Spring 2014: Advanced Website Design & Development Syllabus

U48 318—Advanced Website Design and Development

Washington University in St. Louis
University College
Dept. of Communications & Journalism

Spring 2014
Saturdays 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
25 January—3 May 2014
Eads 14

On this page…

    Instructor: Scott Granneman

    You can also read my full CV.

    Course Description

    This course focuses on one of the most important advanced areas of Web development: Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), which allow developers to set the formatting and positioning of Web pages in a standards-based and robust way. Through understanding CSS, Web developers can proceed to the next level of Web development.

    What You're Going to Learn

    Basically, HTML & CSS & how to put them together correctly to create a website.


    During each class I will take a few minutes & discuss a mini-topic for 15 minutes or so. Some of these mini-topics include:

    • Snippets
    • Regular Expressions (RegEx)
    • Simplenote
    • OpenDNS
    • Backing up
    • Password safes
    • RSS
    • The best help sites
    • Ebooks
    • Markdown
    • Wolfram Alpha
    • Cookies
    • LAMP (& WAMP & MAMP)
    • Git & GitHub
    • Portable Apps
    • Encoding email addresses
    • SEO
    • Finding multimedia
    • AJAX
    • Minimizing code
    • WYSIWYG Web tools
    • Automating my Mac



    There are no required books. Readings will consist of articles, analyses, & ephemera from the Internet. Virtually everything you need can be accessed via my website. While I’m not requiring any books, I recommend the following as particularly worthy of your attention:

    Wash U's library has many web development books available online, at http://proquest.safaribooksonline.com.libproxy.wustl.edu. If you are on-campus, you should be able to simply access the books; if you are off-campus, you will need to log in with your WUSTL Key.


    In order to participate fully in this class, you need to sign up with GranneClass, an email discussion group hosted by Yahoo Groups.

    To subscribe, send an email with a short sentence explaining who you are to granneclass-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. To send and receive email, you do NOT need to be a Yahoo member.

    To view archived messages, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/granneclass; note, though, that you must be a Yahoo member (which is free and relatively painless) to use the group on the Web.

    Please note that my web development course at Webster University also uses GranneClass. Cross-pollination is a good thing in nature; I think it will be a good thing in this case as well. If a message is meant for students at a particular university, I will preface the subject with either "WASH U" or "WEBSTER" to indicate to whom it is directed.


    Your grade will be based on the following factors:

    Grades will be based on an average of the above as follows:

    100 A+
    94-99 A
    89-93 A-
    86-88 B+
    83-85 B
    79-82 B-
    76-78 C+
    73-75 C
    69-72 C-
    66-68 D+
    63-65 D
    59-62 D-
    0-58 F


    Accommodation of disabilities

    Webster University is committed to providing accommodations and/or services to students with documented disabilities. If you have registered as a student with a documented disability and are entitled to classroom or testing accommodations, please inform me at the beginning of the course.

    Academic Integrity

    This course will follow Washington University’s policies concerning academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty will result in failure for the assignment in question & referral to the appropriate individuals, who have discretion to impose a stricter penalty.

    While academic dishonesty includes cheating on exams and quizzes, it also includes plagiarism in written assignments. Plagiarism is not only passing off someone else’s work as your own, but also giving your work to someone else to pass off as their own. It also includes submitting work from another course. While I strongly encourage you to discuss your work with each other in and out of class, and while you may research issues together, your work should be your own.

    Any papers you submit must be your work alone, and must include citations to all references in your work. Please include the URL, or Web address, for articles and resources found on the Internet.

    If you have any questions about academic integrity, please bring them to me before you do anything that may jeopardize your grades, your education, & your future!


    I have no problem with students using a laptop, tablet, or smartphone during class for academic purposes; in fact, I would do the same thing. However, please do not use your personal device (or the computer on your desk) during class to conduct personal business such as Facebook, email, or IMing. This reduces your concentration & participation and distracts others around you. Repeated distractions will reduce your grade for the course. Please do what you need to do to keep cell phone distractions at a minimum.


    It is paramount that we respect each other online in our email listserv. Follow this simple rule: disagree with the idea, but not the person. In other words, it’s OK to say “That’s a bad idea, because …”, and it’s not OK to say “You’re a bad/stupid/inconsiderate person, because …”. If you have an issue with a classmate’s behavior online, please bring it to me privately by emailing me at scott at granneman dot com. If you’d like to find out more, please feel free to read The Core Rules of Netiquette, by Virginia Shea.

    Tech Support

    Need my help diagnosing a problem you’re having remotely? Something won’t install, or won’t work?

    1. Download & install the free Jing, which works on both Mac OS X & Windows.
    2. Record what you’re seeing on your computer screen, up to a maximum of 5 minutes.
    3. Upload the resulting video to screencast.com (also free).
    4. Send me a link to the video.

    In the email you send me, include the following information:

    1. What you did.
    2. What you thought should happen.
    3. What actually happened.
    4. Why that’s a problem.

    If you’re talking about a public webpage, don’t forget to include the URL!

    Tentative Schedule


    Saturday, 25 January 2014




    Saturday, 1 February 2014

    Continuation of 25 January 2013

    Fonts & formatting

    Saturday, 8 February 2014

    Slides: Fonts & formatting


    Practice with fonts & formatting

    Saturday, 15 February 2014

    Assignment: Drop Caps, Formats, Definitions

    Media-specific styles & switching

    Saturday, 22 February 2014

    Slides: Media-specific CSS

    Assignment: CSS for printing

    Download media-specific-easy.zip, unzip it, & create a print style sheet that only shows important content when printed, keeping the screen style sheet.

    No class: sick

    Saturday, 1 March 2014



    Saturday, 8 March 2014


    Slides: Animation & Transformation

    Spring Break!

    Saturday, 15 March 2014


    Lists for navigation

    Saturday, 22 March 2014

    Slides: Navigation Design Patterns

    CSS: Lists into Navigation

    Assignment: From lists to navigation

    Layout & Lightbox

    Saturday, 29 March 2014

    Slides: CSS Layout

    • CSS Layout: Boxes, Displays, & Positioning Handouts (5 MB PDF)
    • CSS Layout: Boxes, Displays, & Positioning Slides (5 MB PDF)




    • jQuery at Wikipedia
    • jQuery: “a fast and concise JavaScript Library that simplifies HTML document traversing, event handling, animating, & Ajax interactions for rapid web development”


    Assignment: fancyBox

    No class: Gus-mas Break!

    Saturday, 5 April 2014

    Merrrrrrrryyyy Gus-mas!


    Saturday, 12 April 2014


    Responsive Web Design with Twitter Bootstrap

    Saturday, 19 April 2014

    What is Responsive Web Design?


    Building a site with Bootstrap

    Assignment: Portfolio page

    Sorting tables

    Saturday, 26 April 2014

    Sorting tables

    Goodbyes, Finals, & Evaluations

    Saturday, 3 May 2014

    Final Assignment: CSS Zen Garden

    • Go to http://www.csszengarden.com & you'll find an awesome collection: a series of designs that all use the same HTML, but use wildly different CSS to change the look of the site. Download the sample HTML & CSS from the site and then go nuts changing the CSS to match a theme you come up with … but do not change the HTML! Your CSS Zen Garden design is due the last day of class, & we will take turns showcasing them to everyone.
    • The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web
      Written by the designers of CSS Zen Garden. Some students find this helpful, & some do not.
    • The CSS Zen Garden Assignment
      Details about your final project.


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