Entry level web design education

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by sdilley14, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. sdilley14 macrumors 65816

    Feb 8, 2007
    Mesa, AZ
    I have tinkered with the idea of getting into web design for several years. I've dabbled in HTML, I've dabbled in WYSIWYG editors like Dreamweaver, I've dabbled with Photoshop, I've dabbled with WordPress and things like that. I know there are numerous resources on the internet, most for free, that provide a wealth of knowledge in regards to web design. I know there are enough free tutorials, walk throughs, etc. out there that a person could become a quality, self-taught web designer. My big problem is that I am horrible at picking things up on my own. I am a visual learner. I can't just read and walk through a tutorial and learn the content. I need to see the work being done in order to really get a grasp on it. I learn much better in a classroom type environment where I can SEE work being done and I can ask questions and get assistance on the spot. I just can't sit in front of a computer a watch videos and read manuals and actually LEARN that way.

    So, I am looking at taking a short web design course at my local technical college to get some basic web design knowledge/experience. I feel that if I get some of the basic fundamentals down, I can build off of that base knowledge and learn more advanced techniques on my own, rather than trying to teach myself everything from the ground up.

    What are your thoughts on this program?


    It's a basic program, not terribly expensive.

    My main objective is to get enough web design/graphic design knowledge that will allow me to make some basic websites for small businesses, independant business people (realtors, mortgage brokers, etc.), things like that. I would like to parlay this into a small side business. I want to learn real web design processes/techniques...I don't want to use templates or WYSIWYG editors...I want to make clean, simple, attractive, affordable websites.

  2. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    Visual learner:

    Check out Lynda.com
    They have a 30 day free trial, after that only something like $25US / month. Within that 30 days you can learn quite a bit.

    Check out Stanford Online
    They have more free courses ( don't count towards credit without paying ) than you have available in life hours left to learn.
  3. nitromac macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2012
    Design is an art form so you initially need some sort of creative ability and a good eye for color, proportion, etc. If you have at least a little bit of those, you can google some well designed websites to get some inspiration and a general overview of what people are looking for these days.

    As for learning the design and coding part, there are many useful video tutorials online (codeschool is paid but very good because they show you short videos after which you do a small coding exercise to learn the stuff yourself) and I agree with avoiding the WYSIWYG editors because you don't gain an understanding of what the HTML code is doing, so if anything goes wrong, you're SOL.
  4. olup macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2011
    I think the best way to learn is to work on a project, try to create a website of one of your hobbies. That way you'll have more fun learning and using the techniques you've learned.

    Once you did a couple of websites for yourself you can take it to the streets and do some stuff for friends or maybe even people you don't know, actual clients.

    Taking a course at your local college may not be a bad thing, but in the end the only way you learn is to use the techniques you've acquired constantly and build on that to expand them. Keep in mind that you may end up with a teacher, who isn't really a good teacher.

    You'll only learn so much in a course, but it depends on you what you make of it. ;)

    Best of luck!
  5. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 8, 2007
    Mesa, AZ
  6. slayerizer macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2012
    I would visit udemy.com, a lot of free courses that you can take at your own pace (you can even download them for offline viewing with ipad and android).

    The paid courses are 20-50$ and are well worth it if you need to go further.
  7. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 8, 2007
    Mesa, AZ
    Thanks for the tip! Any type of visual, video based courses/tutorials will be helpful!
  8. trenthanover macrumors newbie

    Oct 4, 2013
    I think the best way to learn is to work on a project as mentioned earlier, try to create a website of one of your hobbies.....and if u are getting difficulties then try to googling it..you will surely gain a lot.
  9. Fragofox macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2013
    Do it.

    lots of good tips here, and i suggest you go for it. the certificate looks like it covers the basics. In most of these classes you will no doubt be given a couple different projects to do, but it does help too work on a lot of extra stuff on your own time.

    I am a classroom type of learner. i've met a lot of people who will swear that they are a waste of time, but like what others have said, you get out what you put in. personally i liked having the one on one time with different professors and if your in a class where everyone is working on a project then it's cool to be able to talk to your fellow classmates about what they're doing and how they did it. plus it's a confidence booster when people ask you how you did what you did.

    I say give it a shot, its only 18 credits and it looks like it covers the basics.

    oh and this is coming from someone with a bachelor in graphic communications.

    carry on

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