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  1. #26
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    As I said, my wife is the design guru. I've asked her to explain how she does what she does, what the rules are... but she "just knows" from the client brief what they want, and they keep on coming back for more. No idea how she does it! But I can probably talk with her, do some Photoshop etc, and then when "the master" has critiqued it, I plan to learn how to implement her changes and suggestions. Then it's off to code it all up!

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vali View Post
    - start with design (photoshop), you can make a decent salary making porn banners...
    True enough... A friend of mine did that for a local company for quite a number of years.
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclipse now View Post
    As I said, my wife is the design guru. I've asked her to explain how she does what she does, what the rules are... but she "just knows" from the client brief what they want, and they keep on coming back for more. No idea how she does it! But I can probably talk with her, do some Photoshop etc, and then when "the master" has critiqued it, I plan to learn how to implement her changes and suggestions. Then it's off to code it all up!
    Designers design and coders code... It's some sort of left/right brain thing. As soon as I started working with great designers, I knew I had no business trying to design so concentrated on what I'm good at; Coding stuff
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

  4. #29
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    But I also have an explosive left brain. Maybe I should have been a writer or something.

  5. #30
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    I've been calling myself a "web developer" as I can't design my way out of my own backend, so to speak (though I'm really good at imitating someone else's design). Yet, I got accidentally drawn into this job because I can draw (doodles). Right brain? Left brain? Neither of those pigeon holes seem to work, and for lots of people.

    I imagine it would be pretty hard for you as a design/front-end shop to be able to just "pass on" the back-end stuff-- whoever that person is, they need to work as much with the client as the front-enders and the designers. The back-end is what DOES stuff-- it processes (and validates! not javascript) forms, maybe even orders for products; it keeps a running tally of visitors (people seem to forget, server logs are already a feature of your server, javascript trackers are only a nice extra or more details); it is likely bringing pages to the visitors depending on where they want to go; it may be working with a database.

    You (or whoever joins your group for back-end) not only needs to know a good back-end language (and no, it does NOT have the be PHP, there are lots of languages out there to learn... there was a time when people used to think cgi WAS Perl), knowledge of things like HTTP protocols (esp if working with mutliple things like feeds and multiple servers), MySQL/some database language, and more than just the basics of things like database tables, and security.

    This person will be interacting with the front-ender on usability/accessibility issues, flow/design/interaction, and all that.

    In our free time (lawlz, we don't have any) my husband and I are doing some projects, one of them being the local fire dept. In my dayjob, I do HTML and CSS, and a little bit of design (pretty junk). In his dayjob, he writes Perl backend things, dealing with servers, databases and also Javascript (I still haven't gotten into it very much). He finds HTML too easy (but doesn't know many tags) and CSS a mysterious plague afflicting the earth. We seem to balance each other out in skills.

    If you guys are going to keep it a two-person team, you will pretty much have to become the back-end guru. I only see the tip of the iceberg of what the whole back-end entails, and it's a lot to learn and takes lots and lots of time. And, likely worth every minute. You just can't beat excellent attractive design with perfect-working well-designed back-end beauty.

  6. #31
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    Get your husband into lynda.com "Css for designers" and other courses. It sure helped me. I'll be doing the php & mysql course next... but that's after I've caught up on some huge family things I've got to do.

    In about 2 months I've gone from being terrified by CSS to "understanding it"... and that's part time video watching at Lynda while the kids were home over Australia's long Christmas holidays. (6 weeks!) So I can "speak the language" to use an analogy, but I just can't spell in it yet. In other words, I know how it works and fits together and "understand" it, but use Dreamweaver and w3c.org to help me "spell" what I want to do. The Lynda course is great, you can probably claim it as a tax discount / business expense, and if you pay by the year, you get ALL THEIR OTHER COURSES as well! You could both use the one account, taking turns to watch tutorials while having a coffee break.

    Hmmm, maybe I need a commission from them?

