This six-week introductory course will introduce participants to the process of developing Web content, including planning and project management basics, content strategy techniques, information development and modeling, design and user experience principles, basic HTML and CSS coding techniques, and usability / accessibility heuristics. The course will also introduce students to readings, resources, and tools available to help plan and develop Web content for information products.
Each week will feature a different Web development topic (Process Planning, Content Strategy, Information Architecture, Design, Scripting, and Usability) and will also challenge students with weekly tasks to help them develop their own Web site project. Students also will be encouraged to present their work in progress and receive constructive feedback each week.
The goal of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the wide range of skills, methods, and techniques used in writing content for the Web. The course is also designed to prepare students for more advanced or specialized study in other topics related to Web development.
Learning objectives and takeaways
- Describe process planning and content strategy methods used in developing Web content.
- Apply principles of information development and design used to develop Web sites.
- Identify testing heuristics and methods to maximize usability and accessibility for Web content.
- Understand the rules, syntax, and basic coding techniques of HTML and CSS
- Web development process
- Project management basics
- Working with clients
- Developing a content strategy
- Content chunking and linking
- Semantics and tagging
- Developing an information model
- Developing navigation tools
- Aligning information models and navigation tools
- Design principles and conventions
- User experience principles
- Responsive design
- Basic HTML markup, syntax, and rules
- Basic CSS scripting, syntax and rules
- Scripting tools and resources
- Usability heuristics and methods
- Section 508 and Web Accessibility Initiatives guidelines
- Automated tools and resources
Craig Baehr, Ph.D., is an STC Associate Fellow and Professor of Technical Communication at Texas Tech University, with 25 years of technical communication experience. He serves as the Chief Examiner for the Certified Professional Technical Program (CPTC) and Faculty Advisor for the STC Texas Tech University Student Chapter. He has served as Chair of the Technical Communication Body of Knowledge (TCBOK) project and as an STC Board Member. He is author of Web Development: A Visual-Spatial Approach, Writing for the Internet: A Guide to Real Communication in Virtual Space, and The Agile Communicator: Principles and Practices in Technical Communication. He has published, presented, and taught a wide range of subjects including Web development, instructional design, visual communication, and hypertext theory. Previously, he worked in industry as a technical writer/editor, Web developer, and program director for ten years for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He has been a member of STC since 2000.