Discuss class goals, objectives and expectations. The Syllabus can be found here.

Class Blog

Several of your assignments in this course will require that you post to a class blog. Begin this week by creating a class blog for yourself.

For Discussion

Web Design Resources

Website Usability

Web Interfaces

  • —Web interfaces allow a user to interact with a website.
  • —The simplest web interfaces provide information and allow the user to click between site pages.
  • —More complex web interfaces act more like software interfaces:
    • —Accept and execute user commands.
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    • —Provide feedback to the user.
    • —Allow users to rearrange interface elements.
    • Can update instantaneously.


  • —Web designers need to consider the needs of users when designing a web interface.
  • —Usability refers to the degree to which a user can quickly and confidently navigate a website.
  • Usability is typically the number one factor influencing whether someone will stay on your site or go elsewhere for what they want or need.

dontmakemethink12 Tips for Web Usability

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.


Watch the following videos (26 minutes total).Each one describes different important aspects of how the Web works, though there is some overlap.

Internet History

What is the World Wide Web?

The World Wide Web in Plain English

How the Internet Works in 5 Minutes

DNS Explained