This unit covers principles and practice of the emergent field of web content management. It focuses on developing organisation systems for websites or intranets that are responsive to business imperatives and user needs, and that facilitate effective retrieval of information. Particular emphasis is given to developing practical skills in these areas and to applying a range of popular tools, techniques, software commonly used for web content management.
At the completion of this unit students will have -
A knowledge and understanding of:
- the principles and practice of the emergent field of web content management;
- the relative roles and responsibilities of webmasters and other professionals in a web or intranet development project;
- user information needs and information seeking behaviours within the web environment.
- information retrieval principles (eg precision, recall, relevance, specificity) and their application in the web environment;
- issues and challenges in organising information for effective retrieval on web sites and intranets;
- organisation systems, schemes and structures for web/ intranet content management, and how these organisation systems are represented in the key components of web information architecture;
- the application of information design and usability principles to labelling, navigation and search functions on a web site or intranet;
- commonalities and differences in information architectures in public web, intranet and extranet environments;
- phases and processes in planning and implementing a web content management project or program;
- tools, techniques, and software that are commonly used for web content management.
Developed attitudes that enable them to appreciate:
- the range of specialist expertise amongst professionals involved in a web site/ intranet development project, and the importance of effective communication and collaboration amongst these groups;
- the centrality of the user in defining an information architecture for a web site or intranet and the difficulties users experience in finding relevant information on the web;
- that business imperatives and user requirements are the key drivers of web content management, but that reconciling the two may be no easy task;
- that findability is a critical factor in determining web usability, and the role effective organisation systems play in this process;
- that effective organisation systems tend to be largely invisible to web or intranet users.
- their own growing confidence in their information retrieval skills.
Developed skills in:
- conducting a business requirements analysis and a user needs analysis, in connection with developing an information architecture for a web site or intranet;
- developing an effective information architecture for a web site or intranet, taking into consideration unique business and user information requirements, and information retrieval, information design and usability principles and guidelines;
- constructing a taxonomy; applying facet analysis to thesaurus construction; and designing a metadata schema for a web site or intranet;
- planning, designing, documenting, testing and evaluating labelling, navigation and search systems for a web site or intranet;
- utilising a range of tools and techniques (eg blueprints, wireframes, card sorting, affinity diagrams, content maps, personas), and software in the process of developing the information architecture for a web site or intranet;
- undertaking usability/findability testing of users using prototypes and a range of evaluation techniques and interpreting findings;
- evaluating information architectures, and software products for web content management.
Examination (3 hours): 50%; In-semester assessment: 50%
Minimum total expected workload equals 12 hours per week comprising:
(a.) Contact hours for on-campus students:
- Two hours of lectures
- One 2-hour laboratory
(b.) Additional requirements (all students):
- A minimum of 2-3 hours of personal study per one hour of contact time in order to satisfy the reading and assignment expectations.