Calendar

Writing for the Web


Calendar
Fall 2010

August

T 24 Session 1: "Orientation"
Our Tasks:
• Please surf the course web site concentrating on the syllabusMaterials and Texts especially — and the calendar.

Supplemental Sources:
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 1: Orientation.
• If time, interest and a thirst for knowledge allow, please look at Lecture 1 - Hardware from David Malan's course at Harvard, "Understanding Computers and the Internet."
• Please review "How to Defang Scary Technology" (Phyllis Korkki, The New York Times).
• Please review "What kind of website will you choose?" (Phil M., from HTML Primer) and Web Site Categorization.
Our Goals:
• Orienting ourselves to the class website, to computers and the Internet, and understanding course mechanics.

H 26 Session 2: "Setting Up"
Our Tasks:
• Please read the Web Site Project, the Web Site Proposal and the Designer Blog assignments.
• Please read the Documentation Page on Virginia Tech's Filebox site. Read the section "Transferring files to an account" carefully.
• Please surf Virginia Tech's Software Skills Gateway and consider if you would like to pursue any of the tutorials.
Supplemental Sources:
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 2: Setting Up.
• If time, interest and a thirst for knowledge allow, please look at Lecture 2 - Hardware, Continued from David Malan's course at Harvard, "Understanding Computers and the Internet."
• The web site supporting Castro's HTML, XHTML, and CSS, Sixth Edition.
W3Schools Web Primer.
• Robert Cringely's Nerds 2.0.1.
• Matisse Enzer's Glossary of Internet Terms.
The Webby Awards.
Our Goals:
Creating a basic web page on Filebox, getting a sense of how Filebox works, and considering references for web site design.

T 31 Session 3: "Basic (X)HTML Structure"
Our Tasks:
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 3: Basic (X)HTML Structure.
• Please read "XHTML Tutorial" up to, and including, "HTML Syntax" (from the W3Schools).
Supplemental Sources:
• Chapter 3 in Castro's HTML for the World Wide Web.
• Examples for Castro's Chapter 3.
• If time, interest and a thirst for knowledge allow, please look at Lecture 10 - Website Development from David Malan's course at Harvard, "Understanding Computers and the Internet."
Our Goals:
Formatting a web page using proper (X)HTML syntax.


September

H 2 Session 4: "Basic (X)HTML Formatting"
Our Tasks:
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 4: Basic (X)HTML Formatting.
• Please review "HTML Text Formatting" up to, and including, "HTML Character Entities" (from the W3Schools).
Supplemental Sources:
• Chapter 4 in Castro's HTML for the World Wide Web.
• Examples for Castro's Chapter 4.
• Chapter 21 in Castro's HTML for the World Wide Web.
• Examples for Castro's Chapter 21.
Our Goals:
Extending our knowledge of (X)HTML structure and formatting.

T 7 Session 5: "Links"
Our Tasks:
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 5: Links.
• Please review "HTML Links" (from the W3Schools).
Supplemental Sources:
• Chapter 6 in Castro's HTML for the World Wide Web.
• Examples for Castro's Chapter 6.
Our Goals:
Learning to create hyperlinks and anchors and to consider web site structure and navigation.

H 9 Session 6: "Style Sheet Building Blocks"
Our Tasks:
Web Site Proposal due by midnight.
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 6: Style Sheet Building Blocks.
• Please review "CSS Tutorial" up to, and including, "CSS How To..." (from the W3Schools).
Supplemental Sources:
Normal Flow - CSS Basics - UCLA Extension
• Chapter 7 in Castro's HTML for the World Wide Web.
• Examples for Castro's Chapter 7.
Our Goals:
Getting a sense of CSS and how it relates to HTML.

T 14 Session 7: "Working with Style Sheet Files"
Our Tasks:
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 7: Working with Style Sheet Files.
• Please review "CSS Background" up to, and including, "CSS List" (from the W3Schools).
Supplemental Sources:
• Chapter 8 in Castro's HTML for the World Wide Web.
• Examples for Castro's Chapter 8.
Our Goals:
Working with CSS to give web pages form and structure.

H 16 Session 8: "The Box Model"
Our Tasks:
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 8: The Box Model.
• Please review "CSS Box Model" up to, and including, "CSS Padding" (from the W3Schools).
Supplemental Sources:
• Chapter 9 in Castro's HTML for the World Wide Web.
• Examples for Castro's Chapter 9.
Box Model Web Page Layouts with CSS.
Basic CSS Box Model Demo
BrainJar.com: CSS Positioning
Our Goals:
Working with CSS using the box model.

