Below you will find some of the lessons that teams have reported learning from their Team Projects. Keep in mind that every team project is different, but perhaps some of the lessons others have learned along the way will help you with your own project. Also keep in mind that the items below represent the opinions and perspectives of students who have taken the course before and therefore may not always be consistent with the advice or directions provided by the instructor.
- As a team, we’ve learned consistency is key throughout the whole process, where everyone must be equally informed about the layout and format of documents, and about each aspect of the website.
- Teamwork played a huge role and thankfully all team members played an equal part in the design process which helped out a lot.
- Meetings are more helpful than you think, especially in this semester it is important to schedule an online time where everyone can meet up, since just texting each other in a group chat doesn’t always work.
- And with that being said, communication with other group members is most important since you don’t want to forget anything and don’t want duplicates of anything. It’s also important for all group members to be informed of all aspects of the process so they can all contribute with what they know.
- Group roles are important
- Setting deadlines is necessary to stay on track
- Good communication with the stakeholder is key
- Making sure the stakeholder has all the required resources before developing certain aspects will eliminate wasted time
- Utilizing resources such as Discord and GitHub are super useful
- Sharing screens when developing will help eliminate user errors, the more sets of eyes on the project the better
- Having full control over a site’s server is tough but better in the long run
- Working online and not in person sometimes is less efficient
- Fully planning out a site using wireframes and other techniques really helps when getting to the coding part of development
- Time management is important and will affect the final product if not managed
- Get multiple ways of communication between team and stakeholder
- Compress images to save on memory storage while hosting
- Validating your website throughout the project process and not just at the very end
- Ensure all extensions/links/pictures/resources have a coherent naming system easy for a bystander to understand
- Time management is key. Pay attention to the checkpoints throughout the semester and plan accordingly. The last thing a web design team should want is to be set back because problems can easily and frequently come up.
- Communication is important, especially when a group cannot meet up in person.
- The use of a template when designing a website is a game-changer. This allows a web design team to simply bring a template to life, instead of trying to design a site in the midst of coding.
- Best practices ensure a functioning and reliable website.
- Keep everything as simple as possible to limit confusion. A simple, easy to use website is often more appealing to users than a complex, intense web page,
- Keep in mind how things will scale up or down. This is especially important when thinking about mobile design, as phones are one of the most popular ways to access the internet.
- As A team we learned that it is extremely important to work with what you have and work through difficulties.
- With the Covid-19 epidemic completely changing how we are able to meet up with each other, communicate, and work together. Our group learned that handling change is extremely important, and beign able to work under unexpected circumstances is key.
- We found that working together as a team is extremely important if you want your final product to be acceptable. Even if each person does less work the sum of their work will always be better than the sum of one persons work.
- Having group members that are well informed on certain topics more than other group members makes the process of completing a group project much easier. If you don't feel comfortable with something because you may not be as knowledgable it is nice having someone that is well versed on the subject in your group.
- This semester long experience taught us all a lot about how to work on a team for a long period of time
- We strengthened our skills on HTML and CSS through trial and error to get our site to look exactly how we wanted
- Time management was also a very important lesson learned because although we had a long time to complete the project, there was a lot to get done so we had to manage our time accordingly to meet deadlines
- We learned valuable goal setting lessons. We set goals early on and the checkpoints helped us not to procrastinate a deadline that was months ahead from when the assignment was received
- We learned how to work effectively as a Website design team
- We learned that completing the checkpoints in the most thorough way will be very beneficial when a team goes to actually build their site
- We learned not to wait until the last minute to communicate
- In person meetings are far more effective than working remotely
- We learned that time management is important in Website design projects
- One Lesson we learned from the semester was that effective communication is vital for any group to succeed. Many times we wouldn’t be able to get things done because we were waiting for our stakeholder to reply back.
- Another lesson we learned was that everything needs to be planned effectively. Through the help of the checkpoints we were able to plan accordingly and not fall behind.
- Another lesson we learned was to start early. Since we started early we were able to finish the website on time and also plan for the presentation. Starting early also gave us time to fix our mistakes and also ask the stakeholder if they are happy with our website before we uploaded it.
- Careful planning prior to development makes things go much smoother.
- It is important to define the roles of the members to play to everyone's skill sets.
- The user experience should always be considered when developing page layouts and conventions.
- Account for setbacks in your timeline. Something is always going to go wrong, and the group should be flexible enough to work around it.
- Communicate frequently with your stakeholder to make sure their vision and your vision are aligned.
- Do not rely on one member of the team to be in contact with the stakeholder.
- Meeting in person, even if it is for a short amount of time, is better than just texting or calling.
- Give yourself a head start and not wait till the last minute.
- Every member of the team can bring different, helpful aspects.
- We had to make sure to implement every element of this site the right way (at multiple points along the way) in order to make our website presentable and on par with the rest of the websites we are in competition with. Being a website that is going to be out there in real-life presumably for a long time, we learned the usability and navigation patterns of the intended audience and such aspects revolving around it and not disregard anything as it may just be an assignment.
- Be specific when planning certain aspects of the website, especially the coding guidelines and structure. The more specific those guidelines are, the easier it is to write the code and edit the code of others. Production of the site was initially slow due to the fact that we hadn’t gone into detail.
- We have learned that designing and maintaining a website is something that will go beyond the length of the semester. In other words, it would have been impossible to have the website be completely done.
- Communication between team members is absolutely crucial.
- Planning ahead (at least a week ahead) is necessary.
- Get started early. Finish the plans for the website and start coding as soon as possible.
- One lesson that we learned, is that communication between group members and the stakeholder is key to creating a solid website. The communication between them is what helps drive the creation of the website, as well as fix any sort of issues or misunderstandings between group members as well as the stakeholder.
- Another lesson that we learned while creating our website is that you should test every single aspect of the website before calling it complete, as there are probably many things that may have been overlooked in the process. This is why it is key to have people quality test the website that are not part of your creation group.
- Creating a template early in the design process is a strong way to efficiently build a website. Templates allow for consistency between pages, as well as being able to have a well designed layout overall.
- Websites take time to create. It is very hard to procrastinate and still produce a solid website. A good website is something that is well planned out, and has many hours put into the design as well as the coding itself.
- This project gave us a feel to how our projects are done in the professional setting
- Effective communication is vital for any project to succeed
- All members have a different skillset to add to team
- HTML and CSS coding takes time and individuals have to be patient to see final product
- The checkpoints were guiding our project to success
- The assigned reading material were fun to read and taught us a lot
- Finding a responsible and responsive shareholder can make or break a project
- Distribution of work load is crucial for a team to meet deadlines
- Usability testing can enhance the website in unexpected manner
- Mike has structured this class for students to succeed
- We learned multiple lessons throughout the team project but the one that is the most important is that as a group you need to have proper time management. Without the proper time management the work won’t be able to be done as time.
- If your group has a strong leader a lot of the work will be done smoothly and fast as they will be able to guide the team towards the right direction.
- To succeed you need to have proper communication between everyone involved on your project, meaning you need to have good communication with your stakeholder along with everyone on your team.
- The readings actually help a lot when designing your website, especially the thought of “mobile first” web design.
- Work on one page at a time and one portion of that page at a time so that there is no confusion when editing the code.
