Warning: This is an archived course website that is part of my teaching portfolio, so some links may no longer work. Please contact me with any questions about this site.

Unit #4: Client Project

(Worth 20% of your grade; due on May 14, 10:05 a.m.)


Your most substantive assignment of the semester calls for you to develop (or redevelop) a website for a real client. Clients may include employers, nonprofit groups, and campus organizations, but the client must need a website and be willing to participate in the project before the end of the semester. Your work for the client should demonstrate your abilities as a writer, a coder, an information architect, and a usability specialist. Each of you will work with a small group of your classmates (ideal team size: 2–4 people) to complete this project.

Assignment Guidelines

Because each project will be unique, your work for this assignment will be governed by a memorandum of understanding between you, me, and your client. In your MOU, you should propose a plan that will govern your work for the remainder of the course. Once you have identified a client and assembled a team, you should create a copy of the MOU template and begin drafting your proposal.

One of the primary objectives of this assignment is to learn how to work with clients, so you will need to maintain regular contact with your client throughout the project. Checking in with your client (in person, on the phone, or via email) at least weekly will ensure that you stay on track and meet your client’s expectations. Your final project folder should contain evidence of this collaborative, iterative design process, including wireframes, draft text, prototypes, client feedback, etc. (Tip: Save everything related to this project!)

Depending on your client’s needs, you may focus most heavily on writing, design, content management, social media, etc… Whatever the case, your work should be commensurate with an collaborative, seven-week project and should reflect well on yourself and on Virginia Tech.


The primary deliverable for this assignment will be the finished client site, which should be live on the web or ready to go live pending your client’s approval.

In addition, your project should be accompanied by a two-page memo of transmittal (single spaced, using memo format) that explains and justifies the choices your team made over the course of the project. Your memo should contain the URL for your finished site and should address issues of audience, content, and purpose, as well as more technical topics, such as markup, color, typography, usability, etc. Your memo should also address any problems you encountered during this project and discuss what you might do differently if you had more time, different software, greater expertise, etc.

Your project will almost certainly include additional deliverables, such as evidence of client feedback, drafts of web content, and screenshots of early prototypes. Your MOU should include a full list of the specific deliverables you intend to produce for your project.

Assignment Checkpoints

To help you stay on schedule, I will meet regularly with each team and will collect draft components of your project on the following dates:

Submitting Your Project

Your project is due at the beginning of our final exam, on May 14 at 10:05 a.m. Please submit your team’s memo of transmittal (described above, under the “Deliverables” subheading) any additional materials (usability results, wireframes, screenshots of early drafts, client feedback, or anything else listed in your team’s MOU) by placing them in your team’s shared Google Drive folder. Your individually completed “Team Evaluation Form” should be slid under my office door (Shanks 427) or placed in my department mailbox (#8, located next to Shanks 323) before the due date.

Evaluation Criteria

Like everything else related to this assignment, the criteria I will use to evaluate your project are negotiable and will be finalized in your MOU. As you draft your evaluation criteria, you may want to draw upon these examples: