gowing up online

Student Handout

Compete with MySpace!: Design a New Site

When using any Web site, we often forget to consider who designed the site, how they designed it, and if they did so in a way that best suits our needs. For instance, think about all of the components of MySpace and what it has to offer people who use it. What sorts of things does it include? What does it allow users to do? If you were to redesign MySpace, what would you include, take away or change? How would you make it different or better? This assignment will let you explore how the choices made by the Web designers affect how people use a site.

In this assignment, you play the role of Web designer. You work for a company that plans to launch a new social networking Web site that will compete with MySpace. You must design a new site that is different from MySpace but that targets the same audience.

Step I. Brainstorm
Based on what you know about MySpace, brainstorm ideas for this new Web site. Questions to consider:

Step II: Design Layout
Neatly draw the elements for the new site page on a large sheet of paper, on a whiteboard or chalkboard (so you can easily erase). What is the basic concept and look of the home page? Toolbars? Login? Color schemes? Space for advertising?

If you are taking a class in graphic design, Web design or media production, you can complete this step using application software tools.

Step III: Pitch the Design
As a team, you will pitch your idea to the media executive (your teacher). Share your design concept, and explain the different parts of your site. Be persuasive about how this site is different from and better than other social networking sites. Everyone in the group must play a role in this presentation. The media executive is a very busy person -- you only have three minutes for your pitch. Be concise! The executive might ask you questions. Be ready to think on your feet and respond.