Spring 2019 Website Design & Development Syllabus

Content goes here

U48 318 Website Design and Development

Washington University in St. Louis
University College
Dept. of Communications & Journalism

Spring 2019
Saturdays 9:00 a.m.–noon
January 26—May 4, 2019
Eads 14

On this page…

    Instructor: Scott Granneman

    You can also read my full CV.

    Course Description

    This course focuses on one of the most important advanced areas of Web development: Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), which allow developers to set the formatting and positioning of objects in webpages in a standards-based and robust way. We will cover topics such as CSS selectors, media-specific styles, animation, navigation, layouts via Flexbox & Grid, lightboxes, and lots and lots of Responsive Web Design via Bootstrap and other frameworks.

    What You're Going to Learn

    Basically, advanced CSS techniques, including Flexbox, Grid, & Responsive Web Design. And a lot of other, very cool stuff related to CSS that will solve problems & do awesome things that you haven’t even thought of yet.


    During each class I will take a few minutes & discuss a mini-topic for 15 minutes or so. Some of these mini-topics include:

    • Snippets
    • Regular Expressions (RegEx)
    • Simplenote
    • OpenDNS
    • Backing up
    • Password safes
    • RSS
    • The best help sites
    • Ebooks
    • Markdown
    • Wolfram Alpha
    • Cookies
    • LAMP (& WAMP & MAMP)
    • Git & GitHub
    • Portable Apps
    • Encoding email addresses
    • SEO
    • Finding multimedia
    • AJAX
    • Minimizing code
    • WYSIWYG Web tools
    • Automating my Mac



    There are no required books. Readings & course materials will consist of slides, webpages, & assignments I have created. Virtually everything you need can be accessed via my website. When it's appropriate I may recommend books useful for further study & reference.

    OK, if you just have to kill a tree, I highly recommend Jon Duckett's HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites. But it's not required.

    Jon Duckett’s JavaScript and JQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development is also very good if you want to learn JavaScript.

    Wash U's library has many web development books available online, at https://proquest.safaribooksonline.com.libproxy.wustl.edu. If you are on-campus, you should be able to simply access the books; if you are off-campus, you will need to log in with your WUSTL Key.

    Communicate with Remind

    Email still has its uses, but it’s time for us to keep in touch outside of class with a more modern tool: messaging. I found a great free service called Remind that you can use either as an app on your iPhone or Android device, or via texting.

    You can download the app from the usual places:

    To join our course’s Remind group, you will need to get instructions from me during class.

    So what are we going to use Remind for?

    • A way for me to communicate with students in the class. If I need everyone to know something about the class (like I'm vomiting or trapped in a burning car, so I might be late), I’ll send it to Remind.
    • A way for me to share interesting readings with students. If I find an article that looks like something appropriate to this course, I’ll send it on via Remind. It’s just a suggestion for reading; it’s not required.
    • A way for you guys to communicate with me or other students. When you send an message to Remind, it goes to everyone. Do keep that in mind!


    Your grade will be based on the following factors:

    • Class attendance and participation (20%): You are expected to attend class prepared to learn and discuss the topics with your fellow classmates. We will also work on projects during classes, and you are expected to take an active part in those exercises.
    • Projects (80%): We will practice HTML & CSS in & out of class with a series of assigned projects involving the use of these technologies. Think of them as open-book tests, since you will be allowed (heck, encouraged!) to use your class notes, websites, & any other resources you can access.

    Grades will be based on an average of the above as follows:

    100 A+
    94-99 A
    89-93 A-
    86-88 B+
    83-85 B
    79-82 B-
    76-78 C+
    73-75 C
    69-72 C-
    66-68 D+
    63-65 D
    59-62 D-
    0-58 F

    At any time you can ask me how you’re doing in the course & I will show you.

    How the Class Works

    This course is a bit different from most others. Here’s how.

    Flipped Teaching

    This course is based around the idea of flipped teaching. Instead of coming to class to hear a lecture & then going home to do work, we’re going to flip that.

    I’ve made videos for most of the lectures in this course, & you will watch those at home. Some videos are 2 minutes long, while the longest is around 40 minutes; most are around 10 minutes or so. When we’re in class, I’ll review important or tricky stuff, answer questions, & walk around to help or grade your work.

    Grading Together

    Note that all grading will be done by the two of us sitting together. I will never accept homework turned in via email.

    Want to Show Me Your Code?

