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Contemporary Web Design (Formerly Internet Applications and Web Development)

Contemporary Web Design

A student using an iMac in a computer lab

Contemporary Web Design

Icons for web browsers in the dock of a Mac computer

Contemporary Web Design

Contemporary Web Design

“It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

– STEVE JOBS, CO-FOUNDER & CEO OF APPLE, PIXAR AND NEXT

You can become one of the creative thinkers in digital technologies, able to provide solutions to anyone requiring a web presence to communicate, perform business transactions, and entertain. Web Designers create a seamless interface between the message and the user, applying traditional design methods on emerging technologies. Current languages such as XHTML, CSS and JQuery provide the framework for robust, dynamic, and responsive design regardless of the device you are viewing it on. Our graduates are agile designers, able to adapt and grow to meet contemporary design challenges.  

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Program Description (Laptop program)

NOTE: Students enrolling in this program are required to purchase their own laptop. For specific hardware and software requirements for this program click here.

This program will prepare you for an exciting career in the growing field of web design. Contemporary web design is the intersection of corporate appearance and technical functionality. You will become a strategic designer, able to deliver dynamic, cross-media content in a complex and competitive business environment.

You will act as the vital bridge between the design of a website and back-end coding including being flexible, creative and able to respond to the design challenges of the ever-changing digital landscape. 

Graduates possess the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to design and develop web content for all methods of distribution. 

This includes a focus on skills related to:

  • Communications for contemporary media
  • Configuration of Internet services
  • Programming
  • Website project management
  • Visual design

You will work with the latest web technologies focusing on coding for a responsive environment enabling distribution to all varieties of electronic devices. You will use the Adobe Master Collection and fundamental programming languages such as XHTML, CSS, jQuery and PHP. 

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Admission Requirements

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Career Options

Graduate employment may be found in:

  • Advertising agencies
  • Graphic design agencies
  • Self-employment
  • Web development firms 

Past Durham College graduates have found employment with the following job titles:

  • Digital Technician
  • Graphic Designer
  • Lead Web Developer
  • Web and Graphic Designer
  • Web Designer
  • Web Programmer
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Course List & Descriptions

Semester 1

Semester 2

Semester 3

Semester 4

This course provides students with communication skills essential in the design field. This course emphasizes skills needed to meet performance levels demanded by assignments in other design subjects and eventual career employment.

 

This course teaches students how to use HTML and CSS to create intuitive Web site interfaces and layouts, based upon universally accepted user-centered design principles. Emphasis is on developing good visual design skills using HTML and CSS as the primary tools. The first seven weeks are dedicated to developing the student’s skills in using Adobe Dreamweaver to create web pages that are well structured, that use CSS to apply design to the HTML elements and publish these pages to the dca.durhamcollege.ca web server. Adobe Dreamweaver is used because it provides an efficient way to apply CSS styles to HTML elements and be able to access structured templates for the creation of new documents when a student is first learning to create web pages. Students will use a third party sFTP client to publish their web pages/sites to the dca.durhamcollege.ca web server. It is important that students be able to publish right from the beginning course. It is critical to use appropriate naming conventions for file names and paths to files. Not properly naming files or paths will cause webpages/sites to fail and not work properly. Students will be required to publish their assignments to a designated location in their own account on the web server. Emphasis will be directed to creating well structured HTML code. Well structured not only means that the code should validate but also that the structure of the code is such that it allows the display and design of a web page. The second half of the semester is directed to the process of building a web site from initial needs meeting to final publishing of the site. This process includes the following steps of creating: thumbnails, roughs, comps, boxed site and static site. This process is iterative, meaning that any of the steps may need to be reworked over and over again before proceeding to the next step. Each step represents an assignment or multiple assignments. During the course of creating the assignments the students will use design principles to effectively communicate information to the viewer. The basic design principles will be covered in this class. Other design principles also covered in this class will include with the functional design using grid systems to organize information and general layout principles used in today web sites. The individual components or steps of this site will be accessible though a client portal that the student will also develop.

This course focuses on industry-standard software, specifically Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, to teach students how to create layouts, graphics and illustrative elements for integrated media projects. Emphasis is on producing graphic elements for Web sites, applications, as well as assets for video production, motion graphics and animations.

This course covers the basic principles of photography in a digital environment. Students consider both the technical and visual components of the photograph in critical discussions with their instructor and their peers. This course introduces the use of digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras as well as basic editing and printing techniques. The cameras used require the student to manually adjust shutter speed and aperture.

