DF2254 Fundamentals of Web Design :: Art Institute

Week 1: Introduction

Internet History

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How the World Wide Web Works

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WorldWideWeb: Proposal for a HyperText Project

Just For Fun

An hilariously short-sighted article from 1995:

The Internet? Bah!—Hype alert:
Why cyberspace isn't, and will never be, nirvana

A great series of infographics:

State Of The Internet 2011

Web Design Resources

Tips on Web Site Usability

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The following is a summarized list of tips for making web sites usable. They come from the legendary book about web design usability, "Don't Make Me Think" by Steve Krug.

  1. Don't make your visitors have to think. A web page should be self-evident, obvious, self-explanatory.
  2. Recognize that visitors don't read pages. They scan them, and they muddle through.
  3. Create a clear visual hierarchy.
  4. Use conventional methods of organizing content (predictability is your friend).
  5. Break up pages into clearly defined areas.
  6. Make it obvious what's clickable.
  7. Keep visual noise to a minimum.
  8. Omit needless words.
  9. Create street signs and breadcrumbs in your navigation. On any page, a visitor should be able to answer these questions:
    • What site is this?
    • What page am I on?
    • What are the major sections of the site?
    • What are my options at this level?
    • Where am I in the scheme of things?
    • How can I search?
  10. Your home page must convey "the big picture" for your visitors:
    • What is this?
    • What do they have here?
    • What can I do here?
    • Why should I be here-and not somewhere else?
    • Where do I start?
  11. Nothing beats a good tagline.
  12. Don't design for a mythical "average user." Test your site with real, ordinary people.

Dropbox go to eCompanion

Upload the following by midnight of our next class day:

Week Assignment File Name
1 Usability Analysis usability-analysis.doc

Assignment Details

Usability Analysis

Study a bunch of "web pages that suck" and read the submitter's comments along with the site author's (Vince Flanders) comments.

Pick your favorite bad site—look for one with several serious usability issues (review Tips on Web Site Usability on the left).

In an MS Word document called Usability Analysis:

  • Give a link to the web site.
  • Tell me:
    • what the usability problems are
    • how the problems might be fixed
  • Tell me about at least three distinct problems on this website, and a solution for each.
  • Be specific in your recommendations!

The best way to organize this analysis would be to format the information in this way:


General overview and critique

Problem #1
Solution to problem #1

Problem #2
Solution to problem #2

Problem #3
Solution to problem #3

How to Zip Files

  1. Select all of the files together (or a folder.)
  2. Right-click (or Ctrl-click if right-click is not enabled) on your selection, and select Compress.
  3. A file called archive.zip will be created.
  4. Rename the Zip file as appropriate.
  1. Select all of the files together (or a folder.)
  2. Right-click and select Send To > Compressed (zipped) folder.
  3. A file will be created which has the same name as one of your files but ends instead in ".zip".
  4. Rename the Zip file as appropriate.