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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot allanlud's Avatar
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    What should a Web Designer/Developer know?

    Hi all, just a quick question...

    For a Web Designer/Developer starting out, what are the basics that they would need to know?

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    Depends on your goal. Lots of people start with "Build your own website the right way" and an idiots or dummies guide to wordpress. With those two basics and great salesmenship you can get started.

    There is a lot more to learn. Most Web Designers / Developers have a good understanding of html and css. A bit of programming, php and javascript. Good Designers understand accessibility (hint: more men are color blind for red and green, all good designs should be fully readable in grayscale) thats just the start for accessibility. Security, the list just keeps growing :-)

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    A little bit technical skills and a lot of creativity that makes a web developer to shine

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    SitePoint Zealot allanlud's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    I would say I am pretty good in HTML & CSS, and I am just starting to get into PHP now. My Photoshop skills are basic enough, so I wouldn't class myself as much of a designer. I think I would be looking more into the coding end of things. Should be starting an Internship very soon, so wanted to get someone's perspective on it.

    Thanks.

    Al.

  5. #5
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
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    There are lots of aspects to web design, and it's not easy to be good at all of them, so it's worth picking an area you like. If code is your thing, next consider if you prefer front end or backend work. If front end, get your head around HTML, CSS and JavaScript. If back end, something like PHP or Ruby etc.

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    SitePoint Zealot allanlud's Avatar
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    Thanks for that Ralph, I really think I prefer to do front end work so I guess I should concetrate on Javascript next.

    Also, another quick question... Is HTML5 & CSS3 used much right now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by allanlud View Post
    Is HTML5 & CSS3 used much right now?
    A lot of people are experimenting with them, but just remember that they are not finalized yet, so are continuing to change and develop. With that in mind, use them with care, and be aware that it will be a long while before there is full browser support for them. Most of the current browsers support some of the basic parts of CSS3—like border-radius—but not a lot of HTML5 is truly supported (but rather 'tolerated'). People are using a lot of JavaScript as a life support system for HTML5 elements, which is something I don't like much. My suggestion is only to use these new features if you really need them, and be aware that you'll need fallbacks for some users. It's fun to experiment with this stuff, as a window on what will be possible in a few years.

  8. #8
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    A Web designer and developer must be aware with the fundamentals and be technically well versed with designing and development. They should be conversant with HTML and CSS and these will assist them build a customized web site design and development. The designer should have complete knowledge of the powerful design tools as Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver as well as he has to be creative and have the knack of using color and shapes appropriately. He/She should be aware of all basic coding and connectivity. It is a requirement to refer to the latest tutorials and update and improve and enhance skill.

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    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy conradical's Avatar
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    When you say starting out, it will vary then. The basics, with regards to tools - Photoshop/Fireworks for design. A text editor from Notepad to Sublime to Dreamweaver. Knowledge of basic usage of database tools like SequelPro (Mac) or something similar - just to do minor DB maintenance of backing up/exporting/importing etc.

    As for head knowledge - HTML, CSS, working knowledge of Java script. For design, basic design principles. Still a good read is The Principles of Graphic Design. You probably want some definition and draw the line somewhere as to which way you are leaning - designer/developer or developer/okay designer. Whichever you choose you can always pick up the other one a little later.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Zealot allanlud's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the posts, greatly appreciated.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Enthusiast 3dy.ro's Avatar
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    For a web designer, I would say that that you should know:
    • HTML (at perfection)
    • CSS (at perfection too)
    • A JavaScript library (jQuery / MooTools / etc.)
    • Designing for a specific CMS (many go with WordPress, but you should go with what you like the most, based on your target clients)
    • Photoshop (as well as possible)
    • Client relationships
    • A little bit of marketing
    • Time and finance management


    And I think that's pretty much it. As for a developer, I have no idea since I'm not one, but some of the stuff above still applies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allanlud View Post
    ....For a Web Designer/Developer starting out, what are the basics that they would need to know?
    How to grab the attention of prospective clients, turn the attention into interest, and finally how to to separate their wants from their needs in order to offer a valid and valuable solution.
    All the design knowledge in the world is not going to sustain your business if you don't learn how to deal with (prospective) clients in a mutually profitable way.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Member SmilingAnny's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by allanlud View Post
    Hi all, just a quick question...

    For a Web Designer/Developer starting out, what are the basics that they would need to know?
    As for me, every web designer should know the most common mistakes of others and try to avoid them. I guess it's a good starting point. Here is a post on this subject <snip>.
    Last edited by TechnoBear; Sep 19, 2012 at 07:51. Reason: No self-promo links, please.

  14. #14
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    Web Designing or development is a hybrid of Creative and programming skills.In the first phase of web designing you will create web graphics using various tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator,Flash and Corel Draw.In the second phase,The development you will program the web pages using java script,PHP,Ajax and ultimately host the site in the server.The right blend of web graphics and development makes a wonderful website .

  15. #15
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    As for me, web designer should know how to work with Photoshop, how to code with CSS3, HTML5, jQuery. As well as an understanding of how to integrate the layout for the popular CMS.

  16. #16
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    Like all said above, a web designer should have good knowledge of HTML, CSS, javascript and for creativity Photoshop, Dreamweaver and other tools. The more you dig, more information you will get. But on the other hand, a web developer must also have useful information about security, database designing, servers.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Member SmilingAnny's Avatar
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    @ John Sammers It sounds like you had troubles with a designer

  18. #18
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    As a few have already pointed out the skill set is broad, if you are going to work alone then you need a much wider range of skills not only for web design but also how to get clients and run a business. If you find work at another company you should look at becoming an expert in a specific set of skills.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by williamwilkinson View Post
    Developers need to be more than code-generating grunt workers. HTML,CSS,Design Sense, JavaScript and Ajax, PHP, ASP, Java, Perl, or C++, MySQL Database, Flash , SEO are the most important things that a Web designer or Web developer can learn.

    I agree with most of what William has said but disagree about knowing flash as being a pre-requisite, it is just not generally accessible enough.

    Also a good designer needs to understand content strategy (great books on content strategy are: Clout by Colleen Jones , Content Strategy for the web by Kristina Halverson and Mellisa Rach ).

    I think the key thing to remember is that you need to start somewhere for me the basics are:

    Technical skills

    HTML
    CSS
    Javascript/ jQuery
    Server side scripting language (e.g. PHP) and associated database

    Intellectual skills
    Content strategy - with SEO as a subset of knowledge
    Basic design principles, I absolutely love the 1st edition of the Principles of Beautiful Web design published by Sitepoint.
    Principles of accessibility, a good place to start is on the Nielson Norman group website.


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