COMD4764 Design for Mobile Devices

Course Description

Mobile devices have become a primary means to access information over the internet. And yet the presentation of information and user experience has not yet become fully established with standards. Mobile user interface elements must be concise, light, functional and adaptive to the capabilities of the device.

This course will examine changing standards, and emerging best practices. Emphasis will be on the types of mobile devices, such as SmartPhones and tablets, and the design and presentation techniques used to optimize the experience. We will be considering Responsive Web Design as a standard for an adaptive design strategy.

Students will be expected to have passed ADV3551 Web II, and mastered skills in HTML and CSS.

Attendance (College) and Lateness (Department) Policies:

A class roster roll will be taken at the beginning of each class. Only two absences may be allowed. After two absences, a student may be withdrawn because of unsatisfactory attendance (code WU). Students arriving after the roll is taken will be marked “late.” Students may be notified at the earliest opportunity in class after they have been absent or late. After being absent two times or equivalent (2 lateness = 1 absence), a student may be asked to withdraw from the class (code W before the College drop deadline, 4/9/08) or may be withdrawn from the class (code WU).

Academic Integrity Standards

You are responsible for reading, understanding and abiding by the NYC College of Technology Student Handbook, “Student Rights & Responsibilities,” section “Academic Integrity Standards.” Academic dishonesty of any type, including cheating and plagiarism is unacceptable. “Cheating” is misrepresenting another student’s efforts/work as your own. “Plagiarism” is the representation of another person’s work, words or concepts as your own.


90% = Course projects/assignments

Major project            40%

Homework            30%

Quiz                  20%

10% = Class preparation/participation/attendance

CP/P/A                        10%


Recommended text:

Responsive Web Design, by Ethan Marcotte, Publisher: A Book Apart. Released: 2011.

Programming the Mobile Web, by Maximiliano Firtman, Publisher: O’Reilly Media, Released: July 2010.

Building iPhone Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, by Jonathan Stark, Publisher: O’Reilly Media, Released: January 2010

Other Resources:,,,

Class Outline:

Class 1: course description; syllabus overview; Video presentation by Jonathan Stark.

Homework: Conceptualize the project site. Write up a small description (1 week). Choose a mobile device to research and present specifications (2 weeks). Device must be able to present web content.

Class 2: Understanding how mobile devices and websites differ from desktop platform. Technical information, stats. The browsing experience.

Homework: Prepare to present research on a mobile device.

Class 3: Presentation of student mobile device research for grade. Website architecture: desktop vs mobile device.

Homework: Site map, wireframes, and designs (1 week). Select a website to review usability, navigation, and presentation comparing desktop vs. mobile version (2 weeks).

Class 4: Setting up a development environment. Reviewing markup and standards for mobile.

Homework: Complete review of website for presentation and grade. Begin design and content development for major project site.

Class 5: Student presentation of website comparison. Coding markup

Homework: Complete designs of homepage and template page for major project. Must include a desktop version and mobile version. Prepare to present in class.

Class 6: Server-Side Browser Detection.

Homework: Implement server-side detection code. Continue development on major website.

Class 7: Present designs for major project in class. Introduction to Responsive Web Design.

Homework: Finalize designs. Build 1 responsive web design page. Continur to build homepage and templated page(s) for desktop and mobile versions.

Class 8: Studio Session. One-on-one critiques with each student. Come prepared to work on your major project.

Homework: Continue to develop websites, implementing changes based on feedback, where necessary.

Class 9: Introduction to Javascript for mobile browsers.

Homework: Complete exercises in mobile-friendly Javascript.

Class 10: HTML 5 and mobile rich internet applications.

Homework: Integrate HTML and mobile rich internet applications

Class 11: Quiz. Content Delivery.

Homework: Complete site for student show.

Class 12: Geolocation and maps

Homework: Complete exercises.

Class 13: SEO, mobile web stats, advertising.

Homework: Complete exercises, make efforts to drive mobile web traffic.

Class 14: Studio class. Attendance is mandatory.

Homework: Prepare for presentation of final website.

Class 15: Class Critique of students’ final project

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