Please help a confused newbie.

Discussion in 'Web Design' started by sleekymicky89, Sep 4, 2014.

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  1. sleekymicky89

    sleekymicky89 New Member

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    5

    Helo evryone. I'm actually a learner and I've started reading a book called 'learning web design' from o'really media.

    I'm almost through with the book. Although i havent built my own site but I've only been doing the excercises.

    My problem is that I dont wana miss anything. Thats why I decided to buy a book online and I think this book is good enough for starters.

    It Covers the basics of html5(read dis) css3(read dis) and java(ive not started yet).

    My question is what do i do after this book. Should i just go ahead and build a site using wat ive known so far (and asking questions online wen i'm stuck anywhere) or i need to read more materials.

    Pls i need advice of a pro who knows the way to achieve being a great web designer. I really wana follow the right path to being a good designer. I dnt wana miss anything out.

    Thanks to this great forum and nice individuals helping we the newbies!
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014
  2. chrishirst

    chrishirst Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,639
    Learning Web "design"? Oh really! (the books are published by O'Reilly by the way)

    SO; First off, before you embark on ANY kind of "Web Design", of which CSS and HTML are NOT part of, because they are development not design.
    You should learn about "white space" and how it WILL improve 'readability'.

    So if I may;

    Start your practice by editing your first post and use the [Enter/Return] key somewhat more often, as "design" is about the 'look and feel' and 'usability' NOT the structural mechanics of the layout.
     
  3. Phreaddee

    Phreaddee Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,978
    ...and furthermore you will need to learn how to spell properly if you are to be taken seriously.

    as for what chris said, web design does include html/css/js, I think the days of a web designer simply producing something pretty in photoshop are over... most development roles these days ask for at least an understanding of a few other languages.
     
  4. chrishirst

    chrishirst Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,639
    No it doesn't, before you even even start typing the first '<' of <html> you will already have an image of what it is going to look like, even if it is only in your head, THAT is your design stage, you may not start off with a 'picture' created in Photoshop, GIMP, InkScape or Illustrator but you HAVE a design there before you start creating a structure.

    Architects do not design buildings by laying bricks.
     
  5. RDB

    RDB New Member

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    Before doing anything sit down with a pen and paper and sketch each of your pages out. Then create a sitemap of how your pages will be linked. Think of it as a flow chart. So you can visualise how people will use your site.

    The most important thing is not the design but the users and how they will interact with your website. Think about your user then worry about the design such as colours, fonts, images etc.
     
  6. chrishirst

    chrishirst Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,639
    But that IS the 'design' part. The 'design' of anything is the important part in defining how users will respond to or interact with it.

    Can YOU write HTML code without having some idea of what the final result is going to be??

    Cars ... The design comes before the build.

    Houses ... The design is done LONG before the footings are dug.

    Towns or cities ... The design does not start with the first bulldozer making space.

    Do interior decorators arrive with every kind and colour of paint and wallpaper available and start putting it on the walls until they find something that you "like"?


    Even IF you use a WYSIWYG interface YOU are not writing HTML, YOU ARE creating a 'design' and the tool is converting your design into the structure.

    I would defy ANYBODY to sit down with pen and paper (real or virtual) and write HTML and CSS from scratch to turn out a layout that was fit for purpose WITHOUT having a plan to work from.
    It is a bit like trying to complete a thousand piece jigsaw, where all the pieces are all rectangles (including the ones that are 'rounded') and there is no picture to assist you.

    Jackson Pollock may 'have gotten away with it' when throwing buckets of paint on the floor, but it isn't really going to work for very many websites.
     
  7. sleekymicky89

    sleekymicky89 New Member

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    5
    Thanks for that tip. I'm sorry if it was hard to read that post.
    I'm new to this site and i'm using a very cheap phone with poor browsing experience.

    I hope to get a better phone very soon. I already edited the post though. Thanks a lot.
     
  8. sleekymicky89

    sleekymicky89 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Are you saying that knowing html and css is just there to know as it is better to use a WYSIWYG interface?

    Ive read some articles online. Some will say its better to use pure html and css to get a good layout and structure of your site.

