Sewall 2100 (710): Digital Design for the Arts and Humanities

Spring 2005

McKeehan classroom, MWF 11:00-12:00 a.m.

Professor: Chris Lewis, Ph.D.
Office: Sewall Hall 42C Office Phone: 303-492-5878
Office Hours: T, Th 1:00- 4:00 p.m.,
Digital Design website :


Course Description : In this course we will focus on learning basic web design and development principles for Arts and Humanities websites. This course teaches students how to design, create, and analyze websites in the Arts and Humanities. Students will be required to design, develop, and critique several Arts and Humanities websites, ranging from personal homepages, to cultural and music pages, to fan and cybercultural pages, to arts, music, and literary pages. At the end of this course, students will have developed a “design portfolio” of their web design work . This course is a TAM “Introductory Projects core course.”

Course Objective : To teach students how to critically analyze, evaluate, and judge website designs in the Arts and the Humanities. Students will be expected to research and analyze design strategies in their chosen Arts and Humanities website genres and to create and develop websites that reflects many of these design principles and strategies.

Required Reading :

Dreamweaver MX , by Nick Vandome (Barnes & Noble Books, 2003)

Flash MX , by Nick Vandome (Barnes & Noble Books, 2003)

Macromedia Studio MX: Educational Version (2004)
(See Dr. Lewis in Class for Instructions on Ordering your
discounted copy)

Class Format
: Interactive lectures, class discussions, and student webpage presentations. Students will be guided through the process of designing, developing, producing, and revising Arts and Humanities websites. Depending on the specific Arts and Humanities web genres that students choose to focus on, students will be encouraged to develop digital design skills in such areas as digital imaging and recording, designing digital images and image maps, computer animation and digital video short production, Macromedia Flash and digital slide-shows, and layout and design for commercial and non-profit Arts and Humanities web exhibits.

Class Participation and Attendance : Because this is not a lecture course, active class participation is very important : your opinions are part of our texts. Participation and Attendance will be a large part of your grade
(20 %). I also recognize that one can be an active listener and reader as well as talker; quality counts more thanquantity. But you must participate actively in class discussion in order to get a high participation grade. Because this is not a correspondence course, class attendance is required. There are 4 excused absences to be used for illness, business, tragedy, or even pleasure ( or when you just got the blues). There are no other excused absences – for any reason ! So use your absences judiciously. If you miss 5 times, your attendance grade will be lowered one letter grade (in other words, the best grade you could possibly get would be a B) , 7 times another letter grade, 8 times another letter grade, 10 times another letter grade, and at 12 absences, you will get a zero for attendance. More than 12 absences will be grounds for failure of this course. So please try to attend class regularly .

Daily assignments : Because this is a creative, project-based course, student work will be based on daily and weekly work on their own individual “web design portfolios.” Assignments will be based on breaking these projects down into a series of weekly, manageable tasks such as creating the initial site design, laying out a website map, producing the user-interface for the website, producing and adding content, peer evaluation and feedback on the initial site designs, and revising and streamlining final site designs

Good Design Notebooks : Students will be required to keep a “Good Design notebook” in which they collect examples of good design from the web and print media and any sketches or doodles that these examples stimulated. Professional graphic designers keep such notebooks to help stimulate their design creativity and insight. I will periodically collect and look at these good design notebooks to help me understand the development and progress of a student's work .

Student Website Projects : Students will be required to design at least five websites in this class. I will assign grades for each of your website projects individually. But you will be graded on improvement and on the
development of your skills as an apprentice web designer. As their skills
improve, students will be encouraged to go back and revise and update
their earlier website projects. At the end of the semester, I will grade and
evaluate all five revised, completed website projects in the student's
web design portfolio.

1. Web Design Portfolio Site (due Jan. 24)

2. Web Genre Site (due Feb. 25)

3. Image Site (due March 28)

4. Flash Banner Ad (due April 19)

5. Flash Website (due May 5)

Incompletes : I will be very reluctant to give a grade of Incomplete (I). I assign incompletes only to students who have successfully completed most of the course work and who have been prevented by significant and unanticipated circumstances from finishing all of their assignments.

Cheating : My policy on cheating is to assign a zero to the work in question .

Grading : Grades will be based on class participation and attendance (10%), short daily assignments (10%), five website projects (50%), and the final completed individual web design portfolio (30%):

Course grades will be defined in these terms :

A—Excellent -- (Thoughtful, coherent, insightful, contributes)

B—Good -- (Knows material well, lacks depth, not outstanding)

C—Fair -- (Adequate, average, passing, little participation)

D—Poor -- (Little understanding, little effort, incoherent)

F—Fail -- (No evidence of understanding, no work, no learning)

University Honor Code : As citizens of an academic community of trust, CU-Boulder students do not lie or cheat whether they are on campus or acting as representatives of the University of Colorado in the surrounding communities. Neither should they suffer by the dishonest acts of others.

The University of Colorado has adopted a Student Honor Code. See the website at: . The University of Colorado has also adopted a code of student behavior for classrooms. See the website at: . Students are responsible to honor the Student Honor Code and Classroom Behavior Code . Please go to these two websites to read these codes and to understand the Student Honor Code at CU-Boulder.

As faculty, students, and members of the University community, we value honor, integrity, and morality. Honor is about academic integrity, moral and ethical conduct, and pride of membership in a community that values academic achievement and individual responsibility. Cultivating honor lays the foundation for lifelong integrity, developing in each of us the courage and insight to make difficult choices and accept responsibility for actions and their consequences, even at personal cost.

