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Castle Fictoria: Web design exercise

Photo of a castle

Keen to learn website design, but struggling to think of what to put in your first website? Here's the solution.

I've created a brochure for a fictional hotel called Castle Fictoria. It provides plenty of material (including pictures) for a website of about five pages. You're welcome to use the materials here to experiment with website design or to kick-start your design portfolio.

The manager of Castle Fictoria says...

Dear Website Designer

Thank you for taking on the design of our website. I thought I'd take this opportunity to fill you in on how we see things working.

The website is being built to attract new customers to the Castle Fictoria Hotel.

The company isn't interested in online bookings at this stage: we just want to see how much response we get by phone and fax so we need to have the contact numbers displayed prominently on each page.

The website:

  • Must download as quickly as possible
  • Be easy to read
  • Be easy to navigate
  • Look clear and attractive

We look forward to working with you!

signature: Sean

Sean McManus, manager Castle Fictoria

Some hints and tips

  • You'll probably need to resize the images. You can use the free program Irfanview to do this. Go to Options/Resample Image.
  • Add links between the different sections where appropriate. For example, after the bit about what each room has in it, you might add a link saying 'For room prices, click here'.
  • Don't be afraid to split up the text into logical sections. Avoid having pages that are very long and that have lots of different unrelated pieces of information on them.
  • Make sure the page prints okay.
  • With everything you do on the site, put the user first. Work on making it as easy as possible for a visitor to work out how to use the site and how to find what they need.

The rules

All this material is protected by copyright, but you're allowed to use it in building a website provided that:

  • You include the credits used in the brochure with any photos you use and turn them into links to the photographers' websites.
  • You include a prominent notice on your site to the effect that this is a website design exercise and the place you're promoting doesn't exist.
  • You don't redistribute the brochure or other supporting material except as necessary to create your own Castle Fictoria website.
  • You include this link text clearly on your homepage for Castle Fictoria:

    <A HREF="https://www.sean.co.uk/a/webdesign/fictoria.shtm">Castle Fictoria website design exercise by Sean McManus</A>

Educational use

I'm happy for this content to be used in schools, colleges and training courses, provided that:

  • Teachers ensure all students follow the above rules
  • This material is not charged-for
  • This material is not combined with any other material in any print publication (including hand-outs)

Please contact me if you'd like to use this project for a group you're working with and it falls outside these guidelines.

Download the brochure and pictures

Show me your work!

Contact me if you put your site on the web and perhaps I can link to it from here.

This project was Internet Magazine's Site of the Week on launch.

Photo credit: "Castle Fictoria" by Anthony McCune


© Sean McManus. All rights reserved.

Visit www.sean.co.uk for free chapters from Sean's coding books (including Mission Python, Scratch Programming in Easy Steps and Coder Academy) and more!

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