Thursday, June 14, 2012

Web Design is About Communication

This spring, I created a new course on web design. As part of the process, I consulted with two experts who work regularly with web design. As a professor and course designer I highly recommend this practice. I sent a major assignment via email to both experts and got some very interesting feedback. First off, the experts suggested that I (and almost anyone who designs courses on web design) was going about things the wrong way.

The original assignment had well defined requirements in which students were required to create a website for a fictitious client according to specific requirements. But the experts suggested that there is rarely a time when a client knows what he or she wants and can explain that to you. A lot of the web design process involves communicating with the client to find out what he or she needs and negotiating with the client to determine what is wanted and what can reasonably be done within the project timeline.  The experts suggested that in addition to the technical skills of being able to create a web site, I should require students to learn communication skills to help them negotiate with clients.

Any web design class can teach about HTML and CSS, but a high-quality class helps students practice the skills they need to be able to communicate and negotiate with clients to provide a quality web design.

Learn more about E-Learning at Northern State University