- This project takes a lot of time as a group to do well on. Make sure you are consistently meeting with your team to make sure everybody is confident with the details of the project.
- Establish a good way to collaborate online and offline, a lot of time can be wasted if everyone does not have access to the most up to date files.
- Make sure everybody is working on unique aspects of the website. It’s very important to communicate consistently with your team.
- Talk to your stakeholder often. Make sure that what you are working on fits both your team and your stakeholder’s ideals.
- Time management is always a skill that can be continuously improved on, especially in collaborative projects
- There is great value in having an enthusiastic, cooperative, and involved stakeholder
- The Checkpoints, usability tests, and textbooks had a valuable impact on the final product
- When working with a stakeholder it is important to communicate in a professional manner and convey technical terms in a simpler way
- Learning how to work with platforms like WordPress is beneficial because many companies use similar tools to create sites within the company
- A group works efficiently through effective communication.
- Each member brings their unique skillset to the team.
- Perfecting code in HTML and CSS requires a lot of tinkering.
- Checkpoints are helpful in laying out the ground work for the project.
- Usability tests are as important as coding as many problems that lie beneath the surface arise.
- This project gave us a real life scenario where we were working on demands by a stakeholder.
- A small group has its benefits and it disadvantages.
- Much better to meet in a group in person, not much gets done when we are "meeting" virtually.
- Be sure to clearly communicate what need to get done to all group members.
- Assign tasks to group members make the entire project less stressful and make sure they can get it done. If they do not complete their task it makes the remaining group members have to work harder.
- Working with CSS and HTML really allowed us to learn more about it.
- Try to communicate with and update your stakeholder as often as you can.
- Throughout this semester and project aws a group we learned countless things. Good communication is always key, whether it be between the stakeholder or teammates, there are always times when someone will not respond to a message and the rest of the group or entire group might need to make a decision for the stakeholder.
- Keeping code clean and organized is important because if someone is to hand it off to another team member they have to be able to read it and understand it with ease.
- Instead of developing the site individually, set up times to have “coding parties” so that everyone can gather around a computer to work on something instead of sending code back and forth or sending pictures of it in a group chat.
- Find a nice balance between what the stakeholder wants and what the entire group can achieve. Not everything that the stakeholder wants can be done at a basic level of coding that we have.
- Start early and plan accordingly. Having good communication between you and your client is very important. If the person is not very consistent with reponses, you should not ask last minute if there are certain deadlines you have to meet. This will make your job very tedious and frustrating.
- Appreciate taking the time to work together as a team. Any time that all members are free, you should not take it for granted. Use the time wisely to effectively collaborate on the project.
- Readings are key. Don’t sleep on the reading assignments because you’re going to have to put it to good use later on. There is a method to the madness believe it or not.
- If the client is not paying you, sometimes they won’t be committed to the project than you are. We offered to help them for free and it’s a priority to us. It’s a dagger to the heart that they don’t feel the same way for us.
- One lesson that we feel is the most universal is the importance of good communication. Not only with the stakeholder but also within the group. There were a few times when our work would be forced to stop because we were waiting on our stakeholder to respond to an email or give us the “okay” on an edit. Also within our group their were a few times when we had no communication from other group members and this caused our work to come to a stop. On the other end when communication was effective we progressed almost seamlessly.
- Another lesson we learned was to start early. There were many times that we would have very ambitious ideas coming into a development session only to find out that we might not be as proficient in coding as we thought. One example of that is when we decided to make the the website more adaptive through media queries and breakpoints. We were pretty confident that we could use the breakpoints efficiently after watching our classmates presentation. But after we tried to implement the queries we realized we were in over our head. Luckily we started this process four days before our established deadline so we had time to go back and research more and now we have a pretty thorough understanding of break points and media queries.
- A huge part of web design is the “grunt work”, for us that was the most demoralizing part of this project. At first it was very difficult to design the hierarchy of our site and get excited about the cool things we were going to do but once we would start coding it became apparent that lot of the coding in web design is relatively boring. No one wants to spend ten minutes adjusting the amount of pixels in the positioning of the element. But what we learned is to truly be successful you have to not only acknowledge the inevitable grunt work but to embrace the grunt work as a necessary part of the web design process.
- Effective communication between the stakeholder and your group is key to getting everyone on the same page.
- Start early and do not procrastinate or else it will bite you later on.
- Outline working roles for each member before working on your group project and divvy up the workload as necessary.
- Making a website can be easy, yet hard if everyone does not carry their weight.
- Even though you might not like one another, you need to suck it up and be able to work together.
- It is highly important to organize your time wisely. Organizing your time effecively will allow for you to better deal with problems.
- Taking the checkpoints seriously will help you in the future. They help the group come together and really picture what needs to be accomplished so that when it comes time to get everything done, its easy.
- Establishing communication between team members and the stakeholder early on is really important to getting things done efficiently. Lacking strong communication from the beginning makes it extremely difficult to get work done when it needs to get done.
- Working with a client is difficult when they decide that responding to you is not a priority, but they are a priority for you.
- It is highly important to make sure that every member of your team knows the due dates or else working together gets stressful. A lot of the responsibility ends up falling onto one or two members who knew the due dates.
- It is tough to make your vision a reality while also ensuring that the code validates and appears right on screens of every size. This can be overcome by reading more about HTML and CSS.
- Web development is difficult.
- We had to rely a lot on the approval of the stakeholder.
- The stakeholder’s delayed response times affect productivity.
- Although disagreements were present, they were essential for the process.
- Indvidual, divided up work slash the work load.
- Each teammate’s skill was essential in one way or another.
- Mike is cool guy.
- We learned much more in HTML and CSS than we already knew when building this website, and also how to effectively use it on a site in terms of design.
- Working with a group isn’t the easiest thing to do, but you simply need to trust your teammates and know that there will inevitably be obstacles that you will have to overcome.
- There is an immense amount of thought and pre planning that goes into a design of a website to optimize its potential and keep users on the website.
- We learned that effective communication with each other is also important, as details can get lost in translation.
- We also learned how important the checkpoints are, because by the end, we had a much easier time building the site thanks to the work that we did on them.
- Make sure to also have effective communication with the stakeholder, so that you have everything you may need in order to build your site.
- The benefit of working together to create something that is difficult to do from scratch.
- The importance of time management and pre-planning.
- Problem solving for when unexpected problems arise.
- Utilizing each strength of the individual group members to keep the project moving smoothly.
- Improved our HTML and CSS skills.
- As a group it would have been beneficial to be familiar with bootstrapping.
- Have a plan. Creating a semester task list and planning weekly meetings is very helpful to keeping the team on track.
- Communication with the stakeholder. Get it touch with your stakeholder early and start asking for the content that you need from the start. You might have to ask multiple times but by asking early it helps avoid scrambling at the end.
- Simple Sites are okay. There is nothing wrong with a simple site. If your stakeholder doesn’t have a lot of information to post there is no need to try to add extra pages.
- Importance of Usability Testing. Make sure you have other people look at your site throughout the processes. It is very easy for you to miss something after spending hours working on a page, so getting a fresh set of eyes on your page if essential.
- Meeting with the stakeholder needs to be done early on to ensure there are no confusions with the goals of the desired website. It becomes very apparent that simply emailing with the stakeholder only provides so much clarification and does not compare to meeting face to face.
