intro to web design

(wrkshp 0742-01)

Summer 2013

Rhode Island School of Design

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Design Center, Room 408

July 22–Aug 2, 9a.m.–4p.m.

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Instructor: John Caserta,

TA: Jerel Johnson,

Classroom Participants


This hands-on course teaches designers how to conceive, prototype and program websites. In order to better understand the possibilities and constraints of browser-based design, participants of this course learn how to build websites using modern web standards. After one week of lessons and short exercises, students will design and hand-code a static website of their choosing.

Participants should finish the course with a working knowledge of HTML and CSS, improved Web imaging and typography skills, and familiarity with more technical facets like JQuery, PHP and designing for mobile devices. Although the exercises and final project use static content, the course introduces the latest versions of open-source content management systems. This course is for beginners but open to designers of all levels, and has plenty of opportunities for intermediate and advanced students to build upon previous experience.

Objectives and Expectations

Course Schedule

The ten-day course will run as follows:

Day 1: Web History, HTML & CSS Basics

We'll cover the critical terms and movements from the last 20 years and begin learning HTML and CSS.

Day 2: CSS Presentation

Text, lists and the box model. 7pm: "Designers with Drinks" @The Avery.

Day 3: CSS Layout

Floats, flexbox and positioning.

Day 4: Process, Begin Site

With a basic understanding of what goes into a website, we will take a step back and talk about how ideas turn into forms. We will visit greg Nemes at The Design Office to see how he moves from design problem to finished website.

Day 5: Making it for Real, Grids, Images/Video

Starting with a codebase, we will look at what makes a site google friendly, incorporating Analytics and other sitewide considerations. You will team up into working groups.

Week 2: Web Type, CMSes, CSS3, JQuery

Week Two will prioritize guided individual work-time on the final project. Breakout sessions will be scattered throughout the week as interest and time allows. Final projects will be presented on the last afternoon of the course.


Grades from A to F will be assigned. The following criteria are used for assessment: