Sample solution on Website Designing Assignment Help to build a web portal.
A university website is a platform that showcases the details about various schools associated with the university, the courses and majors it provides, the course schedules, examination dates and contact details of alumni students and faculties. It is a great way to inform students, parents, and faculties about latest trends, events, and activities going on in university.
S.M.A.R.T stands for specific, measurable, achievable and realistic and time constrained.
Specific – The content of the website must contain specific statements and must be descriptive enough to contain details about what it does.
Measurable – The content of the website including the images and infographics must be quantifiable and must yield quantifiable, outcome.
Achievable – The goals, aims, mission, and objectives of the website must be divided into small portions so that they are easily attainable. A project can be less ambitious but must be achievable. It is always better than a project with the big objective.
Realistic – A developer must always be aware of the time constraints of the project.
Business needs are directly proportional to customer’s requirements. Therefore the needs of the customers have to be kept in mind while designing and developing a website. Here the customers wish to:
- Know what courses/majors are available
- Know the fee details corresponding to particular course
- Know the schedules about the classes
- Know the faculties corresponding to particular class
- Get to know about the university roadmap
- Know about life at the campus and what activities and events are carried out on day to day basis
- Compare the various features and facilities provided at the university
- Availability of some course at the university
- The associated schools
- The performance and standing of the university in the market
- Campus placements
- Careers in the university
- Felicitation programs
- Facilities for disabled candidates
- Research and Development facilities
- Location of university and associated school
- Contact details of various faculty members and alumni students
- Get to review the literature concerned with various faculty members and various students
- Compare the users’ views and usage pattern towards full time, part time course
- Attitude of the users towards the website as compared to filling offline application form and attempting manual admission process
A website designer/developer create a website keeping in mind the nature of the organization. Here we are developing a website for a university which will include all the information about the associated schools, courses/majors/optional, alumni students, list of qualified students, faculties and staff, locations of school branches, research areas, various programs and features, life on the campus and co-curricular activities.
A website for a university is a great way to –
- Advertise/promote your education business
- It is less expensive to create and manage as compared to other means of communication like print media, television, and radio
- It is a great way to win users/students/faculties confidence
- It helps in increasing the number of students / attracts more and more users towards the university.
- Eases the admission process by automating it. Users are able to fill applications online and do not have to wait in the long queue to process it.
- It lets students know about the placement process, important exam dates and dates of form submission.
- Gives students and faculties chance to track all the information that is happening at the university like extra activities, latest news, and events etc.
- A website also gives an opportunity to university/organization to prove their credibility and allows users to trust them.
The website can be static (created in HTML, without database) or dynamic (created using object-oriented languages and has a database). A university website will be dynamic and will contain a huge database/data warehouse (as databases of many schools will be merged/linked together)
Thus a good website must contain following features:
- It must have all the relevant information with essential contact details
- It must be secure
- It must be easily accessible and must get opened on any platform. It must be pc and mobile friendly
- The navigation of the website must be smooth. All links (internal and external) and all buttons must be working properly
- It is essential for a good website to integrate social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare etc.
- Has suggestive and relevant images
- Contains less / no flash and music
Know your Target Audience
To design and develop a website web designers and developer must know who are their target audience, clients, and prospects. Visitors want to know whether there is something on the website for them. If the site’s developers are able to convey this, their website becomes successful.
Purpose of the Website
It is important to know the purpose of the website in addition to knowing the target audience. It must be clearly understood for which functional area the website is being developed.
Image of Website
The content must be clear enough to convey the image of the website. It must be in alignment with the purpose, aim, objective, goal, and mission of the organization being discussed. This image must be consistent to hook the target audience. The designer and developer of the website must be able to like the way it looks so that there are no inconvenience and inconsistencies in future. The content of the website will have a deep impact on the customer’s mind.
Your Likes and Dislikes about Client’s and Competitor’s Website
The website developers and designers must spend some time researching about competitor’s websites to know the latest trends, competitive products and services that are being provided, the impact of website layout, the bulkiness of the website, the richness of content, the type and number of images used, the graphics and videos, multimedia and infographics that are used. It will let them compare the design of their own website and give them an idea of how their own website must be like. Developers and website designers must navigate a couple of websites before concluding the design of their website. They will get to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of the design and structure of rivals.
