design education technology

Remodeled class website

Last month I started building a class website for the coming year. I’ll be teaching web design and graphic design. I didn’t spend a lot of time planning the design ahead of time. I just wanted to start getting some curriculum ideas down, growing and narrowing the scope of each class.

A week or so ago, I started really hating the original design I developed for the site. I’ve been reading some great books on CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), especially about properly separating content from presentation in web coding. I’ve had some experience with CSS positioning before, but I had still used HTML table in my current site design.

I started realizing that I really wanted to teach my web design students all the best habits right from the beginning: DIVs rather than tables for structure, semantic naming conventions, accessibility, and all the proper web standards.

My site was not up to par, so I started again from scratch.

I’ve rolled out the new design tonight, and I am just in love with it.

Old design:

New design:

The new banner is composed of a logo I designed in Illustrator plus a photo I took of Red-legged Stilts at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I like how it ended up looking like an ultra-modern magazine.

I’m not too proud to show my students what mistakes I made, which is why I’m hanging onto the old design in archives.

Feel free to address any problems you see with usability.

By Dawn Pedersen

Science advocate, web designer, educator, artist, and mommy.

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