Landing : Athabascau University

Group members: this is the place for your learning diary. Use this to post your zipped-up site at least once each unit, and your reflections as often as you wish (at least once per unit). Please write your reflections directly in the post, not as attached files. Where you do need to attach documents, such as for unit 1 designs, use PDF, PNG or JPG formats. You can attach files using the 'Embed content' link in the editor.

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Unit 1 - Site Design and Diary Entry

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By Matthew Lewis in the group COMP 266 May 19, 2022 - 8:57am

Unit 1 - Site Design Document

(Main Assignment Above)

So this part took long than expected. The site design unit instructed us to design our website from the ground up, deciding on such elements as the theme and target audience, among other things. This unit also called for the creation of a site map and a sample mock-up.

I started out having no idea what type of site I wanted to design, but in the end found myself struggling to contain my ideas into a manageable plan. The more I worked with the fictional personas and scenario, the more I found myself branching off into new ideas. Eventually I had to scale back my plans for the site, for fear of trying to take on too much on at once. Trying to narrow down my site to a single theme was more difficult than I expected.

I started out browsing several sites for inspiration before deciding on my site template. I think the overall look I’m going for is simplicity. Simplicity in both structure and organization of the material. I wanted a site that I could easily expand with minimal effort. So I’m looking to incorporate several “templates” as it were, which I can use for future reference without having to write more code.

Having done this section, I believe site design is a critical step in the design process. Although plans may change as the course progresses, the site design document will at least anchor your thoughts and allow for a single document to refer to each time you get lost along the way. In this respect, the site design will allow you to stay focus on your main goals.

The learning outcomes for this section include identifying a potential audience and purpose for the site, as well as using a simple but structured process to identify how the website will address the needs of the anticipate audience. This was accomplished by first identifying a high-level target audience (Newfoundland residents) and then drafting four fictional characters, also known as personas, to narrow down this target in scope. The characters were detailed enough to allow for personalized browsing scenarios, which sculpted many of my design choices.

That is, this process allowed me to get inside the fictionalized minds of these personas and browse the site as though I were them. With these people in mind, I could begin the process of designing and laying out my site. I found that as I was creating the site map and mock-up, I did so while thinking about how each persona would react to these design decisions. Indeed, by creating these personas I was almost forced to consider the needs of the anticipated audience, and not allow personal preference in design affect how my site will ultimately look. I would consider this design process (the creation of personas and related scenarios) to be a simple but effective and structured process.

(Side note for the instructor -- I have not included my "learning map" document in this post. My understanding is that this document can be submitted at the end of the course with the entirety of the project. Also, my first diary entry was posted under my personal blog and not the group blog. I have since moved it to the group blog (or so I think), but it doesn't seem to be showing up anywhere).


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