Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Progress in More Ways than One

In my last post I spoke about some of the recent websites I have been checking out to grasp on a better understanding of some of the early web design basics in areas of design, production, business, languages, roles within a company and quite a bit more. These articles (podcasts) have helped me understand web in...(I hate to say it) 'layman' terms which has been great considering my web jargon knowledge percentage was well below the threshold! Now it's time for some brain growth! So it's time to progress into web even more...

I've received some good feedback on my last post so I thought I'd share other juicy Web Design sites! One site that I highly recommend subscribing to via rss is .Net many feeds. .Net is UK's leading magazine for web designers and developers. I happened to be browsing their mag at a newsagent in Sydney's QVB and took note of their website (since I didn't buy the mag...shame on me). I think I made a good investment though because their website is even better than their magazine! It's packed full of very useful resources from leading experts and creatives.

I recently downloaded one of their latest features on Flash - the Art of Parallax Scrolling! This article shows how you can create a scrolling Flash effect with the illusion of a 3D depth which is very exciting. You can also download the working files and tutorial pdf on how to create it!

.Net also have a very good podcast section on their site which has loads of episodes on Web Design. If you have any questions on web design or client management you'll more than likely find your answers here.

If you can't get enough of those podcasts then they've also included a list of 40 of their top picks for technical podcasts which you can find here.

Web Designer is another magazine I browsed through and took note of. Their website is more focused on their magazine however there are some helpful tutorial files on web design which can be accessed here.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Emmersing myself in everything to do with the web - where to begin?!

It's been a while since I've talked about design and where I've been career-wise in the last couple of months. My career has now turned from Graphic Design to Web Design as I've recently started working as a Junior Graphic Designer at Switch IT in Sydney, Australia. Having come from a Graphic Design background and having limited knowledge of Web Design and developments before accepting this position has proved to be a HUGE learning curve for me in all aspects of web design, business, project managing and learning to identify the roles that everyone plays within the company.

It's good to know that I'm not the only one who has felt the crunch of how difficult it is for a graphic designer to move into web design.

Volkher Hofmann who was the first to comment on Boagworld's article entitled Holier-than-thou standardites hit the nail on the head with this statement:
"There are a huge number of people out there that are trying hard but cannot muster the energy to really (!) get things right (right = the way people think it should really be done). To be honest, I constantly have a bad conscience about what I've put out there, and I don't think it should be like that."

Learning does take time and without initial proper training in place, progress is bound to be limited. So with this in mind I've taken up some additional reading and have begun to look more closely into further training.

It hasn't been an easy 3 months for me but I'm prepared to take on the new challenges in developing my skills within web design, even if it does mean a few couple of late nighters/earlier starts searching on the web. My 'wake up call' was brought about by a few blunders which were made on my part which I have now learnt from by setting up additional procedures and new processes that will allow me to avoid any future errors. Mistakes in business happen for all sorts of reasons and in this case procedures seemed to be the main problem at fault.

Thanks to the APEC long weekend however I've managed to take the extra time I have to read up on a few different aspects of web design, advice, and training. I know that I have a lot to learn but as long as I continue to read up on the web it won't take me that long to catch up. It's been difficult finding out where to even begin in learning everything there is to know on web design! Graphic Designers entering web design for the very first time will probably know how I feel particularly when they're not accustomed to working with understanding, building and integrating web-based solutions for clients.

My realisation of this has come just in time after noticing projects at work are increasingly getting difficult and therefore more time consuming. In an industry such as web design that is continuously growing and changing, there will always be mutiple pathways in finding solutions to questions. The trick I think is to find the best one for purpose, process efficiency and for web-standards.

A good place I feel I've started looking is at getting further web training followed by some online advice from industry experts on projects, clients and best web practices. I'm about to under go further CSS online training through lynda.com which people subscribe to in order to access online training videos. The only problem I find with this online training is that the movies can't be retrieved off the web or subscribed to via an RSS feed or iTunes.

Some other web resources that I have found extremely useful are:

Simple Internet Glossary
An explanation of the common terms and acronyms used on the Internet. Web lingo and computer jargon explained in simple terms.

Graphic Designers can't begin to learn about the web without understanding web terminology and lingo. This was discovered when I knew nothing about a topic discussed at work called AJAX.

Veerle's Blog
Veerle is a graphic/web designer living in Belgium. Her personal journal is an online source for topics ranging from XHTML/CSS to graphic design tips.

A List Apart
A List Apart Magazine explores the design, development, and meaning of web content, with a special focus on web standards and best practices.

Boagworld
Advice on managing and building websites.

This is a fantastic online resource that comes from a different angle on web design; i.e. how to run a web design project rather than just talking about the technical aspects of web design.

If anyone would like to share other valuable web resources, particularly from a Graphic Designer turned Web Designer point of view, I'd love to hear from you!