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#1 Shane Hudson  Icon User is offline

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Web Design for Idiots!

Posted 20 February 2010 - 12:35 PM

Hello everybody,

I have been asked to revive a blog which teaches "newbies" how to learn website development and design.

There are hundreds of great design blogs such as Smashing Magazine and for learning there is always W3 Schools but the problems with them are that they either do not focus on the absoloute beginners or do not explain why something is done.

For example, many beginners find tutorials on how to do things like marquees and I know from experience that a lot of teachers are actually recommending not just tables but also frames!!

So Web Design For Idiots (it is up but expect it to change dramatically) is going to be the why and how of web design. Each post will explain how different designers and developers use the method and what it can be used for.

I am not posting this to get attention on the site (which is why you will see no links) but instead to ask you the vital questions.

  • What do you HATE about the designs and code that beginners produce?
  • What advice would you give to an absolute beginner?
  • Are there any particular posts you think should be written?
  • If you are a beginner (or can remember being one!) what do you find the hardest and what do you want to learn?


Thank you for your help,

Shane

PS. If you are interested in Guest Posting email me at Shane [at] ShaneHudson [dot] net or comment here!

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#2 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Design for Idiots!

Posted 20 February 2010 - 12:49 PM

You should already know I'm up for something like this, pm/im details about what you'd need written.
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#3 Shane Hudson  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Design for Idiots!

Posted 20 February 2010 - 03:00 PM

View PostLemur, on 20 February 2010 - 06:49 PM, said:

You should already know I'm up for something like this, pm/im details about what you'd need written.


I was hoping you might be! But was unsure if you would have wanted to write for such beginners, it is usually more fun and interesting to write the really advanced articles!

Will try you on MSN, if not then will PM.
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#4 Excavator  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Design for Idiots!

Posted 21 February 2010 - 01:34 PM

1. What do you HATE about the designs and code that beginners produce?

I hate seeing all those absolute positioned DreamWeaver generated appDivs that every new coder seems to use. Dreamweaver seems to steer new coders toward using them and that's a shame.
Then there's wrong DocTypes, using CSS Resets without knowing what they are for and, of course, using tables for layout.

2. What advice would you give to an absolute beginner?
DON'T waste your time learing DreamWeaver/CoffeCup/WhateverGreatWebDesignProgram. Learn how to code instead.

3. Are there any particular posts you think should be written?
The basics that every new user asks ...that's a long list though.

4. If you are a beginner (or can remember being one!) what do you find the hardest and what do you want to learn?
jquery
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#5 Shane Hudson  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Design for Idiots!

Posted 22 February 2010 - 08:45 AM

View PostExcavator, on 21 February 2010 - 07:34 PM, said:

1. What do you HATE about the designs and code that beginners produce?

I hate seeing all those absolute positioned DreamWeaver generated appDivs that every new coder seems to use. Dreamweaver seems to steer new coders toward using them and that's a shame.
Then there's wrong DocTypes, using CSS Resets without knowing what they are for and, of course, using tables for layout.

2. What advice would you give to an absolute beginner?
DON'T waste your time learing DreamWeaver/CoffeCup/WhateverGreatWebDesignProgram. Learn how to code instead.

3. Are there any particular posts you think should be written?
The basics that every new user asks ...that's a long list though.

4. If you are a beginner (or can remember being one!) what do you find the hardest and what do you want to learn?
jquery



Thank you very much for your answers! On my list of articles to write I have about learning to code before trying any WYSIWYG programs such as Dreamweaver. I did not think of writing about the CSS resets! I believe they are something that would help almost all website developers but they should know the purpose of them beforehand.

Hmm jQuery? I am not sure if I will be writing about that as it is more intermediate, I am focusing on the absolute basics! Might do some jQuery in the future though, incrediably useful.
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#6 Nykc  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Design for Idiots!

Posted 22 February 2010 - 08:57 AM

You know what is funny is that my son is in a beginning web design class in high school. I go to help him with his assignments and the teacher is not only recommending designing web pages with tables, but seems to be discouraging designing these pages any other way.

Needless to say her & the web design class of previous semesters contributed and designed the school website. I never seen such a horrid display of school pride.

I have been developing a web developers guide book focusing on HTML/CSS/Javascript/PHP & MySQL/SEO/CMS/Blogs/eCommerce etc....

Been working on it for about 7 months off and on so far, and recently decided to create a blog to house the information and then turn it into an eBook.

I know other members as well have kicked around this idea - I would be happy to contribute and accept guest articles as well.
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#7 Guest_Koen Stroobants*


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Re: Web Design for Idiots!

Posted 22 February 2010 - 01:41 PM

1. Too much advertising/google ads.
2. Keep an open mind
3. Don't know right now
4. Switching from c# desktop development to asp.net (web-cycle,postbacks,...)
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#8 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Design for Idiots!

