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ENGW 3332: Writing Online

Unit #4: Client Project

Due Date: Thursday, May 10, 11:15 a.m.

Submission Name: URL for live (or prototype) site

Your final assignment in ENGW 3332 calls for you to develop (or redevelop) a website for a real client. Clients may include employers, nonprofit groups, friends, and relatives, as long as they need a website and are willing to participate in the project before the end of the semester. Your work for the client should demonstrate your abilities as a writer, a coder, an information architect, and a usability specialist. Depending on the size and scope of your project, you may choose to work alone or in a small group (preferably no more than three people).

Assignment Guidelines

Because each project will be unique, your work for this assignment will be governed by a memorandum of understanding between you, me, and (hopefully) your client. In your MOU, you should propose a plan that will govern your work for the remainder of the course. As soon as you identify a client and site for your project, you should create a copy of the MOU template and begin drafting your proposal. Your MOU is due at the beginning of class on Thursday, April 19.

Finding a good client is incredibly important, since you will need to maintain regular contact with your client throughout the project. Your project should demonstrate evidence of an iterative design process, including mockups, draft text, prototypes, client feedback, etc.

Depending on your client’s needs, you may focus most heavily on writing, design, or content management. Whatever the case, your work should be commensurate with a culminating project and should reflect well on yourself and on St. Edward’s University.


The primary deliverable for this assignment will be the finished client site.

In addition, your project should be accompanied by a two-page memo of transmittal (single spaced, using memo format) that explains and justifies the choices you made over the course of the project. Your memo should address issues of audience, content, and purpose, as well as more technical topics, such as coding, color, typography, usability, etc. Your memo should also address any problems you encountered during this project and discuss what you might do differently if you had more time, different software, greater expertise, etc.

Your project will almost certainly include additional deliverables, such as evidence of client feedback, drafts of web content, and screenshots of early prototypes. Your MOU should include a full list of the specific deliverables you intend to produce for your project.

Evaluation Criteria

Like everything else related to this assignment, the criteria I will use to evaluate your project are negotiable and will be finalized in your MOU. As you draft your evaluation criteria, you may want to draw upon these examples:

  • Audience: What primary or secondary audiences does your client need or want to address in establishing a presence on the web? Have you anticipated the information needs of these audiences and does your site fulfill these needs? Who are these people and how can you draw them into your client’s website?
  • Information Architecture: Does the site you created reflect the information needs of the audiences you identified above? Does the site have an organizational scheme that is used consistently throughout the site?
  • Longevity: Is the site structured and coded in such a way that your client will be able to maintain the site without coming to you for help? Have you provided documentation to your client that explains how to maintain the site?
  • Visual Design: Is the site visually appealing? Does the site employ best practices in design, color, and typography?
  • Usability: Is the site easy to navigate? How quickly would first-time visitors be able to find the information they are looking for?
  • HTML/CSS Coding: Does your code conform to current standards, and if not, why have you deviated from these standards? Have you tested your site on a variety of browsers running on a variety of machine configurations to ensure no one in your intended audience is excluded from viewing the site because of the code you have written? Does the code pass the W3C Validator tests?
  • Memo of transmittal: Does the memo clearly and persuasively explain your work on this project and justify the decisions that you made? Does it adhere to the standards of professional written English (spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.)?