web design!

Discussion in 'Computers and The Internet' started by serra, May 12, 2004.

  1. serra

    serra tentacle girl

    i have been into making websites for a long time now, but i have finally decided that i should get paid to sit around and make websites, so i am going to take a web design colledgre program!

    i'm really excited, i get to learn real code and even a whole course on FLASH! oh, the abuse. hehehehe.

    anyone here ever taken any courses or anything? everything i've done up till now has been pretty much self taught.

  2. MattInVegas

    MattInVegas John Denver Mega-Fan

    I have NO intention of hurting your feelings here, but it looks like you had BETTER take a course on Spelling? Nobody will pay you to put together a website if you can't Spell.

    I'm sorry....... :(
  3. Rockstock2004

    Rockstock2004 Member

    He only spelled College wrong man..no harm in that, and 10 to 1 I bet because he typed fast. right? alright then, case solved, i make that mistake too.

  4. Juiceman3000

    Juiceman3000 Banned

    Good site!

    I dont know .. I hope you wont spend that money at college unless you are doing it for your own interest and hobby.

    There is virtually zero demand for web designers anymore. I took all the same classes and even know my way around FlashmX pretty well and have only once been paid for a project (200.00 CDN and it took me 12hours)

    Other than that - Ive been offered some money and/or membership passes to make porn banners lol. (I had to decline)

    If you can score a big contract (with a city or corp maybe) then you can make some part-time $$'s but those are so rare now because highly advanced and experience website designers pretty much are holding on tight to those.

    Most IT depts now just get their programmers to put something together on Dreamweaver. You rarely see a full-time Webmaster anymore.

    Ahhhh... 1999.. the 'glory years'.

    Good luck with the courses in any case!
  5. adigaskell

    adigaskell Member

    Like people have said, its unlikely to be an easy market to break into and, from my own experience of college, whilst you will study modules in Flash etc. those modules will only provide an introduction and you will need to spend some time learning in more detail to specialise in those disciplines.

    It wouldn't do you any harm if you added additional strings to your bow, such as search engine optimisation, e-commerce, copyrighting etc. and then you can offer clients a more rounded service, rather than just design.
  6. StellaBlue

    StellaBlue Senior Member

    I'm completely self taught and have done many sites for money. It's not a good career, believe me. It's not stable nor is there much work. You can learn all of those things that you're going to learn in college about web site and graphic design on your own. When people DO hire web-design artists they don't ask about degrees, they want to see your portfolio. So here's my advice to you, revamp your personal site or make a few other sites. Lose the pink and tiny text, make things look professional and eye pleasing, not flashy. :) Sure we all have different tastes, but when it comes to business, it's all about how professional and appealing things look.
  7. Fractual_

    Fractual_ cosmos factory

    nice site

    i dig the link style.
  8. eat_some_LSD

    eat_some_LSD Senior Member

    @RS2k4: He's a she. ;)

    Anywho, like the others have said, webmastering's in extremely low demand right now; if you're considering a career in something design-oriented, your best bet would be 2D graphical design. However, there's plenty of other good computer-related fields, like business management, e-commerce, and then the A+/CISCO/MSCE certification; any of which would allow you to minor in web design, so you could have something on the side or to fall back on. ;)
  9. adigaskell

    adigaskell Member

    Just checked out your homepage and whilst it looks ok the navigation is terrible. Forcing people to mouseover a link to see what it does and where it takes you is very bad design.

    Go to your library and read some Jakob Nielson books on good interface design. Pick up some web programming books as well as most modern websites have some element of server side programming in them.

    Learn a bit about e-business and Internet marketing.

    Best of luck with it.
  10. Tô®n

    Tô®n Member

    I would say go for it, that’s is what school is for, to give you skills in an area that you enjoy. I will add though that there is a lot of people that do web site's for a living that never saw the inside of a classroom, and they do a hella good job at it. I would recommend you check out http://www.w3schools.com/ it's a great site for learning all aspects of web-site construction. It's not so much that the market for building sites has died, it's more that it's been taken to a whole new level, you can still get jobs doing it but you better be prepared to step it up to the point where it's more about being a graphic artist, and less about throwing down some code. Case in point http://www.kigot.com/


    The first site is a web design team that does everything from small businesses to large corporations. The second site is a dude that is looking for work as a designer. If you're heart is in it, go for it, you will never regret trying to fulfill for a dream....

    ~If you can dream it you can achieve it, so dream big~

  11. Dizzy Man

    Dizzy Man Member

    Don't let anyone put you off doing web design if that's what you want to do. There are always going to be clients. The amount of business you'll get depends largely on where you live, but there will always be clients. (If you're good enough to find them.) Anyway, most people just work for a web design agency and then you don't even have to worry about finding clients, just a job.

    Haha, I thought the same thing! Jakob Nielson popped into my head when I saw those "mystery meat" links. He hates that kind of thing. It's not exactly a good idea when you're trying to promote something no one cares about (ie yourself). People will only click on mystery links if they're a real fan of the thing they're looking at, or the purpose of the site is just to have fun.

    I've done professional web design for a long time now and there is a heck of a lot to learn, and you never really stop learning. Web design combines many different types of skill, not just being able to make things that look nice. You need to understand the client and how their customers will use the product, and you need to know that stuff or you'll be making shit Websites. Personally, I think it's extremely important to have a design qualification and to be trained in interactive design. I did a degree and it was extremely useful. It really helps to have the experience of people who know what they're doing and can help you to develop your own skills.

    Too much talking; I'm off :p
  12. serra

    serra tentacle girl

    ok, that was meant... how? i have a 3.0 GPA in University at the moment, i DO know how to spell, THANKS. i don't exactly go through spell check and proof read every post i make. college... i am not sure why but i just always think there is a D in that word. just one of those things, i guess.

    everyone is saying that there isn't a lot of jobs in this area, well around here there apparently are. i have checked local, provincial and federal job stats and they are average to good.

    this is not a permanent job, just something that will make me some $$ while i continue putting myself through university. it's really hard living on your own and working for minimum wage and paying full tuition making the amount of money i do. it is also something i have always enjoyed doing and something i think i will be good at.

    to those who do not like the design of my site, that is alright. as i said i am just learning and i was pretty damn proud of making those mouseover effects work. i could show you past sites i have made and you would say this one if about a million times better. i know it is not perfect yet, but i have only been working on it for a while. i didn't exactly have the time to work on it as much as i would like, with being a full time student and having a job- now school is done but it's gorgeous outside and i don't really want to sit in front of a screen all day.

    the designer you suggested i read, i will for sure look into that. i have been thinking for a while i would like to learn more about design. it is something i also have always enjoyed. thanks for the heads up! :)

    right now my site is more of an outlet for what it is, not really going for most amazing design. all i really wanted was a place to put my weird thoughts and rants about the rave scene around here. i hate the first page and i am going to redo it soon.
  13. serra

    serra tentacle girl

    why do you think it's so bad to have to mouseover to see where something goes?
  14. serra

    serra tentacle girl

    well it's a good thing i made my site for ME and not for HIM then.

    i am shocked. CLEARLY people care, because they go there. you went there. YOU WANTED TO SEE THE BEEFBANGERS ADMIT IT!

    and it's not like this is a BUISNESS site. i am not selling NEW! IMPROVED! SERRA!! or anything like that. it's a stupid personal site which is not intended to be anything more than a shrine for my and my friends to how cool we are. it's not a serious site, sheesh.

    and to say that people don't care, THAT'S JUST MEAN. :(
  15. Dizzy Man

    Dizzy Man Member

    Hey, no need to take what I said so personally. Obviously, the people here care about you! If I didn't care, I wouldn't have even looked in this thread, let alone checked out your site.

    When I said people don't care about you, I was talking about your career. I realise that your site is just a personal site, and people going there will be interested. But when you're a pro, there are principles that become so strongly embedded in your head that you could never stray from them, not even for a personal site. I was just trying to give you a little insight into that way of thinking, which you will need to be getting to grips with if you're going to go into the industry.

