Website Design & Development Syllabus

U48 318—Advanced Website Design and Development

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

Spring 2016
Saturdays 9:00 a.m.–noon
January 23—May 7, 2016
Eads 14

On this page…

    Instructor: Scott Granneman

    Adjunct Professor
    Washington University in St. Louis
    Webster University
    Professional Education Technology & Leadership Center
    Don’t Click on the Blue E!: Switching to Firefox (O’Reilly: 2005)
    Hacking Knoppix (Wiley & Sons: 2005)
    Linux Phrasebook (Pearson: 2006)
    Podcasting with Audacity: Creating a Podcast with Free Audio Software (Prentice Hall: 2007)
    Google Apps Deciphered: Compute in the Cloud to Streamline Your Desktop (Prentice Hall: 2008)
    Mac OS X Snow Leopard for Power Users: Advanced Capabilities and Techniques (Apress: 2010)
    Linux Phrasebook (Second Edition) (Pearson: 2015)
    Contributor, Ubuntu Hacks (O’Reilly: 2006) & Microsoft Vista for IT Security Professionals (Syngress: 2007)
    Former columnist for SecurityFocus & Linux Magazine
    Former professional blogger for The Open Source Weblog
    Full list of publications
    Business Owner
    Principal, WebSanity
    Contact Info
    Mobile: 314-780-0489 (feel free to text, but please identify yourself)
    Blog: Chainsaw on a Tire Swing
    Twitter: @scottgranneman

    A full CV is available.

    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 objects in webpages in a standards-based and robust way. We will cover topics such as CSS selectors, media-specific styles, animation, navigation, layouts, lightboxes, and lots and lots of Responsive Web Design via Bootstrap and other frameworks. Prerequisite: U48 218 Web Site Design and Development or instructor permission.

    What You're Going to Learn

    Lots of very cool CSS that will solve problems & do awesome things that you haven’t even thought of yet.


    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; however, when it's appropriate I will recommend books useful for further study & reference.

    OK, if you just have to kill a tree, I highly recommend Jon Duckett's HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites. But it's not required.

    Jon Duckett’s JavaScript and JQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development is also very good if you want to learn JavaScript.

    Wash U's library has many web development books available online, at 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 To send and receive email, you do NOT need to be a Yahoo member.

    To view archived messages, go to; 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

    This 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 (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!


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    Tentative Schedule

    Introductions / HTML

    Saturday, 2016-01-23

    Scott: An Intro

    Scott. Jans. Lovecraft. An outline. Mobility.


    CSS Overview: Selectors, Integration, Inheritance, Cascading

    CSS Building Blocks: Selectors



    CSS Selectors

    Saturday, 2016-01-30

    CSS Building Blocks: Selectors


    NO CLASS: Merry Gusmas!

    Saturday, 2016-02-06

    May everyone be filled with the spirit of Gusmas!


    Saturday, 2016-02-13


    Saturday, 2016-02-20


    Saturday, 2016-02-27


    Saturday, 2016-03-05

    NO CLASS: Spring Break

    Saturday, 2016-03-12

    Have fun!


    Saturday, 2016-03-19


    Saturday, 2016-03-26


    Saturday, 2016-04-02


    Saturday, 2016-04-09

    Holy Grail layout via flexbox & BEM

    Saturday, 2016-04-16


    Follow along in class as we build the Holy Grail layout with flexbox

    BEM: A More Informative Way to Name CSS Classes


    Saturday, 2016-04-23


    Saturday, 2016-04-30

    Goodbyes, Finals, & Evaluations

    Saturday, 2016-05-07

    Pana & Jill’s birthday!

    Put stuff here

    WebSanity Top Secret