Building & Managing Web Sites with Microsoft
|The "Swansong School of Ballet" Web Site
The purpose of this project is to implement a web site for the "Swansong School of Ballet".
The site will serve as a central point where prospective students, existing students, and instructors can come to get information about the school, its classes, class schedules, and various program information. The site will include two handbooks, one for students and another for instructors, which will be available both an easy-to-browse HTML format and a downloadable PDF and/or MS Word document. Students will be able to get lesson information, visit dance tutorials, get information on other Ballet sites and view information about dance opportunities. Lastly, the school sells dance supplies and would like to have a catalog and ordering page.
The school is part of a larger union of cooperating schools and will host its pages on the union web server. The school has applied to InterNic and received the DNS entry of www.SwansongBallet.com and has been assigned the IP address of 220.127.116.11 from the union web administrator.
The content of the site will be maintained by the school staff once the web designers have set up and designed the site. Although the school members are interested and enthusiastic, the site needs to be easy for them to maintain as the the budget does not allow for continuous use of paid professionals. (See the budget section below).
II. Analysis, Schedule, and Requirements
A. Analysis Section.
The matrix below identifies the various clients types to the site (down) and the information they will probably want to access (across). This matrix will be used to ensure the needs of all client types are addressed. The numbers in the cells represent the most likely visited page (1) to least likely (9). Cells marked with a (1) receive the most focus early in the project, with lower number cells implemented later if time, money, or resources run short.
Based on this analysis, the following prioritized project goals have been set by the school administration:
Look and feel of the site:
The school has expressed strong opinions about the overall look of the site. The use of the color PINK is expressly forbidden. (The school dance uniforms are black and white). In addition, graphics selected for the site must be approved by the school. The school is looking to express its primary focus on modern ballet, devoid of the traditional trapping of tutus and other typical symbols of the established ballet infrastructure. The school focuses on both the best of modern dance as well as the strong influences of African and Caribbean dance forms in addition to the traditional ballet.
Thus, the overall look of the site should follow the schools black and white motif, with the use of bright colors where appropriate to emphasize particular parts of the site. Specifically, the school wishes to emulate the color codes used currently in the school for different parts of the instructional process (As detailed in the instructor's handbook, section 7).
Time permitting, the newsletter pages and school information pages can have photos of the students and staff in various dance presentation and instructional settings.
Navigation and Page Design Specifics:
The school has studied various navigation schemes and has settled on a simple bar across the top of each page (white letter on black, small school log in the upper left hand corner), containing the links to the home page, class schedule, search page and a pulldown box containing all of the major site sections. The page title will appear below this navigation bar, and the rest of the content will follow. This page header will be attached to the pages with a server-side include.
In addition, they have requested a standard footer with the name of the school, a copyright, a modification date and contact person URL. This footer will be made part of the standard page template but will be customized for every page.
Not wishing to exclude any visitor, they have asked that all content be conformant to the HTML 3.2 standard. At this time they do not want any client-side dynamic content. Future extensions to the site may include a RealMedia page with clips from recitals.
Organization of Pages:
Each of the major sections will reside in their own child web, thus controlling access to each web section. For example the handbooks should only be editable by a select few. Implementation details for each section (A-I) are listed below.
A. Class Information
Classes are broken into types of dance offered. Each type of dance has a group of classes dedicated to it--each of these groups is called a 'Set' and will have its own folder. The main page for class information will discuss (briefly) each style or level of dance. Each set will have its own "home page" that discusses in detail the dance style and lists pages for each specific class. (Classes are numbered by SET+Level+Sequence number, thus African dance class for level 2 (intermediate) students, about South African Dance forms (class # 31) would be AfricanInt031. Each page will have a hyper link to the class schedules below for that specific type of dance.
B. Class Schedules
The class schedules are organized by set and level (as above) each receiving a folder (set). Each set page will contain all 4 of the level schedules (1-beginner, 2-intermediate, 3-advanced, 4-master). In each, the schedule for the current, next and previous months will be put. The current month will be the default. The next month being composed (schedule proposed but not set yet), and previous months for past reference by staff. In order to minimize confusion and make the schedules easy to maintain, the developers will make the index page for the class schedules point to the page 'index.htm' in each level. Every month that index page is renamed to a YYYYMM.htm format and the proposed page will be renamed to the index page. A new empty calendar page will be created. Class schedules should be easily modified by any of the instructors.
