Boston University College of Fine Arts
808 Commonwealth Ave, #406D

  1. T +1 475 441 1665
  2. E mh656@bu.edu

Introduction to Web Design ar581

Course Description

This course addresses the principles, problems, and applications of web design. HTML and CSS will be explored, giving the students the ability to control the design and presentation of online information in its most basic form. Emphasis is on content, usability, site architecture, navigation and interactivity.


This course aims to introduce web design to graphic designers from a formal / visual – content-driven – standpoint. Throughout presentations, discussions and readings, the students will learn to act upon online networks. In class and at home through assignments, they will explore web languages. By any means, at the end of the semester, the students should be understanding the implications encountered in the implementation of an online platform. Students will not turn into expert coders from scratch but will increasingly become interested hoarders... gathering enough knowledge and ressources to build a solid web lexicon. This should also facilitate the exchange with expert coders.

So, this is not a coding course although we will explore HTML and CSS while introducing more complex and powerful coding language such as JavaScript (w/ jQuery). Therefore, knowing coding basics is not a prerequisite. However, a solid foundation in graphic design is a plus.


  • Computer
  • FTP Software
  • Server Host
  • Coding text-editor


Attendance to all classes is essential. Un-excused absences will result in faults to the participation evaluation. Keep me updated if you need to miss class. In any case, the students are responsible for being up-to-date. Being late will be perceived the same way.


You will be evaluated according to your overall engagement in the projects and exercises. Your active participation during the semester will also be taken in account.

  • Exercise and Participation 20%
  • Assignment 1 – 20%
  • Assignment 2 – 20%
  • Assignment 3 – 40%

Assignments Criteria

  • Originality / point of view
  • Formal approach + typography
  • Execution shows technical skills
  • Give your idea a chance
  • Strangeness factor (Extra points)

Grading Criteria

  • F shows no interest in the course by not showing up. No participation in class and no demonstration of acquired knowledge.
  • D comes late at our evening class. One unexcused absences. Shy at demonstrating a basic understanding of what we are covering in class.
  • C comes late at times. Respond to exercies and assignments with diligence but makes unintersting/uninterested works.
  • B is always present or/with excused absences. The student’s work is formally strong and uses innovative solutions. OR she/he shows an impressive learning curve in class.
  • A is always present and delivers the work on time. The student pushes further OR demonstrates a tremendous progress. The form and concept is clever. The student exceeds expectations and/or is not afraid of the strange.


  • September 8
    1. Course introduction
  • September 15
    1. Pres: site structure, tree diagram, wireframes, folder organization;
    2. Exercise 1 starts;
    3. Coding exercises 1, 2, 3 (first link in Resources)
  • September 22
    1. Pres: interfaces, usability;
    2. Crit exercise;
    3. Verify coding exercises 1, 2, 3
  • September 29
    1. Delivery: crit exercise;
    2. Assignment 1 starts
  • October 6
    1. Pres: What is a Meme / Make a Meme;
    2. Coding exercises 4, 5
  • October 13
    1. Memes presentation;
    2. Pres: web typography + CSS;
    3. Assignment 2 starts;
    4. Verify coding exercises 4, 5
  • October 20
    1. Assignment 2
  • October 27
    1. Assignment 2
  • November 3
    1. Delivery: assignment 2;
    2. Assignment 3 starts
  • November 10
    1. Assignment 3
  • November 17
    1. Assignment 3
  • Monday November 28
    1. Deliverables: Exercise and One Pager (compressed folder)
  • December 1
    1. Assignment 3
  • December 8
    1. Final Critique Responsive Website + Meme + Party

Fall 2016 Students