Welcome to the Web Page Layout and Design Concepts lectures area. This intro page tells you about the course and how to get started with it.

Each of you is a designer... Each of you has personal questions about design on the web, or you wouldn't be here. The purpose of this class is to help you move towards:

An 8-week journey

The first half of the course (May 12 - June 8) is about the basic concepts of design and art.  You'll find out how to see and use the elements of design.  The exercises will seem simple.  They'll help you develop new ways of seeing, thinking, and working on design.  The hardest week is week 4 (Color), because it's the most technical.

The second half of the course (June 9 - July 6) is four different one-week workshops.  In the first two workshops, we'll cover techniques to help you do design and layout work more easily.  In the final two workshops, you'll get creative, coming up with a new design and making it work as a web page.  The last two weeks will be the most intense.

Note to print and fine artists about the first half:  Discussions will revolve around applying design concepts within the context of web design, so the first weeks will give you more than just a refresher of things you've already studied.  In terms of how web design differs from your current experience, the most important weeks will be week 1 (form in the context of the web page "canvas") and week 4 (designing with color for the web).

How to pass the class

To pass the course and get a completion certificate, post completed assignments for four of the first six weeks, and both of the last two weeks.  (If you prefer to subtract rather than add ;-), you can skip posting assignments for two of the first six weeks, and still pass as long as your get your work in for all the other weeks in the course.) 

Why are the final two weeks' assignments required?  They're as close as this course gets to a test.  This is where you'll put all the bits and pieces you've assimilated in the previous weeks together, and make them work.

Here's why there aren't any tests in this course:   If you delve into the work and complete enough assignments per the rules above, you will have shown a strong commitment to your design journey, and will have gotten deeper into what design for the web is all about.  There's essentially no right or wrong in design, there's only what looks good.  If you care about design, you'll make the effort to get where you want to go.  The purpose of this course is to get your feet started on the right path.

Overall, the class is dense with readings and exercises.  Assignments will include:

If you work at it, by the end of the course, you'll have learned how to analyze designs, and develop more effective design, layout and graphics solutions.  You'll have broken out of old habits.  The "design" part of web design will be more fun and more fulfilling.  You'll have both feet on the path towards doing more compelling graphic design for the web.

Getting started

Until the first lesson is posted, you can read the textbook Intro chapter, and explore the CD-ROM that came with the book.  If you have the color harmony workbook, thumb through it a few times.

You'll need your own web space to post some of your assignments.  If you need help getting some personal web space for this course, please contact me at:

During the first three classes, I'll be asking you to work with black, white and gray only, so that color isn't a distraction when you're learning about the concepts of form, line, shape, space, value and texture.  I'll remind you about the b/w/g-only rule at the start of the each of the first three classes.

If this is the first time you've taken an IWA-HWG online eClass, log in to the Member Center, and check out the eClass Overview.  Then, log in to the eClassroom (WebX Login), and take the Guided Tour of WebCrossing, check the eClasses FAQs.  If you have any questions, please contact me at:


Please try to use IE 5.5+ or higher, NN 7+ (AOL8+), Mozilla 1.1+ or a current version of Opera as your browser for this course.  While the lectures will be readable in other browsers, they were designed for modern browsers that support CSS2 standards.  If you plan to be doing web design in the future, these are the browsers you will design for, until they are replaced with something better.

Currently, I think Mozilla 1.1+ is the best browser out there.  Its supports standards better than IE 5.5+ or Opera, it's more advanced than Netscape 7+ (which is based on an older version of Mozilla), and it comes without the additional Netscape/AOL stuff.  If you don't have Mozilla and want to try it, go to and download the version most appropriate for your OS.  If this is the first time you've use Mozilla, check out the look of these lectures in your regular browser, then in Mozilla, to see why I prefer Mozilla's standards support and rendering.

If you use a standards non-compliant browser, you'll find the menu at the end of each lectures page.  For right-hand CSS navigation menus, IE stacks its div layers sequentially, rather than based on their rendered position, and defines their boundaries as the full width of the page, even if that's not their def in your CSS.  So (for IE only), unless the right-hand menu divs are placed at the end of the page, the right-hand nav menu links become inaccessible because of the other divs stacked on top of the menu.


When illustrating your assignments with information, text or images from another web site, I would prefer that you either provide a link directly to the material, quote or paraphrase the material if it's text, make your own version the material if it's an image, or obtain an OK to publish the material from the author.  I know these are only class assignments, but web pages, even assignment work, can live on for years in search engine archives and elsewhere, and that can let you in for a possible copyright infringement battle months or years down the road, unless you protect yourself as above. 

I recently had to notify a web host about a site that had copied, without permission or attribution, a 2-year old review I wrote. The host took the site down.  You don't want to be faced with a negative situation like that in the future.

Every student here is honorable.  However, time can change how people view what's right or wrong about things, and what seems OK now can be not OK in a year, when you've forgotten all about your assignments.  Therefore, do yourself a favor, and protect your future by being extra careful about how you reference material created by other writers, designers and developers.

If you have any problems reading these lectures, please let me know at:

Course content, design, coding and graphics
© 2003 Heather Quinn, WindyHill Design, All rights reserved