Communication Through the Web

DCI 108

Winter 2021

Credits: 3

Requirements Met: DCI Minor Core

Class Meeting Metadata
Meets: MW 4:00 - 5:35pm Eastern
Classroom: Virtual (Zoom links in Canvas)
Instructor's Metadata
Instructor: Jason T. Mickel, Ph.D.
E-Mail: How to Email a Professor
Phone: (540) 458-8653
Office: Leyburn M33
Office Hours: M 1:00-2:00
T 2:30-3:30
W 11:00-12:00
Or by appointment

Organization Web Page Project305 points

Due Wednesday, April 7 @ 11:55pm ET


Your personal web site gives you a place to experiment with design, HTML, and CSS; however, to offer a different perspective on communicating through the web, you will build a single web page for an organization that tells a story about it or some portion of its work. You will work in small teams to design and develop this page.

The organization can be any W&L club, organization, or department that performs some sort of specific campus or public service. Your team will make contact with the group, interview key people in the organization, design the page, confirm with the organization that your design is suitable, then develop it in HTML/CSS.

You may continue refining the organization's page through the day following the final meeting of the course.

Deliverables Overview

Details of the deliverables will be forthcoming; however, below is a summary of what to expect from each:

  1. Choosing a Team Leader and Your ClientDue: Friday, January 29

    Choose a campus organization with which no one in your group has a leadership role. This is to encourage you to interview the leaders who have influence over the story the organization has to tell.

  2. Interviewing Your ClientDue: Sunday, February 14

    The "story" should be either about a specific event that your organization runs or a specific service/function that they provide. You will interview leaders of the organization in order to gain insight into who they are, what they represent, and what event/service/function they would like to highlight. As your deliverable, you will provide a list of questions asked to each subject, a summary of responses, the event/service/function that is the subject of the story, and a synthesis of how those responses will guide your design.

  3. Client Website UX ProposalDue: Wednesday, March 17

    Based on your client interview, your team will develop a design document that discusses the story that will be told, the elements used to tell it (text, images, video, etc), and how the page will be designed. In addition, two wireframes will give visual representation to the design proposed. One should depict the page as seen on a laptop or desktop, and the other should depict the site as seen on a cell phone. Ideally, your document and wireframes should be presented to your client for comment prior to submission.

  4. Website w/ Full HTML and CSSDue: Wednesday, April 7

    Using your wireframe and design document as a guide, develop the web page using HTML and CSS. Attention should be paid to coding style and adherence to your proposed design. If changes to the design are made, the reasons for those changes must be articulated in a brief supplementary document. The web page should have active links and media. The page should be optimized for viewing on cell phones based on your wireframe with decisions made for how media is displayed differently.

General Expectations for the Overall Project

Each deliverable will come with its own set of requirements; however, the following are expectations that apply to the project as a whole:

  • Approximately 1,000 words of text used to tell the story (i.e., not including headlines or captions)
  • A minimum of five images that enhance the story (i.e., not including icons or other navigational images). Images should be student-generated or from your client rather than be taken from the Internet. Free, royalty-free stock images from the Internet may be used beyond the first five.
  • A minimum of one video or audio clip of at least 10 seconds used to enhance the story
  • A minimum of one HTML table used to display information that sensibly should be communicated in tabular form
  • Working links to the organization and to any other pertinent resources
  • Logical structure of sections for parts of the story
  • A menu that jumps to specific sections
  • Good HTML and CSS coding style
  • Page should promote accessibility standards by using the correct choice of tags and attributes in HTML

Sample Websites

The websites listed below are from charities and non-profits that demonstrate the design concepts I'm looking for. I do not expect that by the end of 12 weeks you will necessarily be able to replicate the techniques used. There are here to inspire, challenge you, and exemplify what you should be striving for.

These sites were chosen for their design and style. Their inclusion is not intended to imply endorsement.

The following sites were created for JOUR 341: Multimedia Storytelling Design. The style of the stories being told is different (journalism versus promotion) and are significantly longer than expected for our course; however, the designs serve as examples of what I am looking for (and are all worthwhile reads).

Grading Specifications

All points come from the three deliverables submitted throughout the term.