Web Design

This section of the Virtual Workshops began life occasional collection of articles called 'Interface Design', designed to support the PHP workshops which rely on knowledge of web design. Once I began to write VWs for this section I realised that the topics covered were just plain old 'Web Design' and so this section has been renamed. The approach in these articles us rather different than the step-by-step approach in the other Workshops. This is largely out of necessity as every design is different (and I can't stand those tutorials where you design something to 'be the same' as the tutorial example) and so design issues are discussed using examples rather than steps to be followed.

Visual Design Tips

This is the first VW I wrote in this category. When I was lecturing I noticed that students were letting the actual task of coding lead the design of their sites rather than coming up with a design and then working out how to code things. This is the complete opposite to what we used to do when I first started developing webpages. Back in 1996 we students all looked around at new sites and wondered how they did this or that and tried to copy things. This article redresses this by encouraging the reader to look at how professional sites layout the screen and adapt that for use in their own design. Read On >>

Replacing Tables with CSS

In the back of my mind I've known that it was recommended that we should all use CSS, but I also had this feeling that it would be complicated (WYSIWYG editors don't support all CSS and neither do browsers). However, once I took the leap I realised that this is an infinitely better way of laying out your pages and thus I created a simple guide to converting tables to CSS and maintaining the same layout. Read On>>

A Brief Guide to CSS

After some feedback I got on the "Replacing tables.." virtual workshop, I thought it would indeed be worth writing something about CSS syntax and stucture. This VW is aimed at the novice or those (a surprising amount) who have CSS working via a WYSIWYG editor but don't really understand what is going on when they try to change things manually. Read On >>

A Brief Guide to HTML

A companion piece to 'A Brief Guide to CSS, this workshop takes a step back from design and thinks about how HTML should be used logically to structure a document. Elements, attributes and specific tags are discussed, but the main focus is to illustrate that a logically layed out document makes life easier when using CSS to control appearance. Read On>>

Planned Workshops

Forms and CSS - I'm thinking about doing a VW on formatting HTML form layout with CSS.


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