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 This exam was withdrawn in 2012, with final exams in 2013.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 imageSection E, F & G - Designs

You need to:

There are 13 marks in total available here. You need to look at the markgrids in some detail to make sure you maximise your marks in these sections.

Draft Designs:

You can use the research you did in section B to provide a base for your draft designs. This could include research you did on similar publications as well as surveys you did of members of the target audience.

You can present up to three sets of draft designs.

How many you do will depend on what sort of things you've found out in your surveys. If you know what colour scheme and what basic layouts you're going to use from those - because your audience told you - then it might be sensible to use just one draft design. If you're lacking that sort of detail from the surveys, then two might not be a bad idea.

You also don't need to design every page in detail on your draft designs, but you do need to include annotations to show how your designs are suitable for that target audience.

Image iconHere's an example of a draft design, with annotations, that I produced in about half an hour for the fantastic Orange Cone News website. It's probably enough for 3 marks - certainly for two. The links to audience needs are the crucial element for the top mark band.

I would suggest some hand drawn sketches are fine for draft designs. Give an idea of basic layout, colour schemes, titles, text blocks and so on. You might need to do a couple of sketches - depending on what sort of pages you've got (perhaps a home page and a main page - and maybe a contact page - for web pages; for a newsletter, probably the front page and then at least one inside page).

Whatever you do, do not produce your designs in the final software you're going to use in the exam. This is a major issue and will lose you serious marks. Don't even give the impression that you've tried the designs out several times in that software!

Here are the markgrids for rows E and F. Notice the importance of annotations and of testing...

Markgrid row E
Note: this markscheme is a copy of one available freely on the AQA Applied ICT webpages. It is copyright AQA and reproduced here simply to make access easier for students. No attempt to claim copyright is being made, although I could have copied the text into my own interpretation...

Final Designs:

These need to be detailed. The classic test is "could a competent third party implement the designs"?

You need to:

The types of designs I've demonstrated on the Block 5 (newsletters) and Block 7 (webpages) pages are getting there. They'd get most, if not all, of the marks on the first line in the Row G markgrid.

To get the marks in the second line, you need to annotate your final designs to show how they meet the needs of the target audience - in detail. The examiners are really picky with this, so get everything on there.

Optional: You might also want to include some basic sheets showing the layout of Div tags, how you'll use page properties and CSS Rules etc... These might make it easier for a "competent third party" to implement your design - which is the aim of the designs. Here are some examples of the sorts of things I mean - these are for a series of webpages by the way:
Note that all of these would need to be annotated - the second row of the markgrid is crucial here.

Tip: you might want to use two sheets for each final design. Produce the actual design and then get a copy of it (photocopied if necessary) and annotate that page. This will mean your designs are a bit easier to use in the exam room.

Here's the markgrid for row G:

Markgrid row G
Note: this markscheme is a copy of one available freely on the AQA Applied ICT webpages. It is copyright AQA and reproduced here simply to make access easier for students. No attempt to claim copyright is being made, although I could have copied the text into my own interpretation...

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