi.edu