T 21 Session 9: "The Word and the Web"
Our Tasks:
• Please read (or re-read) the Provisional Site Upload and the Designer Blog assignments.
• Please review Chapters 1 and 2 (pgs. 1-28) in Redish's Letting Go of the Words.
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 9: The Word and the Web.
• Please read Jacob Nielson's "How Users Read on the Web," "How Little Do Users Read?" and "Differences Between Print Design and Web Design."
• Please review "10 Tips on Writing the Living Web" by Mark Bernstein at A List Apart.
Supplemental Sources:
Writing for the Web: The blog of Writing for the Web 3.0
• Christine A. Quinn's "Elements of Style for Web Design".
"Print Design vs. Web Page Design."
Our Goals:
Developing ideas of how readers read on the web and how to write web content accordingly.

H 23 Session 10: "Text as Object"
Our Tasks:
Provisional Site Upload 1 due by midnight.
Designer Blog posting due by midnight.
• Please read Exercise 1.
• Please review Chapter 7 (pgs. 127-162) in Redish's Letting Go of the Words.
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 10: Text as Object.
• Please review "Information Pollution" and "Be Succinct! (Writing for the Web)" (From Nielsen's useit.com website).
Supplemental Sources:
• Nielson's Writing for the Web.
Our Goals:
Understanding web writing as a visual, hyperlinked object and formulating strategies for revising academic prose for the web.

T 28 Session 11: "Web Sentences and Paragraphs"
Our Tasks:
• Please review Chapter 8 (pgs. 171-204) in Redish's Letting Go of the Words.
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 11: Web Paragraphs.
Supplemental Sources:
"Blah-Blah Text: Keep, Cut, or Kill?" and "F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content." (from Nielsen's useit.com website).
"Web paragraphs are different" (from Gerry McGovern.)
Our Goals:
Examining strategies for writing short, coherent paragraphs for the web.

H 30 Session 12: "Editing Official Style Prose"
Our Tasks:
Exercise 1 due by midnight to the appropriate forum on the wiki.
• Please read the Non-Fiction Revision assignment.
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 12: Editing Official Style Prose.
• Please read "Politics And The English Language" by George Orwell.
• Please review "What's wrong with the " Official Style?" (please follow the links and read the associated pages). and consult "Making an Essay More "Academic."
Supplemental Sources:
"The Science of Scientific Writing." (PDF file) (Gopen and Swan)
Our Goals:
Analyzing the elements of "official style" prose and examining revision strategies.


October

T 5 Session 13: "CSS Positioning"
Our Tasks:
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 13: CSS Positioning.
• Please review "CSS Positioning" (from the W3Schools).
Supplemental Sources:
BrainJar.com: CSS Positioning
Our Goals:
Learning and working with the CSS code for placing elements on web pages.

H 7 Session 14: "On JavaScript"
Our Tasks:
Part I of the Non-Fiction Revision due by midnight.
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 14: On Javascript.
• Please review the "JavaScript Tutorial" up to, and including, "JavaScript Where To ..."
Supplemental Sources:
Dynamic Drive: Menu and Navigation Scripts.
Chapter 20 in Castro's HTML for the World Wide Web.
Our Goals:
Finding, integrating and manipulating JavaScripts to add interactivity to our web sites.

T 12 Session 15: "Creating and Manipulating Images, Part I"
Our Tasks:
• Please consider viewing and following one or more of the You Suck At Photoshop tutorials in order to develop an image or images for your web site.
• Please review "Beginner's Guide to Photoshop," "Creating a Watermark," and "Fonts and Text"
Additional References
"Graphic Resources"
"Adobe Photoshop CS Tutorials"
"Beginner's guide to Photoshop, part 1"
Photoshop Basics - Tutorials for Photoshop Beginners
Our Goals:
Investigating Photoshop techniques for creating and altering images.

H 14 Session 16: "Creating and Manipulating Images, Part II"
Our Tasks:
Provisional Site Upload 2 due by midnight.
Designer Blog posting due by midnight.
• Please consider viewing and following one or more of the You Suck At Photoshop tutorials in order to develop an image or images for your web site.
• Please review "Photoshop Tutorials for Intermediate Users"
Additional References
"Photoshop Tutorials"
Our Goals:
Investigating Photoshop techniques for creating and altering images.

T 19 Session 17: "CSS and Images"
Our Tasks:
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 17: CSS and Images.
• Please review "CSS Image Gallery" and CSS Image Opacity / Transparency
Additional References
CSS Classes and Styling Images: Dreamweaver CS3 Tutorial
Our Goals:
Modifying images and becoming familiar with class selectors in CSS.

H 21 Session 18: "CSS and Images, Part 2"
Our Tasks:
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 18: CSS and Images, Part 2.
• Please review from Image Sprites to You Have Learned CSS, Now What?(from the W3Schools). Additional References
How CSS Image Sprites Work - UCLA Extension
CSS Rollovers with Image Sprites
Our Goals:
Gaining a working knowledge of image sprites with CSS.

