General Question

monsoon's avatar

How do I start learning about web design?

Asked by monsoon (2505points) April 3rd, 2008 from iPhone

I have no knowledge about computers past the basics. What should I start with (HTML, or is there something I need to learn before I can learn about that)? And through what medium? Is there a book, or should I take a community college class (I plan on taking computer science classes, but is there knowledge I should get on my own)? I have no idea where to start.

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12 Answers

Vincentt's avatar

Start with the HTML tutorial on w3schools.com, then the XHTML tutorial there and then the CSS tutorial. Meanwhile, you’ll also want to learn using some image manipulation program (like Photoshop, but if you don’t feel like shelling out a whole lot of money then you can also take a look at the GIMP). You can then combine that knowledge to create a website (first design it in the image editor, then “slice” it, i.e. create the code that turns it into a website).
Alternatively, you could skip the HTML and CSS part and move on right through to the designing in an image editor and have someone else slice it for you.

Melonking's avatar

You should start with a simple web page, take your time to look throe the basics and note things like web tags and CSS. HTML is the best way to start when you have about 15 pages on your site you should look up CSS, there are lots of online tutorials on how to make a basic site. You don’t need things like flash art. If you want your site to look cool you can easily make a roll over image.

This is a free web site making program that is very simple to use just take a bit of time to look over it.

Please check it out at : http://nvudev.com/index.php
You can download it at : http://nvudev.com/download.php, you will need to download the windows version or mac.

Vincentt's avatar

Hmm, perhaps though, you are talking not about the actual designing (which you’d do in an image editor), but the coding of a design. In that case, just skip the image editor part in my response.
And if you want to take it a little bit further (to “real” webdevelopment) then you’ll want to take a look at PHP, but then you can ask another question here ;-)

Vincentt's avatar

@Melonkiung – Nvu is cool, but Linspire no longer maintains it. A maintained spin-off can be found at http://www.kompozer.net/ (you’ll need to download the version for your operating system, so if you’re using Linux, don’t download the Windows or Mac version…)

Melonking's avatar

If you give me your email I can send you a help full power point.

monsoon's avatar

these are great responses, my email is spimfar@gmail.com.

and yes, i’m not so much interested because i have a website i need made, but i want to get my feet wet. and i’m thinking of learning really learning coding and possibly pursuing web design or software development as a career option. it’s something that has always interested me.

cwilbur's avatar

Web design and software development are related but very different fields.

If you want to learn web design, get some good books on HTML and CSS—anything published by O’Reilly has a good mix of the pedantic and the practical, and Eric Meyer’s books are good object lessons in solving CSS problems in clean ways that nevertheless work with obstreperous browsers like MSIE 6. Then play.

If you want to learn software development, the quickest way is probably to go to school for it—you can learn it on your own, but it won’t happen any more quickly, and following a curriculum will make sure you have all the bases covered and that you can’t get set in too many bad habits—because unlearning bad habits takes a lot longer than learning good habits in the first place.

Brunty's avatar

Also check out www.pixel2life.com – it’s a massive tutorial database covering everything, has great Web Design and Development tutorials listed.

Rachelskirts's avatar

I agree with cwilbur—I taught myself HTML and CSS primarily by reading a few books I picked up from O’Reilly. They were really easy to understand while also being very comprehensive. The rest of the information I picked up by studying the source code from well-done websites, by participating in forums with other designers, and just from practicing with my own blog’s design. Also, as Vincentt pointed out, w3schools.com has quality tutorials for getting started with the basics.

luminous00's avatar

monsoon, you definately have the right attitude for this stuff. Wanting to learn everything you’re interested in will get you far in life. It’s a good trait to have, and that means you’ve found what field you’re interested in.

byrd's avatar

Remember that there is more than just the technical (Actual code) side, for example, learn about grid based design.

Also, http://www.alistapart.com/ can be good.

Anyone can design and code a decent site but those who are aware of things like grid based design are fewer.

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