    Whether your career is a success or a failure will be determined by whether you get the attention of clients (or an employer). Getting people's attention is not easy: you have to assume that everyone looking at your site is stupid, lazy, and hates you. You need to go out of your way to grab their attention and win them over and convince them that clicking your links will be worth their precious time. Every click is precious, and people only have a limited number to give you before they lose interest. The more people understand where they are within the structure of your site, and where the link will take them, the more likely they are to click it.
  16. That's great you are learning how to design web sites! I saw your web site and it is very nice, you look like you have some great skills there. I have been learning how to do web design with dreamweaver, and fireworks. I am mostly book taught but I enjoy it. Good luck in school and learning web design.

    P.S. Matt is right about spelling though, here is a trick: if you don't how to spell a word, type what you think the spelling of that word should be in google and at the top of your search results will most likely be the word spelled correctly, asking you if that is the word you meant. Try it, it always works for me. :)
  17. Dizzy Man

    Dizzy Man Member

    Serra's spelling is fine. She hasn't spelt anything wrong in this thread, so what is everyone going on about?

    Her punctuation and grammar may not be perfect, but nobody uses perfect punctuation and grammar on a Web forum.
  18. serra

    serra tentacle girl

    exaaaactly. i know my punctuation and grammer aren't totally perfect whilst on here, but in real life i'm actually kind of a grammer nazi. it's just part of my online persona, i guess. i consciously choose to not use capitals, especially "I" because i think they are ugly and don't like them.
    when i am doing "professional" type things (papers, writing, resumes, stuff like that) i switch into pro mode. when i am just messing around on forums and my website and things, i switch back. whatever. it's all good.

    dizzy, sorry if i seemed angry, but i was just kind of offended in general. i worked pretty hard on a lot of my site. i know it's not amazing, but for what it is, i think it's a pretty good site. all i have gotten from my friends (the people who it is intended for) is nothing but positive feedback.

    if you want to see a BAD site, good look at the first site i made, when i was 15.

    now THAT'S a site you can feel free to rip into! :D
  19. Dizzy Man

    Dizzy Man Member

    I didn't actually make any comments on your site so I'll review it now:

    Review of Serra's site.

    First impressions
    When I clicked on the link, I was expecting something a lot worse than what I saw. I was immediately impressed by your subtle use of colour, and space. Also, pink's my favourite colour, so: good choice! I love anything minimalist because it loads quickly (which is one of the most important, if not the most imporant, goals of a webpage).

    The use of space is lovely; very open and unrestrained. You've used frames, which many pros object to in most cases (including me). If you're just using them for fun then fine, but if you're not aware of the controversy surrounding them then check it out on Google.

    There are some minor navigation niggles; the "back" button must be used to navigate in certain areas, as opposed to using an in-page interface. Although as this is your personal site, maybe you're just complimenting your audience's intelligence?

    Despite being a professional no-no, the "mystery" links do a lot to enhance the minimalism of the design, making them justifiable (in this case). If you're going to keep the mystery links, have you thought about using rollovers that reveal the destination when you move the cursor over? Or, there's Alt tags, which give a popup description of the link. Look this stuff up if you don't know what I'm talking about.

    I can't fault your graphics. Very nice (what little there is). Nice titles, too!

    Try to avoid the temptation to use flashing/animated things that remain in motion while you're reading. They're an unwelcome distraction, especially in corporate sites. If you must have "background animation", make sure it's slow and subtle.

    One thing you need to look at is optimisation. Graphics should be either jpeg or gif (depending on the type of image) and you should optimise their file size by tweaking the settings when you save them. You've used all jpegs, but most of your graphics should really be gifs. Knowing which to choose isn't that complicated, but you need to look into it.

