Author Archives: kfitz

Project 1: Bad Web Design

For your first project, we’re asking you to use XHTML and CSS to produce a badly designed three-page website. Very badly designed: the worse, the better. (Or is that true? Is there a point at which design becomes so bad that it becomes good?)

To begin, first, read through the resources on DARPA’s guide to making bad web pages. Ponder what makes bad web design bad. When is a conventionally good-looking design actually bad? And when does really really bad push over into awesome?

Then, develop a three-page site that’s really, really bad.

For extra credit, using exactly the same code in your HTML files, and only changing the CSS, give us a good version as well.

This project will be due (by placing the pages in your MyWebs user space online and posting a link (or links) to your site on the blog) by the start of lab on Friday, February 20.


A quick note: my regular office hours for the next two weeks (Jan. 26 – Feb. 6) have been completely taken over by job talks being presented by candidates for the positions in English and Media Studies. Because of that, office hours will be by appointment only until Feb. 9, when the regular drop-in hours will resume.

welcome to your blog

This site is yours to make of what you want, a space for further interaction, for exploration, for testing out some of the ideas that come up in our discussions or in your papers. You’ll be expected to post your thoughts about our class reading here on the blog, but I also want to see you trying things out here for yourselves, thinking actively about how this blog might be made a useful space for thinking about and experimenting with the technologies that we’re studying this semester.

So any number of things might provide a good topic for a blog post. Here are a few suggestions (slightly modified from a similar list my colleague Meg Worley gave a class of hers):

  • Isn’t it cool the way that Author X seems to predict technology Y?
  • Aargh, I just can’t get my head around today’s reading.
  • Does “jargonterm” mean P or Q – or something else entirely?
  • Wow, Reading Z really reminds me of last week’s episode of Lost.
  • I could use some feedback on this idea I’ve been wrestling with…
  • Did she say A or B in class yesterday? I forgot to write it down.
  • Hey, I’m in a play this weekend, and y’all should come!

You’ll no doubt find other things you want to post about, too – things you stumble across on the web that the rest of the class should see, things you find in your research that the rest of the class might be interested in. This kind of sharing is what makes group blogs exciting; I’ll look forward to seeing what you come up with.