This course introduces the art and science of typography and digital colour theory. Students make strategic colour choices and craft well-designed typographic layouts for use in a variety of integrated media projects. They learn the basic principles of typography as they apply to meaning, legibility and information hierarchy. Students also explore the social, emotive and symbolic aspects of colour.

Elective general education courses appear in your program of study as GNED 0000. This is called a “placeholder.” This placeholder is replaced by an actual course that you will select from a list of available "elective" general education courses when you register in the relevant semester.

Please note that the type and number of elective courses available will vary from semester to semester and from year to year.

Please visit the General Education website for more information.

This course is a continuation of Web Design I, coaching students to utilize hybrid Web technologies to design user interfaces and complex Web sites that incorporate dynamic content. Students also learn to add video, animated and interactive assets to Web sites to provide a media-rich user experience. The course is designed to allow students to develop two web sites. Both web sites will be developed over seven week cycles. Both sites will be developed using a process of building a web site from initial needs meeting to final publishing of the site. This process includes the following steps of creating: thumbnails, roughs, comps, boxed site and static site. This process is iterative, meaning that any of the steps may need to be reworked over and over again before proceeding to the next step. Each step represents an assignment or multiple assignments. During the course of creating the assignments the students will use design principles to effectively communicate information to the viewer. The basic design principles will be covered in this class. Other design principles also covered in this class will include with the functional design using grid systems to organize information and general layout principles used in today web sites. The individual components or steps of this site will be accessible though a client portal that the student will also develop. In the static site stage students will integrate either or any of the video, animated or interactive assets into their web sites. By following a specified design process, students will be able to anticipate design capabilities and limitations in the early stages of the design process that will help in achieving a desired outcome for the web site design.

This course is a continuation of Digital Art, Illustration and Design I. Students learn to develop advanced skills in creating layouts, graphics and illustrative elements for Web and Media production using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Emphasis is on digitizing and working with hand rendered art created using traditional mediums and methods.

This course teaches students to produce video and audio assets for integrated media projects. Emphasis will be placed on preproduction and fundamental video and audio editing skills. Students learn camera techniques; studio recording procedures, as well as the basics of planning and producing linear, narrative-based video pieces.

In this course students create interactive movies using Flash and ActionScript. Graphics manipulation, animation, sound, text and video are used in developing content for mobile distribution. Emphasis is placed on creating content for videos, virtual worlds, digital signage, apps, and touch screen environments.

In this course students create interactive movies using Flash and ActionScript. Graphics manipulation, animation, sound, text and video are used in developing content for mobile distribution. Emphasis is placed on creating content for videos, virtual worlds, digital signage, apps, and touch screen environments.

Elective general education courses appear in your program of study as GNED 0000. This is called a “placeholder.” This placeholder is replaced by an actual course that you will select from a list of available "elective" general education courses when you register in the relevant semester.

Please note that the type and number of elective courses available will vary from semester to semester and from year to year.

Please visit the General Education website for more information.

Students create websites using content management systems such as Wordpress, Joomula and Drupal. Emphasis is on efficient design and the facilitation of rapid development of dynamic websites. Students also learn how to extend the CMS for client needs, ensuring they can utilize and maintain the site within their current working environment.

Students create websites using content management systems such as Wordpress, Joomula and Drupal. Emphasis is on efficient design and the facilitation of rapid development of dynamic websites. Students also learn how to extend the CMS for client needs, ensuring they can utilize and maintain the site within their current working environment.

Students learn how to add interactivity and functionality to webpages and digital assets. Students develop an understanding of JQuery and Javascript on the client side and how they are used to create highly interactive and dynamic websites. To facilitate Interactivity students examine popup windows, form validation, rollovers and digital overlays for video assets from concept to practical application. Understanding how to modify code libraries and customize routines for the most appropriate output is the primary focus of this course.

This course teaches students techniques to draw and animate vector graphics, images and text on a canvas. Projects range from animated motion background to simple interactive presentation. Student use HTML Canvas as the learning tool to apply the theory.

This course introduces the development of applications for social media. Students explore social networking, blogging, collaborating and media sharing, and concentrate on creating and implementing social media apps for these categories. Understanding visual identity, audience demographics, and content delivery enable students to integrated media solutions for the appropriate social media channel.

