Roger Williams University

DSGN. 300 Web Design Communications

Spring 2021

Building upon skills acquired in the pre-requisites, this course requires students to translate problem-solving design skills to the user interface of websites. Current industry standard technology is used to explore assignments emphasizing image and type in the visual design, site-planning, and usability. Demonstrations and lectures on multi-media and web design are presented. Final comprehensive visual solutions that include in-depth content and structure are created for use on the internet and subsequently for use in student digital portfolio. 

Course Objectives

-Gain a basic understanding of the many underlying principals of web design.

-Become familiar with HTML, CSS & what you can do with Javascript

-Learn the principals of designing for screen based media

-Gain an understanding of site mapping, site architecture and information architecture.

– Learn how to employ effective typographic and layout solutions to interactive screen based design.

-Learn how to create and upload a website with an FTP client to your own domain and hosting.

Students will explore principals of both the visual and technical aspects of web / screen based design. Projects will introduce students to wire-framing, information architecture & visual prototyping as well as technical aspects of web design such as HTML, CSS & Javascript.

Course Structure

This is a studio course, we meet as a group twice a week for 220 minutes. During the semester depending on the topic/issues being covered, the course will include elements of the following: lecture/demonstrations, group projects + discussions, individual work time, small group working and critique sessions, and final critiques.

The work load for this class includes 2-3 hours of outside work for each hour inside of class. This equals 8-12 hours of outside class work per week. This amount may increase based on the nature of the subject and the intense learning curve required to master the skills necessary. A large portion of project development including research, sketching, ideation, and final execution will take place outside of class. Class time may be used working on various aspects of project development but the emphasis will be on process and final analysis.  Each student is expected to work productively during in class work sessions.

Each student is expected to take each project to a highly innovative and conceptual solution.  This can be achieved by understanding and following the guidelines of good art and design process and spending the necessary time on each assignment. It is not reasonable to expect successful solutions to complex problems with one or two quickly executed ideas. It is important to generate many ideas for each visual solution to the assignment. Each stage of the visual solution must be thoroughly investigated.

You will be evaluated throughout the semester in three different areas, which will each have an effect on your grade: Attendance, Participation, Studio and Critique performance and Assignments. Please be aware that you are 100% responsible for your work and contribution in this class, or any other.  It’s up to YOU.


In keeping with the format of this studio course, students are expected to attend class and be prepared to work. Unlike a standard academic class, a participatory demand is placed on the student to engage in in-class studio development. Therefore it is mandatory that students attend, produce and discuss work in class. In addition, homework and/or outside of class work are required and project specific.

Three unexcused absences will result in the lowering of your grade, one letter grade. Six unexcused absences will result in automatic failure. There will be no excuse for missing class unless approved by the instructor. Students must directly speak to the instructor in advance of the absence or within 24 hours of a missed session to have it approved. In the event of illness, a doctor’s note is recommended. An email message or voice mail message does not necessarily constitute an approved absence. Chronic lateness or leaving early is disruptive to the class as a whole…thus, three tardies shall be considered one absence. You will be also be marked absent if you are over half an hour late, leave class early, not prepared for critique and/ or to work in class.


Deadlines are a major factor in the operation of any work environment. Therefore, all assignment deadlines are absolute. No work will be accepted beyond its due date. Turn in your work by the deadline even if you feel it is unfinished. It’s better to be present and participating during class discussions.  Assignments turned in on time can be revised during the last three weeks of the semester. If you are unable to turn an assignment in at it’s proper time for a legitimate reason, you must make arrangements with the instructor beforehand and must receive permission for a different due date.

Also never attempt to plagiarize; as the cliché goes: In the larger picture, it will only hurt you. Do not throw away any work completed during the semester.

All work for critiques is due at the beginning of class.

Students with Disabilities

If you are a student with a disability for which you wish to receive academic accommodations, you must first register with the Student Accessibility Services on the first floor of the University Library in the Center for Academic Development. After receiving an Academic Accommodation Authorization form, I will set up a private meeting with you to discuss any special circumstances related to your situation. This must occur within the first 2 weeks of the course. Accommodations will not be provided, “on demand” or “after the fact.”

Student Pledge to Academic Integrity

We, the undergraduate students of Roger Williams University, commit ourselves to academic integrity. We Promise to pursue the highest ideals of academic life, to challenge ourselves with the most rigorous standards, to be honest in any academic endeavor, to conduct ourselves responsibly and honorably, and to assist one another as we live and work together in mutual support.

Inclement weather / cancellations

In case of inclement weather, there may be a cancellation of our session in the lab with expectations that all students should via text message from the RWU alert system. You will be given ample notice of such cancellations as best possible. If you have not been notified that class is cancelled, and I’m not present at the beginning of class it should be assumed that class will be held (that I’m just late for some reason). Notifications of cancellation will occur via an email from me or someone from the office will post a notice.

Class Materials

Students are responsible for obtaining a license for Adobe’s suite of tools.  Information on student discount pricing for the Creative Cloud apps can be found at:

Note:  The Design Labs in GHH have the Adobe applications installed, for those who are on campus and wish to work from GHH 12 or GHH 13.

You will need purchase a domain name and hosting a hosting account.


Computer storage device of your choice:

External hard drive, Cloud based storage (such as .Mac), CDs,

flash-drives (beware that these are not always reliable, and are very easy to loose)

WARNING!! Saving to the lab computers is not reliable

you may loose work.