Backgrounder help


  • The backgrounder memo should be emailed to your TA, the instructor and the lead TA by 5 p.m. on Friday, May 1.
    • Email the draft version by 8 p.m. on Sunday, April 26.
  • 1 page is the limit, no exceptions. You may use single or double spacing, but remember the idea is to keep it tight.
  • You should include your logo and your site name.
  • Use present tense when describing your website (“Our site provides UW students with hard-to-find information about living on campus”)
  • Never refer to your lab. Use team or we.
  • Be succinct.
  • We recommend using section headers — it will help break up the memo and allow you to create some contrast (remember CRAP!).
  • Tip: Word has some nice templates that may help you make this look professional, or you could go fancy and use InDesign to create this.

Backgrounder outline

1. Start with an executive summary style lead. Include the name of your company, the purpose of the project, the target audience and your primary objective in creating the site.

2. Outline the current environment for your topic. Perhaps current businesses are not catering to a particular audience, or perhaps no such venture exists at all. Your goal in this section is to establish that there is space for your idea to succeed. You may reference your survey data, but lean more heavily on the main “takeaways” of your survey rather than the raw numbers.

3. Describe how your idea addresses the gaps or inefficiencies in the current market. What are the main functions of your website? Don’t describe every feature. Justify why you believe your product would engage your target audience.

4. Conclude with a strong statement about what the future holds for your site. Be clear about why this is going to work.


Here are three examples from previous J202 final projects. Please do not completely model your own backgrounder on these examples (i.e. your backgrounder should NOT look exactly like these).

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