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Learning Proposal

Name: Judi Wilkinson
Student Number: 81299888

Personal Learning Needs

Coming from a non-technical background my key personal learning needs are to improve both my technical knowledge and my technical skills in the building and management of websites and other web projects. As I have worked for many years in content management, I wish to expand my skills in the design of sites that enhance a users experience and encourage interaction. I am also keen to learn about SEO and SEM and how this can be optimised through content management.

SWOT Analysis

STRENGTHS

WEAKNESSES

OPPORTUNITIES

THREATS

Learning Needs in DMT

My key learning needs are:

Learning Plan

Objectives

What do I want to learn?

  1. Learn how to code correctly
  2. Understand all the technologies that make up a website
  3. Build a functioning website styled with CSS, learn more about using different types of content management systems and alternatives such as responsive frameworks
  4. Learn more about building backend databases for websites to encourage user interaction
  5. Discover & apply web design elements that enhance user experience
  6. Know how to best manage content for SEO & SEM

Strategies

How will I do it?

  1. Use online resources & tutorials to refresh skills in HTML, CSS & SQL and to develop skills in PHP, Javascript plus any other relevant code languages
  2. Attend all DMT classes, watch all lecture videos, consult with my tutor/lecturer, interact & collaborate with other students and complete independent study both online & using library resources to gain an improved understanding of digital media technologies
  3. Register a domain, organise web hosting, install content editing tools or responsive frameworks and apply code skills to build a web project that validates to HTML5 standard
  4. Learn more about databases by incorporating a simple SQL database into my final web project
  5. Develop my design abilities & ability to work with images and infographics by completing self-learning on best practice user experience models
  6. Through both independent study and interaction with tutor/lecturer and peers gain an understanding of ways to enhance SEO through content choice and management

Resources

What exactly will I use?

Hardware & books

  1. Macbook Pro
  2. The CSS Anthology by Rachel Andrew (hardcopy text)
  3. The Content Management Bible by Bob Boiko (hardcopy text)
  4. UTS Library resources (hardcopy texts & journals)

Software & websites

  1. Komodo - text editor
  2. FileZilla - FTP
  3. Cpanel - site file & database management
  4. WordPress
  5. MySQL & MySQLadmin
  6. balsamiq.com - web wireframe development
  7. Firefox plus web developer add ons - Firebug, Colorzilla etc
  8. Responsive framework software (TBA)
  9. Adobe Creative Suite

Online tools & tutorials

  1. Codecademy.com
  2. CSSZenGarden.com
  3. css-tricks.com
  4. teamtreehouse.com
  5. sourcecodester.com
  6. w3schools.com
  7. w3.org
  8. Coders Guide YouTube channel
  9. dmt-uts.net
  10. UTS Library online resources

Proposed Project Description

What will I build?

I will be building a new website for a personal training/bootcamp business. The site will be around 12 pages long and include standard static content information pages plus a training timetable (probably Google calendar) and contact form. My idea is to drive more business from the site and improve SEO by adding;

  1. A library of at home workouts - including a 'trial' area accessed by submitting an email and 'members only' area for paying clients, accessed by password log in only
  2. An interactive forum type discussion or comment tool
  3. Social media plug-ins to allow Facebook posts and images to appear as site content - keeping content fresh
  4. Database capture of 'contact form' and 'workout trial' email details for future e-marketing
  5. Application of Google analytics or similar tool to assist with SEO management

While this may not seem like a complex or original task, as someone that has only ever worked with a CMS, to clean code & design this site will be a challenge for me and also provide an original website when compared to competitors in the same local area.

I intend to apply a responsive framework to the site, and will optimise the site for use on all devices. This will allow clients to view the site and complete workouts, for example, by referring to their phone or tablet while outdoors. There is also future potential for the trainer to use the library of workouts when conducting group training classes once the library is completed.

Schedule

What do I plan to do when?

Task description

Duration

Complete by

Priority 1

(in scope)

Priority 2

(possible in scope)

Priority 3

(out of scope)

Independent learning - code, database design & management, user experience design, SEO management

Duration of semester

3 June

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Javascript
  • SQL
  • PHP
  • SEO
  • Advanced server side technologies

Research & develop project idea

week 3-6

1 Apri1

  • Basic website
  • Website with interactive elements
  • Web app or advanced site

ID site users, develop wireframes, develop database

week 6 - 10

6 May

  • Complete system plan
  • Develop database for members login

Finalise site framework and design

week 10

6 May

  • Responsive framework
  • Theme developed for Wordpress
  • Hand code from scratch

Site build & testing

week 8 - 14

3 June

  • Static content
  • Contact form
  • Styled social media plug ins
  • Styled calendar tool
  • HTML5 validation
  • Members login
  • Database query
  • Styled discussion/forum tool
  • SEO tools
  • Site CMS (if Wordpress theme developed above)
  • Completed site content
  • Hand coded social media plug ins
  • Hand coded discussion/forum tool

Present site for peer review

week 14

3 June

  • Review feedback
  • Apply feedback suggestions

Final project complete & launched

week 15

10 June

  • Basic website
  • Website with interactive elements
  • Web app or advanced site

References:

UTS Project Management 2006, Project Vision (Scope) Statement and Project Proposal, Sydney, viewed 21 March 2014, < http://www.projects.uts.edu.au/stepbystep/initiation7 >

St-Pierre, D. 2013, Six Revisions: Improve your web design projects with good project scope, viewed 22 March 2014, < http://sixrevisions.com/project-management/web-design-project-scope >

Wikipedia 2014, Responsive web design, viewed 28 March 2014, < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsive_web_design >