Module Identifier MC31020  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Daniel G J Chandler  
Semester Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)  
Course delivery Lecture   10 x 1 hour lectures (5 fortnightly per semester)  
  Other   20 x 1 hour practical workshops (10 per semester)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment For information on due dates for submission of assessed work, please refer to the departmental web pages at  
Semester Assessment Assignment 1, 2500 words50%
Semester Assessment Assignment 2, website50%
Further details  

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
to identify the strengths and weaknesses of major websites

to identify the extent to which form matched function in existing websites

to design a simple functional website appropriate to the purposes of a specific target user group

Brief description

This is an optional third-year module forming part of the MCS (Media and Communication Studies) degree. Its primary aim is to a) encourage an awareness of effective website design, bearing in mind the key purposes of specific target audiences and b) to develop practical approaches to such design. Most of the existing website design literature tends to offer 'universal' principles for effective web design but, as (for instance) market researchers will be quick to point out, what attracts and suits one audience will be quite inappropriate to another. We explore website design with a focus on this issue of matching sites to target audiences. Daniel Chandler established the MCS website at: and is a consultant to various market research companies. David Gregory, web development officer for the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, runs the practical workshops.


Sessions are based on topics such as:

-Deconstructing some of the most popular sites (commercial, informational, personal)
-Basic design principles and what makes a bad site
-Matching form to function and users
-Navigation models and input systems
-Page layout, colour and typography
-Use of graphics (still and animated)
-Use of sound
-Interactivity (in analysis of existing sites)

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Baggerman, Lisa (2001) Web Design That Works Gloucester, MA: Rockport
Bruinsma, Max (2003) Deep Sites: Classic Principles of Cutting-Edge Web Design London: Thames & Hudson
Forbes, Thom (2000) Webworks: Advertising-Not-So-Simple Basics for Web Designers Gloucester, MA: Rockport
Lynch, Patrick J & Sarah Horton (2001) Web Style Guide New Haven: Yale University Press
Mumaw, Stephen (2002) Simple Web Design Gloucester, MA: Rockport
Nielsen, Jakob (2000) Designing Web Usability Indiapolis, IN: New Riders
Nielsen, Jakob & Marie Tahir (2001) Homepage Usability: 55 Websites Deconstructed Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall
Powell, Thomas (2000) Web Design: The Complete Reference New York: Osborne/McGraw-Hill
Veen, Jeffrey (2001) The Art and Science of Web Design Indiapolis, IN: New Riders

Web Page/Sites
** Essential Reading
Module Website
** Recommended Text
MCS website
Semiotics for Beginners
Chandler, Daniel 'Personal Home Pages and the Construction of Identites on the Web'. Paper for a conference of the Aberystwyth Post-International Group on the theme of Linking Theory and Practice: Issues in the Politics of Identity (9-11 September 1998 University of Wales, Aberystwyth)


This module is at CQFW Level 6