Introduction to Design for Electronic Media


Table of Contents



Course Policies







Welcome to Design 101 for all things internet.

I hope to keep it interesting, moderately challenging, and as fun as possible. The goal is for you to have a solid grounding in the various aspects of information & web page design and site architecture, as well as a basic understanding of the medium in which you're working. Hopefully, you'll have the necessary tools to begin building simple interactive sites by the time we're through. I encourage any and all feedback, as I hope the site can continue to evolve into an ever-better resource.

Most people come to the table with questions about graphics, html, and various design programs - questions about practical rules and useful tools. It's my belief that if you don't have a firm grasp of design, and the medium of communication for which you are designing, then all the knowledge in the world about html and Dreamweaver won't help you.

Too often, I hear "what program do you use to build web sites," which to my mind is like asking "what's the one tool you need to build a building?" First, you need to understand what kind of thing you're building, who's going to use it, what the available resources are, and who's paying for it, before you can even begin to understand what it has to look like and what you'll need to build it; building for the Internet is no different than building in the real world. As a result, many of the lectures are on the basic principles of design, information, computers, and all things Internet. I generally believe that understanding how things work is the most important step in any creative process. Learning how to push the buttons of a particular tool should be predicated on a well-defined set of goals; how one gets there is substantially easier if you already know where you're going.

It's up to you to help me understand what you want to learn, and where you want the class to go. Please feel free to ask questions, challenge me, stop me when I start talking about space ships and quantum physics, and occasionally, demand that I teach you something practical.

I expect to continue to add to and modify this site over the duration of, and even after, the course, and to generally keep the outline and course notes up to date. I don't expect to hand out much if anything - if I think you need to know it, you should find it here on the web, so check back.

There is a forum provided if you'd like to post questions about the class, I will try and pay attention to this and answer questions within the week, if not in the next class. You can also email me directly if you'd like.

Again, any thoughts or ideas for improving the site would be much appreciated.

all content © copyright 2003 neil verplank, unless otherwise stated