Rethinking web design instruction

I’ve taught Web Design for many years now. I started out teaching students how to use the now defunct Adobe GoLive. I realized quickly that wysiwyg editors such as GoLive and Dreamweaver were effectively bad ways to teach students how to build websites, and moved into html and css.

I”m seeing a new trend in web design that may make me rethink how I teach it. It seems that the big open source CMS packages, drupal and wordpress, are taking over high-end website design. If your site isn’t built on one of these two platforms (OK, maybe there are one or two others), it ain’t cutting edge.

This summer I’m undertaking two major site designs, one in drupal and one in wordpress. The drupal one is finished: http://www.msja.org (assuming they’ve launched it). The wordpress one is under construction.

My hope is to gain a deeper understanding of how to build within these two environments, and begin to shift the focus of my classes from building sites from scratch, to starting with basic CMS templates. This fall, I’m teaching Intro to Web Design again, and my summer projects will definitely bear some weight on the material.

2 Replies to “Rethinking web design instruction”

  1. I agree with you. I personally prefer WordPress. I’m curious how you would compare WordPress to Drupal.

    By the way, can I feature one of your abstracts on my Knowingart.com website?

  2. Thanks for the comment. WordPress is much easier. I was completely lost in Drupal. I could not wrap my head around the idea of “blocks”. The admin area had so many choices and links, it was overwhelming.
    If I ever use it again, I’ll need someone’s assistance the whole way through.
    There are still things in wordpress that are vague to me-I can’t quite get the idea of posts vs. pages, how to get specific posts to show up on specific pages, how to give useres their own page to post on, etc. I’m working on it though!
    Re:abstracts, please do feature one; which piece are you referring to?

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