Week 11: Content Management Systems and User-Centered Design

Quinn WarnickWeekly Updates

Now that we’ve discussed the assignment details for Unit #3, the Best Practices Article, and Unit #4, the Client Project, you should begin making progress on both assignments. For Unit #3, that means selecting a topic and finding out what others have already written about it. For Unit #4, it means completing your team’s Memorandum of Understanding and studying the list of “inspiration” sites at the bottom of the Resources page.

For the rest of the semester, we’ll be working our way through the Client Project, and Week 11 will help us think through some of the “big picture” issues related to that assignment. Here’s a quick overview of how we’ll spend our time:

  • On Tuesday, your team’s MOU is due at the beginning of class. Please share it with me (if you haven’t already) and give me editing privileges so I can make any necessary revisions before approving it. During class, we will explore the pros and cons of using content management systems to power your client sites, so please read the following articles before you come to class: “Why Do I Need a Content Management System?,” by Blue Sky Designs, and “Designing for Content Management Systems,” by Rachel Andrew. In addition, we’ll be installing some CMSes on your Reclaim Hosting sites, so be sure to have your login credentials with you.
  • On Thursday, we’ll discuss user-centered design and begin developing user personas that will inform your work on the Client Project. Before you come to class, please read “Introduction to User Personas,” by Silvana Churruca, and Usability.gov’s overview of personas.

If you’d like to discuss ideas for your Best Practices Article, or if I can help your team in any way, please email me or come to see me during office hours (T 2–5, W 9-12).