You are required to create the front end of a comprehensive but simple online e-commerce store for a
small business to expand business customer base. Your store should have at least 10 items within at least four categories to sell. Visitors of the site can view a catalogue of the items, place an order online and transact the purchase at the check out point (it is not mandatory for these aspects of the site to work but the necessary objects must be in place). Online payment facilities need not be available, although information about this aspect should be available on the site.
Your e-commerce site should also contain other basic elements of an online business – information
dissemination, marketing and promotion, information about your company (corporate objectives, mission
statement, organisation structure etc.), contact details etc. The site should be able to convey trust and
encourage customer loyalty by means of, for example, customer support/help, security and privacy and
You do not need to include all of the above functions but you should make a decision, with appropriate
justification, as to how many functions you want to incorporate into your website. While you do not have
to build the back-end programs for these functions, the front-end of your website should clearly show
which functions have been included. In your system design, you should provide a clear specification of
how the back-end of each of these functions could be implemented and how they interface with the frontend
(what data/parameters are passed between them).
You should pay particular attention to the design, layout and ease of use of the web pages. Use of graphics
or audio files can enhance the appeal of your website. However, there is a trade-off between loading time
and the file sizes. Visitors may be turned away by long loading time. You should also consider judicial
issues in your design.
You should carefully plan the hyperlink structure of the website. All links should be logical and intuitive,
serving useful purposes. External links, where appropriate, are also allowed.
Programming is not assessed.
N.B. Your design should be completed before development of the ecommerce site begins.
Before development of site, you need to hand-in your design work, including:
• a short description of your (hypothetical) shop
• initial proposal, including objectives and marketing strategy
• a concept map showing how you have brainstormed all the essential elements that should be
included in your site
• a proposed website hyperlink structure chart showing the website structure
• storyboards showing an overview of the layout, positioning and type of content on each web-page.
If your site will eventually run as a dynamic site then the functions of both the front-end and the backend
processes (if applicable) should be designed. (While you do not have to create the software to do the
back-end processing, you must clearly show how these back-end processes may be built.) You may also
use the following tools for this part of design:
• scope analysis
• audience analysis
• competitive products analysis
• environment analysis (if applicable)
• system analysis
• E-R diagram (if applicable)
• use case diagram
• flowchart/pseudocode (if applicable)
• structure chart.
During the design process and after the development process, use your own list of ‘success factors’ to
rate your own e-commerce site. No report is necessary, but the process will highlight omissions and
weaknesses and therefore, when corrected, may score higher marks.
Correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation should be used to enhance the site, and will aid in the receipt
of a higher mark.
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