Final Project Details 2017

In the week of Nov. 13–17, we will have our last quiz, and you’ll turn in your last weekly assignment.

That’s also the week when your project work begins!

The project has several deadlines. You are graded on EACH deadline, and you cannot make them up later.

  • Sun Nov 12 – Project proposal due
  • Tue Nov 28 AND Tue Dec 5 – Project presentations in class
  • Sun Nov 26 – Project Week 1 due
  • Fri Dec 1 – Project Week 2 due
  • Fri Dec 8 – Project Week 3 due
  • Mon Dec 11 (finals week) – Project Final due – posted on your own website (not GitHub)

During this time there are no quizzes or other assignments. Class continues to meet, and attendance will be taken. Friday workshop hours will be discontinued with one exception: On Friday, Dec. 8, I will be available if you tell me in advance you want to come in. Classes end on Dec. 6. Our class WILL meet on Tuesday, Dec. 5 (and we may need to move to a different room that day; I will tell you closer to that date).


Design examples

What is a good project?

Above all, I want you to create a web apps project that will be a great addition to your personal portfolio.

Your project must be about something, or it helps the users to do something. Before you choose the subject, imagine showing it in a job interview. The person interviewing you will probably ask WHY you built an app about this topic. Now, I can imagine two different ideas in that person’s head: (1) “Why in the world would anyone make a web app about this?” Or: (2) “Interesting! I wonder why he/she picked this?” That (1) is a pretty negative thought, and it’s not what you want that person to be thinking! So aim for (2) when you plan your app, and be able to answer the question.

Here are criteria for your project:

  1. Your project must NOT be a personal website, a website about you or a friend or a small business, or a resume or portfolio website.
  2. It must use HTML, CSS and JavaScript.
  3. All images must be fully legal to use and fully attributed and linked (if they are your own images, made by you, that fact must be explicitly stated in text that is visible on your page).
  4. Any videos, music, maps, charts, illustrations, etc., that you use must be fully attributed and linked to their sources. No copyrights can be violated. Plagiarism rules from this course’s syllabus ARE in effect.
  5. JavaScript must be included in a way that is useful. Including Highcharts charts and/or Leaflet maps qualifies as useful JavaScript, but those are not the only ways we can use JavaScript. You could create a game or a quiz from scratch. You could use a JavaScript library for animations. There are lots of possibilities. (You are not required to include Highcharts charts and/or Leaflet maps.)
  6. Interactivity is expected. Your users should not just be staring at text and images. They should be able to DO THINGS on your page.
  7. All pages are fully responsive. I will test them at very large widths and very small widths, and also for iPhone 6 in the Chrome Dev Tools.
  8. Your app may include more than one page, but many web apps today are completely contained on just one page. In fact, it is more common nowadays to see a one-page app. So I encourage you to create a one-page app that demonstrates current best practices in web design.
  9. You MAY use Bootstrap, but it is not required. If you do not use Bootstrap, you will still be held to professional standards of design, including: correct font stacks; fully responsive design; accessibility of images and form controls; page layout with thoughtful spacing and arrangement of elements.
  10. If you use Bootstrap, you MAY use a free or paid theme. Using a Bootstrap theme is NOT easy; you will learn lots of new things if you try this (just Google bootstrap themes). Once you have mastered a Bootstrap theme, you have a new and very valuable skill. Make sure any theme you use is specifically for Bootstrap 4. Whether you use a theme or not, you will be graded on correct use of Bootstrap styles.

If you have questions about the project, please post them HERE as a reply to this post.

Things to do before class, Aug. 29

No workshop hours this Friday, Aug. 25. But if you want to meet with me, just let me know. I can be available!

  1. Get the book and read all the things listed on the Course Schedule under the Week 2 heading.
  2. Videos: The titles of the videos correspond to the assigned reading. The videos are listed in order here: YouTube Playlist. Watch the videos before class — they are the lecture.
  3. Complete Quiz 1 before it expires (in Canvas) — Monday deadline!
  4. Download, install and run the text editor program Atom before you come to class. Here’s some help for getting started with Atom.
  5. Bring your laptop and power cord and headphones/earbuds to class on Tuesday. Be prepared to stay the entire three hours (unless you complete Assignment 1 in less time than that).

During class you will be doing Assignment 1. I don’t intend to lecture you. (The videos are the lectures in this course.) My role will be to answer your questions and help you if you get stuck.

Assignment 1 is available now in Canvas. You can certainly preview it before class, or even get started on it.

Chapters 1 and 2 in the assigned book are background and foundation material. People who work on digital stuff — apps, websites, games, etc. — know these fundamentals. I hope you will want to understand them.

Chapter 4 is your first introduction to HTML. NOTE: Skip pages 51 and 52. You are NOT using either one of those text editor programs!

The exercises in chapter 4 will be very helpful for you. Consider typing them out — not merely reading them. Learning what is in chapter 4 is essential to completing Assignment 1.

There’s a sidebar about XHTML on page 61. Ignore that. This is one of the few outdated things in this book — we don’t do XHTML at all nowadays. Now everything is HTML5.

If you want to ADD this course

A lot of students who wanted to take this course could not get in. It filled up in the beginning of April. There should be only 20 seats, but we raised the cap to 25 seats.

Since April 5, four students dropped, and four others were able to add. The course is still filled.

Students may drop this course until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 25. If you want to join the course, you need to add it yourself, so just keep watching the UF registration system until Drop/Add ends.

IMPORTANT: If you hope to add the course, you MUST come to the first class meeting. I will be explaining a number of things about how to succeed in this course and what you will need. Also, all of you must read the official syllabus PDF file, which you can find here.

The first class meeting begins at 10:40 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 22, in Weimer 3032. 

NOTE that this class is offered ONLY in the fall semester. It will be offered again in fall 2018. Only students enrolled in Journalism, Advertising, Public Relations or Telecom may take this course.