  7. #32
    SitePoint Wizard siteguru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awasson View Post
    Designers design and coders code... It's some sort of left/right brain thing. As soon as I started working with great designers, I knew I had no business trying to design so concentrated on what I'm good at; Coding stuff
    That could very easily describe me.
    Ian Anderson
    www.siteguru.co.uk

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by hgilbert View Post
    web development = focuses on the back-end (php, asp, aspx, db's, xml)

    web design = focuses on the front-end (html, css, flash, js)
    Sometimes web development might mean more than just writing a back-end. It can also include
    - user interface (and researching how the client's employees will use the web-app)
    - market research
    - competition research
    .. and others..

  9. #34
    SitePoint Member SevenCube's Avatar
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    To K.I.S.S:

    Web Design = Design (front end)
    Web Development = Programming (programming)


    My .02

  10. #35
    SitePoint Addict tuxus's Avatar
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    I'm more of a developer, my day job as a penetration tester and before that a software developer makes me prefer it. With that being said I am learning photoshop and design principles as it helps in a pinch and is actually kind of fun. I've always been artistic though and that probably helps, theirs nothing saying a person can't have both abilities but the big issue is time. In reality I don't have time to do both. Any programmer should be able to figure out css and html though, it's far from rocket science and plenty of sites exist for reference the same way we reference site's for functions. We can't all be Zeldman's but anyone as used to proper programming structure can atleast grasp design....it is a better idea to find someone whom is focused on design however instead of trying to wear multiple hats.

    I see design more as graphics because of how closely the html/css can resemble coding but it depends on the team really. The definition difference between designer and developer can be a thin line in some cases.

  11. #36
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    Eclipse Now,

    That Lynda.com course you referenced looks excellent.
    Phases in the Core Process
    1: Define the project
    2: Develop the site structure
    3: Design the visual interface
    4: Build and integrate
    5: Launch and beyond
    Many of the discussions here seem to ignore steps one and two which are rather critical in my opinion. "Design" seems to be step 3, and "Development" step 4.

    I have designed only very small & simple brochure type sites for small businesses and organizations. Usually starts with "I want a web site" and I lead them through the defining steps. They maybe have a list of similar sites that they like or don't like and some printed materials. I am the entire team. I tend more towards usability than beauty. I've some ugly sites(poor color choices) as well as attractive ones. All simple, fast loading, and navigable.

    What kind of info do your wife's clients give her when they ask her to design? I'm curious. Somebody must be doing steps one and two before they get as far as asking your wife for a design.

    Sounds like you and your wife will make a great team.

  12. #37
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    They usually say "We have a High School we want a website for, kind of modern corporate... but also a bit of grunge for the youth. We need these link buttons... we'll do the rest".

    In other words, they've already assumed responsibility for every other step than the mere visual "look". The idea of my actually leading a newbie client through all this as a newbie myself is actually rather terrifying.

  13. #38
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    It seems to me, we either respond to RFP's where #1 is well laid out or we work with the client to define #1; Often with a designer or developer experienced with discussing project scope.

    #2 is handled by a designer or developer but often a designer because real design isn't just about making things pretty, it's about organizing information so that it is easy to access.

    #3 Designer (of course)

    #4 Developer

    #5 Developer
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclipse now View Post
    Hi all,
    Here I am as a budding young web-designer wannabe, and I'm not even sure where web design ends and web-development starts.

    How much database stuff am I going to have to learn? Where from (as Lynda.com doesn't have any phpmyadmin tutorials)? Will I really need to learn not just XHTML & CSS (which I fought for the longest time, hoping DW would do it all for me, but since have "seen the light") but php as well?

    What about the trend towards CMS's..... is there even a market for a "static" website any more?

    What about that database stuff.... is there a place for someone like me that might just want to learn XHTML and CSS really well, and then "hand it on" to someone else for database CMS stuff? How would such a hand-over work? (We're just a working from home husband and wife team... and she's the actual print designer, I'm just a web-designer wannabe).

