Web Design: Strategy and Information Architecture

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  • Course Overview
    • Welcome! In this first module I will summarize the assignments and expectations of this course.
  • The User Experience Process
    • This week I will give you a brief overview of the user experience process that I will teach in this course sequence. We will begin by defining the term "user experience", and then briefly look at the five phases of UX design: Strategy, Outline of Scope, Sitemap, Wireframes, and Visual Mockups. I will also talk about the differences between mobile apps and websites, and the differences between waterfall and agile approaches to UX design. Lastly, I will introduce you to the main project that you will be working on in this course and the one that follows it. You’ll be starting your first assignment at the end of the week. Last, here's something to keep in mind this week: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”—Steve Jobs
  • Asking Good Questions: Determining Strategy
    • This week is all about strategy. We will talk about how to conduct research in the beginning of a project. And I will tell you about the importance of defining a target audience for your website. We’ll also discuss how to determine user needs and client needs. The strategy that you develop in this first step in the UX process will influence all decisions you make further down the line. That’s why it’s so important to take the time and think about what you want to accomplish, what the goals are, and how they might be measured when the project launches.
  • What is in and What is Out: Outlining Scope

    • By now you should have a pretty clear idea what your projects will be about and who your target audience is. This week we will talk about how to take the user and client needs that you have established and create a set of content and functionality requirements from them. In other words, you’re transforming your overarching goals from last week into specific requirements for your site.
  • Getting your Ducks in a Row: The Sitemap
    • Welcome to the last week of this course. With your outline of scope in hand, you will now learn how to transform the content and functionality requirements determined last week into a navigable structure. This structure will be visualized by something called a sitemap. I’ll tell you all about sitemaps and how to create them. Along the way we will also define the term "information architecture". And I will introduce a tool called TreeJack, which will enable you to test your site map on actual users.