T 26 Session 19: "Extreme Editing"
Our Tasks:
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 19: Extreme Editing.
• Please read Chapter 6 (pgs. 93-126) in Redish's Letting Go of the Words.
• Please review Chapter 12 (pgs. 307-328) and the Interlude (pgs. 345-348) in Redish's Letting Go of the Words.
Additional References
Inverted pyramid
Our Goals:
Considering writing and editing strategies for web content.

H 28 Session 20: "Writing Genres, Blogging and Reporting"
Our Tasks:
Part 2 of the Non-Fiction Revision due by midnight.
• Please read Chapter 7 (pgs. 163-170) in Redish's Letting Go of the Words.
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 20: Writing Genres, Blogging and Reporting.
• Please review "Amateur Hour: Journalism without journalists (Nicholas Lemann).
Additional References
Clay Shirky on Internet Issues Facing Newspapers
Web 2.0 Summit 09: "Discussion: Whither Journalism?"
Our Goals:
Examining the constraints and benefits of writing in established genres on the web.


November

T 2 Session 21: "Workshop"
Our Tasks:
• Please bring to class any design issues regarding your site.
Our Goals:
Using the lab to work through design issues.

H 4 Session 22: "Workshop"
Our Tasks:
Provisional Site Upload 3 due by midnight.
Designer Blog posting due by midnight.
• Please read Exercise 2.
• Please bring to class any design issues regarding your site.
Our Goals:
Using the lab to work through design issues.

T 9 Session 23: "Perception, Thought and Usability"
Our Tasks:
• Please read Chapters 1-2 (pgs. 12-21) in Krug's Rocket Surgery Made Easy.
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 23: Perception, Thought and Usability.
• Please read "Usability 101: Introduction to Usability" from Jakob Nielson.
Supplemental Sources:
Web Pages That Suck - One of the worst web sites of 2008 - Toy Joy.
Usability.gov
Usable Web
Our Goals:
Examining how we make meaning from visual images in examining concepts of usability.

H 11 Session 24: "From Here to There"
Our Tasks:
Exercise 2 due by midnight to the appropriate forum on the wiki.
• Please read Chapter 4 (pgs. 53-68) in Redish's Letting Go of the Words.
• Please read the Usability Test Report assignment.
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 24: From Here to There.
• Please read "Is Navigation Useful?," "Breadcrumb Navigation Increasingly Useful" and Reviving Advanced Hypertext from Jakob Nielson.
Supplemental Sources:
Web Pages That Suck - Horrible Navigation Example
Web Pages That Suck -- Bad Navigational Metaphor
Our Goals:
Analyzing principles of web site navigation.

T 16 Session 25: "This Must Be the Place"
Our Tasks:
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 25: This Must Be the Place.
• Please review Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility.
• Please review "Top Ten Guidelines for Homepage Usability," "Evolution of the Home Page Design" from Jakob Nielson.
• Please review "The Ten Most Violated Homepage Design Guidelines" from Jakob Nielson.
Supplemental Sources:
• Chapters 7 and 9 of Krug's Don't Make Me Think.
Our Goals:
Examining research and norms governing home page usability.

H 18 Session 26: "How to Perform Usability Tests"
Our Tasks:
Provisional Site Upload 4 due by midnight.
Designer Blog posting due by midnight.
• Please read Chapters 3-6 (pgs. 22-55) in Krug's Rocket Surgery Made Easy.
• Please go to Scholar and go to the Resources page. For reference, consult Session 26: How to Perform Usability Tests.
• Please review "First Rule of Usability? Don't Listen to Users," "Recruiting Test Participants for Usability Studies," "Why You Only Need to Test With 5 Users"
Supplemental Sources:
FIU's new Web site: Usability Tests
Usability.gov
Usable Web
Our Goals:
Developing strategies for conducting usability tests on our web sites.

Holiday Break

T 30 Session 27: "Performing Usability Tests, Part I"
Our Tasks:
• Please have your web site at a stage of completion so that members of your design group, and members of your intended audience, can conduct usability tests.
Our Goals:
• Setting up, conducting and completing meaningful usability tests on our web sites.


December

H 2 Session 28: "Performing Usability Tests, Part II"
Our Tasks:
• Please have your web site at a stage of completion so that members of your design group, and members of your intended audience, can conduct usability tests.
Our Goals:
• Setting up, conducting and completing meaningful usability tests on our web sites.

T 7 Session 29: The End of the Day
Our Tasks:
Usability Test due by midnight.
• Please bring any questions to class you might have about the course and final assignments.
Our Goals:
• Surveying the course with an eye toward course goals and final assignments.

W 15 Final
The final versions of your web site and Designer's Blog are due by 4:05.
For reference, the exam schedule.

Celebrate!

Web Writing