Course Technology has hired SKDesigns to build and maintain more than twenty Web sites and CD-ROMs, a variety of graphics, consulting work, editing, and authoring on an ongoing basis since 1997. Each of the Online Companion Web sites incorporates the unique look and feel of its textbook, providing supplementary online materials for both students and faculty.
SKDesigns worked closely with Course Technology to develop the overall information architecture, site design and development, and other details to best suit the needs of each unique site and its visitors.
Typical features include:
- The designs are intentionally simple with judicious use of graphics to maintain a fast access to each page.
- Each of the standards-based Web sites is built for maximum accessibility, usability, user-friendliness, and validates to W3C's recommendations upon delivery.
- They each also provide user friendly navigation, optimized graphics and overall design for fast downloads.
Several examples are shown below.
New Perspectives on Creating Web Pages with HTML, XML, and Dynamic HTML, 2nd Edition Online Companions and CD-ROMs Project was completed Spring 2003. Like the New Perspectives on the Internet series below, this project was built in phases over several months to correspond with their publishing schedule for this series.
Earlier editions in the series on HTML and DHTML have been some of Course Technology's most popular and successful textbooks, and SKDesigns also designed and developed the Web sites and CD-ROMs for the 1st Edition, in addition to writing one of the chapters for the HTML and DHTML 1st Edition textbook.
As usual, Shirley worked closely with Course Technology to provide suggestions, to design and develop each Web site and CD-ROM for this project, to meet each publishing deadline on time or ahead of schedule, and to coordinate and work out all the intricate details.
Included was an initial Web site that Shirley revised and expanded as each phase was published in the series, such as the sections on XML and Dynamic HTML. CD-ROM companions were also developed for each phase and are included with each textbook.
The New Perspectives on the Internet, 3rd Edition, Student Online Companion Web site for Course Technology was built in phases to correspond with their publishing schedule for this series.
Shirley worked closely with Course Technology to develop a new approach to this 3rd edition site to improve user friendliness and site navigation, resulting in better cost effectiveness and easier maintenance for Course Technology.
They liked the new navigation approach so much that they will be using it as a model for all upcoming online companion sites. From their note:
At the kickoff meeting for that project last week, our online group recommended that we try to follow a standard template across student online companions and they want to base our template on your design for the Internet 3e site.
Everybody loved it so much between the clean navigation and especially the color codes of which tutorials fit in where (brief, intro, comprehensive). So, I wanted to share that exciting news with you - it's going to make a lot of people's lives easier, and I'm thrilled that they are basing it on your work.
Course Technology, New Perspectives Team
In addition to downloadable crossword puzzles as part of the site's special features, behind-the-scenes features include the latest XHTML and CSS to help ensure forward cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility while remaining backward compatible, too.
The Microsoft Office XP Student Online Companion Web site for Course Technology was built in three phases to correspond with their publishing schedule for this series.
Based on the design approach by SKDesigns for Creating Web Pages With HTML shown below but customized for the look and feel of the new Office XP textbooks, this new series provides numerous online tutorials and supplementary information for students, a Buyer's Guide (PDF), and a current news ticker. In addition to more tutorials, downloadable Powerpoint Presentations were added to the recently completed final phase.
The Microsoft Office 2000 Professional Student Online Companion Web site was a redesign project that also needed an entirely new site structure and navigation.
The previous navigation was confusing and unwieldy, so SKDesigns created an entirely new site architecture and navigation in conjunction with the redesign. The navigation is now clear, logical, and easy to use regardless of which Office program the visitor may be working on.
Here are some comments from the client when the project was completed:
Everybody on the team and in our online group is impressed with the design -- it really does look very streamlined and crisp! I have already gotten several compliments and wanted to let you know how much your hard work and attention to detail on projects makes an impression around here!
Course Technology, New Perspectives Team
Creating Web Pages With HTML by Patrick Carey, Carey Associates, Inc. SKDesigns was hired for an 8 month project to design and build 8 Web sites and 4 CD-ROMs for this popular college textbook/CD-ROM series published by Course Technology.
The Brief, Introductory, Comprehensive and HTML & DHTML Student Online Companions have more extensive corresponding Faculty Online Companions with many teaching aids. (The Faculty Online Companions are available by password only.) The CD-ROMs are sold with the textbooks and Faculty teaching aids.
The Electronic Commerce, Second Edition, Online Companion Web site supplements the 2nd edition of the popular textbook by Gary P. Schneider and James T. Perry, both of University of San Diego.
The authors once again asked Course Technology for SKDesigns to build their Web site — SKDesigns' Shirley Kaiser previously created the Online Companion Web site for the 1st edition of this book, Electronic Commerce, Online Companion.
The design approach for the 2nd edition once again was for clean, simple lines, easy navigation, and quick loading pages. The site also takes advantages of newer browser features while still looking consistent in older browsers.
Course Technology liked our design so much for the Electronic Commerce, Second Edition site above that they asked for a similar approach for the Creating a Winning E-Business Online Companion as well. While the design concept is similar, the colors and graphics are changed to match the look and feel of this particular textbook.
More Projects for Course Technology
A few other Online Companion Web sites created for Course Technology are also still online:
- Electronic Commerce, 3rd Annual Edition, by Gary P. Schneider, Online Companion
- Management Information Systems, 2nd Edition, by Effy Oz, Online Companion
- New Perspectives on E-Commerce, by James T. Perry and Gary P. Schneider, Online Companion
- New Perspectives on Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, by Joan Carey, Barbara Burns, Student Online Companion