Monday, February 16, 2009

Work Placement Report

This report is my reflection on some of the aspect of work I did during my placement. My placement was done at Business Promotion Technology Company called The” Web SuperFactory” based in south London. The company specializes in the World Wide Web solutions (ex. web site development, Intranet development, marketing & promotion, e-commerce). During the placement, the company gave me many opportunities to work on real commercial projects for their clients. I will be expressing about a particular project I did for the company’s client (Green Valley College) through out this report. I will start by talking about the client Green Valley College. Green Valley College is a college geared to the needs of students that their first or mother language is not English. They needed a web site that can attractive international students around the globe. The web site had to be user – friendly, easy to navigate through the site and the site translated into different languages (French, Spanish, Portuguese, and German) for international students. They wanted their website to be top listed on popular search engines like which will make it more access to students across the world. They also wanted the web site to have dynamic forms, where the students could resign up, fill in enrollment forms, contact forms and sent their payment through the net. My company had to find solutions to the above web problems the Green Valley College had. The company gave me the opportunity to deal with their client’s (Green Valley College) web problems from the beginning to the finishing of the project with supervision from my industrial manager Appu Vora.

I started creating the site by designing the main structure of the web site. The site will be in five different languages which meant there will be five main sections in one whole site. I will be focusing only on the English sections of the site through out this report because the English section is translated into the other languages at the end of the project.

My industrial manager Appu assists me with the layout of the template for the site. We decided to use the college colors for the site (Green, yellow and white). I used the lasso tool in Photoshop to create curve shapes and odd shapes in the design of the template. I also use the blending options like in Photoshop to make the template look more attractive.

After designing the template, I used the slide tool in Photoshop to slides the template up to be imported into Dreamweaver. Sliding the template up will make the site load up quicker on the internet.

When the slide images from the template are imported into Dreamweaver software; it converts the slide images into html coding so that web browser can understand. I started added texts to the home page of the site. I then realize that the page was very long because of the text on the page, so my industrial manager advised me put the text into a simple flash scrollbar. Adding the text flash scrollbar to the page, it shorter the pages to where the users could see the whole page on the screen. The user could scroll up or down on the text flash scrollbar without moving the page. The text scrollbar also added a modern look to the website.

Green Valley College sent the company some photos to put on their site. I started by scanning the photos on my computer. I then had a discussion with my industrial manager about photos. He advised me to create a horizontal flash scrollbar, where the user can click on the forward arrow for the first photo to slide away for another photo to come into the photo frame. After creating the horizontal flash scrollbar I decided to put the photos on the “About Us” section of the site, so I made a photo gallery link on the page. My industrial manager and I decided that photo gallery would be more presentable if it opened in a minim window browser. So I put some behaviors (coding) on the Photo gallery link, so that when a user click on the photo gallery link it will load in a minim window browser

In the enrolment section of the site, I had to create four dynamic forms. The first form is for the user to put his personal details, the second form is for the user to select a course, the third form is for the user choose if they want accommodation or not, and the fourth form is for the user choose the method of payment.

The personal details form is validated, so the user had to fill in all the red spots before proceeding to the next section of the form (select a course).

The user had to select a course by clicking on the radio button next to the course they wanted.

The user selects if they want accommodation with their chosen course.

The back-end design of the enrollment forms was all done in ASP script. When the user selects a course or accommodation, it would be listed with the total sum on the bill form (same as the payment form). Then the user selects the method of payment they want to use – Money Transfer, Bank Transfer or by cheque.

In the “Contact Us” section of the site, I created a dynamic form for the user to fill in. When the user click on the submit button the form will be sent as a email to the Green Valley College, showing all the details the user has fill in. The back-end design of the contact us form was also done in ASP script. See Figure 9 for contact us form.

After creating the forms, I then added texts to the “Course” and the “Accommodation” pages. Then Green Valley College requested that the user should be able to print from each page or all the pages on the site. So I created all the texts in Microsoft word, then place buttons (label print/all print) on all the pages on the site, and then link the buttons to the appropriate Microsoft word page for that button.
I finished the front – end design of the website by linking all the main buttons on the site.

The next stage of the website was to promote it on the web by placing the site on the top list of popular search engines like which will make it more access to students across the world. Firstly, I had to optimized the Green Valley College site.

Before the placement I was not really confident with the skills I had gained from the first two years of the multimedia course, but using the skills during the work placement has fill me with confident and made me ware of all the opportunities in the multimedia world. During the placement when working on projects, everyone in the team had their part to work on, some did the designs, coding, and researching then at a particular deadline we meet as group to talk about that project; which I believe has made me a better team player and good collaborator among my colleagues. Working on the Green Valley College project has improved my multimedia skills. I have gain more experience in using Dreamweaver as website building tool. I also know how to plan a site and the structure of the site. I have attained some experience in using ASP coding to create dynamic forms on the Green Valley College project. Through the work placement I was using multimedia software packages like Adobe Photoshop 6, Flash 5 and Dreamweaver 4 frequently during the working day; which has made me more comfortable using them. I have learnt how to promote a website through search engines, which I believe is vital to know in this internet world of traffic. In general, I believe my work placement has helped me grow and reach a better focus in the multimedia Industry.

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