The copywriters of the website must be appointed before the launch of the website. It must determine in advance as to who will write the copy of the website, what tone and writing style will it have. A dissertation has to be developed and created over the website. Each word of the dissertation costs money and it uniquely identifies the web work that is created.
Maintenance of the Website
Websites have to be designed keeping in mind the content management which is a very user-friendly way to optimize the website. It helps in highlighting the major features of the website and reducing the cost of the website. The designers must have a knowhow of working on Microsoft Word so that they may not have trouble in adapting to the content management of the website. One must have complete control over the content of the website content if CMS is being used in the development of the website. Content management application and content delivery application are two parts of CMS, which helps in proper content management. It helps in modifying, adding and deleting the content of the website along with images easily. Web designers can easily get control of the website without any technical knowledge.
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Scalability is an important measure for controlling the cost of the website and keeping them within budget. The website must be quantifiable and measurable. It must be easy for developers to add more page as and when required within the website. The growth of the website must be kept in mind while it is being developed and designed as customer requirements might increase in future and we might need to keep up with competitors.
Planning must be done before starting with development and designing of the website. Following points must be considered before starting with the development of the website:
- Navigation must be easy
- The fonts must be easy to read and understand
- Flow of language or style of writing must be easily understandable
- Website must fit the screen
- Used for PC/Mobile devices
- Website must be light so that it loads quickly
- Tagline and company logo must be prominent on screen
- Styles and colors must be consistent across the website
- The copy of the website must be clear and concise
Web developers must consider all the above points to ensure that the website is always up to date, looks fresh and interesting.
Search Engine Optimization
To attract customers and vendors and to keep them engaged for a long-term, it is important to keep the website updated. The SEO’s must also keep track of the people visiting the page, which page is visited most, which page is visited least, image optimization and content development, link building, managing traffic on the website etc. A Search engine optimizer knows how to improve the ranking of the website. SEO becomes more affordable with the growth and development of the website. On page optimization (web pages with HTML pages) and off page optimization (backlinks) must be considered as part of SEO.
Web developers and designers must know in advance that it will be a static website or a dynamic website. A static website will not have a database while a dynamic website will have a database. The price of the website will have to be considered before creating the database and giving it a proper shape.
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Identification of University on Each Page
Specify the name of your university clearly over each webpage. Every user of the website will not visit it right from the home page, therefore every webpage must contain common header or name of the university must be specified in the header. It becomes easy for users to identify your university amongst others if the name is contained in header or footer of the website. This will also help in strengthening the brand association with subsites and individual department pages.
Make use of Images that Specify your University’s Priority
Images and videos used on the website must be illustrative and informative such that it clearly defines the priorities and features of the website. They must be attractive and user-friendly. Images must look representative and authentic
About Us Page is Important
An about us page gives the first impression about the entire website and lets students decide whether they should go to this university or not. This page must contain an informative summary about the inception, education, faculty, staff, and strength of staff and co-curricular activities of the university. This page will give users an idea about the key features of the university along with the courses it offers.
Indicate Your Strengths and Achievements
A website must be a showcase of your strengths and achievements that you have as this will help in popularizing the content and lead in more user engagement. At the first look, the visitors of the website like students and teachers want to know why your university is useful, why they should apply or opt for a course from your university, what are the key performance areas of your website, what are the special features, the dates of forms submission, the user-friendliness, attractive infographics, videos, images and depth of information. Website designers and developers must display their awards, honors, rankings, and statistics over the website, such that they are easily visible to new users.
The Interface Must be User-Friendly
Users of the website like students, lecturers, librarians, managers and administrative staff must be able to find out the list of programs and majors easily. Students must get to know which degree belongs to which school. The list of programs provided by a university must be grouped or indexed together by fields of schools so that students are able to get better search results. Users must not be forced to search the content and to find out where it is; rather it should be clearly displayed in the list form so that it easily comes in the search results.
