Thanks to a growing number of software programs, it seems as if anyone can make a webpage. But what if you actually want to understand how the page was created? There are great textbooks and online resources for learning web design, but most of those resources require some background knowledge. This course is designed to help the novice who wants to gain confidence and knowledge. We will explore the theory (what actually happens when you click on a link on a webpage?), the practical (what do I need to know to make my own page?), and the overlooked (I have a page, what do I do now?). Throughout the course there will be a strong emphasis on adhering to syntactic standards for validation and semantic standards to promote wide accessibility for users with disabilities. The textbook we use is available online, “The Missing Link: An Introduction to Web Development and Programming” by Michael Mendez from

This course will appeal to a wide variety of people, but specifically those who would like a step-by-step description of the basics. There are no prerequisites for this course and it is assumed that students have no prior programming skills or IT experience. The course will culminate in a small final project that will require the completion of a very simple page with links and images. The focus of this course is on the basics, not appearance. You can see a sample final page at

This is the first course in the Web Design For Everybody specialization. Subsequent courses focus on the marketable skills of styling the page with CSS3, adding interactivity with JavaScript and enhancing the styling with responsive design. You can see a sample site for the capstone course at


  • Charles Severance

    Charles Severance

    Clinical Professor, School of Information

    School of Information

  • Colleen Van Lent

    Colleen Van Lent


    School of Information


5 out of 5 stars

November 13, 2019

Simply awesome ,loved your way of your teaching

5 out of 5 stars

November 12, 2019

I've learned a lot about HTML and ist use. At the same time, this was a good English lesson for me.

4 out of 5 stars

November 12, 2019

Overall, I think this is a pretty good course. It is specifically geared for complete newbies, and due to peer grading, it does feel like a virtual classroom environment. I docked a point because I felt that there are some quirks. The lectures themselves are fine -- however, I don't think the quizzes and projects match up completely with the lecture material. Some things, you are just expected to know by reading the online textbook and are thus not taught them in the lectures. The same pitfall I found in offline courses, which I feel is a bit unnecessary in online courses which don't have the same time constraints vs. the amount of material that has to be covered. But I'd hate to end this review on a bad note, because I really liked the course. It had a very positive and encouraging vibe, Dr. van Lent was very nice, friendly, and very clear in her lectures. She broke down CODE of all things into easily understood ideas. The chunks of material per week were just the right amounts to be encouraging and informative at the same time. I am registered for her CSS course and look forward to learning more from her!

5 out of 5 stars

November 11, 2019

Nice and great course