Teaching CSS

I’ve been planning out the structure for a CSS workshop we’ll be offering to Lycos designers and developers sometime later this month. I’ll be collaborating with Steve Mulder, a colleague of mine in Boston, who wrote a book on style sheets when CSS was still brand spankin’ new. I used a simple outline that Steve sent over a few weeks ago as a base for a more detailed version of what we plan to cover. I’m planing on 5 sessions spread out over 3 days, with time in between each session for practical excercises or informal questions. The first session will be geared for a broader audience so that product managers and other employees can join designers and developers in learning why CSS is important.

In looking through the outline, I’m realizing this is a lot to cover in three days. We’ll be dealing with a mixed audience. Some of the designers have begun playing around with style sheets, or have tried using them for personal projects. Others haven’t even seen a declaration yet.

Any designer who originally came from the print world can pick up CSS very easily. The language used is mostly a carry-over of traditional desktop publishing vocabulary, with some alterations to cover technical limitations or more specific characteristic handling. Designers who didn’t get the pleasure of manually kerning “1”s in Illustrator, or collecting fonts and images for QuarkXPress output won’t be too disadvantaged, but at worst, may have to learn new lingo or ways of thinking about formatting.