Students with Disabilities : I encourage students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, and psychiatric disabilities, to discuss with me after class or during my office hours appropriate accommodations. If you have any additional questions about how the University can accommodate your disability, please see me or the Coordinator of Disability Services in the Disability Services Office , 322 Willard Hall, (303-492-8671). If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit to me a letter from Disability Services early in the semester so that your needs may be addressed.  Disability Services determines accommodations based on documented disabilities (303-492-8671, Willard 322). See the Disability Services website : .

Religious Obligations and Class Attendance: If you have conflicts with scheduled exams, assignments, or other required attendance, because of religious obligations, please notify me two weeks in advance of the conflict to request special accommodation. See the CU Policy at this website:

Cheating and Plagiarism : My policy on cheating and plagiarism is to assign a zero to the work in question. Plagiarism is copying another person's work and turning it in as your own. Plagiarism can involve buying a “class paper” online, copying another student's work, or copying whole paragraphs and material from other sources, such as encyclopedias or textbooks. See the website for the Pledge not to Plagiarize : .

Jan. 10 Learning Web Design: A Larger Strategy--Graphic Design, Web Design, Coding, and Usability

Jan. 12 Installing and testing Macromedia Programs and learning to download Programs from the Web

1. Creating Design Portfolio websites

Jan. 14 Learning to FTP and publish your Webpages on to the Web
Dreamweaver MX , pp. 8-23

Jan. 17 No Class-Martin Luther King Holiday

Jan. 19 Learning to Use Dreamweaver to create Webpages
Dreamweaver MX , pp. 24-28

Jan. 21 Learning basic HTML and coding
Dreamweaver MX , pp. 40-60

Jan. 24 In-class Presentation of Web Design Portfolio Sites

Web Design Portfolio Site due

2. Creating Web Genre websites

Jan. 26 Understanding Web Genres
Dreamweaver MX , pp. 62-82

Jan. 28 Using Tables and Layers to layout your webpages
Dreamweaver MX , pp. 118-132, 147-152

Jan. 31 Basic Website Design Principles
Dreamweaver MX , pp. 84-94, 156-159

Feb. 2 Creating and linking site content
Dreamweaver MX , pp. 106-114

Feb. 4 Site Design and Navigation
Dreamweaver MX , pp. 30-38

Feb. 7 Using Fireworks to create Images, Graphics, and Buttons
Dreamweaver MX , pp. 96-104, 115-116

Feb. 9 Introduction to Image Design for the Web: Learning to use
Fireworks and Photoshop

Feb. 11 Scanning Images into your website

Feb. 14 Digital Photography and Web Images

Feb. 16 Using Graphics' Boards for Web Illustrations

Feb. 18 Using Fireworks, Photoshop, and Image Editors to create
and edit Web images

Feb. 21 Using Fireworks and Dreamweaver to create Buttons and Rollovers

Feb. 23 Creating animated gifs and special text effects
Dreamweaver MX , pp. 160-172

Feb. 25 In-class Presentation of Web Genre Sites

Web Genre Site due

3. Creating Image Websites

Feb. 28 Typography in Web Design: Using different Type across
PC and Mac platforms

March 2 The Power of Type to Catch the Eye and tell a Story

March 4 Learning to Use Javascript

March 7 Javascript Design Tricks and
Really Annoying Javascript Tricks

March 9 Adding Streaming Audio and Video to Websites

March 11 Working with Frames and Splash Pages:
The Problems associated with Frames and Splash Pages
Dreamweaver MX , pp. 134-146

March 14 Graphic Design and good web design

March 16 Using Graphic Design Principles to make your websites
Informative & visually interesting

March 18 Getting your website noticed

March 21-25 No Classes-- Spring Break

March 28 What have we learned: Summary of Basic Web Design Principles
In-class Presentation of Image Sites

Image Site due

4. Creating Flash Banner Ads

March 30 Understanding the Flash Interface
Flash MX , pp. 8-14, 16-28

April 1 Drawing and Painting in Flash
Flash MX , pp. 30-46, 62-70

April 4 Creating and Editing Flash Movies
Flash MX , pp. 48-60, 76-88

April 6 Importing Images, Shape Tweening,
and Buttons in Flash
Flash MX , pp. 90-94, 178-186

April 8 Using Text and Graphics in Flash Movies
Flash MX , pp. 71-74, 102-118

April 11 Using Animations and Sound in Flash Movies
Flash MX , pp. 95-100, 120-142

April 13 Using Actions to control Flash Movies
Flash MX , pp. 144-163

April 15 Basic ActionScripting for running Flash Movies
Flash MX , pp. 164-170, 172-177

April 18 Flash Movies and the Future of the Web
In-class Presentation of Flash Banner Ads

Flash Banner Ads due

5. Using Flash to create websites

April 20 Using Flash to create entire Websites

April 22 Making Flash sites Usable

April 25 Making Flash sites Mainstream

April 27 Adding Pre-loaders and Intro. Scenes to Flash websites

April 29 What did we learn about Web design?
Basic Web Design Principles

May 5 Final Exam: Student Presentation of Web Design Portfolios
Thursday, May 5, 10:30 - 1:00 p.m., McKeehan classroom

Flash Websites due and Web Design Portfolios due


Digital Design for the Arts and Humanities website

Digital Design homepageDaily Readings for Digitial Design courseDigital Design Course syllabusE-Mail Digital Design StudentsTechnology, Arts, and Media Program homepageSewall Academic Program homepageCU-Boulder homepage

Good Web Design Sites
Award-winning Web Designs Great Web Design Books Sewall Class Web Designs
Digital Design Course homepage

| Home Page  | Readings | Syllabus | Web Resources | Top of Page |

Number of Visitors to this site: 
30625      by Chris H. Lewis, Ph.D.

© 2000 by Chris H.  Lewis, Ph.D.
Sewall Academic Program; University of Colorado at Boulder
Created 1 June 2000:  Last Modified: 12 Jan. 2004