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bobsoriginal
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How Important is Code?

Jul 18, 2012 9:47 AM

Tags: #graphics #code #vs #importance

This question seems relevant. Ask how important code is to a coder and you'd get a completely different answer than if you asked the lowly graphic desinger, who gets laid off immediately after a project,- while the coder/ engineer gets the job security. The question is How Important IS Graphic Design in a code environment, (dictated by the Adobe interface)? Has design become so limited that training will now encompass coding for designers? That's the wrong side of the brain to train if you are a talented graphic designer. Ask a coder to design and you'll see the difference.

 

I do have a strong willingness to learn but don't make my head explode. Make an interface that works to unravel mysteries more than what's offered in 5.5 Creative Suite. There's too much missing. Jargon abounds. Flash was a designer's dream before the Adobe strangle-hold. And what IS an Evangelist? Religiion in code? Code isn't poetry, it's a vessel for it. Visual placement of objects and animations make sense to a visual designer. Let's face it, Dreamweaver is a nightmare for a desginer trained in Flash. HTML 5 and CSS3 are alien concepts to designers. I'm taking major down-time to just try and lean simple aspects of the code. I personally like the simplicity of the Draw AP Div but it's too rigid. Improve that!

 

Structure, syntax and other jargon has replaced great graphic design in the new world of Adobe's interfaces. I'd like to see a better interface to adapt and learn the code. I know it changes constantly but the animations that could be done simply in Flash are now requested in CSS3 and HTML5...it's a head explosion for this graphic designer. I miss Flash. Makes me want to go back to photography. It's very frustrating

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 18, 2012 10:07 AM   in reply to bobsoriginal

    Its very hard to cross the bridge from graphic design to web design, been there, done it and am only marginally successful. The probem is the web is a whole different medium and those that have come from a dtp background would be wise to effectively retrain if they go down the web route. Isolate what you know about garphic design into a box when you're working on web projects. Obviously you'll have some understanding of visual appeal which should help but designing for web pages needs to be approached very differently as the pages are 'living'. What I mean by 'living' is that they will take on a life of their own dependent on what device or browser setting the end user has set up. Your pages must take this into consideration to be as flexible as possible.

     

    Coding is very important if you want to take control of placement of your elements, without it you'll be like a fish out of water. The web is very exciting and offers much much more than a static dtp page. To me graphic design is almost akin now to a 'childs coloring in book' compared with the degree of skill you need to produce acceptable web page design.

     

    Yes its frustrating but you either have the desire to learn it or you don't. The most frustrating element is actually working with graphic designers, many of which have little appreciation or understanding of web development.

     
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    Jul 18, 2012 7:54 PM   in reply to bobsoriginal

    bobsoriginal wrote:

     

    I've not ever called my work evangelistic. I'm too modest. However, I am an artist, aspiring to learn...

     

    Good start.  Talk less and do more coding and you will succeed.  It is often said that an empty tin makes the most noise.

     

    Good luck.

     
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    Jul 19, 2012 6:36 AM   in reply to mytaxsite.co.uk

    It's common for one person to write code while someone else creates the design, another person writes the marketing material, etc. When you work on small scale projects where you have to wear more than one hat, well, that's just the way it goes with small operations.

     

    The person who makes the creative drawings for an opera set is not the same person who makes the technical drawings for the same set, though there is a great deal of overlap in their skill sets and they may both work with  Autocad or Inventor. Likewise, the web interface designer is usually not the same person who writes the business logic for the website.

     

    The most successful web graphic designers are those who understand the technical strengths and weaknesses of the web environment, how a webpage is different from a print piece, and how to communicate and deliver a design to the coder.  In an era no so far in the past, designers had to involve themselves in many of the technical aspects of the printing process. You could not be a successful designer if you were not intimately familiar with print technology.

     

    Adobe is not responsible for the fact that websites result from code and that someone has to write that  code. With Dreamweaver, Adobe gives non-technically inclined designers a set of tools for designing web pages, however, there is no escaping code.

     

    HTML 5 and CSS3 are alien concepts to designers.

