Web Design and Production Foundations

Course Overview

Schedule and Location

January 8 – March 12 : Th : 6:00–9:00PM, Online only

Office Hours : Prior to class and by appointment

Prerequisites and Requirements

  • Basic Understanding of HTML
  • In Class: Photoshop CS.

Course Description

Interactive digital media are increasingly used to sell products or services, keep businesses in touch with customers and suppliers, and help organizations communicate with or educate employees. The Certificate in Web Design and Production provides an intensive, hands-on introduction to the most popular tools used to create digital content for commercial, professional, educational and entertainment purposes.

In this course, students will gain a fundamental knowledge of key topics that drive the web industry today. This course will culminate with student production of a brief web project that demonstrates student skill with Photoshop.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course, students will:

  • Understand the current state of the web design industry and the software involved.
  • Understand how to create great user experiences using best practice methodologies for designing with web standards and information architecture.
  • Apply good human computer interaction theory to a prototype user-interface design
  • Demonstrate command of basic Photoshop skills.

Course Format

This is a lecture-lab course with extensive online discussion and group work. Although it is an online class, participation is both real-time and asynchronous. Students complete practice projects both during lab periods and outside of class. There are two quizzes, a final project and group work. You should read assignments as indicated and be ready to discuss the material in class.

The class syllabus, assigned readings, and the class exercises and project details are available from this class web site. In addition, there is an email list so that the instructor can communicate with you and so you can post questions to the rest of the group if you are having a problem.

Required Text and Supplies

  • Required Supplies: We may share files using DropBox.
  • We are using Adobe’s Creative Cloud for Photoshop. As a student, you are eligible for an academic rate.
  • Online classroom: if students have a headset, which will allow them to participate using VoIP technology, we may be able to have interaction other than via text chat. Using the computer microphone is not optimal because it leads to feedback (your speakers will broadcast your voice back to you).

Recommended Texts

  • Design of Everyday Things (2nd Edition, ebook, AMZN) 
    Don Norman. Basic Books (2013)
    ISBN-10: 0465050654
  • Designing for the Digital Age (AMZN)
    Kim Goodwin. Wiley (2009)
    ISBN-10: 0470229101
  • Designing The Obvious (AMZN)
    Robert Hoekman, Jr. New Riders (2011)
    ISBN-10: 0321749855
  • Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (3rd Edition, AMZN)
    Steve Krug. New Riders (2014)
    ISBN-10: 0321965515
  • HTML & CSS, Visual QuickStart Guide Series, (8th Edition AMZN)
    Elizabeth Castro and Bruce Hyslop. Peachpit Press (2013)
    ISBN-10: 0321928830


1. Project – 40%
The project will synthesize the basic elements of a web design project through group work. Students will also demonstrate basic knowledge of Photoshop. Students will work in small groups but final projects will be individual: a precis for the web site to be built in the certificate program.

2. Quizzes – 20%
Two quizzes cover the scope of the required reading and lectures and help prepare you for the final exam. You cannot retake quizzes.

3. Class participation – 40%
Students will receive points for each class where they actively participate, unless it’s clear they haven’t done the reading. Students will receive points for participating in the Forums, with the points pro-rated based on degree and quality of involvement.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Grading is SC/USC (successful completion/unsuccessful completion).
  • Successful completion requires a minimum score of 75% on tests and project.
  • 80% attendance is required.

Classroom Expectations

  • Turn off cell phone ringers and minimize browsers, email clients.
  • Class lab time is expected to be spent in lab work. This is a safe environment to participate and share your ideas.
  • Regardless of project and test scores, you need a minimum of 80% attendance to obtain a successful completion. This means you can miss only two nights. Please notify the instructor in advance if you will miss a class.
  • Attendance will be taken at the beginning of class. The chat log serves as the attendance log.
  • I realize most of you are coming straight from work so please make the necessary arrangements to get to class with enough time to spare to get some fuel in your body. The formal part of class will start promptly at 6:15 in acknowledgement of the vagaries of public transportation, winter weather, and traffic. The first 15 minutes of class will be devoted to my answering general questions.

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