Web Design Certificate Program: Capstone Project
For the Capstone Project students will build a website that showcases and demonstrates the web design skills they have acquired in the classes that make up the Web Design Certificate Program. Satisfactory completion of the Web Design Capstone Project is required to receive the Web Design Certificate.
These objectives are in effect for students who started the program before September 2012:
- Build a site to meet a client’s needs and expectations
- Provide proper documentation of the process
- Make appropriate design choices
- Build the site with structural XHTML and CSS for presentation/layout
- Publish the site at a web hosting service
- Properly structured XHTML code validated with the W3C validator (XHTML Levels 1 and 2)
- Use of linked and embedded style sheets, with minimal or no inline styles, created by using appropriately defined selectors and validated with the W3C validator (CSS Levels 1 and 2)
- Selection of appropriate font (Designing Effective Web Sites)
- Content written for the audience using suitable language, spelling and grammar checked (Designing Effective Web Sites)
- Effective color scheme that fits the topic and audience (Designing Effective Web Sites)
- Properly optimized content-relevant graphics (Web Graphics with Photoshop)
- Primary text is optimized for search engines (Search Engine Optimization)
- Outline of a plan for a usability test (Designing Effective Web Sites)
- Selection of domain name and web hosting service (Web Foundations).
- Flash or Other Multimedia: If these are used they must be appropriate in size and an enhancement to the content (Flash – Level 1).
- Meeting Section 508 Accessibility Requirements: Be prepared to justify why or why not accessibility features were implemented (Web Accessibility Workshop).
- Client Interview
- Identify the client
- Analysis of the client’s needs
- Define the purpose of the site
- Define the audience and any special needs
- Define what the site will offer the audience and the topics it will cover
- Design specification
- Storyboard/site map
- Navigation plan
- Page layouts/wireframes
- Design choices
- Graphics to be incorporated (including source)
- Multimedia (if appropriate)
- Page mockups
- Implementation plan
- How the XHTML and CSS were written and validated
- Results of XHTML and CSS validation (printout of validation pages from W3C)
- How accessibility requirements were met or reasons why you felt they were not necessary for this audience
- The list of keywords, how they were determined, and how they have been implemented
- A usability testing plan
- A publishing plan
- Domain name selection and registration
- Web hosting services researched/selected
- You will need to either select or make up a client. Examples of possible clients include your family, friends, organizations where you are a member, or classmates.
- If you choose to do a portfolio site for yourself you must have at least one completed website project to include in the content. Also, on a portfolio site, you cannot interview yourself. You will need to have someone else interview you and provide you with the documentation from this interview.
- Redesigning an existing website is a legitimate topic for a project.
- The website must be a minimum of five pages with at least one single level of navigation. It is expected that larger sites will have more complex navigation.
- The website must be written in English. (can be translated into another language if needed, but the primary site must be in English).
- The website may be either hand-coded or built using an editor such as Dreamweaver.
- Multimedia or advanced interactivity is not required. If you choose to include these, you will be evaluated on their appropriate use and their technical accuracy.
- It is expected that student’s will be working on the site as they take classes, adding to the functionality and design as new skills are learned.
- Do not wait until you are taking the Capstone Project class to begin your site. The class assumes that you are mostly done with the project. The class focuses on the skills of presenting the web site as if you are working with a client.
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These objectives are in effect for students who started the program after September 2012:
- Research, design, and build a website that meets the user’s needs and achieves a client’s goals.
- Make design choices that create the appropriate user experience.
- Build the site with valid HTML and CSS code.
- Provide thorough documentation of the complete website design process.
- Publish the site at a web hosting service
- Properly written and validated HTML and CSS that evidences:
- Use of semantic, structured HTML code (HTML Levels 1 and 2)
- Use of linked and/or embedded style sheets, with minimal or no inline styles (CSS Levels 1 and 2)
- HTML and CSS code validated using the W3C validation service (HTML Level 2 and CSS Level 1)
- Website functions and displays properly in the platforms and browsers used by the website’s audience (HTML Levels 1 and 2, CSS Levels 1 and 2 and Designing Effective Websites)
- Content written for the audience using suitable language, spelling and grammar (Designing Effective Websites)
- Effective design elements (fonts, colors, backgrounds, and graphics) incorporated that fit the topic and audience (Designing Effective Websites)
- Properly optimized, content-relevant graphics (Web Graphics)
- Primary text optimized for search engines (Search Engine Optimization)
- Compliance with Section 508 accessibility requirements (Web Accessibility)
- Usability test conducted and site modified as needed (User Experience Design)
- Domain name registered and website published to a web hosting service (Designing Effective Websites and HTML Level 2)
- Flash or Other Multimedia: Not a required component, but if these are used they must be appropriate in size and enhance the site’s content.
You will need to select your own project. Projects can include any of the following:
- A Site for a Client: Possible clients include your family, friends, organizations where you are a member, or classmates.
- A Portfolio Site for Yourself: Documentation for a portfolio site must include all the same components as a site for a client. For the client interview, you cannot interview yourself. You will need to have someone else interview you and provide you with the documentation from this interview.
- A Redesign of an Existing Website: (Be prepared to show both the before and after versions of the site.)
- The website must be written in English. It can be translated into another language, if needed, but the primary site must be written in English.
- The website must be a minimum of five functional pages with at least one single level of navigation. It is expected that larger sites will have more complex navigation.
- The website may be either hand-coded in a text editor, built using a Graphical User Interface (GUI) editor such as Dreamweaver, or using a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress. Students choosing to build their site using a template, whether from a GUI editor, CMS, or other source, must adapt the template to demonstrate the required HTML and CSS skills.
- Multimedia is not required. If you choose to include this, you will be evaluated on its appropriate use and technical accuracy.
- Students are required to publish their sites for instructor review 48 hours before their final presentation. At this time students also need to submit their final version of the website documentation as amended to reflect changes in the website design and functionality.
- Do not wait until you are taking the Web Design Capstone class to begin your project. It is expected that students will be working on the site as they take classes, adding to the design and functionality as new skills are learned. The class assumes that you have selected your client, conducted the client interview and audience analysis, and have begun the design process. You should also have a draft of your documentation for the portions of the project you have worked on prior to the start of the class.
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