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So You Want to Learn Web Design?

written by: Lucinda Watrous•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 3/31/2009

Learning web design and development is something that people can do themselves, whether or not they choose to earn a formal education in the field. Knowing where to get valuable, trustworthy, information is part of the battle. Check this out to find out more.

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    Research

    Web Design and Development is a very competitive and quite saturated field, both in terms of freelancing and working full time for a company. There are many different specializations and focuses that one may choose in order to best suite his or her interests and skill set. Before deciding anything else, one must first do a bit of research to determine how he or she will be best be able to work in the field.

    In trying to determine what to learn, one should ask the following questions:

    • What makes me want to learn about web design and web development?
    • Am I more interested in the front end design—how it looks to users—or interested in back end design--making it work well for users?
    • Do I want to add to my marketability by focusing on animation and other interactive media?
    • Do I want to add to my marketability by focusing on search engine optimization, social media, and internet marketing?

    The answers here will narrow the scope of the information a person should seek out to help themselves learn the skills they desire.

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    Gathering Information

    After choosing the areas to focus on, gathering resources must begin. This stage will be the most tedious, and often a continuous stage as skills improve and learners seek challenge.

    A good place to start is right here. Bright Hub contains an immense amount of information on web design, graphic design, project management, office technology and more to address more than just web design skills, but a business operation as a whole. Reading through the material on the Web Development channel will link you to other valuable web design and development resources to help you focus on learning design or development skills so designers and developers can build a skill set unique to their interests and desires. The internet is full of tutorials and code samples to help people learn nearly any web design and development skill imaginable.

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    More Resources for Learning Web Design and Web DevelopmentLearning how to create websites and code them is a valuable and marketable skill as we approach web 3.0. Continue reading this article to learn more about the resources that will help people learn about web design and development.
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    Aside from using the Internet as a valuable resource, there are enough books dedicated to web design and development to satiate any learning desire. Finding the right books on the subject can be a complicated and continuous task, but there are several ways to find the books that will add value and enrichment to any skill set.

    • Take a look at Amazon or any other large book retailer. People will be able to find a list of titles to further investigate, read reviews, and maybe even take a peek inside some of the text. With the ISBN and other information in hand, comparison shopping and trips to the library are possible, making it easier to acquire the books a person needs or wants.
    • Find a web design program course catalog. There are a number of schools both online and conventional that have digital versions of their course catalogs available to the public. With this information, people will be able to find what books are being used as course text for a particular sub-area of web design or web development. Search for e-books. If traditional books seem like a hassle, yet a live website or group of websites does not seem to be the answer, there are a number of resources for e-books that will provide essential information to designers.
    • Search for e-books. If traditional books seem like a hassle, yet a live website or group of websites does not seem to be the answer, there are a number of resources for e-books that will provide essential information to designers.
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    Gathering Resources

    Many web designers and web developers use the assistance of software to help them with their projects. There are several software options for those who are trying to learn or improve skill. Some options are more expensive than others and many of them offer small differences in features that create issues for those who are trying to decide which programs to purchase and use.

    Adobe: One of the biggest software giants in the industry, Adobe provides a series of design and development programs to help designers. These programs are expensive and better suited for the professional as they tend to overwhelm the novice, but nonetheless are still an option for those who want to take their learning to the extreme.

    Microsoft: Perhaps Adobe's largest competitor, Microsoft offers a few products to help the web design and development industry. These programs are less expensive than Adobe's, but may still be better suited for the professional.

    Open Source Programs: There are many different open source web design programs to choose from, but what makes these great is that they will do a good job just as the programs from the software giants will do, and they are free to the public. These are the best options for people who are teaching themselves web design skills because they require no investment other than time, and will help the learner decide if and when to upgrade to a commercial product.