Publishing systems

GDES-315 spring 2019 (David Ramos, American University Design) · office hours · interaction design resources

Design a website that serves readers in a variety of contexts, but especially, supporting the needs of readers who are riding public transit or intercity rail. Either redesign Greater Greater Washington or The Manual. Consider site organization, page layout, and type and images; and explore the design possibilities that arrive with access to new CSS layout methods.

Photo of person hanging on to airplane


See the class schedule for due dates.

Phase I: Research

Choose your site, identify your audiences, and do background research.

Phase II: Initial design and concept refinement

Create a new design. At a minimum, you should show us:

Plan for at least two screen sizes and contexts.

Phase III: Documentation, prototyping, and development

Create site maps or flowcharts to explain user movement through the site, and produce a polished, clickable prototype in HTML/CSS or Figma. (In Figma, expectations for finesse and number of page types are higher.)

At a minimum, you will need to show us:

You might also provide:

You might choose to develop your site within a content management system or static site generator. If you choose this path, you can have a simpler design. I would suggest Jekyll (built into GitHub Pages) or Craft CMS (free for a personal license, but it will require a web hosting account); WordPress will work, but you will be on your own for support.

Sites to think about

Alternative sites

You can also propose a different site. The advantages of Greater Greater Washington and The Manual are that the two sites offer their content under a free/libre license, and that they provide a trove of good-quality material but could benefit from redesigns. Choose sites that have similar possibilities.