Information about Job Placement and a Link from Alumni Section of Website
A university portal must be able to provide information about job placement, prospective employers, and organization, contact details of the college/university placement staff. The alumni section of the website must be clearly structured with all relevant information because graduate and postgraduate students in their final year will definitely get to visit that page to know about their seniors. Websites’ ‘about us’, ‘admissions’ and ‘career’ pages must have the links to alumni page. If your website does not have this information, then it must be collected and placed on the website as it is very important.
Application’s deadlines must be clearly mentioned
Step by step application process must be defined clearly over the website so that students do not need to look for any kind of help or user manual or need to call university management to guide them through the application process. If it is not possible to mention the deadlines clearly or they are too complex that they cannot be met, then insert a dedicated deadlines page on your website so that students need not groan while they are filling the application.
Specify or Mention the Tasks that Users must follow
Web developer and web designers must clearly mention the steps that the student or lecturer need to follow to reach to a particular page. University is very large and it has multiple departments. Users can often find scattered, duplicate, contradictory, incomplete or missing information. Designers of the website must keep track of the pattern that a user follows and it must be tracked that they do not have to skip from one page to another or from one website to another in search of relevant content.
Avoid Using Hip Language
College students do not always appreciate using the short message or hip language on the website and they do not always get attracted to such content. There are some serious readers and students visit University’s magazine website to get informed about latest happenings of the university. The content of the website must be written keeping in mind the age of the readers. It must be specific, relevant and clearly understandable, with proper graphics and use of appropriate fonts and colors must be used. Generic ‘Search’ and in-text search must be enabled for the ease of the users. Some students and teachers must be involved in creating the content for the website so that their language and thought process is reflected in the content and they are able to engage readers of the website.
Information about Your Website on External Websites
The developers and designers of the websites must be ready if their website is searched by students from external sources. To keep the users engaged, information provided on their website must be relevant, useful and in easily understandable format. Information must be easily accessible and the forms must be available for download in multiple formats. Forms must be associated with submission deadlines. Users must have the facility to submit forms online. This will be convenient for the users who live in far-off areas. The information that is provided on the university website must be properly researched and must come from multiple sources so that it is in sync with the latest trends, scenarios and the information available over another web portal. SEO’s must take care of the external and internal links to and from the website and must be careful about the information provided by the external sources. It must be relevant and accurate as students will look for information from over the web and they will check and compare the different sources before coming to any conclusion.
- To view the class schedule
- To view the faculty corresponding particular class
- To view the list of majors
- To check the online evaluation system
- Final year students can get to know their grades
- To view the list of student details
- To view latest class information (complete with class roaster, teaching schedule, and grading information)
- To enter into online reporting and evaluation system
Here are some of the suggestions that must be followed by visitors to the website:
- Explore the College Catalogue
The college catalog has most of the important information that students, parents, and faculties want to know. The college catalog enlists college policies and procedures and contact information of faculties and alumni students, schedule of co-curricular activities, special programs, and graduation requirements. In addition to this, it also contains the list of majors, list of available courses, course deadlines, form submission requirements etc.
- Have a Look at Pictures of Students
Spend some time in browsing through the pictures of the students. This will give you an idea about college culture and the life spent by people there and activities in which they are involved and help you form the first impression.
- Check out the “for students”, “for faculty”, “for parents” section
These sections must not be overlooked but website developers might limit the view of these sections, so as to emphasize other important modules of the website. This section will let you know about parents associations, student associations and faculty associations respectively, email sign-ups etc. This will also let you know about the local parent, student and faculty associations in your area. This section is one way in which college will reach out to students, parents or faculties respectively.
- Keep checking the online calendar for regular updates on deadlines, form submission, admission dates etc.
Online calendar never goes out of date once it is printed. The online calendar is always updated and students, parents, and teachers do not need to cross check the dates. The calendar will let you know about important dates, deadlines, and events. The calendar will let you know about the end of semester dates so that students can make appropriate travel arrangements. It also lets you know about last day of class dates and exam schedule.
- Keep a check on co-curricular activities, events, and seminars
The website is another form in which student life can be felt and realized instead of asking them directly. If student newspaper of student radio is provided online then it can provide great help in letting newcomers know about college activities, news, trends, and events.
