LIS 523 (2007 Fall) - General Information


Web Design and Architecture.


Tim Craven, NCB 203, tel. 519-661-2111 ext. 88497.


  1. To acquire the skills needed to produce a good Web site.
  2. To explore concepts of information architecture as they apply to Web site design.
  3. To assess the merits of methods of navigation and searching on Web sites.
  4. To identify forms of discourse and text structure suitable to the Web environment.

Course documentation

Publically available documentation will be posted on the course Web site at; information intended only for course participants, on the SharePoint site at


Critique of an existing Web site (due September 12) 10%
Preliminary statement of site objectives (due September 19) 2%
OpenOffice exercise (due September 26) 6%
GIMP exercise (due October 10) 6%
Page wireframe (due October 17) 4%
Balthisar exercise (due October 24) 6%
JavaScript exercise (due November 7) 2%
XRefHT32 exercise (due November 14) 6%
Site structure diagram (due November 21) 4%
Architecture style guide (due November 28) 8%
Final Web site design and execution (due December 5) 24%
Participation in the online course discussions 22%
Total 100%

Grades on the traditional 15-point scale (-2 to 12, or F to A+) will be assigned to each of the components of course work worth more than 2%; pass/fail type grades will be assigned to other components. An appropriately weighted average of these will be computed, and the result will then be translated into a percentage mark to meet the requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. (You can see how the conversion works at on the FIMS intranet.)


What is actually expected in short reports is indicated in the "Assignments" file [523ass.htm].

The assignment will form the basis for evaluating each report. Criteria used in evaluating all reports will be correctness, clarity of thought and presentation, and coverage of all parts of the assignment. Where the assignment requests a more extended discussion, weight will also be given to the number of significant points made within the length indicated. You are reminded that intentional duplication of another student's work constitutes a violation of the policy on plagiarism.
"Plagiarism: Students must write their essays and assignments in their own words. Whenever students take an idea or a passage from another author, they must acknowledge their debt both by using quotation marks where appropriate and by proper referencing such as footnotes or citations. Plagiarism is a major academic offence (see Scholastic Offence Policy in the Western Academic Calendar). The University of Western Ontario uses software for plagiarism checking. Students may be required to submit their written work in electronic form for plagiarism checking."

Confidential feedback will be provided on each report (usually a grade plus suggestions for improvement where appropriate).

Some assignments just call for a report to be e-mailed to the professor, while others call for material to be posted in your document library on the course SharePoint site, sometimes also with an e-mail to the professor. For e-mailing, you should adhere to the guidelines given at Web submissions should be mounted as instructed. All submissions should be received by the professor by the time indicated. Submissions received late will receive lowered grades or will not be credited, depending on the circumstances.


Professor to students. In addition to the confidential feedback on each report, the course discussion group will provide considerable general feedback. Additional individual feedback is available on request.

Students to professor. E-mail or telephone me directly. If you are on campus, you may also try dropping by my office. Subject to other commitments, I expect to be maintaining office hours at least between 9 am and noon, Monday to Friday; you may also find me in during the afternoon, depending on what I have to do on particular days.


  1. Introduction.
  2. Examination of existing sites.
  3. Defining your audience; site objectives. Information architecture.
  4. Export capabilities of other types of software (speadsheets, DBMSs, word processors, etc.); OpenOffice exercise.
  5. Naming and organizing conventions; content management.
  6. Graphics formats and software; GIMP exercise.
  7. Color schemes; wireframes.
  8. [Research week.]
  9. Style sheets; Balthisar exercise.
  10. Scripting options; JavaScript exercise.
  11. Search engines and site indexes; XRefHT32 exercise.
  12. Accessibility issues; site structure diagram.
  13. Other special problems; style guide.
  14. Conclusion; final projects.


Last updated April 24, 2007.
This page maintained by Prof. Tim Craven
E-mail (text/plain only):
Faculty of Information and Media Studies
University of Western Ontario,
London, Ontario
Canada, N6A 5B7