1220HSL INFORMATION SYSTEMS FOR SERVICE INDUSTRIES
ASSIGNMENT ONE (WEBSITE PLAN) TASK SHEET
The first assignment is for the most part, a plan for your business concept and its associated website. It is basically a business proposal with some managerial and technical aspects that detail how a website can benefit a specific business and how the website will look, feel, and run. Essentially, you are trying to sell someone on the idea of having a website created for their business where you are the website creator and administrator. Think of the plan as a ‘pitch’ to a potential client, showing off your knowledge of their core business and the business’s specific goals, describing how websites can potentially increase market share and most importantly, providing evidence of your prowess in website design, administration, and successfully utilising Internet marketing techniques. It is a pitch that promotes the purchase of a website (designed and administered by you) that can greatly assist a business achieve specific goals, increase their market share, and ultimately their profit margins.
Week 6 tutorial
Submit a printed copy of your assignment to your tutor in week 6 during your normal tutorial time. Your assignment should have a title page and also a completed assignment cover sheet. The cover sheet will be attached to the front (i.e. it is the first page).
You will also submit an electronic copy of your assignment to TurnItIn. You will be given the opportunity to submit drafts to TurnItIn prior to the due date. The teaching team will provide more details regarding this process during the tutorial of week 4.
The website plan needs to be more than 1500 words and cannot exceed 2000 words.
The referencing style will be APA. Your tutor will also provide you with a document on the guidelines.
Ideas To Get You Moving
1. You need an idea (a business concept you going to create a website for). Your idea should have relevance to and be focussed on your future degree major (i.e. hotel, event, tourism management), but you are free to choose a business concept that you have a passion for if you like.
2. Without an idea or some sort of business concept, you have no starting point.
3. You will also need a name for your idea or business as this allows you to generate a domain name and subsequent website address (for example; www.yourbusinessnamehere.com). If you are struggling to come up with a name for your idea or business concept, do not worry too much. It is only really relevant when you start to create your website however; it would be nice to have in your website plan and would help you come up with a title for your report.
4. INTRODUCTION: To start your report or website plan, write a short introduction describing what the report will focus on. ‘Lead’ the reader into the report. Provide evidence to back up your statements if you make any broad, sweeping comments on hospitality, tourism, sports or leisure industries, business marketing trends, or any comments on why websites are now essential business tools. You must provide evidence to back up anything you write that would most likely have some previous information available. Use journal articles, newspaper articles, text books, website articles to back your comments up. Use Google Scholar for this (not Google) and ensure you always reference the original author(s).
5. BUSINESS BACKGROUND: You need to write about the background to the business or idea. Detail what it is the business actually does (what product or service does it provide). Detail what makes the business special, what makes it stand out from its competitors. Also detail the location of the business if it does in fact have a physical location. Provide as much information as you think is required in order to get the business idea across.
6. BUSINESS GOALS: You now need to write about the goals of the business or concept. Be specific here. Your goals should be specific, realistic, measureable, and have a due date (i.e. increase the business’s local market share by 10% by 2014). Define what your idea or business concept is it trying to achieve (in terms of market share, profits, public exposure, positive public perception, number of members etc). Your idea or business concept may have a number of business goals however; this will differ based on the underlying concept.
7. WEBSITE GOALS: Your website goals are linked to your business goals however they are not the same. Remember this. Your website goals will detail how your website (and the associated online social media) will assist your business achieve its overall business goals. Depending on your idea or business concept, your website may aim to share information, promote your brand, focus on rapid communication of specific information, foster collaboration, generate a sense of community, provide easily accessible ways to purchase your product or service online, etc. The website goals will differ from idea to idea, and should relate well and provide a means to achieve the original business goals. An example of a website goal (linked to a business goal of increasing brand awareness) could go something like this; increase the amount of unique visitors to our company’s website to 25 per day by December 2014. An example of a website goal (linked to a business goal of increasing the ease with which clients can either book or buy your products or services online) could be; increase the volume of
online purchases to 15% by December 2014. There are a lot of website goals you can come up with that will suit your business concept and also link extremely well to your overall business goals.
