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California Institute of the Arts

Web Design: Strategy and Information Architecture

California Institute of the Arts via Coursera


This course is focused on the early user experience (UX) challenges of research, planning, setting goals, understanding the user, structuring content, and developing interactive sequences. While the concepts covered will translate to many kinds of interactive media (apps, digital kiosks, games), our primary focus will be on designing contemporary, responsive websites. In this course you will complete the first half of a large scale project—developing a comprehensive plan for a complex website—by defining the strategy and scope of the site, as well as developing its information architecture and overall structure. Along the way we will also discuss:

- Different job descriptions in the web design industry and where UX and UI skills fall within this spectrum
- The difference between native apps and websites
- The difference of agile vs. waterfall approaches
- User personas and site personas
- User testing

The work and knowledge in this course continues in the last course in the UI/UX Design Specialization, Web Design: Wireframes to Prototypes, where you will tackle—finally—wireframes, visual mockups, and clickable prototypes.
This is the third course in the UI/UX Design Specialization, which brings a design-centric approach to user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design, and offers practical, skill-based instruction centered around a visual communications perspective, rather than on one focused on marketing or programming alone.

These courses are ideal for anyone with some experience in graphic or visual design and who would like to build their skill set in UI or UX for app and web design. It would also be ideal for anyone with experience in front- or back-end web development or human-computer interaction and want to sharpen their visual design and analysis skills for UI or UX.


  • Course Overview
    • Welcome! In this first module I will summarize the assignments and expectations of this course.
  • The User Experience Process
    • This week I will give you a brief overview of the user experience process that I will teach in this course sequence. We will begin by defining the term "user experience", and then briefly look at the five phases of UX design: Strategy, Outline of Scope, Sitemap, Wireframes, and Visual Mockups. I will also talk about the differences between mobile apps and websites, and the differences between waterfall and agile approaches to UX design. Lastly, I will introduce you to the main project that you will be working on in this course and the one that follows it. You’ll be starting your first assignment at the end of the week. Last, here's something to keep in mind this week: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”—Steve Jobs
  • Asking Good Questions: Determining Strategy
    • This week is all about strategy. We will talk about how to conduct research in the beginning of a project. And I will tell you about the importance of defining a target audience for your website. We’ll also discuss how to determine user needs and client needs. The strategy that you develop in this first step in the UX process will influence all decisions you make further down the line. That’s why it’s so important to take the time and think about what you want to accomplish, what the goals are, and how they might be measured when the project launches.
  • What is in and What is Out: Outlining Scope

    • By now you should have a pretty clear idea what your projects will be about and who your target audience is. This week we will talk about how to take the user and client needs that you have established and create a set of content and functionality requirements from them. In other words, you’re transforming your overarching goals from last week into specific requirements for your site.
  • Getting your Ducks in a Row: The Sitemap
    • Welcome to the last week of this course. With your outline of scope in hand, you will now learn how to transform the content and functionality requirements determined last week into a navigable structure. This structure will be visualized by something called a sitemap. I’ll tell you all about sitemaps and how to create them. Along the way we will also define the term "information architecture". And I will introduce a tool called TreeJack, which will enable you to test your site map on actual users.

Taught by

Roman Jaster


5.0 rating, based on 2 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at Coursera based on 1182 ratings

Start your review of Web Design: Strategy and Information Architecture

  • Arkan T
    The first three weeks consists of getting your user & client requirements right, as dictated by a target audience brief that you created yourself. Then the information architecture part kicks in and that's where you make, test, and revise your sitemap. Highly valuable for people who want to learn web design.
  • I think great . It will have teaching the lesson with example. I thought I will focus deeply as much as i can. Thank you for your website . Even I must learn, I can't over the lesson . Thank again and again

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