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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast PixelStyles's Avatar
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    How to get up to speed with modern web design

    I'd like to pitch a question. From the perspective of someone who was in on the ground floor WAY back in the day (CSS wasn't even a thing yet) and wanting to get back in to it. I've since dabbled with style sheets at a very simple level and snippits of Java Script. When I last did some 'design' it was in Photoshop or Fireworks and you would slice it up and just serve it out in tables. All that has changed from what I've seen. So my question is, are their any resources (books or web) that will teach me the new techniques from getting my design from Photoshop or Fireworks to the new standards? I did some quick googling but it just came up with services to do the conversion to HTML/CSS for me. I want to learn how to do it myself.

    Any advice or leads would be fantastic.

  2. #2
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    There are lots of good books on HTML and CSS that take you from the start. I think that's the best way to approach it. Looking at it from the point of view of Photoshop is not really a good idea, IMHO, as Photoshop is not related to web design per se. It's handy for creating graphics, but it's better to understand how CSS works first, and look at what Ps can do from that perspective.

    SitePoint has a bunch of good CSS books, and you can find many more on Amazon.

  3. #3
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    I agree, there is loads of tutorials but they might not give you the whole picture and how to build from A - Z. Get a good book and read it few times.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Member WebYip's Avatar
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    Photoshop and Fireworks are still pretty standard tools of the trade, so at least you won't have those hurdles, although 3D is is being seen more and more, and that's something programs like PS and Illustrator offer now. Wouldn't hurt to learn Illustrator as well. CSS3 is what has probably changed the most since you last designed. A TON of things can be done via CSS3 that just a few years back were impossible to do with a style sheet. I would focus on those, and HTMLdog.com is a good site, as is the W3 Schools site. Lynda.com has some good video tutorials, but they aren't free. Dreamweaver might be good to get you up to speed also, with the coding hints it gives. Javascript is commonplace as well, and familiarity with the scripting libraries like jQuery are standard. The sites themselves, like Moo Tools' and jQuery's, have pretty good explanations of how to use them. Using tables has fallen into disfavor, and many people are using content mgmt. systems, like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. I'm partial to WordPress, and it's the most popular. Their Codex is the user's manual, and there are endless resources for WordPress online, like WP Beginner and WP 101.

  5. #5
    Life is not a malfunction gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    TechnoBear's Avatar
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    I would have to disagree with you about w3schools as a resource. www.w3fools.com explains why.

    There are plenty of good resourses available, some of which are listed on the w3fools site. You could try:
    http://code.google.com/edu/submissio...ss-javascript/
    http://www.opera.com/company/education/curriculum/
    http://www.htmldog.com/guides/
    http://www.iraqtimeline.com/maxdesign/basicdesign/

    The SitePoint Reference is also helpful.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Member WebYip's Avatar
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    I looked over the W3 fools site- it makes fairly valid points, such as W3 certification being nonsense. But while many of their long list of faults with the site are technically correct, they are factors that a beginner wouldn't really be concerned with. The site comes across as some sort of vendetta against W3 schools, and there's a lot of defense for IE versions which again, may be technically outdated, but IE still sucks, and you have to make all sorts of special considerations for it when coding.

    I used W3 when I was learning basics to refer to quickly when learning, say CSS, when I needed to remind myself how to format something on a simple style sheet. It's structured well for quick-reference. I certainly wouldn't say it, or most of what you'll find around the web, is comprehensive or should be considered a bible to be used alone. All the sites you listed and more are great resources, especially used together. And most people will outgrow W3 schools and any basic "lessons" quickly and see the deficiencies themselves as they progress in their knowledge.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast SDGSteve's Avatar
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    I think they key thing is to take your time with it, CSS can do lots of things and feel a bit daunting at first, I remember changing over and my earliest use of CSS was just to handle things like font colours and styles whilst still using tables, then to progress to CSS for the layout and so on, get to know it bit by bit just like learning a language.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast PromptSpace's Avatar
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    When it comes to brushing up your skills or stepping on the gas once again, the best resource is the WWW the information it serves cannot be constrained within a book. However, a few good places you can take a look at are- Lynda.com Video Tutorials and Tutsplus network. Tutsplus is a great resource for both Web Design and Web Development. In terms a books one very good book would be HTML & CSS - design and build websites by Jon Duckett , an amazing book!
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