Well, for this assignment we had a choice of ten-or-so categories of online store to choose from and then build an example. I, naturally, didn't make my choice based on any examination of difference in technical difficulty, I made my choice based on which I thought I could make the prettiest design for.
I spent rather a long time creating imagery for the store and not quite as much time on the development or the essay that needed to go along with it.
This was a meaty assignment for students only in their second year. A fully working online store which could take card payments, linked of course to a database which we needed to design the structure of and populate with content. I'm not sure how long we had now, but it wasn't very long on top of our other work. I don't ever look at this site because I know it's only half finished and I don't want to re-live the stress that went into it.
I realised too late that I'd really shot myself in the foot choosing a fashion website. My coursemates had mostly gone for simpler items, a site selling fruit for example. Their database structure, therefore, was considerably less complicated than mine. An apple is an apple, wheras a top needs to come in ten different sizes. If I recall correctly, I think my solution to this was to force everybody to buy a size 8. Didn't matter what you chose, you were getting a size 8.