Langara Outlines

publ-1235-web-production-1

Course: Publ 1235 Title: Web Production 1
Credits: 3 Room: A247 (Mac Lab)
Term: Summer 2017 Class Days/Times:
June 20–July 29 (and beyond)
Tuesday 500–720
Wednesday 130–520
Thursday 200–520
Office Hours:
Monday 130-330

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

Langara PRM Teams for 2017 are now finalized.

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

Production of LangaraPRM.com will in extend into the exam period, possibly right to the last day of the exam period.

For that reason, do not assume that the term ends with the last lecture.

Your PRM group may be required as late as August 11. If so, you will be expected to be available.

Failure to be available will affect your grade.

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 in 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. In the first part of the term, I will likely use some of this class time for additional content for PUBL 1232 Advanced Web Design.

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 mark for meeting deadlines.

Groups

You will work in a group of your own devising for the first assignment, a presentation on Thursday, June 22nd (details later in this page).

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

Pacific Rim Magazine Departments

On Wednesday, June 21st, I will ask you to list your three preferred group assignments. From these lists, I will make up the PRM 2017 teams. In your listing of preferred jobs, please include a brief description of how you are suited for the job, and/or why you want it.

Assignment Marks

Assignment One: Site Analysis Presentation June 22 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.

This scheme is designed to reward the people who inevitably shoulder more responsibility for the success of their group.

Week One: June 20–22: Site Analysis Presentations

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 of what we should do with the site this year, ask yourself questions like those below.

Don’t feel that you have to answer all of these question, point by point: that makes a boring presentation.

What I’m looking for is a presentation about where we should take LangaraPRM this year, and how to get there.

  • Who are our users? What do they need from the site?
  • How does the Publishing department use the online PRM?
  • How does the College use the online PRM?
  • How do alumni, recent and not recent, use the online PRM?
  • What do other magazine-type sites do? What do they do well? What can we do better? Please present example sites and discuss what features they have that are worthy of emulation.
  • Do these other sites have really effective mobile strategies? Present and discuss.
  • 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 LangaraPRM.com 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 realistically 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?
  • How should the site be organized?
  • How should features be treated?
  • What meta information should be included with each article?
  • What additional unique-content pages do we need?
  • What logo/banner treatment(s) can we envision?
  • Are there features from other sites we should adopt?
  • What is missing from the current version of the site?
  • Do earlier versions of the site have features worth bring back? Here is an archived version of the 2014 site: there were a few bugs introduced in the archiving, so don’t critique it for flaws, as they’re likely my fault.

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 Thursday June 22. The presentation should take approximately 15-20 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 a mockup. It’s to produce ideas and inspirations for the entire production process.

 

NOTE Some of the following scheduling will change in response to team makeup and schedules of others.

Week Two June 27-29: First Group Tasks

  • Tuesday: 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 04
  • Promotion formulates plans for blog, social media—including schedule of updates.
  • Promotion works on blog profiles of all the different teams
  • WP Designers must finish WordPress Essential Training
  • WP Designers go through Lynda.com Building Child Themes
  • Media Team confirm schedules for setting up Video instruction sessions

Week Three: July 04–06: 

  • 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
  • WP Designers research the WordPress Template Hierarchy
  • WP Designers research the Loop, basic Template Tags
  • WP Designers start working with “real” content from the live site.
  • QA researches web-based bug tracking solutions
  • QA compiles inventory of current site bugs

Week Four: July 11–13

  • Tuesday: Web Design Team hands off all or most of their comps to WP Design Team
  • Work begins on first “official” WP Template pages
  • QA: Decides on software for bug tracking.
  • QA may be drafted into bug fix efforts

Week Five: July 18–20: 

  • WP Design Team: More Template Drafts & Testing
  • Media: Images Uploaded, Galleries Created, Etc

Week Six: July 25–27:  Testing & Fixing

  • WP Designers: site goes live?
  • QA: more testing
  • Print Style Sheet created. Team to be determined.
  • Everyone: 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 01-11 (Exam Period)

  • Possible “cleanup” and completion of “overrun” tasks
  • Thursday Aug 11: 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.
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