    . . .but HTML/CSS isn't rocket science. It's not all that hard to learn, and if you are going to build web pages, then it's indispensible knowledge. 

     
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    Jul 19, 2012 3:53 PM   in reply to bobsoriginal

    bobsoriginal wrote:

     

    Draw AP Div is forgiving and you move it around and presto, you've got a website done a lot quicker than with the tiring and tedious code.

    Forgiving in Design View perhaps but not the end results in the browsers.

     

    You forgot to mention it's an easily broken website which can produce unexpected results on different devices due to the inherent behaviour and limitations of APDivs.

     

    Layouts without relying on APDivs are more robust and just as easy to achieve and manipulate with a little HTML/CSS knowledge and good tools.

     
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    Jul 19, 2012 4:10 PM   in reply to bobsoriginal

    I think just about anyone should be able to get a very good grasp of HTML and CSS in a week of study. They are both very limited in what they do, and they lack the complexity of programming languages like javascript, PHP, etc.

     
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    Jul 19, 2012 5:29 PM   in reply to bobsoriginal

    bobsoriginal wrote:

     

    No way. CSS is a bear by any standards. You've got lots of expertise if you

    can do it fast. It's tedious. I've spent the entire day trying to figure

    out why an image won't center. Is it really that important to me?

    You're obviously very visually inclined but CSS is certainly not that difficult to learn. Perhaps you're allowing it to get on top of you?

     

    It's plain text, human readable markup with a few rules attached. Occasionally the methods and results are seemingly counter-intuitive but that's been true for me with desktop publishing software (such as InDesign) too.

     

    There are plenty of tools, templates and frameworks (free and commercial) to help you produce robust and attractive CSS layouts quickly.

     
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    Jul 20, 2012 6:13 AM   in reply to John Waller

    Bobs, I realize that what's easy for one person is difficult for another, and that many people don't have an affinity for technically detailed material.

     

    What I am saying is that when you look up the hill, it may look dauting, but from the top of the hill, you realize how very small it is. If you were complaining about how difficult Java or C++ are to learn, that would be a different story.

     

    The truth is that even if you are having trouble getting your mind around CSS, once you get over your block, I think you will realize that it wasn't such a big deal afterall.

     
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    Jul 20, 2012 7:31 AM   in reply to bobsoriginal

    This reminds me of my time in the work force many many moons ago. Working as an engineer in a domestic refrigeration production plant, our designer would come with a new design, visually pleasing, beautiful handles and practical interior. It was my task to make the thing work, pass ISO standards, produce high energy star ratings, design moulds, jigs and fixtures and ensure minimal production costs.

     

    Although we had frequent discussions, the designer did not interfere with my work, nor did I interfere with his work; he designed and I made it work.

     

    There is a parallel with the production of web sites. I am a hopeless designer although I do my best; I am good at web development. Although designers can bridge the gap between designing and development, the reality is that they will not.

     

    Web development is not dictated by Adobe, nor is it dictated by the W3C group. There are more influential powers at work, the suppliers of the browser!

     

    It is they that dictate the markup, the style rules and the server side script. Poor Adobe is trying constantly to keep up with browser development and in some cases they have even anticipated what is to come.

     

    But to get back to your point, there is a lot of work involved in developing a modern web site. Think blogs, data feeds, content management, shopping carts, payment gateways, data storage, e-mail systems etc, etc.

     

    There is a common Dutch saying: "Schoenmaker, blijf bij je leest", or translated "Cobbler, stay with your last"

     

    Gramps

     
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    Jul 21, 2012 10:30 AM   in reply to Ben Pleysier

    And in the case of this quote, "last" refers to the shoe leather!

     

    Without at least a rudimentary understanding of code (HTML and CSS), you will never succeed in web development.  Never.  Your designs will break unexpectedly, and you will spend untold frustrating hours trying to get some pixel-perfect arrangement on the screen, only to find that some other browser displays it differently.  To think otherwise is delusion....

     
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    Jul 21, 2012 8:01 PM   in reply to bobsoriginal

    I think even Hunter S. Thompson would call your last rambling post strange.

     

    Best of luck to you in your endeavors.

     
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