    Song 2
    Your graphics look slightly blurry, too (the stars in particular). That could well be deliberate, to give a "soft" look, but I would avoid such a slight blur that it could be mistaken for accidental. If it is accidental, there are a couple of measures to avoid this. First, save them as gifs. Everything you save as a jpeg will be slightly blurry (which is why jpegs are usually just used for photos). Secondly, if you're using a bitmap editing program such as Photoshop or Paint Shop, try to avoid scaling/re-sizing things. Every time you scale a bitmap image, you lose quality and if you scale it enough times it will start to look extremely blurry. This does not apply to vector graphics though. Again, the bitmap/vector issue is something you really need to look up if you don't already fully understand the difference. It's important stuff.

    This is a good site. I may have sounded critical, but there are a million things that bug me about websites and thankfully your site didn't have most of them. Graphically, I think you have a real talent. Technically, you clearly know what you're doing, and with just a little guidance I think you could get really good. Functionally, well from this site it's hard to judge your ability to create clients a product that will do what they want. You seem smart though, so that's really the most important thing. Like the other guy said, I think you need to read up on this stuff and learn about all the thoughtwork you need to put into a site before you start designing. That's the side of things that you're probably less experienced with if you haven't been designing for clients. If you do a course on web design (and it's a decent course) then they'll teach you all you need to know about functionality.

    I have worked with professionals much worse than you. Your knowledge is somewhat limited, but some professionals just plain suck and don't know what they're doing. You could actually start doing this professionally right now and no one would think of you as a fraud. But you have room for improvement. So do I! If you care about what you do — keep learning, and don't make the mistake of thinking you know it all.


    Final thoughts
    Okay, I did write too much, but you're cute, and have great taste in music.

    Chris and Jarret are the same person! Admit it.

    Wish I lived where you live. It seems like there are loads of good electronica nightclubs there. Nothing like that where I live! If we want a hardcore club, we have to make our own out of Corn Flakes boxes and sellotape. Needless to say, ours are rubbish.

    Any more thoughts?
    Nope. Oh yeah, is that turd yours?
  20. serra

    serra tentacle girl

    dizzy! thanks!

    okay, i actually really enjoyed your review, thanks so much for that. i will for sure take into account what you have said.

    it was nice to have some good constructive criticism, because like i said, almost everyone who frequents my site are just a bunch of hippie ravers like myself who, although are very cool, know very little about web design and just tell me that they really like it and that they think it's snazzy.

    you are right, the stars do look a little blurry now that they i really take a look at them. i didn't know the difference between .jpg and .gif files, i thought that .gif tended to be animated and jpg was for normal pictures. i guess i am a little more outdated than i thought i was!

    you mentioned to avoid flashing things? did i use flashing things? i know i did in that horrible other page that i linked... but i can't even think of anything animated on my new site?

    i agree with you very much in all areas how you rated my ability. i like to make things look pretty, i sort of know how to make some things work, but i don't really have any specific linear thought patterns or goals set in mind with this site. there's no REAL point, so i guess it's just endless deferral anyways.

    a few of the courses i will be taking focuses on the buisness side of things, and project management, and all that kind of stuff. working with clients to see what they need. so that will help.

    also, i actually really WANT to learn this stuff. i find it interesting. i'm the kind of person who can use technology really well once i am learned in how to use it (at least a little bit) but i do need help figuring things out a lot of the time (not really a math/technical kinda person.) does that make sense? i'm good at using technology, but i'm not good at figuring it out? once i understand things then it's all good.

    i always sucked in calculus because i always wanted to know WHY?!?! WHY do these things do that? WHAT? HUH? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?! i drove people and myself crazy. i can't figure things out but i need to know or i can't understand. now i am just rambling.

    and in response to your final thoughts:
    1. you're right! i am cute, and i do have great taste in music! :p
    2. i think you are right again. clearly, my amazing and only slightly gay (i'd estimate 3%) boyfriend and my awesome and considerably more gay(97%) best friend ARE the same person. they are just very TRICKY!
    3. no good nightclubs. they are all full of HAUS music, which is mediochre at best. but a good rave scene and good promoters and cool DJs such as freaky alien, justrich, phosphor and myself!

    thanks again for the awesome review. :)

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