May 17 2009
Inspired by this article at Nettuts, I’ve decided to put down some of the best resources for aspiring web designers. Sites and articles that either inspire, or teach a concept.
One of the best ways to learn the stuff you need without wading through stuff you don’t is subscribing to RSS feeds of high quality blogs or tutorial sites.
Whatever level you’re at with your web know-how, these sites still have a lot to teach.
Tutorials: Watch and Learn
- Diving into PHP – You’ll love this if you’re a complete beginner getting into server-side coding like me.
- WordPress for Designers – WordPress is one of the top open source blogging platforms out there, and with this you’ll learn how to create a complete theme from scratch. Great for portfolio sites.
Other techniques that are useful in any arsenal:
- Add file icons next to your links (Automatically)
- Reset CSS – So your page looks the same in all browsers without the headaches
- Compare Web Fonts, Quickly
- Kuler Colour Schemer – Not good with colour? No one needs to know!
- PHP Contact Form – no strings attached
- Lightbox2 – A gallery script that’s stood the test of time
- Google Analytics – track your visitors — a must to see their behavior
- PNG Fix – Internet Explorer 6 doesn’t do transparent pngs, and requires a workaround
- Taming Lists – Important to understand
Blogs: Put That RSS to Good Use
Smashing Magazine – You really have to subscribe to their feed and check out the immense back-log of articles and free content.
A List Apart – Thoughtful articles on design, navigation, and other advice.
On Your Own
Always keep an eye out on how technology is progressing, what styles work and what styles don’t. If you’re having trouble with a current design, get some inspiration! If you’re thinking inspiration only comes from browsing other websites, that’s only the half of it. After all, anything interface-related comes from our real world. Take a look how you interact with things in your life, things you take for granted. Concepts such as lighting to separate objects, texture to give more of a inviting appearance, and so on will work in your website, too!
As always, design with a purpose in mind. Strong concepts and themes will get you farther.