Web page design

I am currently studying for an M.Sc in software development and am about to begin my project. For this I am going to develop a web site for my universities careers service. Has any one got any ideas, tips about design. Also what is the best package to use as I have little HTML knowledge, I was considering HotDog professional V3. The package must be one where I construct the code otherwise it wouldn't be software, development. Should I try and incorporate Java into the site or is this difficult.
Hope you can help,
Thanks Richard.
Richie1Asked:
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gracieCommented:
I have worked with many remote workgroups.  Most of them are using HotDog professional V3 :}  Another popular one is Frontpage.  Both give very good results.  Frontpage is of course much more friendly for MSIE users, but keep in mind that you will need to look at your site in many different browsers to make sure that everything is solid and bug free.

As far as java goes, you will probably want a specialized product for that.  I'm assuming that you don't want to do complex operations which would require a deep knowledge of the Java programming language.  There are many gui programs that work for basic functions such as ticker tapes, counters, and animations.  
I use http://davecentral.com to see what's available.  Many of the products offer demos, so you can spend an afternoon playing with them, then decide for yourself which is best.

For planning your site, first, define your audience.  Are you reaching to -- employers, students, or both.  Who else?  Talk to them in depth before you start trying figure out the layout and areas of your site.  

Talk to the people who currently work in the career service department.  Find out what they do, and study the information flow.  Who do the they give answers to?  What are the questions?  What forms are people filling out by hand that could be recieved digitally through the web -- ever try to decypher long forms filled out by hand?

Then talk to students who use their services.  Try to find web saavy ones who probably already have a lot of insight about how the interactions could be made easier.  Also, what information was hard for them to get?

Make sure that your forms are extra easy to use and friendly.  If it's a long form, let the reader know up front how long it will take to fill out.

Good Luck,
Tracy Bryson
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Richie1Author Commented:
Gracie's comments are very useful, it has given me a good idea where to start and what sort of things I sould be doing before I actually begin to develop the site,
Thanks Gracie,

Richard Mills
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