CS 271, Spring 2009
April 3 Work on Final Projects

For the class today, you should break up into your six-person final project teams. This handout describes some of the things that you should try to accomplish.

A long discussion of the procedure for working on the final project can be found in the March 23 handout. The main goal for today is to select a project and begin work on the functional design of the project. By next Wednesday, each team should be ready to turn in a functional design of the project, which will consist of a list of tasks that the user can perform on the site and the sequence of steps in each task -- preferably with some rough sketches of web pages. Possibly, we will take some class time on Monday to work on this, but you will have to do significant work on it outside of class.

1. Assign people on the team to fill the following roles. (These can be taken as suggestions, but the work needs to be done.)

2. Choose a project.

You don't immediately need a full description of the project, but you at least need to know the basic idea of what the site is for.

3. Decide on the major components of the web application.

What are some of the features that your web application will support? Will there be a news page? Will there be comments or ratings on any part of the site? Will there be an administrative section that is only accessible to some users? Will users in general have to log on? Will users be able to register themselves, or will users have to be added by an administrator? What about special features, such as user profiles, photo galleries, quizzes, surveys? Remember that you only have four and a half weeks to work on this, and even with six people, you won't be able to do everything that might be desirable on a web site. Make sure that the project has a clear focus, and design a small set of features around that.

4. Begin work on the functional design.

Begin discussion of how the user will interact with your web application. This is the first step in designing the web site! You should have a clear idea of what the site does before you start designing the implementation.

Before you leave class today, I suggest that you break up the job of preparing the functional design by assigning different team members -- or small groups of team members -- to different components of the web application.

Remember that this work is due next Wednesday.