Langara Outlines

PUBL 1235 Web Production 1

Course: Publ 1235 Title: Web Production 1
Credits: 3 Room: A247 (Mac Lab)
Term: Summer 2015 Class Days/Times:
June 24–Aug 02 (possibly beyond)
Tuesday 500–720
Wednesday 130–520
Thursday 200–520
Office Hours:
Wednesday 1130-1330

This Section B class is devoted to the production of the online Pacific Rim Magazine.

Like anything in life, this outline is subject to occasional changes. Throughout the term, I will add links to additional supporting content.

Production of will possibly extend into the exam period.

Do not assume that the term ends with the last lecture.

Your PRM group may be required as late as August 15. If so, you will be expected to be available.

Failure to be available will affect your grade, especially the professionalism and deadline components.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the class, the student should be able to:

  • understand typical roles of people involved in the production of a website
  • understand how to formulate the questions that need to be asked before a site is designed
  • understand how to work with the other teams involved the production process
  • understand the purpose and value of content management systems
  • critique designs for usability, accessibility, scalability
  • assess proposed design solutions in terms of their ease of design, production, & maintenance.

Textbook & Other Costs

There is nothing to buy for this course. 

Course Structure

The class schedule is detailed below.

I will give occasional lectures or demonstrations, but the major part of the class time will be spent producing the website.

As the bulk of your work will be done in groups, and because other groups depend upon your group’s work, it is your utmost responsibility to make sure that you do not miss any deadlines. For that reason, there will be a (big) mark for meeting deadlines.


You will work in a group of your own devising for the first assignment, a presentation on Wednesday June 2 (details later in this page).

For the rest of the semester, you will work as part of a group. Group descriptions are in the following link.

Pacific Rim Magazine Departments

On Thursday June 2, I will ask you to list your three preferred group assignments. From these lists, I will make up the PRM 2015 teams.

Assignment Marks

Assignment One: Site Analysis Presentation July 02 20%
Assignment Two: Departmental Tasks Ongoing 40%
Meeting Deadlines 20%
Professionalism 20%

As you have no doubt guessed by now, the majority of assignments in this class will be group work. This is just the nature of the beast in the world of work.

More detailed information on group tasks will be made available via consultation with instructor.

How Group Work Will Be Assessed

When your group researches a creative problem and presents its analysis to the class, to use just one example, I will assign a mark to that collective effort.

That mark will count for 50% of your individual grade for the assignment. The remaining 50% will be arrived at by each member of the team assessing the relative contribution of every other member of the team. In that assessment, you will weigh your teammates’ contributions.

These assessments of others’ effort is not anonymous.

So if I give your group 80% and your team’s average “mark”for you is 60%, your grade will be 70%.

If you believe that your contributions will be unfairly assessed by your group, you may submit a self-assessment report that argues otherwise but I will consult your group before deciding whether to weigh your self assessment into your mark.

I hope you think that this is fair. This scheme is designed to reward the people who inevitably shoulder more responsibility for the success of their group.

Week One: June 23: User Experience of PRM

You will be part of a group for this assignment. This group is not a department. It is just a group to accomplish the task of formulating a vision of the magazine.

In presenting your vision, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who are our users? What do they need from the site?
  • Who are we building the site for?
  • How does the Publishing department use the online PRM?
  • How does the College use the online PRM?
  • How do alumni use the online PRM?
  • What do other magazine-type sites do? What do they do well? What can we do better?
  • What did last year’s site do well? What could it have done better?
  • Are any features missing from last year’s magazine?
  • What features of the magazine do we want to stress?
  • How does fit into your portfolio? What would make you really proud of having been involved in it?

In thinking of what we want to do, ask yourself the following additional questions:

  • What lies within our skill sets?
  • We have about a month to design, code, and test the site. Each of these tasks is done by a different group. What can we collectively get done in that time?
  • How much wheel reinvention can we avoid?

Getting more specific:

  • What types of content do we have?
  • What major sections does the site need to have?
  • What should our menus do? How many menus do we need?
  • Where can the ads go?
  • What kind of grid?
  • What additional unique-content pages do we need?
  • What logo/banner treatment(s) can we envision?

Think of more questions we need to ask. Remember, this is your project and nothing is necessarily sacred.

All of these questions have obvious answers, and not so obvious ones. Find an unique way of describing our task, our challenges, and possible paths to solutions.

The results of your competitive analysis are to delivered as a group presentation Tuesday June 30. The presentation should take approximately 10-15 minutes.

Your slides, URL examples, written analysis, etc will be handed in and shared, to work as a group resource to be consulted throughout the production process.

This assignment isn’t meant for you to produce another mockup. It’s to produce ideas and inspirations for the entire production process.

Week Two June 30 – July 02: Site Analysis Presentations 

NOTE: there are no classes on Wednesday, owing to the Canada Day Holiday.

  • Tuesday: Competitive Analysis Presentations
  • Tuesday: PRM Position Applications due.
  • Wednesday: Class of MASS SASS.
  • Thursday: Production Schedules Discussed and Fleshed Out By Departments
  • Editors analyze previous years content, formulate house tagging (HTML & WP) guide
  • Editors begin story entry, categorizing, tagging, author assignment
  • Web Designers meet to discuss content needs, problems, possible solutions
  • Web Designers begin work on wireframes & then mockups
  • QA researches PRM Accessibility Guide, to be presented Tuesday July 07
  • Promotion formulates plans for blog, social media, video—including schedule of updates.
  • Promotion works on blog profiles of all the different teams
  • WP Designers research the WordPress Template Hierarchy

Week Three: July 07 – 09: 

  • Tuesday: Guest Speaker
  • Tuesday: QA Presents Accessibility Guide
  • Wednesday: Web Designers present mockups of index, story and archive pages
  • Wednesday: class critique of design work
  • Thursday: Web Designers respond with improved mockups
  • Thursday: Web Designers present list of required image sizes.
  • Editors begin summaries
  • Promotion formulates promotional plan for rest of summer
  • WP Designers research the Loop, basic Template Tags, Conditional Statements
  • WP Designers start working with “real” content from the live site.

Week Four: July 14-16: 

  • Tuesday: Web Design Team hands off at least some of their comps to WP Design Team
  • Work begins on first WP Template pages
  • QA: Extensive Testing of complete HTML designs on Browsers & Devices
  • QA: Prioritizes bug fix list. Decides on software for bug tracking.
  • QA: In consultation with design teams ensures that all bugs are fixed.
  • QA may be drafted into bug fix efforts

Week Five: July 21 – 23: 

  • WP Design Team Final Template Drafts
  • Graphics: Images Uploaded, Galleries Created, Etc

Week Six: July 28 – July 30:  Testing & Fixing

  • WP Designers: site goes live?
  • More testing
  • Even more testing
  • WP Designers: Fixing
  • Web Designers: Fixing
  • Everyone: More fixing
  • Q/A / WP Designers / Web Designers / Code Purity / Editors: Final Sign Off

Week Seven: Aug 04 (Exam Period)

  • Possible “cleanup” and completion of “overrun” tasks
  • Thursday Aug 06: Post-Mortem: on this day, you will hand in your assessment of your production group members’ contribution to your group production effort. More details forthcoming.