What I learned this week: the structural layer


This week was all about the anatomy of a web page, including looking at the web standards model. This breaks web design into considered layers of structure, presentation, and behaviour. We can map these to web design as:

  • HTML (our structure)
  • CSS (the presentation)
  • Javascript (the behaviour)

This way of thinking of web design really appealed to me; I think it emphasises the efficacy of considering these layers as separate layers (or indeed, files) that build on top of one another, which will always start with our content marked up correctly inside our HTML.

After a look at the background of HTML itself and how it developed into what we have now with HTML 5, we started learning about some of the fundamentals and the vocabulary of HTML. Now that I know what a sibling element actually means, I might start improving in how I handle indentation in my files…

We then spent a bit of time looking at how to handle file naming and folder structure. I’ve definitely always been one of those people with files that are named variations upon ‘file 1’, ‘file 1.new’, ‘file 1.recent’, so I feel like I learnt quite a few handy practices that I’ll need to implement as we carry on in the course. I’ve been trying to already use the conventions discussed – using lowercase only, avoiding spaces, and so on – in my general day to day of my file management (not just those directly related to the course) to try and make this a general habit. It definitely is making things a lot easier to read!

In terms of our project work this week, I’ve had an interesting time creating our three designed objects mini-site. Given that we weren’t looking at any CSS, and only the HTML, I’ve found that there’s been so many little things to focus on, to get them absolutely ‘right’. A good lesson in how much it can take to get just the basics correct. Filezilla and I are still not quite best friends yet, either, but we’ll get there.

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