- Establish a strong method of communication quickly. It was difficult for our group to find a method of communicating that we could all utilize efficiently which lead to slow communication timing. Once we figured out the best method our productivity increased.
- Including comments in the code makes working with a group a lot easier. Labeling sections of code reduces the time it takes for another member to comprehend the code.
- Having a distinctive layout planned ahead of time greatly improved our time efficiency when coding. Our group learned that properly planning a strong layout makes us not code blindly and gives us an objective while coding instead of trying to figure out what to code.
- Keep an open mind
- Keep the target audience in mind
- Listen to the stakeholder and not your own opinion
- Work as a member of a Web design team
- Start the project early especially the coding aspect
- Use usability testing throughout the project
- Working with a group can be difficult, especially when all the team members are busy with their own priorities. We learned to plan in person and as far ahead of time as possible to avoid scheduling conflicts.
- Communication is critical when working in a team especially when trying to schedule around other people’s schedules and when working on the same website at the same time. Make sure to communicate early and often with group members.
- Working and executing as a group can be difficult because the team must listen to different opinions and allocate enough time for group meetings. We learned that attending every group meeting is extremely important in staying on track.
- Once jobs are assigned, start it as early as possible so questions can be asked if there is confusion along the way. This helps mainstream development.
- Have a blueprint for everything before you get started working on it. Web design can be very tricky, so it is important to use this blueprint and to communicate with other group members and ask for help when you are not confident.
- Finish work on time so that there is no hinderance to other group members and to the progress of the project.
- Don’t underestimate how long it can take to complete your website from an adaptability standpoint. Code functions differently from browser to browser, so be sure that you leave your team enough time to do testing on your site.
- If you’ve never actually hosted a site before, make sure you get your domain name early and learn how to use it. If you leave it until the last minute it’s a lot of unnecessary stress trying to figure out how to host your site and sometimes, depending on your hosting service, it can take even a couple days to get your site to publish for the first time.
- Checkpoints are useful to keep your team on track with where they should be in the design process, but if you find yourself straying from the checkpoint at times, it’s not the end of the world. If you decide a different color scheme looks better than the one originally decided on, don’t be afraid to take your website in a different direction.
- Building off the previous point, while making small changes here and there isn’t a big deal, be careful about making huge design changes, especially if you’ve already started the actual coding of the site.
- Meet up early before the checkpoint is due; the more last minute it’s completed, the more the quality of it will be compromised.
- Definitely start early with coding the page, but not too early or you will need to do a lot of rewriting
- Build a foundation and keep a consistent layout, create a general template for all of your pages keeping the header and footers consistent. Having a template for your pages makes adding pages easier
- Learning how to work in a group with people we weren’t familiar with can be time-consuming and difficult. Communicating clearly from the beginning will help in the long run.
- The checkpoints are more demanding than you always think they will be, starting earlier probably would have led to better grades
- Not all ideas are appropriate for actual implementation, they might seem cool but are pretty useless or bad design.
- Learning to communicate and work with a stakeholder to complete a project.
- Understanding the target audience of a site. Not every person is an expert web user, so a site needs to be designed in the simplest way possible.
- We learned to work effectively in a group environment. We had to better our communication skills, split up tasks evenly among group members, and share all of our ideas.
- Designing the website is far more work than actually coding it. So many factors must be taken into account before the first line of code is written. It is really important to focus on the checkpoint documents and find exactly what you want to design before writing any of it.
- Establishing consistent schedules and making yourself available to meet is important. Making a meet time and sticking with it is integral because the core of the project is designing as a team. This task was especially important for us because it was very hard for our team to meet because most of us do not live on campus.
- Dividing up tasks and then bringing them to the meetings made meetings extremely efficient. Having an idea what your team wants to accomplish in a meeting and making sure your team meets those goals were integral to our productivity in this project. No one wants to sit at a team meeting for a couple of hours and only then decide what the next steps are, and basically get nothing done.
- Meeting deadlines are quiintessential to finishing this project. Without making and meeting deadlines, there is no structure to the project, and with procrastination can lead to the entire downfall. When teammates fail to meet their deadlines it is important to remind them of why they should be in the future.
- It may sound cliché, but communication is extremely important, especially when working on a technical project like a website. Never assume your teammates know what you are thinking. If you have an idea or a problem tell them respectfully and in a timely manner to avoid trouble down the road.
- Setting deadlines is the best way to make sure things get done. Hard deadlines are important, set mid-point deadlines a few days before checkpoints are due to avoid last second issues. Have specific dates for the completion of different webpages. We are all procrastinators by nature, without deadlines things will not get done, and you will be stressing out when everything is due it two days.
- Start everything, especially coding, as early as possible. DO NOT wait until the week before to start coding your website. It is a pain to get started, but it will make your lives much easier. When you wait until the last second, issues that inevitably come up will not have time to be fixed. Also, since the site is due at the end of the semester you will be busy finishing work for other classes and studying for exams.
- It is important to receive feedback from the client throughout the process, not just at the end. Do not spend weeks designing your site only to have to change everything because you did not take the time to ask your stakeholder whether they liked your choice for navigation. At the very least, update your stakeholder at least once a week.
- It is easy to become over ambitious when coding a website. When starting a project, it is easy for everyone to have a lot of ideas about how you can make your website look cool. Realize that you only have a few weeks to sit down and code this site at the end of the semester. Establish what is critical for your site, what you want to add, and what needs to be saved for a later time.
- Take the checkpoints seriously. They may seem like a pain when you are writing them, but they make coding the actual site a million times easier. Instead of having to sit down and spend time working out minor details, you can save time and get right to work coding because all the details have been taken care of in the checkpoints.
- One lesson I have taken from this project is that when you get into coding a website, the layout and code will not always be the same so be prepared to change your code multiple times, and that if you keep your HTML and CSS nice and clean, it should be easier to change.
- I learned that communication is very important for this group project. We all had our own unique ideas and trying to fill in everyone's thought could sometimes be difficult. We tried out our ideas and then we agreed on what works and what did not work. Overall we were not afraid to tell each other that something does or does not work. It is also very important to schedule group meetings frequently and think of a default place and time at least 24 hours before the meet.
- I learned that it is very important for a site to be simple, functional, and use minimal colors. Doing this will ensure the user is not confused or overwhelmed by the site, while also making it easy for them to navigate. I also found out the importance of making a site mobile friendly, and how to do this using media queries.
- One important lesson I learned how important it is to keep a website simple and easy to use. Users can come to our website and immediately figure out where they need to go. It was also very critical to use media queries in order to create a responsive site. Lastly I learned how important communication is when working with others. There were times where everyone was on the same page and everything was working group. There were also times where everyone was not on the same page which made working a lot harder.
- Start the website early. It would have been best to start it right after we completed the outlines for checkpoint 4.
- Constant communication about who is doing what is important. You don't want two people to prepare code for the same part.
- Figure out the hosting for the site early on. GoDaddy gave us some trouble when trying to host the site and we had to find another way.
- Creating a group message is a great way of communicating. If every member doesn't have an iPhone a good alternative is Group Me.
- The pre-assigned roles are nice but you don't have to stick to them. Working on what you want is the best way to make sure people stay invested and on track.
- Make sure you thoroughly plan your design before you start coding. Coding isn't something you can just dive right into.