- Have a look at campus map
The campus map will act as a help manual which will help you to go around the campus.
New students can get to know the daily routine of the students by having a look at the campus map.
- Keep a close check on housing requirements like day scholar and hostel facilities
Checking through the sections of the website, users will get to know about the deadlines for housing rent deposits, a number of seats available and waiting list if any.
- Must know important contact details of alumni students and faculties
It is very important to keep track of the details of the alumni students contact details so that you may refer when required. You can clarify your doubts related to courses, majors and optional, departments, faculties, campus life and class schedules.
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Let us discuss the steps in designing, development, and execution of a college website.
Before starting off with actual coding of the website, we have to decide the platform on which it will be built and design some mockups to structure the website. Here is a simple mockup of the university web portal that we are going to create.
Figure 1: Mockup – University Portal
Here, I am making use of HTML for the creation of a simple website.
HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language and it is a coding language to construct static websites. You can render an HTML coding page by going to the internet explorer.
Take any text editor and write a simple HTML code in it.
Eg – <html>
<h1> Heading </h1>
<p> Paragraph </p>
Save this file with extension as .html and open it in a web browser. The text within the tags will become visible.
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A university website can be created in many different ways. However, we have taken a comprehensive template which defines most of the important features of the website.
This website includes a University home page that embodies links to all the institutions and physical bodies that comes under the university. On top left corner of the page, there will be links to like or share the link on social media, add the page as a favorite, change the language of the page are displayed.
In the bottom of the page, there is a panel that has the contact number of the university and the email address of the director.
On clicking on the link of any institution, it links to the website of that college/ institution. There is a header panel that consists of various information and tabs to give details of the website like About Us, Contact Us, Courses Offered, Facilities, Faculties, Admissions, Academics, research and innovation, Campus Life, Alumni and news that all have a drop-down list.
There are dynamic images that keep on changing the latest updation, events, tie-ups, etc. that the university has undergone in the course of time. Our website gets updated twice in a week that shows the last updated date as well on our website. It shows the list of holidays and upcoming events of the current month in the slider also.
Near the images is a news panel that flashes the links of all the important notices and news that one should know; this also gets updated as and when required. One can read the news by simply clicking on it.
On the lower panel, that is situated just below the image panel is this Quick Panel where Admission news, Career with Us, Placements and Research & Development are displayed. On clicking on the links, the respective page gets displayed in the same browser window. And various other options and links for the same heading open.
On clicking on these links, a new linked page gets opened and it is for every page. Data is stored in the database of the university. There are details of all the campuses also available on each institution’s website. Top left corner has an image for the university and its name on top.
There is also the grievance redressal policy for the college and there are active links on the website for the same.
In Academics, there are various fields such as bachelor’s course, master’s course, doctoral programmer, higher degree courses with its complete details.
There is a special section for magazines of the university that gets updated quarterly. Annual functions, Conferences, Seminars on various subjects are conducted from time to time to update the students and maintain the enthusiasm for the same among the team. Office bearers also get selected by the director of the university that includes positions like Head student of the college, Deputy head student, Heads of all the departments, cultural secretary, sports girl, etc. This is also an event of the college and all the names are shown on the website.
Our university has students from throughout the globe and welcomes students from abroad. There are various workshops; fests go throughout the year that encourages inter-college/ university interaction among the students and staff members. Dynamic links are also added to the website as per new functionality of the University.
One can also follow the latest updates of the university on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook.
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Universities have to face large organizational challenges and they have to deal with a lot of information like data, files, records, classes, teachers, students, activities, courses, majors, timings etc. It, therefore, becomes difficult for universities to manage this information. Development of a website which will enlist all the activities that take place within the organization with all the relevant details like forms, particulars, syllabus, list of activities, list of courses, contact details of teachers, which subject is handled by which teacher – will ease students and teachers and gives a common platform to them to work.
College website is the storehouse of more and more information that is useful for students, parents, and faculties. Look for all your queries and take advantage of all the information shared by alumni students and faculties.
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