Cover Letters for Modules

Cover letters for this class are letters to me, your instructor, that cover some aspects of web design processes and skill sets in a substantive way. You may choose ANY ONE of the web design processes and skill sets, or some combination. Choose a process or skill set that is the most meaningful to you, given what we are working on in class. Your cover letter should be at least a couple paragraphs and should detail your growing understanding of the process or skill set you are focusing on.

These letters are practices in creating design notes, or notes for any element of design when completing a digital project. Some designers keep a design notebook, for instance, in which they jot down ideas, tips, resources, sketches, etc. Other designers have blogs, web pages, Google docs, or collections of bookmarks that they want to refer to back to. For some of my versions of these, see the Useful Links page.

So: practice being strategic in choosing what you reflect on. You might, for instance, want to record your preliminary research process for a certain project because you want to replicate this process in the future. Or you might want to make a list of all aspects of visual design you incorporated into a project so you’ll have this list for other, similar, projects.

You can format these ‘letters’ however you wish: as memos, bulleted lists, personal letters, stories, etc. What I’ll be looking for is deep and substantive reflection on a particular aspect of web design and thus evidence of learning.

Here’s a list of questions about the web design processes and skill sets to help you with your cover letters:

Web Design Stages

Coding – What machine-readable languages did you use? What worked and what didn’t? Were there any code snippets you used from other sources or did you write it all from scratch?

Validating – How did you you ensure your code is valid? Did you test it on multiple browsers, re-read it line-by-line, compare it to a knowledgeable source, user a markup validator, etc.?

Rapid Prototyping/CMS Deployment – Did you write any code or use any systems that might be usable in future iterations of your project? Did you create any new workflows that you want to remember for the next time you try a similar process? Are there any pieces of code or systems you found online that you found useful?

Content Creation/Delivery – Did you create an content that might be usable in other version of your project or for other people like you? Did you create any plans for how to deliver content to a particular audience?

Web Design Skill Sets

Front-End or Client-Side Development – Did you develop any elements of a website interface? Did you use code to do this, a template, a CMS, etc.?

Back-End or Server-Side Development – Did you tweak or alter ways in which a website accesses information from a server? Did you alter or add any scripts that control the way the website users server-side information?

Visual Design – Did you develop the way a website looks or feels for users? What specific elements did you develop (layout, font, typography, graphics, video, etc.)?

Content Strategy/Social Media Strategy – Did you develop any strategies for creating, revising, or delivering content to specific audiences?

Version Control – How are you ensuring that what you’re creating is sustained outside of the particular instance of it you’re working on?