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Assignments: Assignment Two

Website Proposal

Deadlines are listed at:


Your mission is to develop a proposal for a website aimed at a target user-group to be agreed in advance (based primarily on key demographics such as sex and age-group). A recommended strategy is for you to choose an existing website on a topic conventionally targeted to a particular demographic group and to re-target it to a group which is normally overlooked, e.g. re-targeting a site about football or cars to women, or a site about cookery or fashion to men. Reworking borrowed content is allowable. The proposal consists of these essential elements:

All materials must be submitted in printed form, though you are welcome to include a labelled CD.

1. Report: review of published research & demographic data [0-25]
Before you start, you must seek email confirmation from Rod ( agreeing to your choice of target group (include the dated email in the appendix). Specify your target user group and indicate why you selected this group: it should not normally be a group of which you are a (full) member. Does your choice of group involve particular targeting challenges? What is known about this group? This section in your written documentation must include a review of any existing published data underpinning your design decisions. This includes both formal academic research (e.g. studies of the use of various fonts and colours) and demographic data (e.g. marketing data on a relevant target group, such as the readership of a particular magazine, for which the best source is the National Readership Survey). You are allowed to refer to books and research already cited in lectures but extra marks are awarded to those students who also show some evidence of having consulted additional research sources. There should be a full References list in accordance with the guidelines for all Media and Communication modules. If you do not review relevant material in the serious design literature (especially re. typography and colour) then your mark for this section may be zero.

2. Report: evidence of fieldwork/feedback [0-25]
This section concerns primary research by you into the target users. You need to provide evidence that you solicited feedback from the target user group (e.g. through the use of an online form, email and/or personal interviews). You must indicate how specific design decisions were guided by this information. Summarise this research within the main text (e.g. with tables and diagrams showing patterns in the responses and sample user comments). Put all of the supporting materials in an appendix: this does not need to include all of your completed survey forms-a sample one is adequate. Marks will be given for well-designed research that references appropriate literature. You are expected to design your research using techniques such as questionnaires, interviews and focus groups and particular tools such as the commutation test, the Semantic Differential and Likert attitude scales. Remember to guard the anonymity of all informants by at least removing their surnames but retaining relevant demographic details such as sex, age etc. If you do not include clear evidence of user feedback then your mark for this section may be zero.

3. Presentation of design rationale [0-25]
Your presentation should be a carefully argued and well-illustrated rationale for the design of your proposed site in relation to the target users. It can include selected material from your printed documentation such as commutation tests (e.g. changing colours or fonts) and user reactions to these. State clearly all of your reasons for the design choices you have made based on evidence of appropriateness to target users. You are strongly advised to review the key visual design features of at least one other website (and other relevant materials) targeted at a similar demographic group to yours (magazine sites can be very useful for this purpose). It can be useful to contrast these with the design features of similar materials targeted at a very different user group. If you do not make and/or submit a Powerpoint presentation then your mark for this section may be zero.

4. Visualisation or implementation [0-25]
We do not require you to realise your design in a functioning website (unless you wish to do so). Marks in this category will be for the graphical realisation of your proposal, whether this is part of your Powerpoint slideset and/or a free-standing prototype of some kind. In addition to the targeting issues, bear in mind general human-factors issues (e.g. legibility issues such as contrast, avoidance of red-on-green or green-on-red for people with colour blindness, access for disabled users) and 'good practice' as recommended by practitioners in the field (e.g. don't mix one serif font with another or one sans serif font with another). If you do not submit some kind of graphical representation of the proposed homepage then your mark for this section may be zero.

Key Resources