Information Technology

Unit 2 CS, Unit 28 WP, Unit 2 TS, Unit 22 DCG, Unit 4 Impact of IT, Events


Criteria reference To achieve the criteria the evidence must show that
the student is able to:
P1 Outline the web architecture and components which enable internet and web functionality.
P2 Explain the client-side and server-side factors that influence the performance of a website.
P3 Explain the security risks and protection mechanisms involved in website performance.
P4 Using appropriate design tools, design an interactive website to meet a client need.
P5 Create an interactive website to meet a client need.
M1 Explain the role of web architecture in website communications.
M2 Explain the tools and techniques used in the creation of an interactive website.
M3 Improve the effectiveness of a website on the basis of a client review.
D1 Explain the role of TCP/IP protocol and how it links to application layer protocols.
D2 Discuss the techniques that can be used on web pages to aid user access to information.
D3 Demonstrate that a created website meets the defined requirements and achieves the desired purpose.

Aim and purpose

The aim of this unit is to enable a learner to understand web architecture and the factors that affect its performance and to be able to design and create interactive websites.

Unit introduction

The number of websites on the worldwide web has increased dramatically and competition is very high. This means that designers must use increasingly sophisticated techniques to capture interest, as well as ensuring that an appropriate company image is presented. Usability issues, such as navigation methods, must be considered carefully. A poorly-designed structure could result in users becoming confused or frustrated and navigating away from the website.
The need for good web designers and developers continues to grow as more and more companies realise they must develop a web presence and keep it maintained and updated. This unit starts by exploring web architecture and the factors that influence website performance. Learners investigate the web development process from identification of need, design, build, and test through to review.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit a learner should:
1 Understand web architecture and components
2 Understand the factors that influence website performance
3 Be able to design websites
4 Be able to create websites

Unit content

1 Understand web architecture and components
Web architecture: Internet Service Providers (ISP); web hosting services; domain structure; domain name registrars; worldwide web
Components: hardware eg web, mail and proxy servers; routers; software eg browser, email; Protocols:
transport and addressing eg TCP/IP; application layer eg HTTP, HTTPS, SMTP
Web functionality: Web 2.0; blogs; online applications; cloud computing

2 Understand the factors that influence website performance
User side factors: download speed; PC performance factors eg browser, cache memory, processor speed
Server side factors: web server capacity eg available bandwidth, executions to be performed before page load, number of hits; file types eg bitmap, vector, jpg, gif, wav, mp3; avi, swf
Security: risks eg hacking, viruses, identity theft
Security protection mechanisms: firewalls; Secure Socket Layers (SSL); adherence to standards eg strong passwords

3 Be able to design websites
Identification of need: nature of interactivity eg online transactions, static versus dynamic; client needs and user needs eg image, level of security, development timescales, support, maintenance contracts, costs, visibility on search engines; end user need eg appropriateness of graphics, complexity of site, delivery of content
Design tools: concept designing eg mood boards, storyboarding; layout techniques eg frames, tables, block level containers (DIV), inline containers (SPAN); templates; colour schemes; screen designs; other eg outline of content
Software: markup languages eg HTML; client side scripting languages eg JavaScript, VBScript; features and advantages of software languages; software development environments

4 Be able to create websites
Structure: layout of pages; navigation; format of content and cascading style sheets (CSS); interactive features eg catalogue of products, shopping cart; images; animation
Content: proofed, correct and appropriate; information source; structured for purpose eg prose, bullets, tables
Tools and techniques: navigation diagram eg linear, hierarchy, matrix; building interactivity tools eg pseudo- code for client-server scripting; animation; audio/visual elements; ensuring compliance with W3C; meta- tagging; cascading style sheets
Review: functionality testing eg user environments, links, navigation; content; check against user requirements; user acceptance; audit trail of changes

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