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COMSTRAT 310 Syllabus - Spring 2017

COMSTRAT 310 - DIGITAL CONTENT PROMOTION (3 CREDITS) Instructor:  Brett Atwood                                Office:  GWH 234        ...

WEEKS 7, 8 & 9: Website Creation Training and Workshops

SUMMARY:

Over the next weeks, we will:
  • Review our various homepage wireframes to identify and review key features that are necessary for our campaign website.
  • Learn to use a website creation tool, such as Wix or Wordpress, to build an original campaign website.
  • Be introduced to the project management service and app Trello

HOMEWORK:
  • Use your selected website creation tool to build an original website for your campaign. For this week, you will get started with the site – but the actual completion of it won’t be due for several weeks. 
  • Use this week to get familiar with the website builder and to begin your site. You may use your wireframe as a starting point to create from your site from scratch and/or identify a template that contains similar design choices and elements.

Creating a Website for your Brand Using a Content Management System (CMS)

Typically, you would have a professional web design team or resource to help you design, build and launch your website campaign. However, we lack these resources for our class campaign. Thus, we will use one of the many simplified website creation tools/content management systems (CMS) that bring slick, professional-looking websites to those who are not design experts. Many of these sites include pre-made templates that you can even use to jumpstart your designs.
With the help of these user-friendly website services, creating a new website for your brand is now easier than ever. Examples of free website/blog creation services include:
For the purpose of  this class, we will experiment with Wix.com. Use Wix.com to create an original website for your campaign. For this week, you will get started with the site – but the actual completion of it won't be due for several weeks. Use this week to get familiar with Wix.com and to begin your site. You may use your wireframe as a starting point to create from your site from scratch and/or identify a template that contains similar design choices and elements.

GETTING STARTED WITH WIX:


Learn how to get started with Wix.com with these video tutorials.

After logging in, you'll be asked to choose a template to launch the website editor -- it will appear in your browser!

Watch this overview video to learn more.

There are tons more Wix.com tutorials on the official YouTube channel.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When you register for Wix, you will be asked to create a username. Please try to create a username that includes your chosen brand name. If you can’t get an exact match, then please try to get a name that incorporates your brand name in some way. This username will actually be used to help generate the URL path for your published campaign site – so you will want to make sure that it is consistent with the branding of your campaign.

Examples of Previous Semester Campaign Sites:


WEEK 6: Wireframing & Design Explorations

SUMMARY:
This week, we will:
  • Learn the basics of web design and wireframing
  • Create a wireframe of a proposed website for our campaign
  • Review our various homepage wireframes to identify and review key features that are necessary for our campaign website.
  • Begin to learn content management systems and website creation tools, such as Wix or Wordpress, that can be used to build an original campaign website.
HOMEWORK:
  • Create a wireframe for the homepage of your website using Gliffy.
  • Use your selected website creation tool to build an original website for your campaign. For this week, you will get started with the site – but the actual completion of it won’t be due for several weeks.

Creative Commons & Finding Royalty-Free and Low-Lost Images

Creative Commons Overview

One popular option for inexpensive content is Creative Commons , where you can get free or low-cost copyright licenses for music, audio, video, clip art and photos.
Essentially, a Creative Commons license allows the creator to protect his or her creation while simultaneously allowing them to share their work without the usual restrictions of traditional copyright law. Watch the video below to get an overview of how it works.



Video not showing up? You can also access it  directly at this link.



Video not showing up? You can also access it directly at this link.

How to Give Attribution/Credit for Creative Commons Content
If you do decide to use any Creative Commons content, then you will need to pay close attention to the licensing guidelines provided for that content. In most cases, there will be a required "credit line" that you will need to provide with each image, audio or video piece of Creative Commons-licensed content that you use. For information on how to properly attribute your content, please see the following:

Royalty-free and Low-cost Image Licensing Services

Looking  for royalty-free, low-cost and/or free images to add to your campaign site?
Wix.com has built-in access to hundreds of free stock photos in over 20 categories. Learn more about the Wix.com free image directory:
Here are some other stock photo sites worth checking out: iStockphoto logo

Wireframing Basics and Learning Gliffy


A wireframe represents a visual sketch that can be used in planning your website design and functionality. It typically happens prior to the actual building of the website - so that you can review and refine key decisions prior to any actual coding or creation.






Gliffy.com enables you to build a "wireframe" and site maps for your website. This easy-to-use service can be used to sketch and create your wireframe on the web -- and then share your creation with other stakeholders. 

An example of the Gliffy.com interface and a wireframe.















You can use Gliffy.com for website wireframing, flow charts, org charts, site maps -- and even a SWOT Analysis!

Here are some example wireframes that you can print out and review:

WEEKS 4 & 5: Focusing our online identity: Logo creations and Research

SUMMARY:

For these weeks, we will:
  • Explore and create various branded logo treatments for our campaign
  • Conduct a survey to identify key messaging and branding attributes for our campaign
HOMEWORK:
  • Make sure you have completed the SWOT analysis, competitive analysis and user personas
  • Use Photoshop or a free web logo creation service to create a logo for your brand.
  • Use an online survey tool to create a seven-question survey that aims to test the value propositions and sentiments associated with each brand name. (Optional):You can also use this tool to "test" what attributes and qualities people associate with multiple logo designs.
    • Once the survey is created, you should share it with your friends via Facebook or email. Each student should attempt to gather at least 20 responses from friends and family to your survey. (NOTE: Due to the limitations of this course, this is NOT meant to be a scientific survey. In the "real world," you would identify and/or even purchase a targeted survey response list to get a larger and more accurate response rate).

Choosing a Brand Name & Creating a Logo

Igor International has created a great Naming Guide with information that can help you demystify the process of creating a great brand name.

Per Igor's Naming Guide, some things to consider as you review possible brand names include:
  • Appearance
  • Distinctive
  • Depth
  • Energy
  • Humanity
  • Positioning (How well does it support your core positioning for the brand?)
  • Sound
  • "33" (As per Igor's guide, "The force of brand magic and the word-of-mouth buzz that a name is likely to generate. Refers to the mysterious "33" printed on the back of Rolling Rock beer bottles...")
To get started, we'll be using a few web-based resources that will help us to:
  • Identify a Brand Name
  • Create a Logo

Brand Name Creation
Trademarkia.com is the largest visual search engine for more than 6 million trademarked logos, names, and slogans on the Internet. Use Trademarkia to identify whether or not your proposed brand name is already registered.

Logo Creation
There are several options to creating your logos. If you are comfortable using Adobe Photoshop, you can use it to craft suggested logos.

However, many people lack the graphic design skills in Photoshop. If this is the case, then you can use one of several web-based "logo generator" services. Wix.com has a great blog post with suggestions on how to cheaply (if not free) create a logo:
Here are a few more suggestions:

CoolText.com
It doesn't get any simpler. Simply type in your brand name and select the design style and a logo is immediately generated. Visit cooltext.com to get started.

Flamingtext.com
As with cooltext.com, this is very basic and easy to use. Select your text and preferred design and you are given a logo! There are some intermediate design options to explore, too. Visit Flamingtext.com to begin.

Logomaker.com

LogoMaker.com is a simple-to-use, web-based logo creation tool. Use LogoMaker to experiment with different branded logos for your fictional product, organization or company.  (Note: A small fee may be required for exporting your creations in LogoMaker).