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1 Week 4 2011 edition

1.1 Topics Covered

  • HTML and CSS wrap up
    • Using the div tag for page layout (positioning) with the CSS class and ID selector
    • Discussion of some more properties (if questions)
    • Web page analysis with browser tools.
  • CSS validation
  • Colors schemes and palettes
    • RGB colors
    • HSV colors (shortly)
    • HSL colors
  • Web design
  • Usability
  • Basic design principles
  • Wireframing (prototyping)
  • Templating of web portals

1.2 Teaching materials



Web design and usability principles

1.3 Software, Online tools and reference

Browser extensions (must have for web site analysis !)
Online CSS validator
CSS Reference
Online tools and services
Sharing colors palettes
PC Software (installed on the classroom computers)
  • (SVG-based drawing program, freeware, easy to install). See next item for a template
  • Illustrator (commercial)
Drawing templates

1.4 Classroom activities

1.4.1 Monday
1.4.2 Wednesday
Homework 2 feedback (CSS)
Web design usability principles
Midterm Q/A
  • Short explanation of homework 4 - version A (an option for technical people)

1.5 Homework 4

Choose one (!)

  • Homework A is technically difficult and rather meant for CS people
  • Homework B is technically easy.

Due: Before Monday week 6 lesson (so you got 1 1/2 week for this)

1.5.1 Option A. Blogger templating
  • Modify a blogger template. To do so, you need a Google account (see week 1) and then dig into the documentation.
  • Create a blog (if not already done so)
  • Find a good template to start with. You also may search on the web. Many sites offer blogger templates for free (see below)
  • To edit the template, select "Layout", then "Edit HTML". You then have the option to change just the CSS part or the whole layout (tick the expand widget template box).
Resources for Blogger templating - you may find more and better ones.
  • Go first through some documentation at Google or elsewhere
  • The use the web developer extension of Firefox to analyse a Design. Select CSS->View Style Information or hit CTRL-SHIFT-Y. Move your mouse until you see the "big rectangles". Click and you will see the ID or class attribute value in the web developer pane.
Minimal requirements
  • Change the CSS properties of block and text elements
  • Shortly list the changes you made in a blog post of the blog for which you made the changes
  • Quote the references you used (and that includes blogger templates you may find on the web).
To get an A
  • Either make really creative changes to the CSS part or create a template with a different layout. I do not require nor suggest that you build a template from scratch. You may reuse any existing solutions you like under the condition that you respect the licensing scheme and that you quote the source ...
  • Submit the URL of your blog to the World Classroom. Do not forget to document shortly the changes you made with a blog post.
  • I will not test templating in the exams

1.5.2 Option B. Wireframing

Create a two wireframes for a web site that you would like to build. I suggest that you focus on your term project and describe what you ideally would like to see, but keep in mind that you do not need to implement this in your final solution. You also can submit another project. However, in the latter, case you must explain in a few sentences its objective and for whom you are doing this.

  • Two drawings as explained above
  • You can choose any tool out of the following list:
    • Pencil and paper (in this case you will have to take pictures and submit the two pictures)
    • A drawing tool such as Inkscape or Illustrator of OmniGraffle (Mac)
    • A diagramming software such as the free DIA or Viso (PC) or
    • An online diagramming tool (see the list)
    • An online wireframing tool (recommended option)
    • A stand-alone wireframing sofware

See COAP:COAP-2100/Web design‎ for a small choice of tools shown in class, a larger set can be found web wireframe article.

  • Upload two pictures in a general-purpose format, e.g. a bitmap (png, jpg), svg or PDF
  • Avoid providing a URL for an online service (since access rights may not work). Most tools let you export pictures.
  • Add a file with explanations if you create a wireframe for another project than your term project.

Before Monday, week 6.