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IT6105 BIT UCSC Interim Report Chapters Guidelines Bachelor of information technology university of colombo
IT6105 - INDIVIDUAL PROJECT GUIDELINES by PROJECT EXAMINATION BOARD (PEB)
Ref : http://bit.cmb.ac.lk/sites/default/files/bit_docs/IT6105%20Project%20Guidelines_2016.pdf
This comprises the title of the dissertation, candidate’s name, BIT registration number, index number, the name(s) of the supervisor(s), the date of submission (month and year), and the following statement “This dissertation is submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement of the Degree of Bachelor of Information Technology of the University of Colombo School of Computing”. The title of the dissertation should be clear and should describe the main area of work and will identify the name of the client. Do not include any abbreviations in the title. Refer the sample template for further details
The abstract should help a prospective reader decide whether to read the entire dissertation or not. A good abstract could be written using just a few paragraphs. For example, a four paragraph abstract could contain the following. The problem that you have solved can be given as the first paragraph. The second paragraph can elaborate on the first paragraph for example by giving the scope of your project and functionalities of the developed system. The third paragraph can contain the methodologies, technologies, tools, languages and databases that you used in the design and implementation of the solution and the last paragraph can contain the status of your project like for example whether it achieved the anticipated benefits
Contents identify all sections of the dissertation under the given preface, chapter and appendix headings along with their page numbers. It is recommended that sections are numbered up to three levels e.g., 5.2.1. Chapter 1 begins on page 1. Use roman numerals for all previous pages excepting the title page. That is, the numbering should start with the declaration page with page number ii. The overall structure of dissertation content should show a clear progression of logical thought. Choose self-explanatory section and subsection titles relevant to the topic under consideration. 20 List of Figures All figures in the dissertation should be numbered and named using an appropriate caption. Numbering is done using chapter number and a sequence number (e.g. Figure 3.2 for second figure in Chapter 3). Figures in the appendices are numbered using the Appendix letter (e.g. Figure C.2 for second figure in Appendix C).
List of figures
consists of figure number, captions and page numbers. List can be generated using features of a word processing package. All figures used in the main chapters must be described in text prior to its use and must be referred to using its figure number. For example, in Section 3.5 of this document Figure 3.1 is referred to in text in the paragraph before the figure. List of Tables All tables in the dissertation should be numbered and named using an appropriate caption. Numbering is done using chapter number and a sequence number (e.g. Table 3.2 for second table in Chapter 3). Tables in the appendices are numbered using the Appendix letter (e.g. Table C.2 for second table in Appendix C).
List of tables
consists of table number, captions and page numbers. List can be generated using features of a word processing package. All tables used in the main chapters must be described in text prior to its use and must be referred to using its table number. In section 5.1 of this document Table 5.2 is referred to in text in the paragraph numbered as (18).
List of Acronyms
Provides the meanings of all abbreviations used in the dissertation in alphabetical order. Refer page (ix) for an example.
Chapter 1 – Introduction This is one of the most important components of the report. The motivation for the project should be argued here. Then a brief introduction to the project should be provided indicating its objectives and scope. Finally, a paragraph containing an outline of the remaining chapters (starting with Chapter 2) is recommended.
Chapter 2 – Analysis In this chapter, information on the existing system should be provided through a TopLevel Use Case Diagram. Note: The candidates can incorporate different types of diagrams to describe the processes and functionalities of the existing system. However they should select only the diagrams that are most appropriate to their project. Also they should also be judicious in picking the right amount of detail that the reader- especially the PEB- will appreciate and relegate any detailed diagrams to the appendix B. The candidate should review at least two existing software that are similar to the proposed system. The review must be comprehensive and up-to-date. It may be appropriate to incorporate criticisms of these systems where needed (and to justify the criticisms). This review will also help you identify the ideas from these software that are useful and can be applied to your project and those that are not. Also note that everything used should be cited by reference to the ``References'' section at the end of the dissertation. An analysis of the requirements should also be provided in this chapter. For example, the requirements of the system could be listed. A specification of the number of users, the frequency of use, and the jobs of the users could be provided. Functional requirements covering system functionality expected by the users and non-functional requirements covering reliability, portability, and response and processing times should be addressed with detailed justification. Description of the prerequisites that must be applied for the system to be used (called success factors) should be given. Include a section to the end of the analysis chapter to describe the selected methodology. Here candidate can describe the selected methodology such as Rapid Application Development (RAD), Rational Unified Process (RUP), an Agile Process, etc.
