Like some of the previous featured exercises, this piece is designed to challenge web designer students. The illustrated article - a short piece written on the discovery of the two thousandth planet outside our solar system - uses the CSS Shapes module and flexbox for the ideal layout conditions, although it’s entirely possible to complete it using more traditional methods.
Timed exercises are an excellent way to test web development skills. While its good to spend time in craft, design and detail, sometimes work calls for quick, under-the-gun performance, and exercises are a good way of doing a “skills gutcheck”.
Very often I find that students are left frozen by the infinitudes of possibility, like a child faced with the first day of summer vacation: given the potential to do almost anything, they can’t choose, and so remain stuck doing nothing.
In the light of that all-too-common stumbling block, this week’s web developer exercise is a little different from those I’ve presented in the past: rather than working to reproduce a piece of work exactly, this article sets out a broad set of design goals, while imposing limits to the ways in which they can be executed.
I’ve often found that imposing restrictions actually helps students, forcing them to be inventive in exploring new creative options. Here are my suggestions, delivered as two separate projects.