COGS 187B: Practicum in Pro Web Design (Winter 2019)

Course website:


Kirsh (Professor)

Office Hours: By appointment

Adam Mekrut (TA)

Office Hours: 330-430 Thursday HSS 1346 and by appointment through skype

Trevor Elwell (TA)

Office Hours: 330-430pm Tuesday in 1346 HSS

Emily Nguyen (Design Tutor )

Office Hours: Thursday 1-2pm in HSS 1346

Course Description

Course Overview

This class is a project based studio class whose objective is to teach students the practical side of working with clients to create a complete web design that meets or exceeds the client's expectations. Students form teams and find a client, typically (though not necessarily) one that is outside of the university, and then work with that client to understand their goals, needs and opportunities to meet functional requirements and to design a significant website that the client likes and the professor recognizes as high quality.  The course is structured according to the deliverables that a professional web team would need to provide. 

These include:

  • Creative Brief
  • Competitive Analysis and Mood Board
  • Wireframe
  • Functional Specification
  • Prototypes 
Because this is a studio based class, there are no real lectures.  Students tackle design projects in an environment where experienced professionals review and critique their work. You will learn something of the complicated social dynamics that arise between client and designers and also what it is to meet deadlines in team.  The class teacher, TAs, IAs and others are here largely to provide you with feedback to push your designs to the next level.  The spirit of teaching is not "Let me tell you all you need to know about how to design," but rather "Let me help you to understand and improve what you've done."  At the end of this course you should have a basic technical competence in the different stages of professional web site creation.

This year's course will require no programming. The final design will be high resolution and fully interactive design, ready for management approval and handing off to developers. 


Reading materials will be provided for you. Instead of quizzes, we will have you turn in reflections on the readings once a week. These will not be graded, but they will be checked to see if you completed the reflections thoughtfully. For those who miss more than 2 or do not complete 2 satisfactorily, we will be taking off 10% of the final grade. 

Course Details and Policies


Please use piazza to communicate with staff on all matters pertaining to the class. If you have something of a more private nature, you can use email. 

You can make your own teams or fill out a survey and we will place you on a team schedule and skill compatibility. There will be teams of 4 and plenty of time to work in class or 'studio'.  Groups must be finalized by Thursday January 10th by the end of class. 

Grading Policy and General Rules:

Late Assignments: Each day that an assignment is late, your grade will drop by 10%. Final projects must be turned in on time to receive credit. No late final projects will be accepted.

We will be using Gradescope to collect assignments and administer grades. We will sign you up by the end of week 1 or you can sign yourself up using this code: 95JEX8

Breakdown of Assignments:

# Description % of Grade
1. Reading Reflections (-10% if not done)
2. Propose Client and Initial Requirements Gathering 5%
3. User Interviews 12%
4. Competitive Analysis and Mood Board 12%
5. Competitive Analysis Presentation For feedback
6. Creative Brief 5%
7. Wireframe & Functional Spec 16%
8. Prototype One and Content Inventory For Feedback. -5% if it does not fulfill the requirements laid out in the assignment.
9. Final Design 45%
10. Final Design Presentation 5%
Total 100%

Course Schedule

Week Date Topic Assignments Notes
1 Mon Jan 07    
Tue Jan 08 187B Intro & Syllabus
Client Proposal Lecture

Out:Client Proposal and Initial Requirements Gathering  
Thu Jan 10 Finalize group making
How to Interview Clients Lecture
2 Tue Jan 15 Studio Day: Writing questions and preparing to interview clients    
Thu Jan 17 User Interviews Lecture  Due Friday 11:59pm 1/18: Client Proposal and Initial Requirements Gathering

3 Tue Jan 22 Studio Day:  user interviews
Thu Jan 24 Studio Day: user interviews
4 Mon Jan 28 User Interviews Due Monday 1/28 11:59pm

Tue Jan 29

Out: Competitive Analysis and Mood Board  
Thu Jan 31 Studio Day 
5 Tue Feb 05 Studio Day Due: Competitive Analysis and Mood Board atTuesday 2/5 11:59pm    
Thu Feb 07 Studio Critique of Competitive Analysis and Moodboard 

6 Tue Feb 12 Studio Critique of Competitive Analysis and Moodboard

Thu Feb 14
Wireframing lecture/
Studio Day

Fri Feb 15 Due: Creative Brief Friday at 11:59 pm   
7 Tue Feb 19 Studio Day Wireframe

Thu Feb 21
Prototype 1 discussion
Studio Day Wireframe

Sun Feb 24 Due: Wireframing and Functional Spec at Sunday 2/24 at 11:59pm

8 Tue Feb 26 Studio Prototype 1 Out: Prototype 1  
Thu Feb 28 Studio Prototype 1    
9 Tue Mar 05
Critique of Prototypes
Due: Prototype 1  Tuesday 3/5 11:59pm

Final Presentation Guidelines
Thu Mar 07 Studio Day Final Prototype
Review Final Prototype Requirements
10 Tue Mar 12 Studio Day Final Prototype
Discussion of how Present
Thu Mar 14 EARLY FINAL PRESENTATION (Volunteers)    
11 Tue Mar 19 Due: Final Prototype 11:59pm 3/19    
Wed Mar 20    
Thu Mar 21 FINAL PRESENTATION 3:00pm-6pm   Final Presentation Guidelines