- One lesson that we all learned is how important communication is in a team. If you don’t have good communication it is very hard to get things done; everyone has to be on the same page.
- Learned that procrastination in a group is even worse than individual procrastination. If your group procrastinates it just creates more and more work for them in the end.
- Learned how to get a domain and a hosting service to host the website. Also learned how to easily update the site by using FileZilla and connecting to the website’s server.
- We learned how important time management is. How you spend your time with a project is a very important aspect to how smooth the process of doing the project goes. If you do not spend your time well the project will be negatively impacted. We learned that unexpected things will happen and you need to be ready for them; expect the worse and make time for these unexpected things.
- Having one person as the contact with the stakeholder did not fully inform all members of the team.
- Finding a common time to meet with all of our busy schedules plus having a commuter was not too bad but it did slow down progress.
- Working on a hosted a site took some effort as none of us have worked in a group environment on a hosted a site before. Changes were not always obvious when all were working at same time.
- Scheduling was over email and occasionally a meeting or change in the schedule was missed.
- Plan ahead and utilize the checkpoints so that you don‘t have to make massive changes later on.
- Do plenty of usability testing throughout the entire process.
- Get in a routine of checking in on one another’s progress and maintaining good communication so you don’t let the project slip.
- Don’t start coding the site at the very beginning of the semester, as you will likely have to start from scratch multiple times in order to follow your project plan as it evolves. On that same note, don’t start too late or you’ll be stuck with very late nights of coding.
- You need to have a decent amount of knowledge about hosting and domains in order to get the site up and running. Don’t save this for the last minute.
- Consistent communication with the stakeholder is very important.
- Teamwork is key, and dividing up work clearly and fairly.
- Follow the checkpoints carefully, they may seem like a bit of a pain but they will help in the long run.
- Don’t leave everything to the last minute. Make sure to manage your time wisely and create a schedule of when you should have certain things done by.
- Never too early to think about usability testing. It improves aspects of the design before you finalize the pages.
- Keep your plans relatively simple. You don’t want to have complex plans for your group. Simplicity makes your group think in the same way and makes your site easier to use.
- The checkpoints might seem easy to get done but they required time and effort. Waiting the day before the due date will result in a sloppy checkpoint. Always start early. If you rush the checkpoints, you will most likely have many errors in your writing; for example, grammatical and spelling errors. This will also make your checkpoints look less professional.
- Although using
wix.comor anyother webpage generator site is easier, it limits creativity and design of a webpage. We were able to make about few changes to a particular template.
- Every team member contributing equally to the project is very important. Leaving all the work to an individual can be stressful and end up reducing the overall quality of the project. Having team members work on specific aspects of a project based on their specific strengths will create the best possible output.
- Planning is important but it is also very important to stick with a set plan of action to avoid confusion and unnecessary mistakes. Make sure that you create this plan early so that you have plenty of time of doing the actual work so that you have time to review and to make better quality project.
- Communication is one of the most important things that will determine the overall success of the project. Constantly communicating with the stakeholder keeps group members abreast making the flow of information simple. Communication between team members is also vital. No communication will lead to confusion, thus diminishing the quality of the final product.
- Take advantage of the expertise that was acquired from the individual project. From what you learned while doing your individual project, you should apply to your group project.
- Professionalism is key. Make sure you review your work because, if you don’t, you are more than likely going to have small mistakes all throughout your website and documents. Small mistakes like these look careless and will displease the stakeholder and make them think less of your group.
- Physical team meeting are important
- Stricter internal deadlines
- We learned to create a page template early on in the process. By the time we had created the page template, we had already started coding the site. If we had started with these earlier on, it would have saved us from having to recreate these pages multiple times due to conflicting ideas.
- We learned the importance of usability testing with our website. At first, we were skeptical about the benefits to usability testing. However, we discovered a decent amount of issues, that when corrected greatly improved our site.
- We learned the importance of stressing stakeholder communication early on in the process. A stakeholder who doesn’t keep in touch can prove problematic if your group is looking at making large changes to the plan. By setting the expectations of communication early, you can remove this possible issue.
- We also learned the importance of internal deadlines. The checkpoints were a good tool to keep us moving along steadily. However, we feel that if we had set some self-guidelines, it would have helped spread the work more evenly across the semester.
- Finally, we learned how to design as a team. Teamwork can help greatly improve the final product. By working together, we were able to get insights from people of different backgrounds and also were able to spot mistakes or possible improvements that we might not have caught working alone.
- Don’t underestimate how much time will be spent tinkering. In other words, finding those little mistakes such as spelling mistakes, improper page ‘title’ attributes, and so on.
- Understand that not all group members will be able to attend every meeting. Sometimes, only half of the group will be able to make a certain meeting. This should not deter those who can show up. In our experience, it was better to have a few people meet in person and catch the other people up after instead of not holding the meeting at all.
- BootStrap is a great tool once you get over the learning curve and educate yourself on how it works. None of our group members had experience with it prior to this project but we feel that the initial headache of understanding it and getting used to it was worth it. Not only are its elements visually appealing, but it also has some great hidden features such as an accurate tab order which relates to usability.
- When starting any project, it is extremely important to have a solid plan established before beginning the actual implementation of the project. If we had not put all of the work and planning into the checkpoints that we did along the way, building the actual website would have been a much more difficult and time consuming process than it was.
- Thorough planning is important for large-scale projects.
- Be open minded and be willing to work through obstacles.
- Sometimes you have to make the best of the content you have.
- Teamwork is important. Everyone has to pull their weight and hold each other accountable.
- You have to be willing to put the time in to get a good final product.
- You have to negotiate with the stakeholder on certain site features.
- Usability testing is KEY, if you do not start this process early enough, making changes can be very time consuming and frustrating
- Working with your stakeholder can be very frustrating. You need to constantly keep up to date and ensure a strong a strong line of communication with him or her
- Working as a team everyone obviously has different time schedules. Make sure to create a schedule for team meetings at the beginning of the semester
- Make sure you plan plenty of time to get your project well organized
- Keep you navigation as simplistic as possible. This includes not only your hierarchy but labels as well
- We learned that communication between group members and with a stakeholder is necessary.
- We learned how to divide up the work evenly.
- We learned how to manage our time and work under a deadline.
- We learned that there will be unexpected challenges that you need to overcome.
- We learned that you can't implement all of your ideas.
- Our group learned the entire process from start to finish of developing a website tailored to our stakholders specific needs and expectations.
- Our group learned how important group collaboration, communication, and time management was to create parts of this project on time.
- We learned to respect and consider everyone's ideas.
- We found out that considering our strengths and weaknesses when assigning team member responsibilities helped save a lot of time in the design process.
- We also learned the hard way that you should always underestimate the time something will take to complete in coding. Usually it takes longer to perfect something than you think!
- We found that trying to get 4, equally busy and stressed college students together is quite a difficult feat. It also didn’t help that one of them was a commuter. This made meeting much harder than we had hoped.
- There is nothing more valuable than communication, which we quickly realized. By using group message texting and google drive, we were able to keep in constant contact with each other.
- We also realized that some of our ideas were largely difficult tasks. It was disappointing to not have been able to implement some of the desired features, however one day it will be possible. Always keep learning, and never stop dreaming is a good motto.
- We learned about working with communication.
- We learned about working under deadlines.
- We learned how to implement and use an already existing framework.
- We learned that not every idea is possible, even if it would be interesting.
- We learned to focus on crucial points in website design, over other factors.
- Utilizing website building tools makes building websites much less time consuming and much easier.
- Usability is crucial in all aspects of a website.
- If the site is not simple to use it probably will not be used at all.
- Stakeholders in most cases are not perfect and your team must be ready to adapt to the challenges that comes along with that.
- Its easier to make websites that you are passionate about but that is not always the case.
- You have to be willing to change your perspective and think like your target audience to be successful.
- The more team cohesion, selflessness, and willingness to help each other that a group has, the easier all aspects of the process are.
- I learned the importance of reading books for your field.
- I learned that whitespace is important.
- I also learned how to communicate effectively and deal with different schedules to successfully get the job done.?
- I learned about using Dreamweaver to help making all of the HTML and CSS simpler to use.
- I also learned how to get work done as a team; using small meetings and breaking up the work and meeting up again once the work is done.?
- I also learned a bit about PHP as I had never done anything with PHP before.
- I learned a lot about the process of building a Web site from the ground up.
- There are a lot of preliminary considerations to be made before the construction process is ready to begin.?
- Checkpoints are very useful and should be done throughly because they are actually helpful.
- The first thing that we learned is how important communication between team members is. Without proper communication this project would not have been done in time.
- We learned the process of making a website from scratch. From brainstorming ideas to making the site.
- Another thing we learned is how hard making a website actually is from coming up with the idea to actually implementing the site.
- We also learned that working as a team does not always make a project easier but in this case it made the project harder and more stressful.
- With our team being difficult to work with our team manager ( kyle ) got to learn some management skills that will help him in the future as well.
- Usability testing helps reveal issues with the website.
- If it wasn’t for the thorough usability testing that was done throughout our website design process, some major issues would have gone unnoticed.
- Allow more time for website creation and bug fixes
- Even though we thought that we had provided enough time for the physical creation of our website, we worked until the very last minute to finish our website and there were still some bugs that could have been fixed.
- Schedule more time with the client
- In the end there were a lot of questions that were left to be asked with the client nowhere to be found, even with one of our team members being his roommate. From this, we have learned that it is important to schedule more time with the client and to do so ahead of time.
- There is no shame in admitting weakness
- This was the most important lesson that we learned over the course of the semester and, in a cknowledging our weaknesses, we were able to figure out a way around them and still end up with a sleek and functional website.
- Team work is important. Working as a group where everyone has access to the same information and knows the plan for the entirety of the project is necessary for the cohesion of the project.
- Communication is #1 for success. This refers to both communication with group members and the client. Always let group members know about important deadlines, new developments, or interesting concepts. Always pay attention to the client and their needs for the finished product.
- Time management. Deadlines are very important and should be prepared for ahead of time; not just the night before it is due.
- Coding is most effective with few hands writing the actual code. Most programmers have specific styles and ideas of how to code. Let 2 or 3 people be the main coders. Everyone should contribute ideas but the less people that handle the code, the more cohesive it will be.
- Hardcoding websites in pure HTML and CSS is definitely not easy, this difficulty exponentially increases with a larger company. Bootstrap or Dreamweaver would have been preferable.
- Using the "id" jump navigations was a good call on the condensed "Our Services" page, however, it would’ve been more useful to add "anchor" links that led back to the top of the page or to subsequent lower pages.
- The CSS should have been more fluid in the event that the screen stretches or contracts for the purpose of usability.
- One of the lessons we learned from this is to have multiple lines of communication going between everyone involved in the project. There were many times where we waited on communication from one another or from the stakeholder, and that time could have been put to better use.
- Another important lesson we learned was that it is important to make team meetings before meeting with the stakeholder. This ensures that everyone knows what needs to be talked about.
- A lesson we learned late in the project was that if the stakeholder doesn't respond, it is always good to send another message. Too many times we waited half a week for a response, when we could have sent another message to hopefully get a quicker response.
- Making Expectations Known Early
- Ask for Input and Feedback
- Always Test
- Usability Test
- Self Testing
- Testing Other Browsers
Team #1, Section #1
- One of the lessons we all learned throughout the course of this project was the use of effective communication between team members. The project was harder when not all members were able to meet and it seemed as though only four-fifths of the group could meet.
- Usability testing ended up being both a good and bad thing. We were able to get quality information regarding the current status of our site, however it created more work for our group in the long run. Despite some minor setbacks, we were able to come together and maintain our intended design of the site.
- It was also became quickly apparent that the deadlines and checkpoints would be a great way to stay on track towards completion.
- Bootstrap is very helpful but like any API, has it’s flaws when trying to customize it.
- Using photoshop to allow us to visualize our site and create mockups to look at and manipulate.
- Make text as legible as possible. Visual organization of text is essential to website appealability.
- Do not create more work than needed.
- Dark backgrounds don’t look good. Text should be on white background.
- Have as much data backed up as possible.
- It’s important to have a diversely skilled team.
- Trial and error is inevitable.
- The design should reflect the sites goals and purposes.
- Using modern technology, like Google Docs, can be a great tool to accomplish tasks when not all members can meet in person.
Team #2, Section #1
- Sticking to deadlines is very important for meeting deadlines with good results
- Synergy is key - The group can exceed any of the individual skills of its members
- Thinking as the user is key to developing any website
- Usability tests are always ongoing
Team #1, Section #2
- Web page design documentation such as wire frames are key to present what is expected to the stakeholder
- Communication with Stakeholder is key
- Site usability tests are way more important and useful than you think at first
- A picture can say 1000 words
- Less is more in webpage design
- Dont make people think!
- A web page is not the Roco Rotisserie, you cannot set it and forget it!
- A reactive web design is way more mobile friendly, use percentages too!
- Some of the things we learned through this process were that communication is key. Making sure that communication is consistent and clear is added to that. When communicating with the stakeholder it is good to clearly let them know what you need, and then follow up with them afterwards.
- The checkpoints were also a valuable lesson, we initially left the first two with little time to before the due date. We learned to ourselves plenty of time before the due dates of the following checkpoints. Having these gives you a clear goal and getting them done early sets you ahead of the curve.
- Using time to plan out the code we are going to use, rather than just writing it without a plan. By doing this, it allows us to keep the code cleaner by knowing what we are going to do beforehand.
- Design Paradigms:
- This is something that I was familiar with but did not know the actual name of.
- Page Layout:
- and how using layout, a designer can guide the user to the goal of the site.
- The different types of navigation and their pros and cons.
- Form Design:
- and how to make a user friendly form that accomplishes the user and designers goal.
- The importance of combining accessibility, identity, navigation, and content.
- Color Theory:
- The different color schemes and components of colors.
- Youtube Optimization:
- How to make videos more presentable in your site.
- Web Writing:
- The importance of less is more.
- Mobile Web Accessibility:
- The importance of keeping a site simple when designing it for mobile use.
- Search Engine Optimization:
- The different components to focus on when trying to get your site on the top pages of Google using keywords and tags.
- Usability Testing:
- That testing sites throughout the entire process is crucial.
- Bulletproofing a Website:
- Making sure that your site looks optimal no matter where it is viewed.
