Learning Web Design

Monday, December 04, 2006

From the post "Who are my readers ?" - I've found that I have some web designers on this blog, and I want a little help from them.So ... I want to become a designer, and I know I have to learn a lot.What you can do for me is to give me advices, resources from where to learn from, tell me your story in design, and anythiung you think that could help me, and other members of this blog.



Blogger gigi said...

well... i am sort of a freelance designer and have done a number of print design as well as web design (although my major interest lies in print design). from my experience, i have learnt design from studying the others'. everytime i stumble on something beautifully attractive, i like to save it to my computer (i have a folder named "design resources" where i can get inspiration from). for web designer, i guess the appropriate sense of colour, apart from coding HTML or CSS, is crucial. so please pay extra attention to those nice web designs each time you discover them.

it is a shame that i didnt actually subscribe to a lot designers' blogs, so i dont konw which one is particularly good at drawing design inspiration. but check out this one (the only designer's blog in my bloglines list): http://swissmiss.typepad.com/weblog/, although it is primarily about product design, it does refer to graphic designs sometimes and i have benefited a lot from reading it on a daily basis.
here is a collection of web designs: http://www.flickr.com/photos/splat/sets/981332/
another good resource is to look for the Del.ico.us (under the "web design" or "design" tag): http://del.icio.us/search/?fr=del_icio_us&p=webdesign&type=all

please remember: learning to be a designer definitely takes time.. so dont rush.. :)

this must be the longest comment i have ever written in my life.. hope it is of any help. :PP

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First and foremost you have to ask yourself, "Do you have the eye for design?" Do you know how to tell apart good design from bad ones? A good designer (especially web) recognizes the aesthetics, the functionality, and the communication of design. Most people do not have this, and that's why they are not designers. I'm of the opinion that it's not something you can learn (easily, at least - I feel it's almost instinctive), and if you don't have it, you won't be going anywhere far. You should really be able to spot good design anywhere. Anything from your music player, computer, store sign, dinnerware, and etc. But just because you know your iPod looks good, doesn't mean you have an eye for design.

It's also helpful if you have interests in marketing and advertising. Because to design is to communicate, and designing for companies means you're designing to sell. If you don't understand that some styles are inappropriate for some demographics, then you will be useless as a designer.

Like gigi said, it's important to look at other people's work. It's important to be able to imitate and not worrying about being creative when you do. Sometime in your career path, you will have to work on another person's piece, or have to work with an already established brand. It's important to get it right. It's also imperative to look at other people's work just to see the newest style, or what new capabilities there are for the web. The best place for this are some of the best web portals. I frequent
- thefwa.com
- moluv.com
- lookom.com
and some more.

What's key though is to know your place. Imitate the sort of websites that are just a little bit above your capabilities. Nothing is more crushing and pathetic as when you try to copy the best and it looks like shit. Work your way up.

The best sites, I believe, to start off with are hobby sites. The internet is great in that there are tons of resources for any disgusting fetish you may have, so you can design for what you're interested in. And of course, you know the demographic because it's you!

Of course design takes practise as well. You have to know all your tools, and worry about the coding aspect last. Because in the end, as a designer, your goal is to not have to give a crap about coding. Besides, there are alot more resources to learn about programming than there are for design. Design "tutorials" are usually shit, and are only helpful if you want to create a certain effect.

Good luck, but be realistic. Remember that your eye and intuition determines how well you'll perform. I'd rather be a good accountant than a bad designer. Although really, creative design is the best job ever. :D

6:35 PM  
Blogger John said...

I came to web design from a formal education in graphic design (CSU, '94). Had I known then what I know now, I would never have pursued my graphic design degree. It wasn't completely useless - it contributes to who I am, but it gave me little direct knowledge about web design. Some will disagree saying that many graphic design concepts, typography, designing with grids, etc., are applicable, but such topics are not rocket science and can be learned with enough self study and interaction with other practicing designers. There are many many great designers online who've never had formal training. To reiterate what Gigi said, read, read, read. Online and off. Read anything and everything by Jeffrey Zeldman, Eric Meyer, Joe Clark, Dan Cederholm, Veerle Pieters, etc. Read A List Apart. Then do. I would suggest learning XHTML and CSS. Don't rely on WYSIWYG editors (especially Frontpage or whatever they're calling it these days). Break out Windows notepad and build a basic site from scratch. Get "Eric Meyer on CSS" and build those examples.

7:18 PM  
Blogger necromanc said...

Thq for your comments.

9:16 AM  

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