Intercultural website team project (380 points in total)

The intercultural website project is a complex collaboration project where you will work in teams to create an accessible website for a proposed company. In the current setup of this project, each student team of 3 students from our class will be paired up with a team at Budapest Business University in Hungary. The Hungarian students are taking an entrepreneurship class, and for their class they will come up with a business idea and develop a full business plan. Our class will create the websites for these proposed businesses. As you work on the intercultural project you will be able to apply your knowledge about creating digital interfaces that will serve your international communication partners’ purpose and will be accessible by potential audiences.

Link to List of Teams
Link to Google Groups
Link to Doodle Poll

Website project description

The project will span several weeks in the second part of the semester. Throughout the duration of the project, you will constantly communicate with your partner teams to ensure that your final site meets their intended purposes. Effective business communication practices in these emails and encounters will be essential for success. You will need to devote time outside of classroom with your team towards the completion of this project, but we will also spend some time in each class to discuss each deliverable, to address questions and possible issues with partner teams, and to make progress on the project. During this project, your team will submit several deliverables that will all help you to create an effective and accessible website. These deliverables ( one per team, except the last item) are described below and include:

Website planning document (100 points - one per team)

As your team is working to create a website for your partner team in Hungary, you will go through the necessary steps of planning this website. First, you will do some general research about Hungary and the specific industry to gain a better understanding of the website’s prospective users. Based on this research and on the input from your partner team such as their description of personas, you will put together a planning document that will describe the purpose of the site, include 4 persona profiles, explain several scenarios, incorporate a journey map, a sitemap, and the wireframe of all important pages. In addition, a section with competitor analysis will help you to assess similar websites with regards to their structure and functionalities. While this document is mostly for your own planning purposes, you will write it with your partner teams as secondary audiences in mind. This document will be submitted to me, but will also receive feedback from the partner teams.

Website planning document requirements

Your planning document will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Describes the purpose of the website in detail and connects it to the target audience
  • Incorporates 4 persona profiles
  • Demonstrates understanding of customers’ goals as represented in scenarios built into journey maps
  • Illustrates planning of website architecture with the help of a sitemap and wireframes for each major page
  • Describes the sitemap and each wireframe in a separate paragraph that explains each element on the page and the reason why these are placed in their specific locations
  • Includes competitor analysis of 3 websites
  • Is written with primary, secondary, and all other audiences in mind
  • Is  structured with headings and subheadings as a unified document.

Accessible website (200 points - one per team)

For this assignment, your team will create a website to be used by the prospective customers of your partner team’s proposed company. On this website you want to have a clear focus on the intended audience of the website, and create an effective message about the company. Your website should have a good balance between text and visuals and should follow basic usability and accessibility principles. While creating the website, consider how you will address the following aspects:

  • Appearance (the visual appeal of layout and images of a website)
  • Content (the information a website provides)
  • Functionality (the way the site functions – everything works as expected)
  • Accessibility (the website can be accessed by users of all abilities – including blind users)
  • Usability (the website is easy to use)
  • Findability (the website can be easily found using search engines).

Accessible website requirements

Your website will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Applies design principles and elements effectively to create a visually appealing and highly functional design
  • Follows the requirements for website accessibility
  • Incorporates elements of storytelling on at least one page of the site
  • Is based on carefully crafted copy that is targeted towards a specific audience
  • Shows evidence of applying editing skills for international English

Team project evaluation and reflection memo (50 points - turned in individually)

At the end of the team project, each team member will write a memo that will provide a rationale for the design choices on the website while also evaluating each team member’s performance and reflecting on the learning connected to the website project.  The memo itself is worth 30 points with 20 additional points allocated for your team work performance. This memo will be addressed to me and will be prepared in memo format with headings. Structure your memo in a way that will allow you to best address the following aspects of your project:

  • summarize your website content, audience, and purpose
  • describe your website design elements and its accessibility and explain your design choices
  • elaborate on the overall teamwork within your GVSU team (also submit the completed  Team Evaluation Grid as a separate document)
  • address learning connected to the partner university collaboration aspect of the project 
  • conclude your document with takeaways about website design, disability, and accessibility.

Team project evaluation and reflection requirements

Your team project evaluation and reflection will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Describes the website (its visual, structural, textual, and accessibility elements) while providing a rationale for the choices that were made during the design process
  • Addresses each team member’s team work performance
  • Provides a reflection on your learning as a result of your involvement in this intercultural collaboration project
  • Addresses aspects of learning that are directly connected to website accessibility.

Final presentation of the website (30 points)

During our Finals week, each team will present their website. The presentation will go over your website creation process explaining how your team has made decisions along the way and will showcase the final site. Your presentation will be evaluated based on how effectively it showcases your now professional skills as a web designer. Be sure to use the correct terminology as you discuss your website creation process. The presentations require a minimal amount of slides (as the website will be your main visual) and should be about 10-12 minutes long. Slides should include 1.) Explanation of target business 2.) Explanation of design process 3.) The final website – no slides needed here, just share your website and walk us through its pages) 4) Overall takeaways about website design and web writing.

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