Science & Technology in Action

4th Edition

Web Design and Technology


General design principles may be applied to website design. The use of ‘wireframes’ expedites the generation of initial design concepts. The lesson also addresses dynamic content, hosting and maintenance.
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Contains the full lesson along with a supporting toolkit, including teachers’ notes.

Lesson excerpt

This lesson illustrates how a design process is applied to the design of a website. This process however can be used in any design project, be it for a physical artefact or a multimediainterface such as RTÉ.ie.

The design process
Although designing is rarely a strictly linear process, it is helpful nevertheless to describe it in terms of an overall sequence of logical steps. These steps usually include the following:

  • Analysing the brief
  • Considering the issues, the factors involved
  • Examination of previous or similar approaches or solutions
  • Generating ideas; consulting colleagues
  • Selecting and developing the best idea
  • Planning the production
  • Evaluating the product
  • Producing the artefact.

In practice many of these steps proceed in parallel and may loop back to earlier steps.

Website design – initial steps
As with any initial design project, key questions need to be asked at the outset of a website design project in order to clarify the design brief and shape the overall direction of the project:

  • Why are we doing this?
  • What are the problems with the current product?
  • What improvements can be made?
  • What is it for and what will it do?
  • How will it work and what is needed for it to function correctly?
  • Who will use it?
  • Where will it be used?

True or False?

  1. A wireframe is a basic visual guide used to suggest the layout of fundamental elements in the interface.
  2. The first page of a website is called the splash page.
  3. Plug-ins are often needed for complex media like animation or videos.
  4. Each web page within a website is a Java file that has its own URL.
  5. Client-side scripting changes the content of the page sent to the user depending on what was typed.
  6. Server-side scripting does not change the content on the web page displayed.
  7. A website’s components are classified as the front-end and back-end.
  8. The size of a one-minute digital audio file is typically about five kilobytes.
  9. Media-rich content requires less bandwidth.
  10. Wireframe design is the first step in website design
  11. A box with diagonal lines indicates the placement of text.