Dumb question about UX design


I want to be a wordpress and Expression Engine developer. Here is the catch, I landed a job that focuses primarly on updating existing wordpress sites and Expresion Engine websites. I know HTML and CSS but barely know JS and PHP (I’m learning, slowly, been about two years). I only have several hours during the week to practice and get good.

My questions are this:

Is being a UX designer justify learning JS and PHP for web development or is UX designer a completely different beast?

What is UX design exactly? Is it just limited to the web or any software whatsoever?

Given the time I have (several hours a week, if that) is that enough time to become a developer (I’ve been at this for two years)? I’m struggling in learning JS and PHP (more specifically the Wordpress-specific functions I need to minipulate my Wordpres theme). Sorry if this makes no sense. My job is moving more towards UX designer and, as I have been told , and I am struggling to learn to become a developer in between updating the content of the multiple Wordpress sites I update and manage for the past two years. It’s like they want me to be a developer, but I DON"T HAVE ENOUGHT TIME TO LEARN CAUSE I"M ONLY ONE PERSON and am so busy updating everything I have now. They know that, it’s just frustrating. Looking for carreer advice here, thanks.

Does anybody know of any good Expression Engine Lessons (paid or free) so I can good at using/developing for it?
Learning Expressiong Engine appears to me like a tight circle of close-knit developers that I cannot get into!

Skipping the vagueness of what a “UX designer” is and assuming it’s to do with design of the front end - the bit the public sees. I’d say for that you need at least some skills with HTML and CSS. Javascript is a bonus, but PHP is really usually a developer role.

When it comes to Wordpress to do anything useful with it creating themes or functions you will need to learn some PHP. ExpressionEngine on the other hand you don’t need to know any PHP at all because you can use it’s native templating system to do nearly everything that WP would need a PHP function for. In the 100’s of EE sites I’ve worked on I think I’ve only used PHP to add specific functions twice, and both those were edge cases.

For EE related tutorials have a look at http://www.train-ee.com/ which has loads of freebies, or https://mijingo.com/products/screencasts/expressionengine-tutorial/ which is a paid video based course.

I am unfamiliar with EE, but I do have some opinions about UI and UX.

I am more a developer than a designer. I do know how to write mark-up for links, images, forms etc.
That is, page features for a user to interact with.
And I like to think I do fairly well with having the functionality do what is expected when those features are interacted with.

So I think I can do “UI” OK.

But “UX” is more than “UI”
It is an art and skill unto itself.

What is “clearly understood” and “works” for me, may not be true for others.
For example, I use a mouse in a desktop browser, and I know that clicking on an image will go to a new page.

But what about keyboard users? Even if I put an alt value for the image will others know it’s a link?
Are my menu navigation links where visitors are expecting them to be, and are they easily understandable as to what they mean and what will happen when clicked?

If a visitor has to jump hoops to get from point A to point Z can I simplify the steps needed to get there and make the process easier?

Thanks! I guess what I wanted to know is it possible to be a web developer and UX designer at the same time?
You said that PHP is for more for web developing, isn’t UX design the same thing as web developing? Or is that a gray area or “Yes” and “No” answer to that question.

I appreciate the resources you provided. However, I have reviewed those resources before and have alot of apprehensions with them. Train-ee.com has ways of showing you how to make a site, but on dated software (Expression Engine 2.0 and below) and no videos showing what and where to type. I have reviewed the Lesson section for Expression Engine on Mijingo.com and they also do not have the latest updated version of Expression Engine. Their lesson are available for download (at a very affordable price), but they ONLY cover “templating.” I need to know, templating, when to connect a channel, a field group, when to make a category, what the difference is between them all AND how to look at an HTML template and plan where put each of the numerous tags (e.g. channel, category, etc). I know this for sure because I’ve emailed this creator of the Mijingo.com lesson and he, himself, specified that he only does templating.

Are there resources that teach you everything all in one place (and perhaps, all in one paid package)?
How did you learn it? Did it take you long?

I come from a Wordpress background (and yes, Wordpress has its own problems), but Expression Engine is depleting me with frustration at the incredible shortage of updated resources to assist people in learning this very flexible tool. If I could learn this tool, it really would be a game changer for me and my clients. I’m hoping to learn this and not bang my head the whole way from one obstacle to another.

That sounds like something I 'd like to learn more about! See, I’ve heard people say they are “UX/UI designers” and then I hear people say they are “web developers”? Which is which? This is how I understand current web development,

Category 1 - Web Designers - basically, graphic designers for the web

Category 2- Web Developers - make things for he front-end user to interact with and talk with other third party softwares together. They see an existing framework and create online technology that “talks” with a pre-existing framework to “add-on” or “customize” something for a specific client need.

Category 3- Web Programmers- these people know like 20 web languages and do all there work (mostly) on the server.

Is this perspective correct? If it is, where does UX/UI designer fit in the picture? Category 1? 2? 3?


The big problem is that you’re trying to put boundaries on issues with a lot of grey.

A web developer is a programmer, usually divided into front-end developers (html/css/js) and back-end developers (php, or node, or what have you). A web designer is a graphic designer, sometimes, but can also blur into front end development a bit.

UX is something else entirely. I’d strongly suggest you go read about what UX is and then come back with more specific questions - as if you think it’s the same thing as PHP development, you’re on the wrong track.

Here are a few examples of info resources:

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ExpressionEngine can sometimes be confusing when you start out, starting from a blank slate isn’t always easy, and every sites content, data and structured content is different. But when you get the “lighbulb” moment it’ll all make sense and a world of opportunity will open. What I suggest is downloading the (free) core version of EE, installing it, and playing with it. Use it test various scenarios and see how channels, custom fields, categories and template all work together, the more you play the more you will learn.

There are plenty of tutorials around, i found these for you:


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