Interactive Web Design I · DM2280B spring 2013 · Corcoran College of Art + Design
Instructor: David Ramos alberto_ramos@corcoran.edu

Interaction design is a young field, now emerging from its adolescence; its working methods, philosophies, and landmark accomplishments are still new. This rapid pace of change rewards an historical lens – even the innovations of twenty years ago seem far away. Some key figures are still alive, but some of the most important lessons are the fruit of people who were working in the 19th century.


You have been assigned an historical figure in interaction design, computing, media, or related fields. Research this person’s life and accomplishments. What did this person contribute to design or to the networked world? Place this person’s work in a context, and ask how this person has helped to shape the world of today.

Write about:

  1. The person’s life and accomplishments.
  2. The cultural, technological, and social context in which they were working.
  3. Their legacy in the design or technology worlds.

Your finished piece should run for 900-1200 words.


Find images for each of these areas: nine for the person’s work and accomplishments, nine for context, and nine for legacy. Take care to identify these images, either with captions or by referring to them in the text.


Refer total at least five sources. Three or more of these sources should be published books or articles in newspapers or magazines. (Encyclopedias are not acceptable.) Provide a list of works consulted on your site, and provide citations for all images or quotations used.


Present your research in the form of a website, built in HTML/CSS. The website should have at least four pages or the equivalent. Write your code by hand, to the HTML5/CSS3 standards; the site will be evaluated in a current build of Safari on the Mac.

Consider accessibility and usability. Take advantage of the medium and its affordances. Remember that this is not a print design project. If pages need to be taller than the screen, let them scroll. If pages should resize for different-sized windows, let them resize.

You will submit the final website by turning in the project folder containing source code, images, and supporting files. The site will not need to be published to a live server.


30% Research and content
 5% Writing craft/style
20% Design and typography 
15% Usability and accessibility
20% HTML/CSS code quality and correctness
10% Process


Start by researching your figure. In the coming weeks, gather quotations and images, and write a draft of your text. Produce sketches that examine the concept for your website, develop the design, and build the website in HTML/CSS. The details of this schedule are for you to decide. You may wish to run design and research in parallel – do not leave design or code for the end.

Final critique: 12 November.


Published 2012-10-07.