Web Design Curriculum for 2017-2018

Web Design Curriculum for 2017-2018

Web Design Curriculum for 2017-2018

May 19, 2017

I started building websites in 1994 and started teaching web design in 2000. Since even the early 2000’s (I won’t even talk about the 1990’s!) much has changed when it comes to building web sites!

… If you are teaching your students ‘old-school’ methods from that era (ex: XHTML, Dreamweaver, Photoshop) that is akin to teaching them how to use typewriter. In fact, teaching old web design methods might even be worse than teaching students to use a typewriter, because students will have a harder time unlearning antiquated methods.

Web design in 2017 is so different from just 4-5 years ago, that you should probably be throwing out all old training materials from before 2013. Learning the old techniques, will just make learning modern web design that much more difficult.

Photoshop

Several years ago, I had to unlearn old web design techniques and practices. For example, one of the things that was core to web design, was using Photoshop to create page layouts.

We would create our pages in Photoshop, then using Photoshop’s image slicing tools, you would export the images into a web design program like Dreamweaver, to reassemble the pieces. This is not the way it is done today. In fact, Photoshop, once central to the web design process, is now at best an afterthought.

… Modern day web design with HTML5 and CSS3, make old-school practices like Photoshop slicing a relic of the past. The new methods are far easier, less time consuming and flexible.

The circular photo of my face at the top of this article, is in fact a square image! Instead of having to go into Photoshop to create a circular mask, then exporting the PNG image file, all I had to do was add this simple line of CSS3 code to the image:

style="border-radius: 150px;"

Dreamweaver and Frontpage

Adobe Dreamweaver is a great program, but the need for point-and-click web design programs has faded. These days it is far preferable to use code editors to build websites. Dreamweaver does have good code editing tools, but it also carries the weight of legacy functions from the 1990’s … tools that are not used by most professional web designers and developers.

It is better to teach web design with simple code editors because not only are they much easier to learn, but using code editors will better prepare your students for real world web design and coding. As an added bonus, there are many free, and nearly free code editors to choose from for Windows, Chromebooks and Mac.

… Why pay the hefty Dreamweaver license?

A good web design course should be designed specifically for the classroom: must be engaging, provide flexible lesson plans for learners of all levels, make heavy use of video, and should teach modern web design. The next steps? JavaScript, Python and SQL. This is the future.

Conclusion

In interest of transparency, my team and I at StudioWeb, developed our teaching platform and curriculum around these principles – with the help of many teachers! If you want to teach web design, any teacher who has used StudioWeb will tell you, it doesn’t get any easier!

Thanks for reading!

Stefan Mischook
StudioWeb

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