    Any hints?

    Cheers in advance.
    Web Designing is more towards Graphic designing, HTML coding, navigation design, Content formating, Form designing etc. You need a passion for creativity to succeed as a designer.

    Web Development is more towards Database driven programming.PHP,ASP,.NET along with database/SQL skills are must.
    Macronimous web solutions
    Offshore web development services
    www.macronimous.com
    3000+ websites|400+ Customers|Services across the globe!|Since'99

  15. #40
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    Why does this question come up so often? Everyone has a different opinion, so spend your time developing the skills you enjoy, and you're well on your way. You can make a living with any aspect, whether it's just frontend design, html/css coding, javascript, flash, php, or whatever you wish. I started freelancing about 8 years ago as a hobby, and for the last couple of years it's been a fulltime job. Currently 75% of my work is flash, and the rest design and html/css. Find your passion. If it doesn't feel like work, then you're on the right track. Just take care of your clients and keep working your way up. Heck, I don't even have a site online, all of my work comes from word of mouth.

  16. #41
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    Web design is a part of Web development process I think!

  17. #42
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    I think a perfect analogy would be architect vs constructor. Architect can design how it should look and feel, then constructor builds it as planned. So architect = designers, constructor = programmers. For me, the most useful web designer is someone who can create nice theme/logo/icons/excellent at color coordination. Also, I don't use any of designer's code and just a snap shot is fine by me. As a developer, he should be able to match that snap shot in any means.

    What's ironic is that in this case, developers salary > architect salary

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by webdevvote.com View Post
    Web design is a part of Web development process I think!
    That's true until your client ask you to create some fancy logo/image... using left side of the brain is really tough for some programmers.

  19. #44
    SitePoint Zealot Nick Burd's Avatar
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    Being fresh into the whole "web design" field myself, I have found that knowing Xhtml/css are ESSENTIAL to the job, regardless of you being a front end developer or a backend developer.

    I am pretty fluent in xhtml/css and am starting to get into JS and AS3 myself. I do TONS of Photoshop layouts. But at the moment I couldn't be further away from wanting to learn PHP or any other backend language as there is still SO MUCH for me to learn in what I want (the frontend).

    There is alot of money to be made as a frontend developer, but you have to be looking in the right place. also, it seems as a designer, you will likely find yourself falling into some graphic design here and there, designing business cards, and logo's, etc. This widens your area of expertise and shouldn't be hard for any designer to get the hang of.


    Id say, stick with your frontend development, become a wizard with photoshop and frontend languages, and then later on, if you feel necessary, expand your knowledge to backend work, it could only be a good thing, and widen your changes of getting employment doing bigger jobs.


    thanks

    NickBurd.Com

    Check out my site, give me a shout
    and let me know what you think.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclipse now View Post
    Hi all,
    Here I am as a budding young web-designer wannabe, and I'm not even sure where web design ends and web-development starts.

    How much database stuff am I going to have to learn? Where from (as Lynda.com doesn't have any phpmyadmin tutorials)? Will I really need to learn not just XHTML & CSS (which I fought for the longest time, hoping DW would do it all for me, but since have "seen the light") but php as well?

    What about the trend towards CMS's..... is there even a market for a "static" website any more?

    What about that database stuff.... is there a place for someone like me that might just want to learn XHTML and CSS really well, and then "hand it on" to someone else for database CMS stuff? How would such a hand-over work? (We're just a working from home husband and wife team... and she's the actual print designer, I'm just a web-designer wannabe).

    Any hints?

    Cheers in advance.
    Back to the original questions.... Sorry I along with many others went off on a tangent describing the process and various other thoughts on design & development. Kudos to those who stayed on topic

    So it seems you would rather work on the front end and not bother with databases and server side language like PHP, ASP, .NET, JSP, Ruby, etc.... That should be just fine as long as you keep in mind that you will need someone to do the backend stuff or reconfigure CMS templating systems and whatnot when it come up. I love that side of things but that's just me.

