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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru JoePrice's Avatar
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    The best web design courses for web designers

    Hello all!

    I'm trying to find the best web design courses around and was looking for any suggestions as to if you know of any good courses, or design schools....? -preferably in the UK, but i'm interested in anywhere.

    I am a web designer, and I have been for the past 7 years or so and I use web design tools every day - such as photoshop, illustrator, flash etc etc. I'm not looking for courses that just show me how to use these tools but rather i'm looking for a course that can push me to be a better designer, so this will include things like, generating ideas, colour theory, layout, typography.

    If anyone has come across any good courses i'd really welcome some responses.

    All the best

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard
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    You want a design course or degree.
    Such design courses are run by colleges or universities.

    So you need to find someone who has done such a course.
    The only problem is, they will have done ONE such course, and either loved it or hated it. and neither emotion is an accurate reflection on the course, but a personal feeling.

    Also design courses are run by arty types, not computing types, and the chances of them having heard of usability engineering are about zero - I visited the site of a design lecturer who works locally to me, and struggled to find the nav system - it was five one or two pixel squares which had to be clicked (no titles) - true mystery meat nav.
    And the college's site and her department's site were similarly arty, "clever", and very difficult to use.

    So it is going to be difficult.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot somecallmejosh's Avatar
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    I agree with Dr. John. Most university programs I've seen are trying to cram print design principles and concepts into web design. The medium is different and should be treated accordingly.
    Joshua K. Briley
    Website Design and Front End Development

  4. #4
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    degree courses are almost useless, i would suggest doing small courses that focus on typography, html/css coding and so forth.

  5. #5
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    I'd have to say your best course is the internet..Any course a school would teach you is out there unless you want that piece of paper that validates you.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot Crey_Design's Avatar
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    I have no idea what the courses are like in British schools, but I can tell you that most of the most successful designers/developers I know are completely self taught.

    A lot of college level coursework in web design, I've found, is not in keeping with current trends or languages.

    Get some books, and try www.lynda.com. They have great video courses on a lot of web material.
    Chris Reynolds
    Crey Design
    Arizona Web Design
    Personal Blog

  7. #7
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    I agree with the above posters about most collage course aren’t that good.

    I took collage classes and they taught me the basics but that was about it, I actually spent a lot of time in the classes on worthless crap.

    I don’t know I just learned the basics and then got books and continue to learn. There is always something new to learn.

    The best advice I got in school was a teacher told me “ you basically just need to learn how to learn because their will always be new stuff in the industry you will have to learn to keep up”.

    But it is good to try to study stuff you will use and not get stuck studing worthless junk that won’t help you.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Addict sparkdigital's Avatar
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    I've been looking for something similar (in the UK) but I just don't think it's out there. So instead I've bought some books by Jim Krause on design principles and have found them very useful:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/jim-krause

    Hope this helps and let me know if you find that perfect course ;-)

  9. #9
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    Even i am interested in the web designing courses. Actually i have no idea about the softwares. I am from India. Which software is most useful in the desiging??

  10. #10
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    I think all the adobe stuff is great, also they have great tutorials online, freaking amazing how good the tutorials are.
    starindia

  11. #11
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    While I’m a strong advocate of ‘higher education’ (11 years), I always throw in a caveat by saying it has to be ‘for fun, not profit’. I studied Commercial Art for 4 years in the very early 60’s, then the world became a rather nasty place for young men, even those of an ‘artistic and poetic nature’ and two years later I found myself discharged from the Navy with a 100% veterans disability pension and a few bits of steel in my spine that caused a distinct ‘tremor’ in my right hand – so much for art and design. Those wonderful inventions like “Paint” and “Photoshop” were still far, far away over the horizon. I went back to school and ended up in, of all things, the Anglican ministry.
    A couple of generations later, I a young parishioner introduced me to this thing called ‘a mouse’ and a couple of programs, one by Corel called ‘Draw’ and one by Macromedia called ‘Paint’ and I discovered 2 things: one, that I could once again do most of the 2-D things with colour that I used to do with oils, pastels and pencils and that two, all the principles of design that I had studied so very long ago were just as applicable, sometimes with a little creative ‘tweaking’, to this new electronic media.

