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Final Project Proposal

Due Dates: Thursday, November 13th (draft); Thursday, November 20th (final)

Submission Name: <projectproposal> (site folder)

For this assignment, you and a partner (or partners) will be proposing plans for an extensive website project that will be your focus for the remainder of the course. Working with your partner, you will design a site for a real-world client; clients may include employers, friends, and relatives, as long as they have need for a website.

Your audience for the proposal will be both me and your project client. You’ve already learned a great deal about website architecture and organization so far this semester, and with each passing week, you’ll be learning more and more about HTML coding and website design. But right now, you have all the skills you need to draw up a proposal for constructing a fairly extensive website.

The majority of your proposal will be written in Word or some other word processing program (I recommend Google Docs or Adobe Buzzword for collaborative writing with your partner), though you will also submit a rudimentary website prototype that demonstrates to your client the basic layout, design, and structure of the site for your final project. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; just enough for the client to visualize the direction your design is taking.

As in the previous assignments, you should focus on how you are constructing your client’s digital ethos via the elements of audience analysis, site architecture, visual layout and design, and HTML code.


Your proposal should be 6-8 pages of double-spaced, 12-point type and should use a standard memo format, with headings, screenshots, URLs pointing to your prototype, etc… Your proposal should be named Lastname-Proposal.doc (only one of your names is needed), and you should email it to me. The web prototype should be hosted on the ISU public webspace of one of your group members and should be located inside a folder called projectproposal, which should include an index.html file that is the main page of your overall site. Images and extensive secondary sections of the site should be contained in individual subfolders, with relative paths of all links reflecting the structure of these subfolders.

We’ll be walking through this assignment description in class, but if you have any questions after our discussion, feel free to email me privately.

Evaluation Criteria

You and your partner(s) will be evaluated for your group effort on this project, though some part of evaluation will include individual criteria to prevent people from coattailing on the efforts of others. The criteria for group evaluations are somewhat like those for the earlier assignments. However, a much more balanced emphasis will be placed on all four criteria and how your team has satisfied them to create an organized, readable document that will persuade your client to hire you as their webmaster of choice:

  • Audience — What primary or secondary audiences does your client need or want to address in establishing a presence on the web? Have you anticipated the information needs of these audiences and does your site fulfill these needs? Who are these people and how can you draw them into your client’s website?
  • Ethos — What type of image does your client wish to portray on their website? How does their physical, real-world ethos relate to the site you intend to create? Is the client trying to overcome recent bad publicity with this new site, or do they simply want to get the word out about certain services they now provide? Or are they simply jumping on the website bandwagon because they feel left out when talking with business associates at the Chamber of Commerce picnic? Your client’s motivations and purposes will be the driving force behind how you construct the ethos of your site.
  • Information Architecture — Does the prototype site you are pitching to your client reflect the information needs of the audiences you identified above? Does the site have an organizational scheme that is used consistently throughout the site? Additionally, does the site organization you’ve chosen make it easy for the client or some future web guru to update and maintain the site over time?
  • HTML Coding — At this point, greater emphasis will be placed during evaluation on the accuracy of your XHTML code. Have you scanned and rescanned each line of code to make sure that no closing tags have been dropped? Does your code conform to current HTML standards, and if not, why have you deviated from these standards? Have you checked your prototype site on a variety of browsers running on a variety of machine configurations to ensure no one in your intended audience is excluded from viewing the site because of the code you have written?

These are all questions you should be asking yourself as you draw up your proposal and construct your accompanying prototype website. After submitting your proposal, you and your partner will meet
with me in conference to discuss future work on your site.

The task before you may seem daunting when first reading this description, but if you print off this page, break down the task into discrete elements, and make a schedule of how and when you are going to finish them, you’ll find this assignment is really not that difficult.