Web Design I

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The registration deadline for this course is usually before the regular deadline the 1st of September. Details for the specific semester are published in StudentWeb. You can register for the course at http://studentweb.uib.no.

This course is an introduction to the coding aspect in Digital Culture. It builds partly on DIKULT101 and DIKULT104, students are therefore advised to take the courses in this order.

The course is about making the right decisions for laying out information and content for different user groups on the web. We emphasize best practice in all aspects of this course: academic analysis, practical aesthetics, and practical coding. The teaching, the activities and the parts of the portfolio combine these, and reflect the main goal to understand how information can and should be represented on the web in different ways.

The analytical part entails training in sharp observation in information architecture, design and code in one's own and peers' work and public web sites. Students will also be trained in verbalizing these observations within the frame of the academic genre (written analysis with formal requirements to argumentation, citing, illustrating etc.).

The aesthetic aspect entails training in understanding and using conventions, both in traditional and web-specific design, to create efficient and pleasant web sites and evoke moods.

The coding aspect entails training in preparing texts for viewing on the web in ways that they are correctly interpreted by machines and browsers (semantic coding), and in separating content and presentation (CSS).

All these aspects are used in the topics: writing for the web (how to use hypertext and other conventions), information architecture (how to categorize contents and differentiates between mental models and different forms of navigation), usability and user testing (how to make the use efficient and effective), accessibility (how to cater to, e.g., blind users), responsivity (how to design a web site so that it can flexibly viewed on different devices).

The students have ample space to contribute with self-found web sites and resources to exemplify good and bad practice within each of these aspects.

The web sites produced in this course are static. There is no support for server side scripting nor use of database.

This course leads to DIKULT205, where the knowledge and the skills acquired are broadened by using server side scripting and databases, and by seeing web design in a frame of rhetoric and multi-modality.

Learning Outcomes


The candidate has knowledge...

  • about background coding in modern web sites with HTML and CSS
  • about best practice in tagging text and other content
  • about theories and conventions in web design, e.g. balance, colour, lines
  • about famous web designers
  • about different ways to convey a given content to specific user groups


The candidate can...

  • write both HTML and CSS to present both existing and self-written content (texts, images, other media)
  • use theories and conventions to create design
  • code web sites for different and specific user groups
  • analyse design measures and genres in modern web sites
  • write a critical report around the practical work with a web site, including justification of choices made

General competence

The candidate can...

  • organize group work and negotiate tasks and strategies to achieve the best possible result
  • critically assess their own and their peers' work
  • present and justify choices of their own work in front of a larger group and under time pressure.

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction


Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course
The course is open to anyone with the right to study at the University of Bergen.
Teaching and learning methods

There are ten weeks of teaching activity. In such a week, there will be one lecture of two hours, and a practical lab session with an assistant of two hours. There will be additional individual and group-wise tutoring. The semester stretches over twenty weeks. In the weeks with no teaching activity, students are expected to read, code, and write individually and in groups. Some submission deadlines fall into teaching free weeks. The syllabus is downloadable at Mitt UiB at semester start.

It is important that the students read and follow the course manual before the course starts.

The course has a steep learning curve. It is of utmost importance that the students are present and prepared from the first lecture and the first lab session. This includes following the instructions given at Mitt UiB even before the teaching starts. The students must be prepared for each lecture and lab session, since these always actively include the students in discussions about the topics. Sometimes homework is given (solve a minor coding task, find examples for principles set forth in the literature and at the lectures, etc.)

The total amount of work expected from students in this course is 20 hours per week, starting at semester start before the teaching and ending with the last submission, and including reading week. These hours should be used to prepare and attend lectures and lab sessions, to read course litterature, to do homework, to write assignments and the portfolio, and to gather relevant material at the library and on the web (books, articles, videos).

Learning activities extend over the entire semester of 16 weeks, while 10 of these are taught.

The students are expected to use the reading week reading, coding and writing.

We may invite the students to relevant guest lectures and events conducted by Digital Culture.

If less than five students are registered to a course, the department might reduce the teaching, please see the department's guidelines regarding this on Mitt UiB. Regarding a course where this is a possibility the students get information about this at the beginning of the semester, and before the deadline regarding semesterregistration 1.February/1.September.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Attendance is mandatory, effective for all teaching activities, including orientation meeting. The attendance is logged and approved by the teacher.

If the absence exceeds 25 per cent of lectures and/or lab sessions, the student cannot take the exam.

The course consists of 10 compulsatory assignments, which cover the different areas described in Objectives and Content. The requirements and the deadlines for these are clearly outlined in the course manual, and on Mitt UiB. For several of the submissions, there is mandatory tutoring in form of individual conversations or conversations in smaller groups. For several of the submissions, students must comment on peer work in an insightful manner. The student must submit a substantial assignment in information architecture, this can be done as a group work. The students get the result and a short comment on their work shortly after submission. If the work is not approved, the student has one more try. The teacher sets anew, manageable deadline, which is final.

The submissions must follow academic standard for argumentation, citing and illustrating.

Forms of Assessment
The student must submit one of the assignments submitted and approved during the semester in consultation with the teacher.
Grading Scale
Pass/fail. An explanation of this scale can be found on Mitt UiB.
Assessment Semester
Reading List

We use a course book in HTML5 and CSS3, and a few specialized books about design, technology and information architecture. These readings are completed with books excerpts, articles etc. which are downloadable from Mitt UiB. We expect students to actively complete the readings with self-found material, and to keep themselves updated by following design blogs and collections, and generally use web resources in their own work. Suggestions of such sources are given in reading lists and at the lectures.

All material is in principle in English. The students may refer to sources in other languages.

The reading list (as far as ready beforehand) is downloadable at Mitt UiB before the semester start. It will be completed subsequently. The material is available at Akademika or as e-books before semester start.

Course Evaluation
Evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the University of Bergen's quality assurance system.
Course Administrator
Department of Linguistic, Literary and Aesthetic Studies.