I developed an eleven part curriculum for Evanto Tuts+ to teach middle school aged kids about web design. The series walks students through creating a site with HTML and CSS and touches on crucial concepts such as white space and color theory in the process.
It was important that this series have a fun, welcoming, consistent theme.
I was approached by Tuts+ to develop a web design series for children with no specific age or subject requirements in place initially. I knew right away I wanted readers of this series to create something and not just read about how to create something. After visiting a local school I realized that middle school aged students would be perfect for a hands on, step-by-step series. While the students were unfamiliar with web design they were comfortable with basic computer navigation and internet browsing, so while the curriculum walks students through setting up files the bulk of the content focuses on web design principles and HTML and CSS. This research was essential in defining what assumptions were safe and not safe to make about prior knowledge and preferred learning methods.
Concerning the theme I got started sketches out ideas that could appeal to both boys and girls within this age range. After several iterations I chose a town centered concept; it was inviting and presented many unique visual opportunities. Tuts+ Town walks young students through how to get a project set up on their computers with the goal of building an actual website they can show their friends and family. All concepts are accompanied by supportive visuals to help break down complex concepts and reinforce the theme and branding.
I shared more about my process and lessons learned in a blog post here. The series has been translated to a number of different languages and is the foundation of many in-person classes.
A fun inviting theme, no assumed knowledge of HTML and CSS, must appeal to 11-13 year old boys and girls, to be published over the summer, friendly language, speaks to how to get help