Session 01 : Introduction


  • Course Overview/Syllabus Review
  • Geek Speak +Lecture/Exercise

Course Overview/Syllabus Review


Thoreau: “Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things.”

GeekSpeak and Course Blog

Geek Speak + Lecture

Deconstruct URLs & How HTTP Works


What Is Design? (ppt)

* What do you think of when you hear the words “web design”? Steps/processes/people/products.

Tonight’s Exercise

We have to train our brains to analyze. (This is the core of tonight’s work and the assignment for next week). We are going to begin work by conducting an “expert review.” Questions include:

  • What is this site about? How would you explain it to a friend?
  • Who do you think is its audience? Why are they visiting this site?
  • Observations on design, navigation – does the interface make it easy for a person to do what she wants to do?
  • Resultant suggestions for the designer

Heurestic analysis

  • Made for normal people. Is the site relevant? Is the information organized in a way that matches the mental models of the visitors? What about the language – is it organization-speak or human-speak?
  • Accessible to everyone. Is the text legible? Is the site overly busy, an attack on the senses? Could a color-impaired visitor understand the information?
  • Comfortable. Is there appropriate consistency and an obvious logic to how the site is organized? Do the graphics and icons make sense? Do they add to or detract from meaning? Can you tell where you are, where you’ve been and where you can go?
  • Trustworthy. Is the information accurate and up to date? Do links go where you think they will go? Are there a lot of broken links? Do you feel like the site keeps its promises (implied or actual)?
Genre Discussion (seeding for the in-class exercise or use student sites – prep’ed in email)
* What do you think of when you judge something as “good web design”? What criteria are you using to make that judgment? What are a couple of examples?

Readings For This Week


Google+ Hangout – Wed 10 October, 6-7 pm

  • I’ll send the Hangout invitation to the course list

Before Our Next F2F Session – Sunday 14 October

Get ready for the lab

  • Sign up with a webhost (Fat Cow, MediaTemple, BlueHost – if something else, email me for an OK)
  • Send me an email by Friday October 12 telling me which host you are using
  • Print and bring your signup info email to Sunday’s lab; it should the the email that contains your login info, including FTP info
  • Read Using WordPress, Introduction, Chapters 1, 3, 5. 6. Bring the book with you to class.
  • Read Beginning Web Programming, Chapters 1, 3, 11. Bring the book with you to class.
  • If you are using your own laptop in the lab (recommended), install Filezilla.
  • Last year’s workshop agenda

First Tech Assignment 17 October

  • Details (how to group into pairs – select or assign?)

Before Our Class On Wednesday 31 October

About Kathy E. Gill (@kegill)

Digital evangelist, writer, teacher. Webmaster at King County Elections; educator at UW. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill,,

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