Chapter 3 – Design In this chapter the candidate should consider different competing design strategies (“alternate solutions” as given in dissertation evaluation form –see Table 6.1) for his system. The different strategies may involve the way of development (developing from 22 scratch, using open-source components, etc.,), the development platform (stand-alone personal computer, client-server environment, etc.,), choice of system software (Windows, Linux, etc.). The candidate should compare how the project requirements are satisfied through each alternative as well as the costs involved in each and select with justification a single design strategy for implementation. The design of the proposed system should be another major section of this chapter. The structure of the system should be clear to the reader after reading this chapter. There should be evidence of a methodical approach to the design of the system. In this chapter, the candidate should describe the design of the system referring to different types of diagrams/models; for example, if non-object oriented methodology has been selected then include use case diagrams, use case narratives, activity diagrams, and entity relationship diagrams, and if object oriented methodology has been selected then include use case diagrams and use case narratives, class diagrams, sequence diagrams, etc. Note: Do not forget to refer all figures and tables in text. User interface design is the next major section of this chapter. The candidates should describe the design considerations for designing user interfaces of the system and justify the design decisions that were made. Layouts of relevant interfaces should be included in order to clarify the design decisions taken.
It is very important to acknowledge any of the work of others that the candidate used or adapted in the project, or that provided the essential background or context to the dissertation. Please note that IEEE is the recommended referencing and citation style for your dissertation. The details of these references are provided in References section of the dissertation. You should include any web links too. This is how the referencing should be done. In the main body of text, external work may be referred for example in the following ways:
Example 1: Systems analysis and design techniques are considered essential for developing client/server and web-centric applications [6, 7].
Example 2: Software testing  is an iterative process.
Example 3: “Plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward” .
In the References section, each citation should be listed in the relevant format (Refer to an IEEE referencing and citation style guide). For example, the reference section entries for the above two examples would be;  J.L. Whitten and L.D. Bentley, Systems Analysis and Design Methods, 7th ed. Tata McGraw-Hill, 2007.  UCSC, The Virtual Learning Environment for the BIT Students, 2006. [Online] Available: http://vle.bit.lk , [Accessed: 30 Oct, 2013]
 I. Sommerville, Software Engineering, 8th ed. Addison-Wesley, 2006.
 Plagiarism.org - Best Practices for Ensuring Originality in Written Work, "What is Plagiarism?", 2015. [Online]. Available: http://www.plagiarism.org/plagiarism- 101/what-is-plagiarism/. [Accessed: 29- Dec- 2015].
Please note that every item included in the references should be cited within the text of the dissertation. Use a referencing and citation style guide from IEEE. The candidate may refer to IEEE Editorial Style Manual .
All pages should be numbered including Chapter 1 beginning from page 1. Use roman numerals for pages before that as used in this guidelines document.
Report writing style should be of the passive form. It is considered very bad style in a formal report to make explicit references to what the candidate himself did as in for example “I decided...”. Scientific papers never use the first person in this way. The passive form as in “it was decided...” is strongly preferred. In the dissertation, the first person could be used judiciously in the introduction and conclusions, but the use of “we” is recommended over “I”. The use of first person writing should be avoided everywhere else in the dissertation
The suggested chapter structure for the dissertation is given in section 5.2.2. If needed, the candidate should carefully decide on suitable sections and sub-sections for each chapter. Section and sub-section headings should be short, meaningful, and similar in tone. It is not recommended to keep more than two levels of subsections, unless it is absolutely necessary. Note that when a section of text is subdivided, there should ordinarily be at least two sub-sections (e.g., If there is no Section 1.2, you should never number a section as Section 1.1 as then a reader would look for a non-existent Section 1.2)
Please note that in writing, only the first letter of a proper noun should be capitalized at the middle of a sentence. All the others should be written in lowercase. If you are not sure whether to capitalize or not, use lower-case.
Note also that you should not use shortened word forms in writing. Thus for example, have not should be used instead of haven’t, is not instead of isn’t, do not instead of don’t and so on.
Plagiarism is the presentation of another person’s thoughts or words as though they were candidate’s own. The candidate should avoid this when writing his dissertation. All sentences or passages quoted in report from other people’s work have to be specially acknowledged by clear cross-referencing to author, work and page(s). Direct quotations from published or unpublished work of others should always be clearly identified as such by being placed inside quotation marks, and full reference to their source should be provided in the proper form. Equally, if another person’s ideas or judgements are summarized, the candidate should refer to that person in the main text of the dissertation, and include the work referred to in the references section of the dissertation. Failure to observe these rules may result in an allegation of cheating.