    They say knowledge is power, and one of the powerful things about the principles of good design is their ‘staying’ power I was delighted to pick up Sitepoints “Principles of Beautiful Web Design” by Jason Beaird, and be reminded of the classes, almost word for word, of my old professors from my introductory courses in design from 1962!!! And to think, it’s available in electronic (.pdf) form as well! Another good, ‘spoon-feeding’ source of basic introductory design material is available at The New York Times ‘About.com’ site:go their main page and look under 'webdesign'. Don’t forget their freebie design course on ‘desktop publishing’ – again, the principles are timeless (and free). I agree with the comment about Lynda.com’s material – tried it, liked it – going back. (I know your way beyond this material but there may be some readers who are not so blessed).

    Here I am, over 50 years later, with most of the basic’s of good design available in electronic form, either in a $30 e-book or in tutorial format for free on the internet, that I’ve used both as a refresher as well as an updater, and courses, tutorials and forums on coding, building and maintaining a website, etc., literally at my fingertips!

    I don’t have the pressures of establishing a career, paying off the mortgage, raising the kids, or scraping together the kids tuition, but it’s too late to consider going back to school or re-training. Not only are the ‘hairs on my head numbered’, they’re in short supply. So with those things in this life that have remained constant, like good design principles, and are both readily and freely available, I’ve started a small business. I design and code small (static) websites,(pro-bono), for churches, not-for profit agencies, couples celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in style, or who just want to show off their grand-kids, and so on. I intend to ‘wear away’, not ‘fade away’, and all the excellent design material available just a ‘mouse click away is making that possible.

    Forget about the hallowed halls of academia at this point in your career, you know more than you know, and engage in some serious ‘self directed learning’. Take every good designer whose work you admire and ‘cull’ their bookshelf. And when your experimenting with your designs remember this: “If it feels good do it! If it feels real good, do it a lot! You’ll find you’ll keep on growing as a designer.

  12. #12

  13. #13
    SitePoint Member Valerie08's Avatar
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    I would also like to take a course for web designing. However, I can't afford degree courses yet; are there short courses available?
    I love this Handy Shop!

  14. #14
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    Here's the short form of what I rambled on before:
    For a 'quickie' on basic's try the New York Times website called 'About.com' and look in their index for 'Website Design'. Add to that their instruction on 'Desktop Publishing'. It's just a very elementary review of the design basics but it's right on.
    Second, your sitting on one of the best intro books on website design and design principles in general that I've seen in a long time: Sitepoints own "Principles of Beautiful Web Design" by Jason Beaird.
    Third, go to Chapters or Amazon.com and order Jim Krause's, "The Designer's Complete Index" for about $40. It's a set of 3 of his best books on colour, layout and his 'idea index'. In fact, get anything you can by Krause - they are small books - only about 6" high, but packed full of good info from cover to cover.

    After you have taken those first 3 steps, then start looking for a 'formalized' coiurse - you'll have a better idea of what your looking for and how to judge the quality of the program before you put out any big dollars and make a time committment.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard rguy84's Avatar
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    ........uhm this site has a vast amount of resources, even a few books.
    Ryan B | My Blog | Twitter

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzFuttock View Post
    Hello all!

    I'm trying to find the best web design courses around and was looking for any suggestions as to if you know of any good courses, or design schools....? -preferably in the UK, but i'm interested in anywhere.

    I am a web designer, and I have been for the past 7 years or so and I use web design tools every day - such as photoshop, illustrator, flash etc etc. I'm not looking for courses that just show me how to use these tools but rather i'm looking for a course that can push me to be a better designer, so this will include things like, generating ideas, colour theory, layout, typography.

    If anyone has come across any good courses i'd really welcome some responses.

    All the best

    Take a look at this: www.lynda.com

    It can come in handy to fill out the little gaps in learning.

    IC

  17. #17
    SitePoint Enthusiast WebDesignHome's Avatar
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    My partner took a course and became a CIW website design manager, which was quite a lot of work. She was mis-sold the course and found that experience was the best teacher. Just do your research on any company who offers a course first if thats the way you want to go. It's easy to check for any forums on the web giving advice about dodgy companies.
    Web Design Sheffield
    For all your web design needs. Bargain prices
    Style Model Agency


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