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Join James Williamson, as he shows you how to create elegant menus, links, and buttons that help visitors navigate your site faster and more intuitively. The course covers creating structured navigation that is accessible and clean, styling links, and building horizontal and vertical menus with rollover effects. The last chapter reveals how to create stylish buttons with special effects and CSS sprites.
Welcome to your first lab. In our labs you get to put what you've learned in each chapter to the test. I'll give you your overall goals for the project, but it's really up to you to decide exactly how you should solve the problems that I give you. After you're done working on your lab, be sure to check the solutions movie that follows this one to compare your solutions to mine. Well, in our first lab, we're going to be working on the index.htm file. Well, you can find this in the 01_05 folder. Now this page isn't going to look like this, but I want you to see what we're working on, we're going to be building throughout all of our chapters, the site navigation for the Roux Academy website.
So this is what the finished site is more or less going to look like. There's going to be some additional stuff going on, on our site, but this is pretty much what we're going to playing around with. We've got a couple of different regions here that we're going to be working with, we have a footer in the bottom, we have a fairly simple navigation menu up top, some of the pages are going to have additional content inside of it, that sort of thing. We are really just focusing on the navigation in terms of the menus, the submenus, and the navigation within the site. So the first thing that I recommend that you do is just go through the page structure itself.
Just scroll through the code, read how the page is structured, take a look at the different sections and regions and familiarize yourself with what's going on within the index page, and that's going to make a lot of the choices that you'll be doing on the steps up here a little bit easier for you. And so the first step is below the page's main heading. You want to add a link that allows users to skip the navigation and move directly to the main content. So just after this initial heading right here on line #30, you're going to want to add a skip navigation link.
Now just below that, you're going to notice a series of links, and that's step #2. So you want to structure those links so that they relate to each other, and I also want you to use a combination of HTML5 elements and ARIA roles to make sure that the links are more semantic and accessible. Next, you're going to scroll down and find the sections with the classes of spotlight and show, and both of those sections are right down here around lines 39 and the line 44. What I want you to do here is to read through these paragraphs, and of course, you can preview this in the browser to make it a little bit easier to read if you'd like, but read through what's going on each one of these and what they're referencing.
The first one is referencing the student spotlight, the second one is referencing the current show. Well, you'll notice that there's a little link that allows us to continue reading about this ,and right now it just says more info, and it does that in both cases. Well, that is not very descriptive. So based on what's going on in each of those sections, I want you to change that information for more info to something that's a little bit more descriptive. And the last thing you're going to be doing is you want to go all the way down to the page's footer. Now in the footer, there are three sections of links that provide quick links to commonly- used pages around the site.
You need to find each of those three sections, and then you'll need to determine whether or not--and either could be the case here-- but whether or not they could benefit from any additional structure, and you'll need to modify that structure accordingly. So if I go all the way down into the footer down here, about line 97 or so, you'll see that right after this header about Roux Academy, I have a couple of divs that contain sections of links inside of them, and that goes on for a little while. I've got several sections. We have admission programs, we have student resources, almost sort of share the same structure as having a couple of column of links in there.
Now the footer also has additional content as well. We have a couple of more links in there, we have the copyright information, so that's not all that's going on within the footer, and that's something that you need to keep in mind as you're making decision about whether you're going to modify the structure of that or not. Those are the steps you'll need, and that's what you're going to need to focus on for the first lab we have here. You know this is a big lab, but I want to have a little bit of fun with it. Experiment around with the structure of the code, and when you're finished, go ahead and compare your solutions to the index file that you can find in the finished files folder within the 01_05 directory.
Now, also don't forget to watch the solutions movie that follows this one, where I'll explain why the finished files are structured the way they are.
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