This course focuses on the conversion of video formats (transcoding) to multiple devices. Students will have an understanding of streaming video, compression, real-time streaming, downloadable streaming and live streaming; including the preparation of video for the specific model of delivery. Concepts and techniques for converting and compressing videos including best practices in conversion are key components of this course. This class is an important tool in the web design process as the focus shifts to delivery of digital content to multiple devices.

Elective general education courses appear in your program of study as GNED 0000. This is called a “placeholder.” This placeholder is replaced by an actual course that you will select from a list of available "elective" general education courses when you register in the relevant semester.

Please note that the type and number of elective courses available will vary from semester to semester and from year to year.

Please visit the General Education website for more information.

An integrated team of three instructions with a wide variety of skills used in the web industry coach students as they create rich media projects. Content consists of streaming video and audio; interactive animations; printed and/or interactive text; and photographs. Students work with clients to port material to mobile platforms as needed and distribute the content in the most accessible manner.

An integrated team of three instructors with a wide variety of skills used in the web industry coach students as they gain real-world experience working on a project with a non-profit organization, or pursue an internship-stle relationship with an appropriate media design and production studio of their choosing.

An integrated team of three instructors with a wide variety of skills used in the web industry coach students as they gain real-world experience working on a project with a non-profit organization, or pursue an internship-style relationship with an appropriate media design and production studio of their choosing.

This course is designed to provide each student with a final portfolio that is acceptable to a wide variety of web based positions.  It is designed to create a portfolio of work from other subjects and new assignments. It is the culmination of all the subjects from first and second year.  The course will provide instruction and critique on a more individual basis and will help the students to focus their portfolios to suit their particular needs and goals.

This course explores the current trends and issues in the imaging industry from technical, creative, and business points-of-view. Students are introduced to existing and emerging opportunities through guest lecturers, field trips, and independent research. Students will learn how to discuss and write about images and artists from a variety of critical perspectives. Students use their knowledge of visual communications, elements of composition and design, and lighting and exposure techniques to critique images in verbal and written format.

Courses and course descriptions are for the next academic year and are subject to change.

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Program Costs

 DomesticInternational
Tuition Fees$2,687$12,178
Compulsory Ancillary Fees$1,057$1,617
Incidental Fees$340$340
Total Fees:$4,085$14,135

Please note: fees are based on the 2013-2014 academic year and do not include textbooks. For more information please see Other fees to consider.

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Laptop Learning

Students enrolled in laptop programs will enjoy an exceptional learning experience through the use of technology. The advanced technical skills and knowledge that employers look for in graduates will provide students with a decided advantage when entering the workforce. Please pay close attention to the hardware and software requirements of your program as the requirements are not the same for all laptop programs.

How laptop learning works:

  • Review your specific program page for hardware and software requirements
  • Acquire your own laptop from a vendor of your choosing including all of the hardware and software components listed below

Please note: Some software may be included in tuition fees for some programs. Please ensure that you are required to buy software before making a purchase. 

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Laptop Requirements

HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS

For a complete list of hardware requirements please review the Hardware requirements and FAQ document.

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

  • Mac OS X 10.7 Lion or later (included with new Apple notebook computer purchase)
  • Apple iLife '11
  • Microsoft Office for Mac Academic 2011

NOTE: Membership in Adobe Creative Cloud™ is included in the Student Fees and will be available for new students in the first week of classes.

DO NOT PURCHASE THIS SOFTWARE PRIOR TO STARTING THE PROGRAM.

Creative Cloud brings together everything you need to create your greatest work. One simple membership gives you and your classmates to the very latest versions of all the Adobe professional creative desktop applications like Photoshop®, Illustrator®, and more — plus new features and upgrades as soon as they're available. And that's just the beginning. With Creative Cloud™, everything you need to create intuitively and collaboratively is included.

Free downloadable software (please download and install prior to the start of classes):

NOTE: These requirements were accurate at the time of posting and are subject to change. Please be aware that hardware and software versions are subject to change and will be updated as needed.

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Field Placements

A field placement component will offer you an opportunity to connect with web developers working within the profession and be exposed to current industry practices and trends.

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Opportunities For Degree Completion Or Additional Credentials

Qualified graduates may be eligible to apply their academic credits toward further study through Durham College’s partnerships with many Canadian and international colleges and universities. 

Please visit the Transfer Guide for more information.

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Disability Considerations

Students with disabilities who wish to discuss accommodation plans are encouraged to contact the Centre for Students with Disabilities.

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