Posted 22 February 2010 - 02:22 PM

When one says web development for the "absolute beginner", my first thought is "Hello world" in HTML. Not C#, not ASP.NET, not PHP, not jquery. If you have never, ever, ever, never once in your life created a web page, what is the very first thing you need? A grasp of HTML... followed by a generous dollop of CSS.

I could see something like this branching out to the basics of other languages later on, but if you're going to do something like this for beginners, do it for beginners. Don't turn it into yet another intermediate-level tutorial site.
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#9 Shane Hudson  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Design for Idiots!

Posted 01 March 2010 - 08:37 AM

Yep it is beginner of beginners. Not so much for teaching html, there are plenty of sites for that... rather hwo to use what you have learned!
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#10 UrbanTwitch  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Design for Idiots!

Posted 01 March 2010 - 02:25 PM

What do you HATE about the designs and code that beginners produce?
The colors don't match. (Red background and yellow text... whaaaa?)

What advice would you give to an absolute beginner?
Learn the code first.

Are there any particular posts you think should be written?
I don't get this question. Then again, it might be my English.

If you are a beginner (or can remember being one!) what do you find the hardest and what do you want to learn?
CSS (Specifically CSS Font and CSS links.)

This post has been edited by UrbanTwitch: 01 March 2010 - 03:36 PM

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#11 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Design for Idiots!

Posted 01 March 2010 - 03:25 PM

I'd have to disagree. My opinion is that all people new to web design and development need to learn MANUAL code first, otherwise the IDE or tool is more of a crutch than a tool.


What do you HATE about the designs and code that beginners produce?
Table based with complimentary colors that are far too strong, overly saturated, and don't mix well.
Bad use of typography (Comic Sans).
Every page has a different layout.
Music Plays in the background.
Flashing or scrolling content.
Clip Art.
Use of "We" when it's one person.
Overuse of Gradients.
Javascript for the sake of using it.
Ugly banners/title heads.
Addiction to Photoshop Layer Effects
(I could go on for a while here)


What advice would you give to an absolute beginner?
http://www.w3schools.com
Don't EVER use dreamweaver or any other program until you can write all of that code from memory on paper with no errors. It may be tedious at first but that way you'll know your way around the code and be able to work far far faster later on. IDE's are only to be used after this.

This is to make the IDE be used as a tool, not as a crutch to help find an easy way to do everything, because trust me it'll look like you took the easy way well over 90% of the time and good designers can spot that a mile away.


Are there any particular posts you think should be written?
What NOT to do
Basic Color Theory
Basic Composition Theory
White Space
Basic Typography
Basic CSS layouts
Box Model
(thinking of more)

If you are a beginner (or can remember being one!) what do you find the hardest and what do you want to learn?
Layouts and composition.

This post has been edited by Lemur: 01 March 2010 - 03:36 PM

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#12 UrbanTwitch  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Design for Idiots!

Posted 01 March 2010 - 03:37 PM

Now that I think about it... you're right Lemur. Because then you'll be dependent on an IDE. :-P

---
Bad use of typography (Comic Sans).
!!!!!! Yes.

This post has been edited by UrbanTwitch: 01 March 2010 - 03:38 PM

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#13 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Design for Idiots!

Posted 01 March 2010 - 04:07 PM

I spend more time reteaching code and breaking them from IDE's than anything else when I teach people.
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#14 KingCuddles  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Design for Idiots!

Posted 01 March 2010 - 04:21 PM

What do you HATE about the designs and code that beginners produce?

Tabled layouts is the biggest problem for me, although when I started I used tables so perhaps I am being a wee bit harsh.

What advice would you give to an absolute beginner?

Build something, find yourself a project and bloody well build something :D.

Are there any particular posts you think should be written?

Were to find good tutorials and web design blogs, and where to get help when you get stuck.

If you are a beginner (or can remember being one!) what do you find the hardest and what do you want to learn?

Laout and design, I am not an artsy fartsy person, give be a design and I will build it, give me a bit of paper and a pencil and im buggered.

What do I want to learn, everything? :D

On a serious note; I would like to get to know jQuery and such better, although I am much more interested in making a site work than making it look pretty.

This post has been edited by KingCuddles: 01 March 2010 - 04:23 PM

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#15 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Design for Idiots!

Posted 04 March 2010 - 01:25 PM

View PostLemur, on 01 March 2010 - 02:25 PM, said:

My opinion is that all people new to web design and development need to learn MANUAL code first, otherwise the IDE or tool is more of a crutch than a tool.


112.6% this.

My reckoning is thus: if they don't know what it is the WYSIWYG editor is building for them behind the scenes then they should know and shouldn't use such until they have a strong grasp of what it is the editor is doing for them. If for no other reason than to be able to fix the bloated crap most editors spit out when they do the work for you.

If you don't know the basic building blocks of what goes into a website then you'll never be proficient in either building or effectively designing them.

My 2c. YMMV.
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