Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

In the creative, commercial industries and public institutions, web design skills are essential to establishing and communicating a public profile for individual practitioners and organisations. Good web design creates meaningful and relevant contributions to all aspects of contemporary life. For web design to make an impact it must be innovative, appealing, accessible to everyone, and most importantly, intuitive to use. This unit focuses on graphic design in the online environment of web browsers where the individual user's interactive experience is central to the design process.

In this unit students will plan, develop and produce a website project for online publication. Assessment tasks will guide students through the design process steps to conduct appropriate research, planning and experimentation to produce a website proposal, to further develop proposals concepts and resolve design issues using feedback. Students will then engage in reflection to create a prototype, and finally to organise and implement the design choices into a functioning published website and communicate design strategies via written and verbal means.

The aim of this unit is to gain an understanding of current website structures and protocols. Students will learn about current design trends and develop technical capabilities with a variety of industry design software options to produce a functioning website.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Explain the design process steps in the planning and production of an interactive website outcome (GA5, GA7)

LO2 - Evaluate and justify website design approach, purpose, context and message in written, verbal and visual forms (GA2, GA4, GA5, GA9)

LO3 - Create a designed website outcome that meets the standards of good design through the application of appropriate design principles and elements (GA5, GA7, GA10)

Graduate attributes

GA2 - Recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively

GA5 - Demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession

GA7 - Work both autonomously and collaboratively

GA9 - Demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media

GA10 - Utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively


Topics may include:

  • Analysis of current website styles, structures and design components.
  • Introduction to new and emerging web design software including css, html and online platforms.
  • Visual research methodologies and expanding knowledge of historical and contemporary contexts.
  • Understanding the graphic design issues within an interactive/ web environment.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit uses an experiential learning approach. Students will learn about designing for the web though the learning activities, group critiques and assessments. This will provide them with the foundation to apply web design principles to the creation of their own website.

Students undertake this unit in workshop classes that consist of a) an explication of the requirements and practices associated with graphic design projects, b) discussion and reflection on the standards of projects in the Australian creative industries and c) work designed to further the needs of students’ own projects.

The learning and teaching strategy and rationale for this unit is to create experiences through the assessment items that enable engagement with the graduate attributes addressing written and oral analysis and visual communication and presentation. Participation in class critique and discussion allows students to test and express values, knowledge, skills to think critically and reflectively and develop design thinking strategies.

Assessment strategy and rationale

This unit allows students to develop their expertise in the graphic design discipline. It provides opportunities to demonstrate skills and knowledge of the practices, materials, technologies and techniques in design practice. Students will be expected to work independently and will have the opportunity to show creativity throughout the process of developing a project brief.

The assessment strategy used allows students to progressively develop their knowledge and skills to the level of sophistication where they are able to produce their own designs for print and digital media. In order to develop this level of design capability, students first understand the design process through design briefs that further develop their understanding of graphic design concepts, techniques and software. The assessments are designed to address the learning outcomes relevant to graphic design in addition to instructional exercises in class to acquire technical design skills. This approach is designed to appeal to students with a preference for learning within a physical social environment and allows for essential skill development with expert support.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Website design proposal: to allow students to understand the design process in establishing a website’s purpose and design concept.


LO1, LO2

GA2, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9

Website design prototype and presentation: to allow students to create and test design concepts and evaluate design solutions as fit for purpose.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA2, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9, GA10

Published website outcome and written evaluation: to allow students to demonstrate design skills by producing a functioning website ready for publication.


LO2, LO3

GA2, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Aizpurua, A., Harper, S., & Vigo, M. (2016). Exploring the relationship between web accessibility and user experience. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 91, 13–23.

Alexander, B. (2017). The new digital storytelling: Creating narratives with new media. (Revised and updated edition.). ABC-CLIO, LLC.

Allanwood, G., & Beare, P. (2014). User experience design: Creating designs users really love. Fairchild Books.

Chisholm, W., Vanderheiden, G., & Jacobs, I. (1999). Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 WC3 World Wide Web Consortium

Coupland, D. (2016). Tentacular: Douglas Coupland on Helvetica, clip art and the gangly beast that is the internet.

Cyr, D. K., Gurprit S., & Dash, S. (2008). Web site design, trust, satisfaction and e-loyalty: The Indian experience. Online Information Review, 32(6), 773–790.

Graham, T., & Henman, P. (2019). Affording choice: How website designs create and constrain 'choice' Information, Communication & Society, 22(13), 2007–2023.

Lamberz, J., Litfin, T., Teckert, Ö., & Meeh-Bunse, G. (2018). Still Searching or Have You Found It Already? – Usability and Web Design of an Educational Website. Business Systems Research, 9(1), 19–30.

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