Work Plan for Today’s Class (W 10/22)

Hi everyone, from chilly but lovely Montreal!

I hope that you had a good week, and that your revisions of Assignment #3 went well. I’m looking forward to reading your portfolios when I return.

Today we will continue our discussions/analysis/work on help documentation, usability, user experience, etc., moving from looking at a single document (as we did previously with a user manual or a set of instructions/process description) to thinking about websites and how they communicate information (information architecture, user experiences, usability) to their audience.

Please see below for the work plan for the day. Professor Miller will help to keep you on task/time, but each group should follow the work as outlined below.

Professor Belli


[11:30-11:40am] – Attendance & Assignment #3 Submission

  • Professor Miller is here today in class with you … please welcome her and enjoy yoru time together 🙂
  • She will take attendance and collect your Assignment #3 folders

[11:40am-12:45pm] – Group Review of Websites

  • Groups
      Break up into groups of 3 (one or two groups may have 4 people … that is OK)
  • Website Review
    • In groups of 3 people, you will explore six websites, thinking about the issues raised in the readings above (including things such as the websites’ usability, navigation, accessibility, clarity).
    • How do you, as users, move through the “digital space” of these sites? Are they helping you to move/flow though their information in logical ways?
    • Play around with the sites, click on links, follow different routes to finding/locating information.
    • Do they have FAQs or Help (OpenLab in particular has an extensive Help section, which you should explore)? If so, look through them and see how useful they are to your needs as users.
    • Try to also load these websites on your smart phones, to see how well they function/appear on mobile devices.
  1. City Tech’s Website
  2. OpenLab
  3. The Writing Studies Tree
  4. Website of your group’s choice
  5. Website of your group’s choice
  6. Website of your group’s choice



[1:10-1:50pm] – Collaborative Write-Up of Your Group’s Review/Findings

  • Each group should make a collaborative post summarizing/reflecting on their website review on OpenLab (so one post per group, NOT one post per person).
  • Make sure that this post is thorough, with concrete details (and links to relevant sites, readings) about what you found and how you, as users, interacted with the sites, addressing some of the issues raised in the readings. Your post should be at least 8 paragraphs (an Introduction summarizing your findings, one paragraph for each of the websites, and a concluding paragraph)
  • Title the posts with your group members’ names and a “title” for your post
  • Categorize the post as “Website Review”


    • Wrap-up
    • Reminder: Assignment #4 due next class (W 10/29)

Have a great week!