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Sunday, February 28, 2016
The Web Design Process
When a business needs a new website or they want to replace their existing one, they usually pass the project into the hands of a recommended web design and development agency. A sensible move. After all, most companies don’t have the in house expertise to tackle such a complicated project and one where the final result is critical in attracting new leads and generating product sales.
The creation of every website follows a clear web design process. A client who understands the basics of this process will appreciate what happens at each stage, will be clear about when the process can easily change direction and can communicate more knowledgeably with the web agency. Also, the more they know, the more the information provided by the web design team in their updates will make sense and prove more useful.
As such, we’ve created an infographic to display our vision of the web design process. It covers each step from the project brief and understanding the client’s needs to launching the final version and providing maintenance. Read on if you want to understand more about the process, if you want a stress-free relationship with your designers and developers and if you want to achieve a website that matches your needs and expectations.
Why does web development take so long?A new website won’t happen overnight. When a web development company estimates the timeline to create a new website, some clients may be incredulous.
“I just want a few pretty looking pages with nice photos, and some internal clicks here and there. Oh and a ‘Sign Up for our Newsletter’ button, and the ‘Contact Us form’. But they’re easy to do, aren’t they? Surely that won’t take more than a week. Oh – did I mention the custom shopping cart and online payment system I need?”
If you’re hoping to get a new all-singing, all-dancing website, here’s why it may easily take 3 months before your customers will get to see it:
Step 1: Brief
From the web design agency’s point of view, the brief is typically their first contact with the project or even with the client itself. It is also usually the most important step for both parties since everything discussed here will influence the end result. This is why the client must make sure to provide the clearest and most detailed brief possible.
The purpose of the brief is to convey an accurate project definition to the web agency. The client needs to explain their business, their target audience and the goals of the website – is it to wow a young visitor with exciting imagery and modern videos? Or is its function to allow no-nonsense online shopping for an average parent?
With the help of the agency, they need to define technical specifications – should the website be optimized for a certain resolution or browser? What kind of mobile version do they need? Would responsive design suffice?
Also during the brief, the client can present the content and resources that will be available to the agency during the rest of the process. Resources can include fonts, images, while content can include anything from product descriptions to articles, videos and so on.
Based on all this information, the web company can come to a conclusion regarding the project timeline, including any milestones and deadlines, and the estimated budget required to implement all the client’s needs.
We emphasize again that this is a critical step as it forms the foundation on which all the subsequent design and development work is based on. A poor or incomplete brief can lead to an unsatisfactory result, which will in turn lead to further web design costs and delays.
Step 2: Planning
Armed with the information in the brief, the web development company can move on to the planning phase of the project.
During this step, through research and brainstorming sessions, the team will outline the first ideas and concepts for the website that would fit the client’s specifications.
An important part of this is usually the information architecture, which basically defines how the content will be structured throughout the website and how a visitor will access it. This also depends a lot on the brief data – does the client favor the infinite scroll (think Pinterest) or a web design with minimal content below the fold? The agency needs to find the way to smoothly move the visitor through the website to take the desired action – the so-called funnel approach.
Once a hierarchy of page organization is created, the layout of content on each page must be given consideration. Together with mapping out the location and operation of any functionalities – such as the online booking form and the online payment system – will ensure a proper usability for the site’s users.
The web development company must take responsibility for clearly explaining the logic behind the proposed navigation and layout to the client. On the other hand, the client must take responsibility for reviewing the proposed concepts carefully. If communications are weak at this point, the whole web development process will set off down the wrong path. If alterations are required, they can be easily made at this stage, but if they are required further down the line, far more time will be required and costs will increase.
With everything completed in this step, the first wireframes and mock-ups can be created which will further aid the design and development process.
Step 3: Design
This is the step where the website starts to take shape. The web designer will now have all the data needed to start working on the actual look of this project.
Among the first design tasks is choosing a proper color scheme. The color palette is all important because it sends an immediate message to the website visitor – vivid multicolored designs work well for kids’ organizations but financial institutions should opt for more subtle colors if they wish to instill trust in their audience.
The combination of logo and color scheme forms the basis of the company’s visual identity and influence how the visitors perceive the brand. Also, whether images appear in headers, sliders or as backgrounds, the best web designs use carefully chosen artwork imagery to help reinforce the company’s main messages.
Visual elements such as buttons, information boxes and menu boxes need to be designed to complement the tone of voice of the website – from formal, sharp edged boxes with traditional fonts best suited to the mature audience, to urban-style distressed boxes containing funky fonts to appeal to teens.
