Design With Crackers

Monday, 16 March 2009

For beginners: my number one tip

People often come to me with these questions:

  1. How do I become a web designer/developer?
  2. Do I need to have a Computer Science degree, or perhaps one in Design (as in design for printed media), or even both?
  3. What should be my first step?

My answers:

  1. To become a successful designer/developer, one needs to study the right stuff a lot, and practice it a lot, there is not much more into it.
  2. No, see some of the reasons why here.
  3. Read Jakob Nielsen's “Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity”.

The number one tip I mentioned in the title of this post?

Begin by concerning yourself with what you should do, only tackle the how part once it's clear to you what your clients need from you.

What to do? Create usable, accessible and compatible websites that are both visually appealing and engaging to its users. The keywords that should be roaming your head are Return On Investment, Conversion Rate, Optimization, and others alike!

How to do that? By learning and applying XHTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP and MySQL first. Other technologies (such as Ruby, Python, etc...) should come later and only when you have weighted their pros and cons for the type of services you'll be doing by then.

There are some details you should be aware of during this process but I'll leave them for other posts.

Good luck!

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