That Blue Square Thing

Applied ICT A Level Unit 1 - ICT and Society

Note: this page applies to the AQA Applied ICT A level specification. This exam was withdrawn in 2012, with final exams in 2013. The content will be retained as an archive and because it has some stuff that might be quite useful for someone or other

Mobile phone imageBlock Seven - Web Design

This block develops some key web design skills and is essentially a practical block.The key objectives are:

Web Design Basics:

It's crucial to be organised when web designing. You need to make sure that files are located properly and saved with sensible names. Once links are in place you simply can't move a file or change it's name without destroying the link.

Use a sensible folder structure and try to plan roughly your work before you go too far.

PDF iconWeb Basics - presentation slides

PDF iconFonts for the web - a choice that you need to make well

You might be interested to read this article from the BBC website which discusses why Comic Sansexternal link is a bit of a nightmare as a font choice. The use of Comic Sans by the Cleveland Cavaliars owner in a letter to fans has also prompted much discussion, for example at CNNexternal link. Just think twice before you use it!

PDF iconImages for the web - a single slide presentation summarising some key points

PDF iconColours and how they work - a few notes about colours to think about

A Working Design :

I've taken some content from an actual webpage (the BBC Webwise page on the Data Protection Actexternal link as it happens) and redesigned it to produce a basic annotated design which would be suitable for a unit 1 exam

PDF iconDesign work - a detailed design specification for the webpage

PDF iconOrder of work - a basic order of work which will let you create the webpage using the design and the resources below

Use this as an opportunity to become more familiar with web design software. You'll need to use the Software Guides page to find the help sheets which will show you how to use Dreamweaver effectively.

Just as in the real exam, you have a selection of text and image files to work with:

I would strongly suggest saving all these files first - try right clicking and saving them. This should make your life much easier than having to open them one at a time!

Download these files and then use the annotated design to create the newsletter page using suitable desk top publishing software.

Other Design Ideas:

There are lots of great webpages out there - some of which you might actually be able to implement in your exam. You can pick up loads of great tips as well.

An alternative way of learning good web design skills is by looking at really, really poorly designed sites. Where would you find these? Try the classic Web Pages That Suckexternal link - a site which catalogues poor web design and uses it to teach good habits. There are some real suckers here - enjoy!

You should probably look at That Blue Square Blog for all the really good other A Level stuff.