C. School Information
This set of pages is relatively static. A picture of the school's location will be presented along with a summary of the school's philosophy and history. Links will be provided for each of the administrators and staff--each of these pages will use a standard template page to outline their backgrounds and interests, and will include a link back to the main school information page. The staff page links will be used by the class schedule pages above to allow students contemplating several sections of a dance class to learn about the dance instructors teaching the classes. These pages will be named for the first initial and last name of each staff member. If there is a name conflict, the new page will be named using some additional identifier (such as middle initial). An query form will be provided to allow students to apply to the school. In addition, email feedback and various specials and promotions will need to be supported. Currently, the plan is to use the FrontPage form wizard to capture the requests to a file which business office staff will process (on the week days) and respond to the applicant personally.
The tutorial pages will be provided by the 'American Ballet and Dance Academy'. All of the lessons are already indexed and each lesson is in Adobe Acrobat format. The school will maintain a directed curriculum home page and replace older tutorials with new ones as they become available.
E. Dance Supplies
At this time, the school does not plan to implement commerce capability. However, they do want to have a page or pages about the ballet supplies that are available through the school and the prices. Students or faculty can order supplies by e-mail or phone. Non-students can order by phone. At some point in the future, if school staff are spending lots of time in the ordering process, an alternative solution will be explored.
A page of interesting links will be provided. Staff and students will be able to propose additional links to the coordinator (currently one of the instructors Ms. Thayer), who will post them to the page if appropriate.
G. Dance Opportunities
The school fully supports its dancers. To this end the school's dance master first assistant (Mme. Chevrioux) will collect and post paid and unpaid dance opportunities. Each will be created in its own page using a template provided by the web designers. Current positions will be added to the index page and outdated ones removed at least bi-weekly by the coordinator. The school has asked that if possible this page be restricted to only the students and instructors of the school.
H. School Newsletter
Currently, the school has a monthly newsletter it mails to all of the staff and students. The school would like to discontinue the paper newsletter in favor of an e-mail bulletin directing interested parties to the web site. The union has a listserver and automated listserver signup web page that can be made to serve this purpose. This part of the site will be constructed as a magazine site. Back issues will be available through an archive page. The main home page should summarize the newsletter content and provide links to "articles" within the current issues. The paper newsletter currently average 20 pages in length (some of this is class schedules covered in B above) and the rest in announcements and articles by the instructors in dance, career management, dance reviews and other dance related topics. The staff has additional content they wish to contribute but has been hampered by the cost of producing and distributing a paper newsletter. The newsletter carries ads for products and services related to dance and these ads will need to be part of the newsletter pages. (The ad revenue pays for programs and scholarships in the school and helps keep tuition as low as possible.)
A simple home page with the table of contents for both the instructors and students manual and a link to allow visitors to download the manuals in MS Word format.
Site Engineering Specifics.
As indicated in the introduction, the site will be hosted on the union web server. The IT staff of the union will keep the server running, performing a complete daily backup and work with the T1 provider to manage and anticipate security issues. The union has a well-designed computer center will facilities for power and thermal protection. Over the last 14 months, they have an average up-time of 95% or better.
The following project schedule has been set and agreed to by the school administrators.
C. Requirements Description and Matrix
The phases are as detailed above. The core team are the web designers and each of the participants responsible for maintaining the child webs A-I (as above). The goal column refers to the prioritized goals in section 1A above. A 'yes' in deferrable mean that if time or money is short those features can be deferred to a future set of phases.
III. Roles and responsibilities (who and when)
In this section the general roles and responsibilities are outlined. The purpose is for all parties (developers, school and the union) to each know what is generally expected.
IV. List of deliverables (what and when)
Description of each deliverable, and a matrix of delivery dates
V. Risks and assumptions
The major risk is that the school will exceed its planned budget for site development. In order to obviate this occurrence, the majority of the architecture and training are early on the the project. Hopefully, if the project runs low on funds, the developers will have passed on enough knowledge for the school staff to carry on alone.
Another possible risk factor is the availability of school staff to perform their tasks. The school administration has committed to making people available in support of this effort.
VI. Budget, Facilities and Resources
The project has a total start up budget of $10,000 dollars allocated as follows:
The development team will consist of the two authors of the write up. The school will supply instructors as needed.
Overall, the project should be successful. First the school has the availability of the highly skilled IT team members at the union which is hosting its site. Second, the school administration is committed to this initiative. Third, the site will be well-planned following established formulas based upon the experience of the web designers developing similar sites in the past.
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