Learner.

So I made my first website (clarelisbeth.com) and seeing it go live was as exciting as I thought it was going to be!

Learning about the elements that make up web design is so rewarding because the progress is so obvious. Going from not knowing what HTML stands for to being able to code an entire website that functions and looks alright in a couple of months is really exciting. Not to say that web design is easy – just that with a basic level of knowledge, a relatively large amount can be achieved.

I have found learning how to learn about web design really interesting. Finding the great sites that I can spend hours reading and also those that I close after not having instantly found the information I need. I also discovered, maybe not surprisingly, that I learn about new topics most effectively through video. A video with clear instructions and live examples allows me to understand a new topic within minutes, whereas an article about can take a while to get through, and not be as informative. Then, when I have a base of understanding I go on to read various other sources of information.

And talking of learning I just read an interesting post on the UX of Learning on A List Apart:

http://www.alistapart.com/articles/the-ux-of-learning/

Tyler Tate considers how we learn and how that learning process should impact our designs. An apt article to read after a conversation I had yesterday about a website I’m designing for a puppeteer who’s not a huge web-user. I feel like the website needs to be very owner-friendly as well as user-friendly.

So now I’m at a point in my learning where my lists of things to read and watch are literally endless. It’s clear that the learning process is an unending where web design is concerned, so I guess I need to get used to it, huh?

Some of the things I like to read:

http://www.alistapart.com/

http://boxesandarrows.com/

http://mashable.com/

http://meyerweb.com/

http://scrunchup.com/

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/

http://thinkvitamin.com/

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You gotta love progress.

It’s been an exciting week in my little web design world. I’ve built my first functional website that I think is also quite beautiful (but not yet live), encountered some of the IE issues that I’ve heard so much about, started learning PHP, got stuck in to ‘Hardboiled Web Design’ and finished ‘Don’t Make Me Think!’ from my reading list.

I have been making regular use of my favourite source of web information, that has also provided a structure for my studies – Think Vitamin (.com). Concise, clear and super-understandable videos, divided into logical chapters that have evolved from being a reference point when I had a question, to a full blown syllabus. It is with these videos that I hope to gain a solid grounding in all things code, to then build on by designing and constructing sites. The more I learn about the tools and techniques, the more excited I get about the possibilities, and considering the relatively small amount I currently know, they seem pretty endless.

So alongside the reading, video watching and note-taking, is the most important part: giving it a go.

I have continued with the cake business site discussed previously. Having been relatively happy with the wireframing, and with a whole bunch of actual content to use I started building the site. Using HTML and CSS I eventually got something that resembled a webpage…

Cake Company Webpage

It’s a start.

I also built myself a little portfolio site which will hopefully be up in a few days. But now it’s time to learn about browser testing, which I’ve heard can be testing. But I guess it’s really rather important.

So with a couple of sites on the go, and another couple in the pipeline, it looks like I may have the beginnings of an actual web design portfolio. Yay! Also I booked a ticket to dConstruct Conference in September, which looks like it’ll be another day full of new design aspirations and plenty of inspiration.

See you there?