Team #3, Section #2
- One big lesson we learned from our group project is that having a stakeholder that isn’t involved makes it very hard. In doing the project again I would try to make sure that our stakeholder understands that they must stay in contact or I would try and get the most information from the stakeholder about the site from the start. Lack of communication with the stakeholder made it hard for us to make the form they wanted us to do on the site.
- I also learned that working with a group you have to be very flexible especially when you are on a sports team others have jobs. A lot of the time we couldn’t all meet at the same time so if you couldn’t make the meeting you had to be very willing to try to find out what the group needed and how you could do your part.
- We also learned that the planning with the checkpoints made it much easier when it came time to design and it really improved our overall design. Finally I learned not to make it hard on yourself, if you can use a program like adobe muse effectively, use it.
- Meeting as an entire group was difficult. Everyone has different schedules. We all had to be very flexible especially with a member on a sports team and others that have jobs. A lot of the time we couldn’t all meet at the same time so some members had to be very willing to try to find out what the group needed.
- Coding from scratch takes a lot of time – especially with CSS… Which is why we used Adobe Muse in the result of time.
- If it weren’t for the checkpoints, we probably wouldn’t have gotten things done on time. Planning with the checkpoints made it much easier when it came time to design and it really improved our overall design.
- Communication is key; had we been in better contact with our stakeholder, we feel that our group would have been able to provide a much greater amount of information onto our site, but unfortunately that was not the case.
- In doing the project again we would try to make sure that our stakeholder understands that they must stay in contact or we would try and get the most information from the stakeholder about the site from the start.
- Small team management was far easier than if it had been a large group collaboration. Less people meant we could communicate easier between ourselves.
- Realistic goals and implementation methods made it much easier for our group to be comfortable with the amount of work necessary. This also ensured that we were able to complete our site on time.
Team #4, Section #2
- I learned that working in person helped me to visualize more about the website and know what the client actually wants for their website.
- I also learned that having a blueprint for the website helps us to work as a team to know which part a teammate is responsible for.
- I learned that communicate is big role in the project because without communicating the work won't be done by the whole team.
- Plan before you implement!
- If you are used to working alone, forget that and work as a team
- Do not overcomplicate things, this can turn into more bugs if you are not careful
- take a step out of your boundaries when designing, you may surprise yourself
- Make sure every team mate is on the same page
- Pay attention to individual projects, they all contain GOOD stuff
- Organize Content Early/Preparation
- One of the biggest things we learned is that we should have organized the content given to us by the sponsor earlier than we did. Our sponsor gave us a lot of content, especially images, and we strugled to divide those into categories until later in the project. This would have been benefitial so that the content could neatly been organized into subfolders, and so that our design work could have reflected our categories more accurately early on.
- Better Revision Control for Code
- Though Google Docs worked well for us for code revision, we wish we had taken some time to set up an easier system. With Google Docs, we would have to reupload the entire code directory and then someone who wanted to make changes would have to download that whole folder to do so. This was in hinesight very tedious. Utilizing a revision control or collaboration software such as SVN, GIT, or nudgepad would have made things much easier for managing code among members.
- Remember to Create a Good HTML and CSS Template for the Site
- Create a good template for the site as soon as possible after the design work. This allows you to ensure that things that need to appear on all pages can be taken care of ahead of time so that you don't have to go back and add manually to each page later. We did this pretty well, but did have to go back and change a couple things. You may have to make changes with some copy and paste work, but a good template to start with helps to reduce these problems.
- How to work with others on a team
- One person doesn't have to do all the heavy lifting to complete a well-done project.
- Time flies so don't overestimate how much you have, make every bit count!
Spring 2013, Section 1
- One lesson learned thoughout working on this project is that it is important to keep close and constant contact with the stakeholder. We were able to contact the stakeholder often with many questions that we had. They were very helpful in responding quickly and providing the necessary information for completion.
- Another lesson learned is that it was helpful to delegate individual roles within the project so each member can aid others in their particular area of expertise. It was very important to maintain team communication so everyone stays on the same page throughout the course of the project.
- The lesson that I learned through the class and project is that when in a group of four editing checkpoints and overall content can be difficult due to different styles of writing.
- The lesson that I learned through the project is that understanding how your hosting provider stores your website is important to making quick changes
- The lesson that I learned through the project was how being the middle man between the group and the stakeholder required a lot of work. I also learned how to use a hosting site as well as creating products to sell on an accompanying web page.
- The lesson that I learned through the project is how to succesfully implement a Twitter Feed onto a website to allow the stakeholder to keep information up to date without having him/her worry about messing with the html coding.
- Time Management
- We learn that by keeping our team on a strict deadline, it helped us to stay on track. We each had different schedules and each had to find a time within our week to get together and work on the project as a group. Time Management played a major role in helping us finish our project on time.
- Team Work
- Our group was set up in such a way that not one person had a greater say over anyone else. With this approach, all of us had to truly work as a â€œteamâ€ and come up with ideas that were pleasing to the whole group.
- Communication was very important when it came to a project of this magnitude. We each shared our thoughts openly within the group to ensure that we were all on the same page at all times. Outside of the meetings, we all stayed in touch through text messages, FaceBook group, and DropBox to share information and documents.
- Our group had to set priorities before we got started with the project. We made sure that we were all fully committed to the project and that everyone carried his own weight. Everyone knew where they stand within the group and knew what was expected of them.
- Usability testing was a very helpful aspect to the success of our website. With the first test we learned what we really needed to change in the site ranging from organization to color matching. As the project progressed the usability test helped pick out the fine details that our website was lacking. Overall we learned the value that usability test have on the project.
- Another lesson we learned was the time that goes into the small details of the website. The HTML for the website did not take that long but the CSS was what a majority of the time spent. The organization and arrangement of the site is what took the most time and precision to get it right.
- We learned how when meeting with groups in can be hard to share files and make sure everything is constantly updated and everyone has the newest files. To overcome this problem we used file sharing services and in particular we used drop box. This made sharing the files easier and we could always have the updated version. However we did come to learn that this sharing of files was not a substitute for group meetings. If a file was updated there was no way of telling which line of code was fixed. In the end it was a huge contribution to the efficiency of the project.
- The importance of time management
- Throughout this project our team found time management extremely important. Though the checkpoints provided us with a relative timeline for the design of our website we found it was very important to complete tasks ahead of time incase we encountered unexpected problems. As a group we feel this lesson will be very beneficial when we enter a professional work environment.
- How to divide work by skill set
- While working on this project we learned how to divide work among a time based on a team members skills. This kept team moral high because each member was working on an aspect of the design they were comfortable with. For example Vincenzo and James were comfortable with HTML and CSS so they were assigned the role of coding for majority of the site. Also since each team member worked on every aspect of the site we always knew whom we could go to for advice based on a team member's role.
- Team collaboration and compromise
- Working with a team proved to be more difficult than we imagined and issues inevitably developed. Team members as well as stakeholders would disagree on aspects of the design sparking conflict. As a team we learned the importance of collaboration and compromise. We learned that at times each member would need to sacrifice an idea of two in the interest of the rest of the team.
- Consistent Validation of HTML and CSS
- During the final stages of the design process we began to construct the HTML and CSS for our site. As we completed pages at time we would neglect to check the validity of our HTML or CSS and thought we had a complete design. After validation the page we realized we had used incorrect HTML or CSS and our design would be brought back to almost nothing. As we continued to design more pages we realized the importance of constant validation. By validating often we avoided overwhelming problems by catching the mistakes when they were small and almost insignificant.
