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MA Web Design & Content Planning

Content management

Overview

This module builds on the skills developed during the Design for Web Content course and covers the design and implementation of medium to large scale websites. It is concerned with some server-side technologies, such as PHP scripting and MySQL databases in addition to the more advanced development of client-side technologies such as JavaScript. The focus of this course is on the creation of websites with “user-centred” design techniques and on improving efficiency in the building and management of larger sites.

The web designer must also be able to build and deploy sites that are easy to manage. This may be achieved by adopting a modular approach to design and by employing PHP and by creating sites with dynamic content using databases. For such sites, security is also a major consideration and this course covers the fundamentals.

Aims and Outcomes

Format

The course runs during Term 2 and consists of four main elements – workshops, online dialogue, coursework and projects.

Workshops

The workshops will focus on “webpage design” in the widest sense of the words. We will cover both technical and aesthetic aspects during the workshops and lively dialogue is encouraged. The various topics are given on the timetable although this is only meant to be indicative and may change to suit specific requirements. Detailed tutorials etc. may be given at the workshop sessions or made available on-line. It must be stressed that complete coverage of the topics under consideration cannot be dealt with during the workshops and you will need to allocate time to follow up each workshop with further study.

Online Dialogue

Online teaching and support is available from a number of resources (e.g. email), however, for general comment and discussion, students should engage with the course tutor, other tutors and other students on this programme via our Slack group, using an appropriate channel. Your questions will be answered either by the course tutor or by other members of the group. Use of our Slack group is an integral part of the learning process and you are expected to become active members. We see the Slack group as being a way of documenting current trends and news and a place for discussion. The group already contains a large amount of information and is a valuable resource tool as well as an excellent forum for debate.

Online activity also includes blogging and commenting on other students’ blog posts. You may be required to use your blog for the submission of written work but you may also use it to publish any relevant material and as a journal of your learning journey.

Coursework

Most weeks you will be given one or more tasks and some recommended reading to be completed for the following week. Some tasks will build on work completed the previous week so it’s important not to fall behind. There is no assessed coursework for this course but it does form an important part of the learning process.

Projects

In addition to coursework, there are 2 projects that must be completed by the dates given on the Assessed Elements page and made available online using your hosted web space. In general, project briefs are issued after relevant topics have been covered in the workshops to ensure that all students are able to complete the work. A studio crit is held the week before submission so that help, advice and feedback can be given before project work is submitted. It is particularly important to meet deadlines for project work as they constitute 100% of the assessment for this course.

Student Websites

You must keep an online directory of all the work you produce for this course and all other courses on this programme. We recommend you use your hosted web space to create a directory of your work with links to the various elements. Advice will be given on how best to do this.