Midterm Project Self-critique

1. How could you’ve been more successful in designing for your target audience and for the goals of the client?

SMC would like to have a website that is contemporary, welcoming, and the reflects the quality of the school and the students that attend. Providing an experience that is user-oriented with maximum functionality is a primary and immediate goal. And as a college filled with young, active students, the new site redesign shows it feels dynamic, friendly, contemporary, fresh, reliable, informative, and organized.

With the new organization by separating all navigation which included global (main), secondary (audience), quick link, footer, and clear content area help the content flow and more focus on every important event category. Also increase more participation, decrease frustration.

2. What’s your greatest design challenge? What is your biggest technical challenge?

The greatest design challenge and biggest technical challenge are creating 2 levels navigation, making the site responsive and fit on every device browser.

3. If you had an opportunity to continue working on this design, what changes would you make?

I would make the main navigation collapses, if possible I would put a search box and the top-nav/secondary nav in to one collapse menu. That way would give more space to the branding (logo), header area and see more content when browsing on mobile device.

4. What did you learn about your own design work from critiquing other students’ midterm projects?

Designing, and focusing on client goals and target audiences base on Creative brief, will make the design successful. If you struggle on some techniques that block you to get to the design goals, try something else, find the way out as much as you can or change it until you can accomplish the site before presenting to everyone/the client.


RWD SMC site on differ devices


Thoughts, Process and Decision-Making Process

for SMC redesign website project

Santa Monica College website is a huge website, which involved a ton of information. It was too difficult to do this assignment alone. But we did have a team project!

The client survey was a good start for the project. We had to pretend to be a client to answer the survey. Even though the site is too big and too complicated for me to look around the whole site problem, but my team and I make it a good client survey. We also looked at the competitors’ sites to make to clear what are really the problem on SMC current site compare to them.

The competitive analysis was a fun and work hard part. We had to look at the competitors, created the feature grids, took screen shot, made comments and gave them ranks/stars. Then created the competitive analysis over all goals, method and summary after gathering every information. We, as a team had a lot of time differs and emails to go back and forth for working communication.

Personas were important for describing the target audience profile and helpful for the team to focus to the right group.

A communication brief, project estimate and schedule were a little easier than all above processes. It was like a summary of every process in one document. It helped the team to narrow down the scope.

Creating a site map and wireframe was not difficult because of all the helpful information we have. I reorganized the site map to make it more accessible and useable.

The designcomp was a fun part too. I created the new fresh look & feel for the site redesign, gave the navigation, content section organized and cleared, added theme and graphic colors.

The HTML coding was a tricky decision. After I took a web mobile class, I knew the responsive design is up-to-date now and I should go with it (as on the project brief describe and many competitors don’t have it yet). But as the college site is a huge site, there are many levels of navigation which I never experienced coding before. So I decided to create the HTML fixed width first, not only for a guideline but also in case I mess up with responsive one.

Then time for RWD, I made it all up from scratch, afraid of using framework and had a difficult time to put the main nav’s position right also the sub-nav on landing page. I know I should make all the nav collapse when browser getting small or on mobile devices but I don’t know how from my design. Anyway, I got many good experiences from this project and I will keep learning for more.

desktop version

Desktop version

Navigation on iPhone   Sub-nav on Landing page

Navigation on iPhone: Main, secondary and sub navigation

Midterm Project – Designcomp

Homepage – direction 01

smc_homepage ver01

Landing page – direction 02


Homepage – direction 02

smc_homepage ver2

Landing page – direction 02

smc_landing page ver2 Academic

Wireframe – SMC site redesign


SMC Site Map


PDF: smc_sitemap_redesign

Assignment 6 – Team Documents

For Santa Monica College Website Redesign
Creative Brief PDF: CreativeBrief_smc

Estimate PDF: Estimate_smc

Schedule PDF: Schedule_smc