    From what you said now, are you implying i just know html and css bt still need to learn using a WYSIWYG interface like dreamweaver?
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014
  9. chrishirst

    chrishirst Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,639
    No. A WYSIWYG design tool isolates YOU from the structure, so you do not really need to know HTML and CSS UNTIL something goes wrong and the WYSIWYG 'breaks'

    Sure, if you are developing the site 'by hand' or you are a "purist" who thinks that WYSIWYG tools are for wimps, and you WILL find that the 'purist' still needs a plan (the design) to work towards.

    I know what bricks, blocks and lintels are, that doesn't not make me an architect. I also know quite a lot about HTML and CSS doesn't make me a designer. I have a friend and colleague who knows practically nothing about HTML, but boy oh boy, he can draw! With both electronic methods and dead tree materials. He makes brochures, posters, flyers and other advertising "stuff" and will make the website layout should the client need one.

    The simple fact is now matter how well you know the structural elements it does not mean you can 'design'. The 'design' part is an artistic element. Any body can take a box of lego bricks and make a wall, but to make a space ship or a helicopter from them needs imagination and a plan. HTML and CSS are the equivalent of "lego blogs" ... without the design plan about all you can make are coloured walls.
     
  10. sleekymicky89

    sleekymicky89 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Thanks Chris. I think i understand you now. Anyone who uses a WYSIWYG tool and make a perfect web layout without structural problem is well appreciated than one who knows a handful of HTML and CSS codes bt ends up designing a horrible layout.

    Your work should be what qualifies you as a designer anyways

    Now that comes back to me!

    I am learning html and css. Do you advice I should immediately start using them and see all i can accomplish to aid me being a web "designer" or i still need other "essentials" (probably not just HTML and CSS) to make me know the right steps towards being a good designer?
     
  11. chrishirst

    chrishirst Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,639
    Can you draw?
    Do you have any idea about colour theory?
    Can you pick up a product and 'know' a way to make it 'presentable'.

    Skills such as those make for a designer.
     
  12. Phreaddee

    Phreaddee Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,978
    I get the pen and paper, that is true, but web design does incorporate html/css

    Try getting a job as a web designer without knowing html/css. you'll be laughed at.
     
  13. chrishirst

    chrishirst Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,639
    Nope. As I said my designer friend knows very little HTML and no CSS at all. His idea of HTML is what the Photoshop slice and dice spits out.
    He sends me a high quality PDF of the design I write the HTML.

    Does a print designer need to know how an offset lithograph works just to design the layout for a brochure?

    There is no reason why a designer NEEDS to know HTML/CSS just because that how you happen to work, does not mean everybody has to.

    Some people just have not got the talent to design and to develop, if you HAVE the design skills there is NO reason why you MUST know HTML.
     
  14. sleekymicky89

    sleekymicky89 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Hmmm. To a certain extent..yeah I can draw (not extremely though because its been a while I drew) but I'm not bad at drawing.

    About the colour theory, I'm not really that familiar with that(at least not yet).

    To cut the whole long story short, do you advise that if I have only fair knowledge(or talent) in these aspects you've listed, I should forget the design and focus on another thing like web programming?

    Sorry if this question sounds "out of it". Just wanna be sure and convinced I'm doing it right before I start off anything. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014
  15. chrishirst

    chrishirst Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,639
    The visitors to a web page do NOT ever see the HTML or CSS and 99.99% of them are NEVER, EVER going to care about it.

    Users see the design, the colours, the fonts, the text flow, the images and the way it all fits together. They want to SEE how they can get from 'A' to 'X' without having to think too hard or even at all.
    They want to know what the page is about and how it assist them in their quest.

    THAT is the realm of the designer, the look, he 'feel' and the usability. But don't mix up usability with accessibility, Usability is the flow of the site documents, accessibility is how visitors that are using non-visual user agent can get from 'A' to 'X' that is part of the development process, the mechanics.

    Your decision is whether you want to do the bricks and mortar or the decorating, and in graphical constructions the decoration is planned first.
    If you want to design you need to know something about the psychology of selling or at least persuasion, quite a bit about colour science and colour "harmony" and all the kind of things that make visitor "trust" what they see. Really good designers just have an 'instinct' about these.

    So; If you want to be a designer learn the "arty" things and if you want to be a developer learn the structural things.

    But don't learn the structural things and think it makes you a designer by default.
     

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