Content Management

Introduction

Course code : DESI1181
Course co-ordinator : David Watson
Course tutor : David Watson and others
Course weighting : 20 credits
Course extras : webcontentstuff.co.uk
Presentations: mawebdes@Speakerdeck

This course introduces students to Content Management and content management systems, with a particular focus on WordPress. It also introduces the ideas behind Content Strategy which enables designers to present content in a way that is best for any particular target audience.

Many websites need to work not only for individual users but for communities of users, so this course also considers the software used for community building, user generated content (UGC) and social media strategies.

The course develops a professional approach to web design and the creation of websites to a high standard. The web designer is essentially a designer of user interfaces and it is crucial that design aspects such as User Experience (UX) and Accessibility are well understood in order to create successful websites.

Aims and Outcomes

The course takes an overview of the factors which influence decisions about managing the content and organization of large websites.

Students taking this course will learn to:

  • Identify a variety of content management systems and understand their uses.
  • How WordPress works and how to develop bespoke themes.
  • Develop an approach to design that incoroprates an understanding of user experience.
  • Analyse and evaluate the content of websites and develop a content strategy.
  • Understand how to build sites that are useable and accessible.

Indicative Content

Usability and information architecture. Methods of website appraisal. Uses of server logs and other statistics. Reviews of "Top Ten" website lists with regard to aesthetic, technical content and business model considerations . Uses of subwebs, databases and content management software for updating, editing and publishing web content. Search position optimisation. Copyright issues.

Main Learning and Teaching Activities

The coursework will be organised as follows:

  1. Introduction to course
  2. Review of issues in study guide
  3. Student-led seminars on selected topics

Course Schedule

The course schedule gives an overview of the timetable, weekly topics and submission dates for this course. There may be occasional changes, so check back frequently.

Full-time & part-time, first year students

2014-15 Session
DateRoomTitle
26th Feb 2015 (am/pm)2017/2017Introduction to CMS
5th Mar 2015 (am/pm)2017/2017WordPress theme design
12th Mar 2015 (am/pm)2017/2017User Experience (UX) 1: Research
19th Mar 2015 (am/pm)2017/2017User Experience (UX) 2: Design
26th Mar 2015 (am/pm)2017/2017Content strategy
2nd Apr 2015 (am/pm)2017/2017Accessibility
9th Apr 2015 Self Study
16th Apr 2015 Self Study *

* Submit web design article for assessment.

All face-to-face sessions are 3 hours long and take place on Thursday mornings (am); beginning at 10.00am or afternoons (pm); beginning at 2.00pm unless otherwise indicated.

See the programme teaching schedule for an overview of all courses.

Course Documents

These documents are supplementary to the materials on the Content Management website.

There are currently 7 files in this section

File Listing
  Filename Size (KB) Date Modified
Class 01 - CMS and Web Applications.pdf 1,716.5 28th May 2015
Class 01 - Coursework.pdf 81.5 28th May 2015
Class 05 - Content Strategy.pdf 2,302.5 28th May 2015
Class 06 - Accessibility.pdf 1,699.9 28th May 2015
Class 06 - Photographic Composition.pdf 3,900.4 28th May 2015
index.html 1.5 28th May 2015
sample_image.jpg 24.5 28th May 2015

Web Design Article

As you are now on the verge of becoming an expert in web design, it seems only fair that you share some of your wisdom with the web design community. Let's assume that you have been asked by a well-known online magazine (let's call it Spiffing Magazine) to write an article on any aspect of web design you like (except grids!). Naturally, you accept the offer and are determined to produce a piece of work that is well researched, well presented and is a coding exemplar.

Your article may be a tutorial, an experiment with a cutting-edge technology such as Flex Box, an opinion piece, reasearch on a topic you'd like to know more about or an objective essay. Whatever form the writing takes, the article should be presented as a single web page.

You should take into consideration all the different aspects of web design you have learned during the year and make this one page a demonstration of your craft.

Assessment

The following elements will be assessed:
Written content 40%
Coding 25%
Visual design 25%
Originality 10%

Deadline for this assessment is Thursday, 16th April 2015. The page must be accessible via a link from your coursework homepage at or before that time.

Showcase

It has recently been pointed out that there is not enough student work on the websitearchitecture website. The best articles will therefore be published in a new section showcasing student work (assuming Spiffing Magazine doesn't publish first).

Examples

Here are just a few of the articles written and designed by last year's cohort.

