GDES-315 fall 2023 / David Ramos, American University Design

Communicating design

Before a website becomes a website, it’s an idea, just a notion floating in someone’s head. Through experiments, iteration, and critique – and some hours of work – that idea will gain a tangible form. Until then, we can’t discuss the site itself. Instead, we have to talk about your plans for the site, explained through mockups, diagrams, and prototypes.

Photo of art project with man floating in pool

This project offers a chance to start thinking about how to communicate the ideas behind a design. It also asks you to look closely, to notice details and how people use a site.

Take a website you think is worth paying attention to for its design and share with us why you think the site is so notable. Convince us. But do it in ten to fifteen slides that you’ll project on the screen.

Tell us:

You can use screenshots of the site, words, and diagrams. (Perhaps put screenshots on the screen and draw labels.) No talking until afterwards. Still slides only, either a PDF or a series of image files. You control how long each slide stays on screen. Add your own comments and explanations, though; unannotated screenshots are insufficient.

This is practice in analyzing websites and thinking about how they work. It’s also an introduction to documenting and explaining your own design ideas.


For due dates, look at the class schedule.