VCT 170: Introduction to Web Design Using CSS and Dreamweaver

HTML&CSS by Jon Duckett

Claire Fant, Instructor

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 table 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 develop 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. Another is the semantic or meaningful structuring of content utilizing HTML or XHTML (eXtensible HyperText Markup Language). These form the foundation for this class. Adobe Dreamweaver is an authoring tool that has become useful for those who prefer a graphical approach to building web sites that adhere to web standards. However, you will still need to familiarize yourself with code. There is no way around it—even with Dreamweaver.

Web 2.0

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, using online web applications, as evidenced by social media and blogging. The web 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 allow 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 a few resource websites that web designers use to keep pace with the latest developments in the field.