Kate Lawton Tony Ball Adam Clewley Stavros Tomas

Weeks 03 and 04 Links ~ User Experience (UX)

Usability

Usability Testing

Week 06 Links ~ Accessibility

Accessibility Articles

W3C Accessibility Guidelines

Accessibility Testers

National Accessibility Guidelines & Regulations

Accessibility Statements and Help

Screen Readers

Access Keys

Key Texts

  • Smashing WordPress (2nd Ed.) by Thord Daniel Hedengren ¦ details
  • Web Analytics 2.0 by Avinash Kaushik ¦ details
  • Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics (2nd Ed.) by Brian Clifton ¦ details
  • The Elements Of Content Strategy by Erin Kissane ¦ details
  • Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson ¦ details
  • Clout by Colleen Jones ¦ details
  • Letting go of the words by Janice Redish ¦ details
  • Building Findable Websites by Aarron Walter ¦ details
  • The Art of SEO by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Rand Fishkin, and Jessie C Stricchiola ¦ details
  • Web marketing all-in-one for dummies by John Arnold ¦ details
  • Designing for the Social Web by Joshua Porter ¦ details

Smashing WordPress (2nd Ed.) by Thord Daniel Hedengren

Smashing WordPress (2nd Ed.)

No review has been written for this book.

Smashing WordPress (2nd Ed.) is available at Amazon.co.uk

Preview Smashing WordPress (2nd Ed.) at Google Books

Greenwich library: 1 copies ~ view catalogue entry

Web Analytics 2.0 by Avinash Kaushik

Web Analytics 2.0

No review has been written for this book.

Web Analytics 2.0 is available at Amazon.co.uk

Preview Web Analytics 2.0 at Google Books

Greenwich library: 2 copies ~ view catalogue entry

Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics (2nd Ed.) by Brian Clifton

Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics (2nd Ed.)

No review has been written for this book.

Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics (2nd Ed.) is available at Amazon.co.uk

Preview Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics (2nd Ed.) at Google Books

Greenwich library: 2 copies ~ view catalogue entry

The Elements Of Content Strategy by Erin Kissane

The Elements Of Content Strategy

No review has been written for this book.

See more information about The Elements Of Content Strategy

This title is not currently available from the Greenwich library

Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson

Content Strategy for the Web

No review has been written for this book.

Content Strategy for the Web is available at Amazon.co.uk

Preview Content Strategy for the Web at Google Books

Greenwich library: 3 copies ~ view catalogue entry

Clout by Colleen Jones

Clout

No review has been written for this book.

Clout is available at Amazon.co.uk

Greenwich library: 6 copies ~ view catalogue entry

Letting go of the words by Janice Redish

Letting go of the words

No review has been written for this book.

Letting go of the words is available at Amazon.co.uk

Preview Letting go of the words at Google Books

Greenwich library: 3 copies ~ view catalogue entry

Building Findable Websites by Aarron Walter

Building Findable Websites

I've been waiting for someone to write this book for some time. Essentially, Building Findable Websites is a good practice guide for people who actually build websites and who want them found. It describes how web pages should be built in order to make them visible on the web and covers topics such as the correct use of markup, how to name your files and folders, custom 404s, site search and how to create original and attractive content.

Most of these ideas are not new but this is the first book to bring them all together in a logical form and to express them in a coherent manner. This book is a "must have" for all serious web designers. My only criticism of the book is that it is too short. The book ends with an excellent chapter called "Putting Findability Into Practice", which is an action plan that readers can use for their own website. However, there is more to the book than is written between its covers. A companion website includes 5 "bonus" chapters as PDFs that really should be a part of the book - the one on traffic analysis is particularly useful. Still, taken as a whole, this is an excellent body of work - thank you Aarron Walter.

See more information about Building Findable Websites

Building Findable Websites is available at Amazon.co.uk

Preview Building Findable Websites at Google Books

Greenwich library: 6 copies ~ view catalogue entry

The Art of SEO by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Rand Fishkin, and Jessie C Stricchiola

The Art of SEO

The Art of SEO is comprehensive. It's not a short amusing guidebook to the As and Bs of SEO, it's a thorough explanation of the A to Z of SEO. The world of SEO is complex and confusing with many conflicting views but this book takes us calmly through the whole thing, giving excellent and well considered advice along the way. From the preface:

"We were inspired to create it (the book) because we have not previously seen a comprehensive work on the topic of SEO, and we believe that it is very much needed in our industry."

Quite right, and this book is set to become the standard text on the subject. In almost 600 pages and 13 chapters, it covers all the bases and the fact that it's written by 4 authors means you're getting the best advice from 4 experts. Some will want to read this book, cover-to-cover, others will dip into it and use it as a reference - the book lends itself to either method. If you only buy one book on SEO, this should be the one.

The Art of SEO is available at Amazon.co.uk

Preview The Art of SEO at Google Books

Greenwich library: 3 copies ~ view catalogue entry

Web marketing all-in-one for dummies by John Arnold

Web marketing all-in-one for dummies

No review has been written for this book.

Web marketing all-in-one for dummies is available at Amazon.co.uk

Preview Web marketing all-in-one for dummies at Google Books

Greenwich library: 2 copies ~ view catalogue entry

Designing for the Social Web by Joshua Porter

Designing for the Social Web

No review has been written for this book.

Designing for the Social Web is available at Amazon.co.uk

Preview Designing for the Social Web at Google Books

Greenwich library: Electronic copy only ~ view catalogue entry

Copyright David Watson 2005–2017
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