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My name is Claire Fant, and I am the instructor for VCT 170 – Introduction to web design using HTML (HyperText Markup Language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and Adobe Dreamweaver. The learning resources we will be using are, HTML & CSS by Jon Duckett, and the web in general.


When I first learned how to lay out and build web sites, we graphic designers would use mostly images and HTML tables and cells to position those images on the page. At the time they worked pretty well for simple layouts. However, as layout designs grew more complex, using tables and cells for positioning became unwieldy, and updating content for multiple pages became time-consuming. Also, the web evolved in the ways it delivered information.


As the web continued to evolve with different types of sites that required frequent updating or any kind of content management, it made sense to the web design/development community that utilizing web standards was the best way to accommodate future changes. An important tenet of web standards is the separation of content and presentation. HTML defines the semantic or meaningful structure of content and CSS defines its presentation. These form the foundation upon which websites are built. Adobe Dreamweaver is an authoring tool that has become an industry standard for those designers who prefer a graphical approach to building websites that adhere to web standards. However, you will still need to familiarize yourself with code. There is no way around it—even with Dreamweaver.


The web has evolved from being a static and authoritarian purveyor of information to a platform that enables users (as opposed to businesses only) to create and share their own content, all online using web applications, as evidenced by social media and blogging. It is also accessible via many more types of devices such as smart phones and tablets. As a result the W3C has published recommendations for HTML5 and CSS3, which allows designers/developers to format content for presentation across multiple devices and to implement greater interactivity. The scripting language, JavaScript has a greater stake in the web. However, CSS3 is gradually taking on some tasks that used to be only accomplished with JavaScript. In this course we will mostly focus on the fundamental concepts of building a simple static website, but will touch on these recent developments.

Resources – HTML/CSS-related articles and tutorials

Below are some resource websites that web designers use to pace with the latest developments in the profession.