If I could get my hands on a time machine, and go back two semesters to introduction to web design I would give myself the following advice and hopefully I would listen to my future self. The dialogue would probably go a little something like this,
Future Paula: “Hey Paula, it’s you from the future!”
Past Paula: “WTF! How is this possible?”
Future Paula: “The all powerful web master Blake gave me access to a time machine to come back to give you as much advice before you step into intro to web design.”
Past Paula: “okay AWESOME! So, this is going make my life so much easier, tell me how to do all the coding?”
Future Paula: “Hahah, I am sorry I can not tell you the secrets of html and css, but I am going to give you some advice that might help you in your web design journey.”
Past Paula: “css…?”
Future Paula: “Yeah, anyway, I know you know nothing about web design right now but listen. You end up liking web design a lot and you aren’t too bad at the technical part but, you aren’t that good right now; so you have to change something’s to be better. You get two books in intro to web, an orange one that has all the technical info you need and you need this book everyday and read it multiple times. There is also another book that you haven’t paid much attention to, it’s called ‘Above the Fold,’ It has a lot of information about design and usability. Read that book just as much, because the design and usability is just and even more important than knowing the technical part. Also, practice more Photoshop techniques so your designs can be more visually dynamic. Practice doing the html and css exercises outside of class, because the first two exercises will freak you out! Paula, either practice your illustration skills and get better or choose visual directions that don’t require you to illustrate because you aren’t skilled in illustration. This will save you a lot of headache. Spend more time understanding how to correctly do a repeating background because not being able to do this definitely hurts your design. Research and practice responsive design more, think ahead when designing responsive because your last project fell short in that area. When you are doing your thumbnails and roughs, spend more time on them, because having a good process makes your work better. There is still so much more that I would like to say, but you must figure some things out for yourself, but I will leave you with these words, VALIDATE THAT SHIT!”,
So, that is probably how that conversation, more or less would go.
For the incoming students to web design, the advice I would give you is to:
- Ask a lot of questions
- Read both of the books
- Take notes
- Be very organized (with your files)
- Practice at home and study for those exercises
- Try to problem solve on your own first before immediately asking Blake to tell you what is wrong, it will help you understand the material more.
- GTS (google that shit). There are many web resources to help you.
- When you are designing a site, think about the user and what information they would want from the site.
Here are some good web resources to help you when designing and coding.
- http://960.gs/ this is a great tool with every step of web design, it will help you with thumbnails, roughs, and building comps.
- http://photoshopetiquette.com/ This has some great information to help make building photoshop comps easier and more organized.
- http://www.webdesign-inspiration.com/ Here is some web site inspiration to show you just what is possible.
- http://www.rekkiabilly.com this is a cool looking band site from web design inspiration. It may help with the band website project in intro.