Rob Huddleston

Educator

The Final Project

Specifications

The final project for the class, the details of which are presented to students during the first class session, are as follows:

The final project for the course will be the design and development of a membership site.

For the design, I need to see portfolio-quality design work. This means that the site uses a superior layout, colors, typography, and the rest. Portfolio quality work is a minimum standard for the project. Sites that are not portfolio-ready will not be given a passing grade.

At a minimum, the site must meet the following requirements:

  • Have superior quality design. This includes layout, typography, color selections, and the like. As noted above, projects must be deemed to be portfolio ready to receive a passing score
  • No dummy or Lorem Ipsum text
  • Be fully functional with entirely valid, semantic HTML
  • Be styled using SASS. We will cover this in the class
  • Be fully responsive

Challenges

The class is taken by both web design and software development majors. The web students are, generally speaking, in a good place to be able to cretae the superior-quality designs required. The software students, however, have usually only had a single design-focused course up to this point, and so struggle with the design aspect. To alleviate this, I pair the students up: one web student to one software student. This way, the web student can assist the software student in the design, while the software student, who almost certainly has superior coding skills, can help the web student with the programmatic aspects of the course. This approach has tended to work well in past classes.

SASS forces students to think differently about the ways in which they approach CSS. Unfortunately, a certain number of them often come into the course still struggling with CSS concepts, so switching to SASS poses an extra challenge. In the end, however, it seems to work out that coding in SASS forces them to really think through some of the logic they were mising before, with the end result being that their skills in CSS increase as they get better in SASS.

Finally, this class is often the first in which they are forced to really think about usability, particularly for complex sites. The exercises early in the term having them examine usability aspects of current sites help, but as the term progresses and they get deep into designing and coding their sites, some of these ideas tend to slip. Therefore, a second session on usability about half way through the term serves as a nice reminder.

Project Examples

Successful projects

The images to the left and below show successful, "A" quality projects designed by students who have taken the course.

Project: Boosters - a frequent customer rewards program

Designed by Shane Kerr, seeking a Bachelor of Science in Graphic and Web Design

Project: Club Largo - a subscription wine service

Designed by Rachel Ruddick, seeking a Bachelor of Science in Graphic and Web Design