- Importance of Usability testing
- While completing this project we believe one of the most important lessons we learned was the importance of usability testing. In the beginning we thought this task would be insignificant but it proved to be very beneficial to our project. The users we tested consistently pointed out significant confusion in our design that as designers we thought were very obvious.
- Make sure to have clear and constant communication with your stakeholder
- Do usability testing as often as possible! The information you can learn from your users, or even those who are not users, is invaluable. Sometimes what can seem like a great idea turns out to be less than favorable with the actual users
- Keep deadlines in mind. It is easy to push back work to when it has to be done. Try to get it done ahead of time!
- Split tasks up but also make sure to work as a team on a lot of the larger tasks such as the coding so everyone knows what is going on
- Try to start coding as early as possible, even if it is just a framework of the page
- Keep on your stakeholder if you are in need of content!
- Split tasks based on expertise
- Make one person in charge of files so nothing gets lost and proper additions can be made
- Let one person be the main coder so everything is consistent
- Give yourself ample time before the deadline to fix errors that arise
- Make time to meet as a group because one member may be able to fix the problem another member has
- Make sure your website is compatible with all browsers
- One lesson that we learned is that we should have left more time at the end of the project to add more little features. If there was more time we could have edited the code more to make it better on mobile devices. Also, we could have made sure that images were a little bit clearer and that they were all the same size.
- Additionally, we should have taken all of the different browsers into consideration. This was a lesson learned with the coding; some coding is interpreted differently in different browsers. The issue was that when we tried to fix the code in one browser, it would ruin it in another browser. The code presented a problem and we ended up using temporary padding to make the page readable.
- Furthermore, it was hard for everyone to do the same task at once such as coding. Instead, it was easier for one person to do the coding while everyone else contributed ideas. After talking, we realized that it is hard to pass around code because it becomes tangled and the code can begin to contradict each other. In order to fix this issue, we made Alex the main coder with everyone else contributing ideas of changes that needed to be made.
- Getting the content on the webpage is one thing, getting it positioned correctly is entirely another.
- Start the website as soon as possible, or you’ll regret how much it will consume your life.
- Browsers render things differently, check across all browsers and make adjustments EARLY in the programming process.
- Get a layout and stick with it, not following previously established layouts just makes things confusing.
- Define roles early in the team, or else no one knows what they are doing.
- Meeting with a client to develop a site design to their needs
- Working as a group in order to develop a functional website
- Creating professional documents to aid design
- Utilizing our resources to gain valuable development knowledge
- Have a game plan
- Checkpoints allowed us to think in advance
- Had our target audience and needs in mind
- The simpler the better
- Have a simple and consistent design
- Use a single CSS stylesheet
- Limit markup and coad bloat
- Makes things obvious
- Make the tabs informative
- Have the important information stand out on each page
- Start work early! Whether it be the checkpoints or coding for you site, it can never hurt to get a head start. We were able to complete the framework of our site a few weeks in advance of the deadline and it really paid off
- Keep your goals realistic. The more complicated features you want to implement in your site, the more things there are to go wrong. Only implement features that you know your team can accomplish.
- Know your target audience. If your target audience is everyone in the general public, you have to accomodate for everyone. You don't want to neglect a certain type of user.
- Do usability testing. We got lots of helpful advice from our usability testing that we would not have gotten otherwise. Also, do it more than once so you can test any changes you made.
- Make sure you communicate effectively with your team members. If everyone in the team knows what is going on and what work they have to do, team chemistry will improve and you will end up with a better final product.
- Team Work
- Google Sites
- Take initiative
- Proof Read Everything
- Time Management
- Dealing with uncertainty
- Utilizing Individual Skills
- Let team members focus on their expertise in order to get the best results.
- Having a team leader was key in our case to make sure everything got done in a timely manner.
- Making sure at least one person has constant contact with the stakeholder.
- Procrastination is bad.
- Referring to checkpoints often to avoid frustration in the end.
- Keeping the big picture in mind and not just the small details.
- Usability testing is actually very important for designing a website!
- Always keep the goals of the stakeholder in mind, not only what we want for the site.
- The checkpoints are a serious tool for our use, and should be seen as that.
- Always check with the stakeholder early in the design process to avoid any last-minute design changes
- Being able to work with a group is a valuable skill gained in this course
- You may goof off from time to time but you can’t be serious all the time, its always good to just create fun out of everything while being able to get all the work done at the same time
- Everyone has different knowledge and different motivation for the project, which is why it’s always important to find everyone’s strengths and use it to your group’s advantage
- Task Delegation
- One of the most prominent lessons that we learned during the project was that delegating tasks based on expertise allows group members to focus on one aspect and consequently more easily solve similar problems encountered later during the project. Since we started the project with a much less organized approach, we were able to clearly see our boost in performance which resulted from the task delegation.
- Frequent Stakeholder Feedback
- We also learned that it is important to receive frequent feedback from the stakeholder. Towards the beginning of our project when we had the less organized approach, we would often put a lot of effort into one portion, only for it to be disliked by the stakeholder, which would make all of that effort pointless. Once we started meeting with the stakeholder a couple of times per week, we were able to have confidence that our efforts would not be for nothing.
- Frequent Code Checking
- While doing the actual coding, we learned that it is important to be frequently refreshing the web browser translation of the code. One of us would often type several lines of code and then the next time the file was opened in a web browser, there were errors and it was unclear as to where the error could be. Once we started opening the file in a web browser after every few lines of code, we could more easily identify where the error was coming from, if there was one.
- The importance of the overlooked aspects of usability
- How to work with a stakeholder in a real life situation
- How to collaborate to make a final product
- As a group, working together on this project, we realized the importance of time management. When we spaced out our meetings and worked on check points long before their due dates we got rid of unneeded stress that comes along with cramming work in at the last minute, and allowed ourselves more time to find and fix mistakes, discuss and try out different ideas, and just overall better our work. Also, because we were working with a stakeholder and they weren’t always there right when we needed them, it was good to leave extra time to hear from our stakeholder in case of a backup or case of confusion.
- When working with a group and stake holder, communication becomes essentially the biggest role in bringing the project together. Without communication, we never would have made it anywhere in this project and we would still be at square one. Communication comes into play when trying to figure out each team member’s strengths and weaknesses, when scheduling meetings between the team members to work on pieces of the project, when scheduling meetings between the team and the stake holder to show progress and figure out the next steps that need to be taken, when figuring out exactly what it is your stake holder wants from you, when figuring out exactly what it is the team needs from the stake holder, when trying to work out the kinks, and so on. Our team realized the significance of communication and that’s why we tried to communicate a lot and often.
- Since we don’t all use XHTML and CSS in our everyday lives, this project was a big refresher on how to use them. Since in order to make our website, we needed to use both XHTML and CSS, we had to jog our memories and get the train back on track. It was like digging to the back of our brains and finding the information we needed, and bringing it up to the surface so it was fresh in our minds again and we were ready to use it to not only build, but also improve our website.
- There was nothing more frustrating than working on coding for hours upon hours and having it not validate at the very end. We learned to validate often, after almost every change, to save us the complications and frustration of not knowing where we went wrong or how to fix our mistakes. If we added a few lines of coding and then tried to revalidate it and the validation failed, we would know that the error occurred in the most recently added script. This simple task saved a lot of time and complications and made our lives that much easier once we realized its importance.
