Detailed schedule

GDES-220 spring 2019 (David Ramos, American University Design)
ramos@american.edu · office hours · interaction design resources

15 January

Tuesday

Class 01

« summary view

Intro to interaction design, HTML/CSS, and this course

  • Introduction

Demo files: Intro demo (ZIP)

Projects

Start Recipe.

18 January

Friday

Class 02

« summary view

Capturing meaning with HTML/CSS typography

  • Brief history of the web
  • HTML basics
  • CSS basics

Demo files: Basic site (ZIP), Shape of Design excerpt (TXT), Text Fixer

Reading assignments and project deadlines appear under the class when they are due.

Reading

Do you know how to manage files and folders on a Mac? You will struggle in this class if you don’t have an excellent command of those skills. If you have the slightest doubt about your abilities, start working through sections two and three of the Lynda Computer Literacy for Mac course. (Sign in through the AU Library.)

Projects

22 January

Tuesday

Class 03

« summary view

The box model; Classes and IDs

  • The CSS box model
  • Classes
  • IDs (use sparingly)

Demo files: Layout/typography demo (ZIP)

You should be using Firefox as your primary browser for development, because it has the best CSS layout developer tools. Good practice involves checking sites in several browsers, but we will use mostly Firefox.

Projects

Complete HTML for Recipe

Reading

25 January

Friday

Class 04

« summary view

DIVs and sectioning content

  • DIVs
  • New HTML5 elements
  • Typographic elements and class naming exercise

A piece of advice about screen sizes: don’t present sites in full-screen mode, and don’t code with your browser in full-screen mode. Most desktop/laptop users aren’t browsing in full-screen mode, and sites need to be able to adapt to varying screen sizes. Working in full-screen mode guarantees nasty surprises later. Stop doing it, now.

Projects

Reading

In class

1 February

Friday

Class 06

« summary view

Links and images

  • The A (anchor/link) element, and links as the currency of the web
  • Locating resources: file paths and URLs
  • The IMG (image) tag
  • Finding, compressing, and using images

Reading

In class

Links demo: Links files (ZIP)

Good practices for where to put your CSS

It’s technically feasible for your CSS to live in a number of places:

  • In a separate .css file
  • Inside a <style> element, as part of the current HTML file
  • Inline, as part of a CSS attribute
    (<p style="margin-top: 1.5em;">)

Tutorials scattered around the web might suggest all of these approaches. For our class, you should almost always put your CSS in a separate .css file, linked to from every page in your site. This tactic encourages you to think about designing systems and reusing code, it is more maintainable and easier to troubleshoot, and it makes CSS specificity easier to understand.

19 February

Tuesday

Class 11

« summary view

Process + sketching/prototyping tools

Projects

  • Story: give a three-minute presentation about two possible Wikipedia articles.
  • Type/layout/color and site map work, in class

Reading

In class

  • Design process
  • Introducing Figma
  • Quick look at site maps and information architecture

Style tiles in Figma

22 February

Friday

Class 12

« summary view

Flexbox + navbars

Reading

Projects

  • For Story, show three design concepts as style tiles, produced in Figma. (Use fonts from the class font list.) Email a shareable link before class.
  • Complete background research into your topic and review comparable sites

In class

  • Flexbox and navigation bars

Quiz: setting type in HTML/CSS; know CSS type features from HTML & CSS ch. 12. (Not typeface terminology; not pp. 271, 272, 275, 278, 291, or 292.)

26 March

Tuesday

Class 19

« summary view

Mobile and responsive

  • Design for mobile devices
  • Responsive web design and media queries

Remember: every website is mobile friendly, until your design starts to break it.

Reading

  • Mobile design reading t.b.a.

5 April

Friday

Class 22

« summary view

Responsive layout exercise

Reading

  • Responsive layout reading t.b.a.

12 April

Friday

Class 24

« summary view

Interactive prototypes + usability testing

  • Prototpying and usability testing exercise

Reading

19 April

Friday

Class 26

« summary view

Hosting; Professional practice

  • Domain registration, the DNS system, and web hosts
  • A few words about dynamically generated or content-managed websites
  • Professional practice

26 April

Friday

Class 28

« summary view

Critique

Projects

  • Semifinal critique for Conference