    If you want to show me some code that you’re confused about or need help with, please go to Pastebin, do the following, & then send me the URL:

    • Enter your code into the box
    • Set Syntax Highlighting to HTML or CSS
    • Set Paste Expiration to 1 week


    Accommodation of disabilities

    This university is committed to providing accommodations and/or services to students with documented disabilities. If you have registered as a student with a documented disability and are entitled to classroom or testing accommodations, please inform me at the beginning of the course.

    Academic Integrity

    This course will follow Washington University’s policies concerning academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty will result in failure for the assignment in question & referral to the appropriate individuals, who have discretion to impose a stricter penalty.

    While academic dishonesty includes cheating on exams and quizzes, it also includes plagiarism in written assignments. Plagiarism is not only passing off someone else’s work as your own, but also giving your work to someone else to pass off as their own. It also includes submitting work from another course. While I strongly encourage you to discuss your work with each other in and out of class, and while you may research issues together, your work should be your own.

    Any papers you submit must be your work alone, and must include citations to all references in your work. Please include the URL, or Web address, for articles and resources found on the Internet.

    If you have any questions about academic integrity, please bring them to me before you do anything that may jeopardize your grades, your education, & your future!


    I have no problem with students using a laptop, tablet, or smartphone during class for academic purposes; in fact, I would do the same thing. However, please do not use your personal device (or the computer on your desk) during class to conduct personal business such as Facebook, email, or IMing. This reduces your concentration & participation and distracts others around you. Repeated distractions will reduce your grade for the course. Please do what you need to do to keep cell phone distractions at a minimum.


    It is paramount that we respect each other in class & online. Follow this simple rule: disagree with the idea, but not the person. In other words, it’s OK to say “That’s a bad idea, because …”, and it’s not OK to say “You’re a bad/stupid/inconsiderate person, because …”.

    If you have an issue with a classmate’s behavior online, please bring it to me privately by emailing me at scott@granneman.com.

    If you’d like to find out more, please feel free to read The Core Rules of Netiquette, by Virginia Shea.

    Tech Support

    Need my help diagnosing a problem you’re having remotely? Something won’t install, or won’t work?

    1. Download & install the free Jing, which works on both Mac OS X & Windows.
    2. Record what you’re seeing on your computer screen, up to a maximum of 5 minutes.
    3. Upload the resulting video to screencast.com (also free).
    4. Send me a link to the video.

    In the email you send me, include the following information:

    1. What you did.
    2. What you thought should happen.
    3. What actually happened.
    4. Why that’s a problem.

    If you’re talking about a public webpage, don’t forget to include the URL!


    This course focuses on CSS techniques that professionals use every day to solve real-world problems. We will cover as many of the following as possible during this semester.

    • SCSS
    • Grid
    • Centering horizontally & vertically
    • Striped tables
    • Better data table UI
    • Negative margins
    • Version control with Git
    • Responsive tables
    • Media object layout
    • Full-page image backgrounds
    • Full-page video backgrounds
    • Parallax
    • Sticky headers
    • Fixed & “sticky” footers
    • Next/Prev
    • Typographic effects
    • Carousels
    • Overlays (AKA modal or lightbox)
    • Automated images after links
    • Accordian
    • Cards
    • Contrasting text against backgrounds
    • Cool borders & CSS counters
    • Multiple flowing text columns
    • Responsive Colors project
    • Agency
    • Facebook form
    • Thumbnail gallery
    • BEM
    • Alert Bar

    2019-01-26 Review

    Intro & Review

    2019-02-02 Visual Studio Code / Selectors


    VSCode: an open source, free, innovative editor for HTML, CSS, & JavaScript (& many other languages!)

    For installation, configuration, & extensions, see:


    :nth-child(odd) & (even)


    Project: zebra-striping

    2019-02-09 Selectors

    Cool tools

    VSCode extensions

    • Bracket Pair Colorizer by CoenraadS
    • Style formatter by dweber019
    • Lorem ipsum by Daniel Imms




    Project: negative-margins

    ::after & attribute selectors



    2019-02-16 SCSS


    Project: css-to-scss

    2019-02-23 Responsive Web Design with Bootstrap

    VSCode extensions

    • File Utils by Steffen Leistner
    • Placeholder Images by Jake Wilson



    • Bootstrap 101 + additions

    2019-03-02 Bootstrap / Flexbox


    2019-03-09 Flexbox / Grid



    NO CLASS: Spring Break!

    2019-03-23 Grid / Flexbox & Grid


    2019-03-30 Git












    WebSanity Top Secret