HCDE 532: Web design studio

University of Washington // Winter quarters

Course provides an overview of the basic principles and practices of professional web site design & development. Through a series of step-by-step exercises, students will build a personal website using industry standard techniques. 

Upon completion of this course,
you should be able to …

  • Describe the core technologies that make the web work
  • Write basic (and standards-compliant) HTML and CSS from scratch
  • Understand the difference between client-side and server-side technologies
  • Test a website for conformance with web standards
  • Understand issues around web site accessibility
  • Be familiar with challenges when designing for traditional PCs, tablets and phones

Course Outcomes

  • Successfully set up a personal website on UW servers
  • Build an N-page personal website that is readable, accessible and mobile-friendly
  • Become familiar with an HTML editor as well as industry-standard content management systems

Course Prerequisites

Students should have a basic knowledge of the web and browsers.

Accessibility accommodations

To request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services: 448 Schmitz, 206-543-8924 (V/TTY).

Student conduct

Good student conduct is important for maintaining a healthy course environment. Please familiarize yourself with the University of Washington’s Student Code of Conduct.

Course materials

Course exercises and material

  1. Intro to Web standards and design
  2. HTML overview 
  3. Exercise: Set up your website on UW servers
  4. HTML and CSS basics (code overview and resource doc)
  5. Exercise: Creating and publishing your first web page
  6. Exercise: Page layout / adding images 
  7. Exercise: Using lists to make menus 

Course web sites

UW web sites

Required books

Recommended books


  • HTML editor
    • Visual Studio Code
    • Others, for Mac folks, BBEdit ($ or free)
    • Others, for PC folks, Notepad++ (free) 
  • FTP client

Other resources

Course requirements

Much of the work in this course will take place outside of the classroom. Students must have assignments completed when they are due. Exercises will be marked down 25% for every week they are late.


Exercises will be graded on a four-point system according to the sample UW Grading Guidelines

4 | Excellent quality work demonstrating superior skills, craftsmanship, and innovative approaches to the problem.
3 | High quality work exceeds the minimum requirements of the project and demonstrates thorough understanding of concepts and principles.
2 | Work satisfies the minimum requirements of most of the project.
1 | Marginal performance; does not satisfy the minimum requirements of the project. Problems with quality and/or knowledge of concepts.
0 | Falls well below expected standards in solving the minimum requirements of the project. Complete absence of evidence of learning.

:: HCDE 532 home/syllabus