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Have you ever wanted to know how a good web site gets built?  (After all, there are plenty of bad web sites out there; the world certainly doesn't need any more of them!)  In this course, students will learn the processes that are needed to build a web site that meets the needs of its users.  This will include topics such as:

  • User analysis:  determining who the users of the web site will be, what their level of experience is, and what their goals are for using the web site.
  • Task analysis:  figuring out the list of tasks that users of the web site will need to be able complete if the site is to be useful
  • Navigation:  building a structure for navigating the site that makes sense to the user
  • Basic design:  what fonts and colors look together?  How do you design the page layout so that it doesn't look cluttered and guides the user's eye to the appropriate places?
  • Search engine optimization: how do you make sure that people find your site once it has been published?
Of course, even the best design is useless if you don't know how to actually build it!  The laboratory portion of the course will focus on the technical skills needed to build a web site from the design.  This will include:
  • A knowledge of HTML, the language used to create web pages
  • Adding images and other media to a page
  • Skill in using Cascading Stylesheets (CSS) to specify how pages should be formatted and laid out, including designing for print and layout on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones
  • Using forms to gather data from users, and validate that the data is in the correct format
  • Create pages with interactive elements such as hierarchical menus, tabbed content, expandable portions of the page, and more
  • Accessing and displaying data stored in a database
All of these tasks will be learned through the Dreamweaver web authoring software - no previous experience with HTML/CSS or Dreamweaver is assumed.  Most of the concepts learned will be applicable outside of Dreamweaver as well.  Each student will be given access to his/her own "virtual" computer with the Dreamweaver software installed.  In addition, students will learn how to register a domain from an Internet Service Provider and publish their content to the web site.

If you have any questions about this course, please feel free to contact Professor McFall (mcfall@hope.edu)