Course Description

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Semester 2, 20 credits. Course organiser: John Lee

View the Lecture Notes


This course introduces the challenges of setting up a web site integrating interaction with databases, web services and other technologies that are common to many creative, as well as commercial, applications. The lessons learnt will hold good in e-commerce and many other areas of digital design practice. The course is directed particularly to the technical aspects of design for the web; a parallel treatment of social and legal issues involved in the commercial practice of digital design and e-commerce is developed in CMSE11201 Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurship (20 credits). We focus on the topic of web-site design because of its centrality: contemporary digital design practitioners will normally exploit the web for communication and presentation, whatever their primary focus. Practical activity will centre around what would be required for the development of the system designed, with some emphasis on its usability for the target audience.

Learning Outcomes

  • Appraisal of the main issues involved in setting up a sophisticated web-based system.
  • Appraisal of tools, techniques and issues in deploying online databases and data-related services.
  • Skills in authoring interactive web sites.
  • Understanding of iterative design and its relationship with evaluation.
  • Ability to translate adventurous design ideas into a plausible product.


Web database Alpha prototype (50%) 2. Web database Beta prototype (50%). Submissions should be accompanied by an explanatory text of up to 750 words (on a page unobtrusively linked to the front page of the site).
Criteria for Assessment

  • Degree of innovation and creativity in the design proposal.
  • Consideration given to usability issues and use of evaluation in design.
  • Consideration given to viability (commercial or otherwise, as appropriate) of the design.
  • Creative deviation from standard solutions.
  • Technical competence in the use of the tools.