Lesson 1: Planning the Client Website
You are now embarking on the most challenging phase of this course which requires drawing upon many if not all of the skills you have learned thus far. You will be designing constructing a website for an actual client. The website should be published on the Internet. Your instructor may be able to assist you with locating a suitable client. The client could be a community based nonprofit organization or a business that you, a family member or somone you know are involved with. It may also be a club or team in your high school (check with your instructor as some districts may not allow students to contribute to the school website). When you develop a site for a real client that is going to be published, it becomes crucial that you discover exactly what the client needs. Here are some important stipulations or ground rules to understand:
- Your client's expectaions are foremost; the client site is not meant to be a site designed to suit your taste.
- Many school districts forbid students from receiving payment on projects for which they also receive academic credit.
- Because the site will be published and it represents an actual client, take great care in your work and check frequently with your client to be sure that he or she feels the site is a favorable representation of his or her organization or business.
In this lesson you will work through some planning activities. The first stage involves getting to know your client and the types of users that are expected to visit the client's website. The second stage is to plan the website.
To develop a working plan for a website that will effectively effectively meet the needs of a client.
At the completion of this exercise, you will be able to:
- plan the design and development of a website with appropriate level of detail and complexity.
- develop a plan with the level of detail and sophistication appropriate to purpose and audience.
- identify areas in which web authoring software can assist in this process.
- Print or get a copy from your instructor of the following worksheet: Market Analysis (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader). If you would like to complete the worksheet electronically, rather than using pen and paper, a Microsoft Word version and plain text version are also available.
- Complete the Market Analysis worksheet. Your instructor will provide guidance as to how the worksheet should be completed (i.e., whether it is based on a formal interview with the client or on your understanding and research of the client's organization).
- Collect materials and content that will be used in the website. Again, your instructor will provide guidance as to where these materials should come from. If your role is to redesign an existing website for the client organization, all the needed content, including graphics, may already be available on their current website. Even if the organization doesn't have a website they may have a logo, mission statement, slogan, and other content.
- Organize the content into meaningful clusters (chunks), as you did in the earlier lesson on Organizing a website.
- Diagram how the site's files should be organized.
- Draw a sketch of the home page, which is likely to include the following
- a navigational menu
- a logo
- focal graphic that is befitting of your client's reputation
- your client's contact information
- your client's mission statement
Submit the completed Market Analysis, proposed site organization, and the sketch of the home page for review. Then proceed to the next lesson.