web design term project ideas?
June 29, 2008 11:09 PM   Subscribe

Idea Filter: I need to create a six-page website for a term project in web design at uni (intro level). What to do it on?

I have been given the go-ahead to choose a topic of my liking for my term project in web design. I find I just keep making the same site layout time and time again and I am in need of some new ideas, vague or specific suggestions, or links to other people's favourite small websites. Any creative inspiration is much appreciated :)
posted by tamarack to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Make a site for a friend's rock band (or, in my case, record label), or a fake band of your own devising.
posted by SansPoint at 11:30 PM on June 29, 2008

I had a similar assignment for a Jazz History class. We had to chose a Jazz artist or group and create a website. I used different pages for things like biography, discography (List of albums, etc.), compositions, influences/influenced/styles, solo transcriptions, related links... etc. - I even chose a favorite album and did a full write up of tracks, performers, label and editorial reviews.

Music may be the easiest thing to come up with several categories to split into pages. IMO. If you pick someone that wrote operas or musicals you could even do a page for some of the larger works.

Find a favorite and go wild. Hope this helps.
posted by Kimothy at 11:32 PM on June 29, 2008

For my last site, my goal was to use only one font size. And for another design, didn't use black/gray at all. Sometimes I break my own rules but it's a good way to begin.

As for the topic, think of a fake movie or product to market. Maybe you can also make it funny.
posted by theiconoclast31 at 11:40 PM on June 29, 2008

Promote an Eisenhower-era road-trip summer vacation destination: Visit Scenic Whereversville!. Pyramidal-formation water-ski races, pie-eating contests, amazing motels with kidney-shaped pools. One possible idea here. Different pages promote different aspects of the town - location, attractions, The Miss Whereversville Contest and Doo-Wop Extravaganza (theme: "A Night Under the Stars!), etc. Add in some live interview with contestants, create a comments page for visitors, that kind of thing.

To me, it seems a lot easier to make a website for something that would have never had a website, because there's nothing to compare it to. There's a great article from Malcolm Gladwell's New Yorker archive about the challenges a team of bakers from a few giant food companies had to come up with a perfect cookie; one of the teams came up with a strawberry-cobbler cookie. Have you ever tasted a cookie like that? Would you have any idea what it was supposed to taste like? No.
posted by mdonley at 12:03 AM on June 30, 2008

How about presidential campaign website for campaigns long past.

Herbert Hoover: We're Turning the Corner!

A big donate button would be kind fun for Hoover, too
posted by Weebot at 1:19 AM on June 30, 2008

When I had to do something similar, I opted for the "make it funny" ("You HAVE TO BUY this sort of publicity! This does not come free unless you die tragically!") Parody something; even if the joke is simple at the core, the fact that you did the full treatment on it will make it priceless. Make it special and hide things for people to find.

Otherwise, find something interesting and make something about it.

As to inspiration...when I think about small websites, I first think about one pagers, or things where each page is unique (I wish I could find better examples of some of Apple's features). For around six pager sites, though, pretty much any product, from software to cars to bands to online finance management could be the topic for a promotional site or in-depth review. Some personal sites and portfolios are pretty good inspiration too. And remember that you can always try to explain things better.

^ Is that inspiration enough? Those aren't the best - for some reason I've never saved links to the best (maybe I'll start) - but they're all pretty interesting and show a good range of layouts, purposes, and most of them are generally within your range or could be scaled back.

I'm going into a masters program in a little over a month, and pretty much everyone who's entering along with me can't get enough information about what it's like. If all else fails, put together something geared towards people who are about to go through the same process that you're heading into.
posted by Galt at 1:27 AM on June 30, 2008

We had to do web designs promoting our town, or a place we'd visited.

However, I suggest to you that you've got this arse-backwards. First and foremost, invent an audience. In reality, the audience is your marker/lecturer/professor so why not make that type your audience, say middle aged academic types. Next, think of a product or service or topic that people who are middle aged academic types might be interested in, book readings, wine tastings, extreme adventures, family-friendly parks, whatever. Now, you have your topic and your audience. Designing your site should be a breeze.
posted by b33j at 3:33 AM on June 30, 2008

Best answer: Make it about creating a six-page website for a term project in web design at uni (intro level). Document your learning process and use the pages as live illustrations of your progress, starting with a rudimentary, old-school text-only layout, progressing through various improvements, ending in page-six, which should reflect everything you've learned.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:40 AM on June 30, 2008

I teach intro web design, and give the same assignment to my students.

Site topics that I've seen over and over: bands, gaming (especially with black backgrounds and gothic-style text ... sigh) church groups, your dogs/cats/iguanas/other pets, something that is an obvious attempt to appeal to my demographic (middle-aged academic types :-)

For inspiration, I like to suggest that my students look at sites that are written in a language they don't understand. That way they can focus on the design and not the content.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:40 AM on June 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

What are your hobbies? Make a list, then pick one and do a website on one of them. A friend of mine loves to cook, so she started did a cooking / recipe website with photos and humorous commentary on her live in boyfriend.
posted by zia at 8:00 AM on June 30, 2008

Find an interesting question or questions on AskMe and restate the question and answers to make your website.
posted by firstdrop at 8:24 AM on June 30, 2008

find a general topic in nature that you can divide into roughly six subtopics and include beautiful photos.

each photo has a brief description you pulled from wikipedia.

done. cake.
posted by nihlton at 2:00 PM on June 30, 2008

Response by poster: wow, metafilter -- thanks for all the feedback :) and all the links (especially Galt!)
I'm going to go off and start on ...something... now. i'll post a link when (if?! ack!!) it gets done.
posted by tamarack at 2:58 PM on July 1, 2008

Response by poster: just wanted to say: i got it done. thanks for the help mefi!

posted by tamarack at 6:01 PM on July 6, 2008

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