    You could have a three part process where your wife does the initial design & art direction, you do the layouts and front end, and pass it off if there is any need for backend. Actually if they are static sites then it's a two part process. Static sites are still around... We still do static sites when they come up.
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

  21. #46
    SitePoint Evangelist IJoeR's Avatar
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    I actually define web design as "look and feel" of the website. A designer makes an image file of what the site should look like.

    A front-end developer takes the image file and builds the html and css.

    The web developer creates the scripts for the forms and other applications.

    Now, my official title at work is Web Developer. I do the last 2 of these tasks. I receive the PSD file from a designer and then i do the entire build after that. I write the html+css and code all of the scripts to make the site work.

    So, I don't think you can really say this does that, and this does this. I don't think there is a clear consistent line between who does what. I think we are all correct in our definitions. Its mainly based on your experiences or how your company works.

  22. #47
    SitePoint Enthusiast 8080a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vali View Post
    Also, for some twisted reason or another, they (graphic designers) seam to always be payed more than us developers... and take 1 week to make a logo the boss would like.
    Interesting. I started out as a designer but sucked it up and learned the LAMP Stack . . . command line MySQL, Linux and all . . . because the developers seemed to wield the power of God in the bosses eyes and they always seemed to be making a good $10K to $30K more than I was. I wanted to see what life was like on that side.

    I still do a balancing act between the two, but I will say that one distinct difference has been that often bosses (and everyone else for that matter) think they are a graphic designers by the mere fact that they can scribble a circle with a pen or have Photoshop installed. (Trust me, that "week to make a logo" business isn't always because the designer wants to take a week.) Unless you're in a creative services office, they aren't always impressed by your ability for forecast color trends. However, start addressing their site's performance issues in terms of relational database functional dependencies, blah, blah, blah, well it becomes a whole different dynamic. That's been my experience. I must say that having been on both sides, I kind of like being able to scare the pants off some of the bosses with some ominous technical talk and some voodoo server-side magic.

    I suppose the grass is just always greener on the other side.

  23. #48
    SitePoint Enthusiast 8080a's Avatar
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    So it seems you would rather work on the front end and not bother with databases and server side language like PHP, ASP, .NET, JSP, Ruby, etc.... That should be just fine as long as you keep in mind that you will need someone to do the backend stuff or reconfigure CMS templating systems and whatnot when it come up. I love that side of things but that's just me.
    There's been a lot of mention of front end design, back end development, and even project management. Where would ya'll say standards compliancy, usability, and even SEO fall in among all of this?

  24. #49
    SitePoint Guru rageh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canassassin View Post
    Correct me if i'm wrong, but I don't think you will get far just doing xhtml and css unless you are working with a team who will do the server side stuff.
    Well-said. You have to team up with somebody who can compliment you skill-wise. Or try to learn a bit of everything, jack-of-all-trades, so to speak. Just joking...

    As a matter of fact, being an all-rounder will not get you far either. You have to have a solid skill in either the front-end or back-end side of things. Then you will see people chasing you for the true skill(and passion) you have. Trying to be good at everything will only weaken your focus and learning potential.
    ------------------

  25. #50
    SitePoint Addict tuxus's Avatar
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    rageh that is true to an extent, I think as a developer it is best to atleast have an understanding of what the designer goes through and vice versa, that way you can plan the best methods for doing what your doing. As I mentioned I'm playing with PS because in a pinch small image changes can be done by me instead of burdening the graphics guy with something so simple, that and it's fun, however my true skillset is programming (and doing so in a secure manner).

    Standards compliance falls on both the backend and front end members of the team as both have a hand in it, SEO is dependent on what's being done, it is mostly a content issue, usability, the front end guy should have an idea of the front end design and it should take into account usability.

    IJoeR that is what I was saying each team is different, though I work in much the same manner as yourself.


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