An increasing popular feature in web designs is the presence of videos and other rich media – the simplest way for a visitor to learn more about the company or its products and services without having to read reams of text. Rich media can also refer to animations, dynamic color-swatches, 3D spin models for products and many other visuals.
Throughout this process, the designer must ensure that the layout offers the best user experience so that the pages are not only easy on the eye but allow the visitor to quickly find what they need. This also extends to cross-device compatibility such as their template proposals can be adapted to suit a variety of devices from smart phones to desk tops.
Finally, a variety of prototype template variations fulfilling the criteria above must be prepared and analyzed together with the client to define the best option to move forward with.
Step 4: Development
This is where we go behind the scenes to provide the actual website “feel”. The web development company now has to develop a website to meet all the requirements identified in the planning phase.
One of the main concerns of the development team is to ensure the website will be built to comply with all relevant accessibility and web standards such as the standards for HTML, CSS, XML and XSL. In Ontario it is also essential that all websites comply with AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) which allows a website to be accessible by everyone.
The alternative is to use a Content Management System (CMS) which is best when little customization is required. A CMS is a more advanced type of framework that offers a user interface. Examples include WordPress, which great for presentation websites, and PrestaShop or Magento for e-commerce businesses.
Whichever the choice, the developer will then focus on configuring the database. This forms the backbone of the website and it is built in line with the content and structure requirements.
The next step is to ensure the website functions properly – making sure all the buttons, sliders, filters, shopping carts etc. work and enable the visitor to move between pages and make online purchases. Following that, the client’s content will then be integrated into the website. This covers services information, category and product titles, descriptions and features, articles, videos and other types of content.
The development team will also constantly keep in mind the site’s performance. Depending on the number of features and their complexity, they can sometimes lead to a negative impact on speed and performance, and thus on potential leads or sales, which has to be mitigated.
Another important factor the development process is security. The website’s private data such as passwords, user information and private content must be made secure. This is done by ensuring the underlying code doesn’t allow any vulnerabilities or weaknesses such as XSS.
One of the final tasks for the developers is to add certain markup to the website’s pages. This usually doesn’t affect the user directly, but it is important for search engine optimization (SEO), such as using schema.org structured data, or for Social Media purposes, such as Facebook link share description and image tags.
Step 5: Launch
The website has entered its final stages of testing, which basically means it’s almost ready to go live. Final tests usually focus on functionality, performance and security, as the web company gets ready to deliver the final product.
Once this has been done, the agency will transfer the project on to the client’s live server, where the website will be accessed by using the client’s domain name.
The launch phase is also where the client has a very important job – to help the web design company in the quality assurance testing of the website and to see what kind of user experience it offers. Often clients ask their staff to use the website and see if they find missing or incorrect content, broken links (links which head nowhere) and to check that online forms end up in the right email inbox.
Once the website is live, the client will usually provide the necessary code snippets used to integrate their web analytics services, such as Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools. In most cases this can be only done on the live server in order to associate the services with the domain and make the necessary check-ups.
With everything up and running, the web design company will provide the client with all the deliverables agreed at the beginning of the project. This usually refers to source code files for the website, the logo and other materials used in the planning, design and development stages.
Depending on the complexity of the project, the client will also receive training and documentation for properly using certain features of the site, such as an admin panel, customer management, and so forth.
Step 6: Maintenance
The last step of the web design process is not one familiar to everyone. Unfortunately, a lot of clients believe that launching the website should end the collaboration with their web agency. The truth is, if you are truly invested in your online presence, then the web design process is never over.
So what happens in the maintenance phase? First and foremost, the web agency will provide support and troubleshoot any issue that you or any of your users encounter during their visits in order to maintain a happy audience.
The technical support also extends to periodic performance and security tests, updates or add-on installations, in the case of CMSes.
Second, while the website is indeed live and perhaps it even exceeded all your expectations, that doesn’t mean there’s no more room for optimizations. This is even more true as time passes and new trends emerge. The agency will usually use A/B testing to determine what changes best influence metrics such as click-through rates and conversions in order to maximize your website’s value.
And who can implement the resulting modifications or any other updates, whether they are related to design, functionality or just content, other than the team that put your site together in the first place? Using a different agency to modify your website most frequently results in higher costs and longer implementation times, even for very small changes.
ConclusionAfter reading this article, if any client remains incredulous as to why web design and development is no overnight job, we will eat our hats!
It is clear that the numerous steps in the web design process all take time when done properly, though strong client-agency communication often helps to reduce it.
Hopefully this short overview will enable you to better understand the process. And armed with this information, not only will they understand the web design process, but they will be better equipped to communicate with and to assist the design and development team to create a website that both parties are truly proud of.