8. COMPETITOR WEBSITE ANALYSIS: You then need to do an analysis of your competitor’s websites (not the business themselves, but their actual websites). Find websites that are promoting similar business ideas or concepts and describe what you think is good and what is bad about these websites (talk about things like colour schemes, ease of access to information and user tasks, website layouts, the amount of white space, the amount of clutter, anything you think is worth mentioning. You need to describe which of the ideas associated with these particular websites you will take on board and utilise in your own website (the good) and which parts will you leave out (the bad). You then need to state your reasoning behind these decisions.
This is a good place to use a table in your document. It keeps the information brief and to the point and also breaks up the document style. Sometimes a document full of test can be tiring to read.
9. TARGET AUDIENCE: Now you can put forward your knowledge on the target audience or market you (and your idea or business concept) are trying to capture. Again be specific here. Talk ages, socioeconomic status, demographic location, and potential disposable income, anything you already know or can find out about your target audience. The more you know about your target audience, the better you can tailor your products and services and furthermore, the better you can tailor your mix of traditional and online marketing techniques.
10. USE ENVIRONMENTS: This is the section of your report where you define the forecasted ‘use environment’ specific to your target audience or market. For example, what sort of computing environment do they predominantly use, would they normally access online information whilst on the move or at home (i.e. I-Phones and wireless networks or home-based PC’s respectively), what web browsers your audience may prefer to use, etc. Explain how the business takes into account all those factors (target audience information and possible use environments), is therefore structured to attract that particular market, and how the business’s online resources will be managed as a result.
11. USER TASKS: You then need to write about the 'user tasks' (what can users actually do from your website. For example, download specific forms, book accommodation, tickets or reservations online, make comments, make reviews, chat, view galleries, make purchases, be automatically linked to payment areas, be automatically linked to anything else you think would be useful for the users of your website). Use bullet points in this section.
12. WEBSITE CONTENT: Now let the reader know the exact type of information you will be placing on the website. For example, provide text content and elaborate on how it will be organised on your website (i.e. content is broken up into six sections covering the business info, product descriptions, pricing structures, transaction sections, community areas, contact details etc). Detail the content (actual text and images) that you will include on each different page of your site (i.e. what is going to be included on the about page, the product or services page, the booking or purchasing page, the community page, the latest promotions page, the contact page etc) and include it into your website plan. This will not only show you have an emphasis on attention to detail but you can also then just copy and paste it into your website pages when you go to actually create it.
13. DEVELOPMENT TOOLS: Follow this section up immediately with information on the tools with which you will generate the website. You need to describe the tools you will use to pull all these user tasks together (i.e. WordPress is a tool you will be using, you may use Fireworks / Photoshop CS for image editing, a PayPal plug-in to take care of the transactions, you may use You-Tube plug-ins or links for video, Google-Map plug-ins for a dynamic map, you may use mailing widgets to automatically update your users when new information is posted on your site, etc). Think outside the box here. Be creative in how you achieve specific user tasks.
14. WEBSITE CONTENT STORYBOARD: You then need to detail exactly how the different sections of your website will be organised and how the page hierarchy will be constructed. This is where you add in a storyboard (an image or box based description of how the pages will link together and how the menu system will provide users access to every page). Try not to use more than three levels your website.
Clean, simple websites that are easy to navigate are the most successful. Again your tutor will show you different ways to generate a storyboard in word in tutorials. This section will flow on well from the Content Section.
15. WEBSITE TEMPLATE DESIGNS: Now you need to actually show the reader how the website will look and feel and how certain website aspects will be included. This is where you will describe (and also display) your website templates (how will they will look and be constructed). You will need to provide a template for the home page layout, the normal page layout, and the post page layout (if you plan on using posts in your website). Your tutor will show you different ways of displaying your templates in diagrammatic form within your document (by using word document boxes, images, and if you have got your website to a certain point by this stage, a screen capture of your actual website pages). Note: You also need to provide specific details about the design of the website template (i.e. template width in pixels, banner logo width and height in pixels, image width and height in pixels, font type, font size, the colour scheme you plan to use etc). These sort of specifics assist the reader in gaining a full understanding about the website you are pitching them. They also show that you are aware of the importance of attention to detail. You may also like to add images in the template that will help create a good display of the overall theme for the website.
