Syllabus

Judson University / School of Art, Design and Architecture / Department of Art and Design /
Fall 2013


DES 331X-1 / Web Design 1
Professor: Lauren Meranda, lauren@laurenmeranda.com
Mondays & Wednesdays, 6:30–9:15 pm
Location: Harm A. Weber Academic Center


Description
This course will cover visual communication for web and digital media technology. It will begin with understanding site structure and mapping. Students will plan, design, and produced finished websites and other multi media projects. The student will gain a greater understanding of site maps, site navigation, menus, buttons and web graphics.



Evaluation
The course comprises many short exercises plus 3 graded assignments.

Exercises are designed as a means to become familiar with and explore the functions of various software environments. Each exercise focuses on specific tools and requires experimentation within those tool sets to discover their potential. Exercises are intended as brief studies to quickly generate many compositions or images for investigative purposes. Most exercises will be due the class period immediately after they are assigned. All exercises must be posted to the class blog prior to the start of the next class and tagged with the student’s name and exercise number. Please categorize all of your posts with your name, so I can see all of your work throughout the semester.

Assignments are intended as opportunities to synthesize and apply ideas explored through the exercises, required readings, writing, and class discussion. These are invitations to invent and experiment creatively with the vast potential of these ubiquitous design tools. Creative and ambitious experiments will be evaluated high, while obvious and easily attained solutions are evaluated low. All assignments must be completed to pass the course. Assignments are only considered as completed when they are available on the class website. Final projects must be uploaded to the class website by the posted deadline.

Late assignments will reduce the grade proportionally.

Active contribution during class is required. You are expected to be resourceful to your peer students and seek help when needed. The class website is available to you for questions, comments, and feedback amongst your peers and to the professor.


Grading

Your final grade is a result of the quality and craft of projects, rigorous effort given to the exercises, participation in class discussion, attendance, and a consistent demonstration of effort and understanding regarding the course concepts.

An A will be given for work of consistently exceptional quality and craft, along with the demonstrated quality of research and investigation which produced those results, as evidenced through the final work book, class participation, and attendance.

A B will be given for work of overall good quality and craft, along with the final work book, class participation, and attendance demonstrative of a consistent understanding and application of the concepts being presented.

A C will be given for work of average quality and craft, and the minimum amount of research done to complete the projects and/or an inconsistent demonstration of understanding the concepts being presented and/or poor attendance.

A D will be given for work that is of poor quality and craft and where the projects are incomplete or missing and/or consistently poor attendance.


Studio Tours
We will plan at least one studio tour during the semester. The tour will be scheduled outside of class time based on the most accessible times available for the full class. Studio tours are NOT required for completion of the course. However, this is a unique opportunity, and participation is highly recommended. This is a chance to interact with a variety of inter-disciplinary designers doing great work in exciting environments. I hope the tours will also demonstrate some of the diverse possibilities a career in design affords. We will discuss dates and times to schedule these tours during the first few class sessions.


Attendance
Attendance is mandatory and required to gain the required skills for successful completion of the course. Two unexcused absences may result in a reduction of the final grade by ½ letter grade, three unexcused absences by 1 letter grade. Four or more unexcused absences will be grounds for failing the course. Absences are only considered as excused if the professor is notified before the class meeting (accompanied by appropriate documentation). It is generally recommended to drop the course with more than four absences. Late arrivals are very disruptive for other participants. Being late to class two times will count as one unexcused absence. There will be a sign-up sheet for each class meeting. It is the student’s responsibility sign in for each class; this is the basis for your attendance record.


Materials
Students will need to use their own laptop computers and the required software in class and for completion of course assignments. If you don’t already, make sure to get a USB jump drive or external hard-drive. ALL hard drives (internal and external) eventually fail, so file safety cannot be guaranteed on ANY computer. Always back up your files. Loss or damage of data or files is NOT an acceptable explanation for late or missing assignments.

Your files are your responsibility!


Required Software
Adobe Photoshop CS 6+
Adobe DreamWeaver CS 6+
Adobe AfterEffects CS 6+ (only using later in the semester—hold off purchasing)
Sublime Text 2

Students must also have access to the internet and Judson email accounts to use the class blog for posting assignments and feedback. Please make sure you can access the internet from our classroom as soon as possible to avoid any delays.


Recommended Resources
See the Resources page for a list of reading materials, and online tutorials.


Conduct
Time spent in the classroom will be dedicated to presentation, discussion, and self-directed studio work. Any other activities or behavior not conducive to our coursework will NOT be tolerated. Prohibited activities during class time include use of cell phones for talking or texting, surfing the web or social media for unrelated purposes (no facebook, no tweeting!), private conversations amongst students, rude or insulting language or behavior, and any other form of distraction from the tasks at hand. Eating in the class room is prohibited. Drinks are allowed in covered containers only.

We have a lot of exciting work to do, and our time together is valuable. Let’s make the most of it.

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