module specification

SM7107 - Web Design (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Web Design
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 200
164 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Website
Coursework 50%   Report
Running in 2022/23 No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module will provide students with a detailed understanding of the contexts and practice of internet publishing and will introduce them to the production of a website. The module will examine questions of internet technologies, social context, and the production process.

Module aims

  • To gain experience of the principle techniques involved in web design within a professional context
  • To survey and critically analyse the design conventions and technical considerations involved in web design
  • To analyse current trends in usability, accessibility, technological change and experimental practice in web design, in the context of current social, communications and design theory and practice.      


This module will provide students with a detailed understanding of the contexts and practice of internet publishing and will enable them to produce a website.
The course will examine questions of copyright and legal issues, internet technologies, and the production process. The module aims to identify the nature of the web as a medium and introduces a range of design concepts. In particular it focuses on the key issues of usability and simplicity on the web and the implementation of web-based rich media. It also focuses on a range of technical skills including page layout; image preparation and interaction design.

An indicative programme of study covers the following:

  • Web site design - Students learn about the design opportunities and constraints that exist for the creation of web pages.
  • Web coding and uploading - Students learn about the mark-up language that is used to format web pages and the techniques involved in creating and checking code. They will also learn about the issues involved in placing websites online for mobiles, tablets and desktop.
  •  Web Scripting - Students learn about the programming languages that are used to add dynamic content to web sites
  • Web animation - Students are introduced to software for creating dynamic and efficient animation for the Web
  • Multimedia web integration- Students learn to incorporate multimedia objects into web pages
  • Students are introduced to the current research, debates and techniques relating to usability design and accessibility of web sites
  • Students carry out a project that includes the techniques and skills developed in the module. The project enables students to explore ideas about the nature of the Web and to develop good web design practice.

Learning and teaching

Teaching methods include lectures and on-line interactive learning material, tutorials, seminar discussions, role-play activities and computer lab sessions. Students will be expected to attend lectures and take part into on-line activities as well as comment on their readings. The teaching and learning strategy will adopt a problem-solving and situated approach to expose students to real-life scenarios and digital media management briefs.
A blended learning strategy will be employed to enhance the learning experience. The VLE will be used as a platform to support online discussions, role-play and situated learning experiences and to facilitate formative assessment and related feedback as well as a tool to integrate useful online learning materials provided by professional organisations and other relevant sources.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module post-graduate students will be able to:

LO1 Use and evaluate a wide range of software tools and production techniques to create a web site.
LO2 Design web sites that meet the needs of users and balance usability and accessibility with technical and design innovation.
LO3 Research and analyse web development practice in a social context.

Assessment strategy

The assessment methods will test the development of students’ understanding of both web design theory and practice, particularly in the context of user-centred design and the broader social implications of the web. They will also test the level of student's understanding of web publishing.
They will also provide evidence of the rationale for the work that students have created and highlight their understanding of how usability, accessibility and management of technical innovation impact on web site design (LO2). The uploading of the site and submission of source files on disk will provide evidence of the level of technical expertise that students have gained (LO1).
The 2000 word report will provide evidence of individual student's ability to analyse issues in web design in relation to their own work. (LO3).



Duckett, J. (2011) HTML & CSS: Design and Build Web Sites, 1 edition. ed, John Wiley & Sons: Indianapolis, IN.

Garrett, J.J. (2010) The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond, 2 edition. ed, New Riders.

Krug, S. (2013) Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 3 edition. ed, New Riders: Berkeley, Calif.

Norman, D.A. (2013) The Design of Everyday Things, Revised and Expanded Edition, 2nd revised and expanded ed edition. ed, MIT Press.

Redish, J. (2012) Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content That Works, 2nd Revised edition edition. ed, Morgan Kaufmann: Amsterdam ; Boston.

Weinschenk, S. (2011) 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People: What Makes Them Tick?, 1 edition. ed, New Riders: Berkeley, CA.

On-line resources A List Apart explores the design, development, and meaning of web content, with a special focus on web standards and best practices. The World Wide Web Consortium The awards for design, creativity and innovation on the Internet Directory of news published online about web design