What does web designing involve?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Reznik, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. Reznik

    Reznik New Member

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    I am interested in building websites...possibly for a job in the future/ perhaps a web design business. I want to see if I like it, and if I do...then I want to take classes and maybe get a degree in it. What does it involve though - Is it purely design on editors like Dreamweaver or is it more technical with code etc.? What is the distinction?

    I know there is a lot of competition in this field, but I think if I can make myself stand out and stick with it...I will be able to make it.

    Thanks for your replies to my questions.,.
    Ash
     
  2. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    If you want to do it for a living, you can't rely on Dreamweaver. A solid grasp of graphics (Photoshop/GIMP skills), HTML/XHTML and CSS are required for basic websites. If you want to do big websites, it's probably good to know PHP or ASP and have some knowledge of databases.
     
  3. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    I'd say there's a difference between web design and web development. Web design is more the design/marketing aspect of putting a site together. You'd handle the graphics and layout, useability and all of that. Web development, I'd say, is more the backend coding. Not so much the HTML but more the code that runs on the web server like Java, PHP, ASP, Python, etc. To be really good at both at the same time is rather difficult. Usually you pick one field (graphic design or coding) and run with it as creatively as you can.

    To see if you like it, find some hosting space and build a couple sites. If you don't have a personal site, go ahead and build yourself one. Find out what interested you and what you didn't like about building your site. Continue improving your site or work on building sites for other people...

    From there, you could go into graphic design or a computer science related study in college (again, you probably don't want to do both because both can be pretty intense by themselves).

    As Penguin said, graphic design and web development does not mean being an expert at Dreamweaver. This is a tool that seperates the amateurs from the pros. Amateurs will use it to build a good site, but because they're lacking graphic design skills, the site will not have a polished look and feel to it (nor is it likely to be cutting edge). The pros will not only use Dreamweaver but other tools to implement their vision of a site. They let their vision drive the site design, not the tool they are using to build the site.

    Figure out which tools you enjoy using. Find out what aspects of web development get you excited. What tutorials do you enjoy reading? (coding ones or graphic ones?) Figure this out and this will help determine if you are someone who will be a coder or a graphics designer. And from there, just keep learning all you can of that field.
     
  4. Make some sites....if you like it....
     
  5. CompiledMonkey

    CompiledMonkey New Member

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    I think Astro really gave you a great answer, as did Penguin Man. On the subject of web design, I soooo wish I was good at creating graphics, layouts, and color schemes. I seem to have fallen into the developer category instead. :o
     
  6. Reznik

    Reznik New Member

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    Thanks for the reply...its very helpful.
    I hate codes or any of that programming stuff, and that is why I wanted to ask on here the distinction between the two. I want to be an artist... creating designs/web pages. I have done some websites in the past... but they were very crude drag and drop editors (one of those free software provided with webspace). So I had very limited tools and knowledge at my disposal. But I am creative using my hands, and off computer skills... now I want to try them on the computer and I think I will do well. As you said I am going to get some programs and start messing around with them and try to build my own website. I may take a look at graphic design also.

    AN
     
  7. rtfm

    rtfm omgwtfbbq

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    If you are not interested in getting neck deep in code, web design is not for you. Sure you can use WYSIWYG editors like dreamweaver, etc. but such editors are very limited in what you can accomplish in respect to web design. Editors like these will generate html/css code that is very inefficient (large sections of useless code) and makes use of copious amounts of tables (very outdated coding method) and are never up to W3C coding standards, making pages inaccessable to many people. If you are seriously interested in web design, I highly suggest having a look at http://www.csszengarden.com to have a look at some designs coded in standards compliant XHTML and CSS ( the future of web design ). These (XHTML and CSS) are the core lanquages you should have a good grasp on before you get into web design IMHO.
     
  8. cbas

    cbas Guest

    Learning web design itself can be a fun (although long) process. But the really tough part is selling your services, especially if you own your own company. I've been running a web deisgn company for about three-ish years now. All too often, I see that there are exactly two types of customers: (1) those who know what they want and don't want to pay crap for it and (2) those who have no clue about computers and how much work needs to be done to get something simple like a online store running and think that you are trying to rip them off or something. Others are fairly rare. Unfortunately for respectable designers, there are plenty of high-school n00bs who will work for crap pay and bring the expected income down for the rest of us.

    The best advice that I can offer is to work at becoming REALLY good at one (or a few) different things. A lot of designers face the problem of the fact that they are mediocre at a lot of aspects like graphics design, layout design, Flash, databases, scripting, etc. but aren't particularly good at any one particular thing. You're rarely ever find a job where you need to be a jack-of-all-trades. For a project that will need intense deisgn work along with robust database support, you will likely get a team to work on it. Otherwise, it will never get done in a timely manner. Granted, some skills go hand-in-hand together. If you want to become a Flash expert, it's probably a good idea to be pretty damn good at graphics/editing too.

    Now that you've been bombarded with information, good luck on your endeavor and reply if you have any more questions.

    Happy Christmahaunakwanzakka!
     

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