Week 12: Information Architecture and a WordPress Workshop

Quinn WarnickWeekly Updates

With a finalized Unit #4 memorandum of understanding, your team should be making steady progress on your client site every week for the rest of the semester. I’ve scheduled several checkpoint assignments to help you stay on track, but you and your teammates will need to keep each other accountable, too.

During Week 12, we’ll pass two of those checkpoints, help you decide whether a content management system is right for your Unit #4 site, and lock in topics for your Best Practices Articles. Here are a few more details about our plans:

  • On Tuesday, we’ll think about the structure and functionality of your client sites. Before you come to class, please read the “Complete Beginner’s Guide to Information Architecture,” by Andrew Maier. (This article contains numerous links to other excellent resources, and you should spend some time exploring those, too.) In addition, your completed Unit #4 personas are due at the beginning of class.
  • You have two small deadlines on Thursday: First, your Unit #4 team should submit two rough wireframes for your client site. [UPDATE: Try to get a jump start on these wireframes before class, but they won’t be due until the end of class on Thursday.] Second, before you come to class, you should email me a one-paragraph proposal for your Best Practices Article. (If you want to submit two ideas, that’s fine — I’ll try to help you select the best one.) We’ll dedicate most of Thursday’s class to a WordPress workshop, learning how to evaluate and modify themes and plugins. You should have an installation of WordPress running on your personal site, so spend some time familiarizing yourself with the WordPress dashboard, the difference between posts and pages, and the process of switching themes and activating plugins. If you run into problems or find yourself confused, I recommend watching the “WordPress Essential Training” on Lynda.com or visiting the WordPress Codex and WordPress Forums. (Bookmark these sites! They will be your best friends if your team decides to use WordPress for Unit #4.)

If you’re having trouble getting WordPress up and running on your personal site, or if your team wants to talk about your client site, please come see me during office hours (T 2–5, W 9–12).