- Another mistake made that we could have easily avoided was not synchronizing all of our files. We didn’t have a perfect index template before we started building all the other branches and pages of our website which only created more work for us in the long run. We were so focused on getting started and building a little piece of every page that we didn’t realize the extra editing and correcting we would need to do in the end. Also, every time one person edited a certain area of a certain page, the coding would then need to be resent to every member of the team so we were always on the same page, this being that we were all working on our own computers and working through email attachment files.
- We also found that we needed to do more usability testing than we thought we needed to. We were pleased with our website and we had positive commentary and feedback about it, but then when we went to present in front of the class we were disappointed and caught off guard by what we saw. It wasn’t the exact format we had prepared and worked so hard for. Maybe if we had done just a little bit more usability testing, we would have been able to somehow catch this flaw of a variation of our website on a different device than we had been testing it on.
- One last thing we learned was how to make our decisions with risk management. When we started our project, we had a completely different idea in mind than the one we ended up with as our final project. With checkpoint number three’s dead line on the horizon, we started realizing all the complications and extra work that came along with trying to create a Marine recruiting website. Since we had already spent the first two check points with this website in mind, was the extra work worth it and should we just keep pushing through until the end, or would the extra work be too much and should we scrap our idea and start from square one? We decided to start from square one, take a step back, and approach this project at a completely different angle. In the end, the extra work we did to make up for lost time focusing on our new idea was much more worth it then the extra work we would have needed to do to make our old idea a success.
- Even though it’s difficult to scrap the code you’ve been working on for weeks, it can be beneficial to completely start over.
- Real world experience in working with a stakeholder and having another individual list demands that needed to be implemented.
- The knowledge of how to successfully work as a group to achieve a common goal.
- A great deal of knowledge about conventional website designs as well as XHTML coding.
- Start the project early. Sometimes, you think you have more time to finish the project than you actually do.
- One topic branches out into countless pieces of information, so managing the pieces which should be included can be difficult.
- Sometimes, you have to scrap the already existing code for the benefit of moving forward.
- Nate Rubin - I learned the importance of planning out the architecture of a site before one goes to actually write the code. In the past concepts such as navigation and usability have been afterthoughts, so seeing how effective it can be to think about these things going into the coding process was really enlightening.
- Josiah Kelsall - I learned a good deal of how a group project like this works; particularly how hard it is to coordinate meeting locally, with mismatching schedules, and over the internet with google documents. Time management was especially hard with crazy schedules and large amount of assignments on my part.
- Tyler MacPherson - I learned a lot about the design of a site. I learned that much of the time, simple is better. A simple design makes the site much more usable and effective than a flashy, more complex design. I also learned about getting the most out of the group meetings. With every one having such busy schedules, it was always important to make sure that we got as much done and organized as possible at every meeting.
- Tim Taylor - Many lessons were learned through the production of this website. First, involvement with any stakeholder needs to be direct and there should be a common understanding of expectations straight from the stakeholder to each member of the team. Also, a clean, simple, professional looking site appearance is often more important than overwhelming the user with technicality. Lastly as others have mentioned, effective time management on a project of this scope is imperative, and should be established early and often.
- Alexandra Bentas - Working in a group has proven to be difficult and taught me many lessons. Yes, time constraints are important in the production of a website. However, I learned it is most important to have all team members on a uniform platform. Having all team members on a uniform idea and system of production allow for an easier work process. Once all team members are working together and are on track with a particular mindset, production will not only be smoother, but a lot quicker. A team leader can assure this uniform mindset and platform, which is crucial in the productivity of the group. Without proper delegation and management the team will falter.
- Incorporating different perceptions on the website can be a challenge
- It is necesary to understand and work with user and stakeholder goals
- Regular communication between both group members and stakeholders is a must
- Time management is crucial
- Everyone should know how to effectivley work together as a team
- Each team member’s role should be analyzed to determine whether it is a good fit for his or her skills set
- Being Own Stakeholder – Easier Than Having A Real One
- Common Goals – Person Benefit
- Create XHTML Framework Before PHP
- Maintain Security Consciousness when Using PHP and mySQL
- Don’t procrastinate! Saving things until the last minute before a deadline puts too much pressure on you and your teammates.
- Keep in constant contact with group members and stakeholders.
- Research and use external resources on the web to add fun and dynamic elements.
- There are many free applications/resources that will help you achieve a desired design or content element, even if you don’t have the technical skill to make it yourself (example - Issuu, a free flipbook application).
- There were a few times when the team was a little stressed and pressed for time due to conflicting schedules and getting work done for other classes. However, through this project we have learned that keeping in constant contact with the stakeholder would have made our lives significantly easier. Calling once then waiting until a few days go by won’t cut it, one must call and call again until the request is met.
- Being in college there are a lot of distractions one can come across in a day. Our group found that to be quite true. Yet we also learned the importance of pulling out the laptops and buckling down when the time calls for it. Occasionally in the beginning of the project distractions would cause for minor delays, yet upon working through them we really were able to put our noses to the grindstone and get our tasks accomplished.
- Have a PLAN
- When working with other people there must be a plan. Every person is different, therefore every person works a different way. With a definitive plan set in motion it is easier for everyone in the group to follow along. The checkpoints were very effective with this aspect of group projects due to the fact that they kept us on track. It was much more efficient to work and make sure we hit the desired points while allowing us to keep in our heads that this is our own project.
- Have a PLAN B
- Not all PLAN As work. Sometimes unexpected events occur and schedules have to be changed. Always keep in mind that at any given point something could take a turn for the worse or just take a turn that hadn’t been anticipated. Our team learned the value of having a backup plan.
- Don’t Procrastinate
- Along with staying focused and having a plan our team became aware quite quickly that procrastinating only leads to problems. Saving everything for the last minute causes late nights, mistakes, and shabby work. None of those are desirable outcomes for the project.
- The “real world” stinks
- The “real world” has always been an elusive term. Adults warn children to love being young because when one hits the “real world” there is no turning back. Well, our team found this project to be a glimpse into the “real world.” We had to work with people whom we had never met and work for a person none of us had any familial connection with. Our team had a job and had a semester to complete it. Through trial and error we had to find out what works and what doesn’t.
- Don’t procrastinate! It only makes it harder in the end. Even though it may seem like you have forever to work on the project, the deadlines come up fast and without warning.
- Meet early and often, both with your group and with your stakeholders. The more often you meet, the easier it is to keep everybody happy and move forward with your project.
- Even if your stakeholder’s requests can be a pain, the site is ultimately for them, and you need to honor them (unless you can make a really good argument to them, of course).
- Be realistic. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Take it one step at a time. However you want to phrase it, don’t try to do more than you know you can do in the time you have. You only end up frustrated when you have to cut unnecessary things out of your project later down the line.
- How to work effectively with a group.
- Information about the Town of Bogota.
- Usability Testing.
- How to rebuild a site from scratch.
- Time management.
- Better understanding of CSS and XHTML.
Spring 2013, Section 2
This project was a learning experience for all of us. We had members that had a good amount of experience and members that had very little experience, but in the end we can all say that we all learned these things: