ARTM2210 Intro to Web Design


This course will cover the fundamentals of creating graphically-oriented Web sites. We will expand upon knowledge gained in Digital Imaging and Layout (ARTM2020) to understand image optimization. Through lectures, demonstrations, and studio problems, we will also learn the basic syntax of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and explore the constraints and capabilities of various Internet browsers.


The student will (1) develop a website that includes multiple pages, hyperlinks, text, and images; (2) demonstrate introductory-level ability to use: design techniques, raster and vector image editing software, HTML, CSS;, and industry-standard web development applications; and (3) think critically about design aesthetics, site functionality, file management, and software integration techniques that solve design and production problems.

Skills to be mastered:

(1) Site design and development

  • Register an Internet domain and evaluate web-hosting services
  • Upload website-related files using FTP
  • Manage source and site files

(2) Editing and coding techniques

  • Hand code functional web pages using the basic syntax of HTML and CSS
  • Create hyperlinks and rollovers to navigate within, between, and beyond web pages
  • Edit vector and raster graphics for optimal image quality and download speed
  • Use industry-standard web development software applications, including Text Wrangler, Dreamweaver, and Fireworks

(3) Critical thinking, problem solving, and aesthetics

  • Raise technical, procedural and philosophical questions that lead to improvements in efficiency, impact and propriety of web sites and web development
  • Identify and troubleshoot coding, optimization, file management, registration, hosting, and browser problems
  • Articulate and apply basic principles of design in developing and evaluating websites
  • Give and receive criticism that improves the function of a website and that respects the dignity of clients and colleagues

Required Materials

  • Sketchbook
  • Thumbdrive

Required Readings

  • Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 3rd Edition by Steve Krug
  • Additional Readings will be posted to the class blog over the course of the semester

Suggested Reading

  • HTML & XHTML the Definitive Guide by Chuck Musciano & Bill Kennedy


Classes will generally begin with a lecture or demonstration, then transition into a class discussion or studio activity. However, If you find a cool site worth sharing with the class bring it to my attention before class begins.

Projects 50%

There will be 3 projects assigned through out the semester. Collectively they account for 50% of your final grade. Projects are due at the beginning of the class period for which the critique is assigned. Late Projects will be marked down a letter grade for every week its late, projects that are two weeks late receive an automatic F.

  • Syllabus formatting 5%
  • 10 Haiku 10%
  • Single Page Site 15%
  • Final Project 20%

Homepage 5%

Your homepage will account for 10% of your final grade. I expect to see it evolve throughout the semester as you learn new coding techniques. To earn a C, I should see a minimum of 3 major updates and/or layout modifications to your homepage, for an A I should see 6 or more.

Your projects and homepage will be graded on four elements: process, aesthetics, programming, and concept.

Monthly Review 20%

Every month you must post a review of a website on a topic of my choosing. These topics will be posted on the class blog a month before they are due. A few rules to follow, all reviews must be at least 200 words, written using professional language (you are not writing an email or posting this on a friend’s wall) and describe what works and/or doesn’t work about the site: focus on how design principles and elements are utilized, how much the site makes you think and what improvements you might make. Lastly these must be posted to the class blog before the start of class the day they are due, if any one of these conditions are not met the review will receive an F. Reviews will not be accepted late. These will be graded on a scale from 1 to 5.

  1. Review is handed in on time and is on topic.
  2. Review meets the above criteria and describes the site
  3. Review meets the above criteria and shows critical analysis
  4. Review meets the above criteria and cites the current and previous readings
  5. Review meets the above criteria and crafts a excellent argument

Final Exam 10%

At the end of the semester there will be a final exam to test your knowledge and understanding of HTML, CSS and the principles of web design. This will account for 10% of your final grade.

Critique and Participation 15%

Critiques play a crucial role in graphic design practice. Group and individual meetings take place through out the semester. Students encounter numerous situations where it becomes necessary to evaluate, work and rework projects in order to achieve the highest possible standards. Verbal and written skills are important, students are required to explain and write about their design decisions in front of the instructor, clients, and peers.

Unless otherwise specified, each project will be turned in by uploading to the class web server. Everyone will use a uniform folder structure and naming system. All projects and exercises are due at the beginning of the class for which the critique is assigned.

Critiques and class discussions, will become helpful tools only through your participation. Participation in class and in this fora will count for 15% of your final grade.