A logo might also be appropriate but is not essential in the plan. Remember, the more detail, the better. A pitch of this sort should provide the reader with a good understanding of how the website will look so spend some time on this section.
16. PROCESS ANALYSIS: This section is where you will detail who the website will be owned by and who will be the primary authors and administrators. Keep this specific section brief. Someone owns the website, someone owns the information, and someone maintains the whole thing. Just put it in as it is a component in the marking criteria. The specific details required in this section are things like how often the website will be updated, who deals with emailed comments and how often this will occur, who deals with the purchasing orders and how often is this dealt with, who deals with the day to day maintenance of the website and how often will new content or promotions be uploaded to the site, and last but not least, how does the website link with social media and how will this work for your business etc. You can be specific about all these things and we will talk about it more in lectures and tutorials.
17. MARKETING TECHNIQUES: How you will direct people (potential clients) to your website. This should be a solid section as it is extremely important. A website is useless if no-one knows it is there. Will you use a targeted social media campaign (utilising social platforms such as Face book, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube etc) or will you use more traditional marketing techniques (newspaper advertisements, pamphlets, stickers, t-shirts, street advertising, sports advertising etc). If you plan on using both, what sort of mix will you use and why. Provide some evidence on why you would do any of these things (i.e. link it into you target audience information, your use environment information, and your underlying business and website goals). Something to think about for this section, would you consider search engine optimisation (working on ways to increase your business’s visibility on the first page of different search engines) a marketing technique? If you would, how do you plan on achieving this. We will talk about this in lectures and tutorial also.
18. CONCLUSION: Finish it up with a conclusion. Always finish your assignments with a conclusion. Always remember, this is a business pitch so in a few sentences make a very strong argument as to why this website will achieve the goals it has set out to deal with and why a business should hire you to create and administer this particular website.
19. REFERENCES: Last page is always a reference page. Don’t forget it as it is easy marks and shows the markers that you have a good understanding and respect for copyright and creative commons issues.
Headings This Assignment Should Possess
1. Introduction and Business Background
2. Business Goals and Website Goals
3. Competitor Website Analysis
4. Target Audience
5. Forecasted Use Environments
6. User Tasks
7. Website Content and Development Tools
8. Website Content Storyboard
9. Website Template Designs
10. Process Analysis
11. Marketing Techniques
Important Final Points
1. Open up a word doc, save it to your H-Drive as ‘Information Systems Assignment One’.
2. Type the ‘headings’ provided above straight into a word document.
3. You can elaborate on these headings. It will make it easier for you to begin writing.
4. There is nothing worse than finding yourself in the situation where you are staring at a blank word document a couple of nights out form the assignment due date.
5. You can use dot points and / or tables in some sections to minimise your word count however, make sure everything is done in a professional manner and is easy for the reader to follow.
6. Keep your report neat, clean, and tidy. Make it look good. Style is important here too. You need to make the reader ‘want’ to keep reading your proposal.
7. Make sure you always back up your work on an external USB hard drive.
8. Use the marking criteria provided to ensure you have added everything the markers want into your report. Use it like a check list.
9. Creating a PDF document from your completed WORD document is a good way to lock everything down and make the document impervious to alterations (no-one can alter what you have written and nothing can move around which can sometimes happen when you have a lot of images, tables, and diagrams in a WORD document).
10. For your next assignment - the website project, you will be creating the website specified in this plan.
1220HSL Website Plan Marking Criteria Total Mark _______ / 30%
Student Number: ____________________ Name: ____________________________
Students are required to address ALL aspects of the assignment (see table)
Each assignment aspect will be assessed on its ACCURACY AND QUALITY
Document needs to be more than 1500 words and cannot exceed 2000 words
Introduction and Business Background
Business Goals and Website Goals
Competitor Website Analysis
Target Audience and Forecasted Use Environments
Website Content and Development Tools
Website Content Storyboard
Website Template Designs
Conclusion and References