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.
Coding as religion. The gospel according to Adobe's "Evangelists"? Follow willingly or go to hell. The questiion was irellevant (to a coder).I put up my two cents as asked...
A 12 year-old degree would be said to be too dated- for good job and only advanced coders deserve the good work. That's the take. Weed out all that are not up to Adobe's standards...or the supreme codemaster's expecations. Send em all back to school. I like school. My request to Adobe's "Evangelisim" would be to make the interface more stable and visually user-friendly- like Flash. Visual aids/ arts and design are good- code is alien. Unless you hold the keys to the kingdom with your code degree. Keep the code- put in better designer features and modlules for easier depoyment in rich media. Real artists either got no respect and starve or are over paid. Grapic design has become a cookie cutter for a coder. There's your coloring book. Originality will suffer and often die due to the new evangelism. I've not ever called my work evangelistic. I'm too modest. However, I am an artist, aspiring to learn...
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.
I used Draw AP Div to get around the alien code css. Finally had to grab on and what a difficult ride- even with DW and the tutorials. 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. That kind of designing is fun...or was.
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.
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.
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.
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"
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....
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
Well said. I'd done many of those tasks...etc etc...right...coma inducing complexities abound. Too tiring to even try to write it all down. In 2000, when I got my MM degree, I interned for a MM company that was doing work for the Navy through Raetheon. Miltary and governmental work has all the money (go figure). I went to my first brainstorming session with the SME (subject matter experts) and engineers all at a table. I listened quietly to all the thoughts on presentation, with ideas on each principle that needed to be addressed from a graphic standpoint. My asset is crativity. When I was encouraged to speak my mind, I was shot down on every idea by the engineers- saying it couldn't be done. To prove my point, that week I proved that all my ideas were worthy. All 5 ideas were presentable in Flash. Each idea, though critiqued within the political atmosphere (Dilbert mentality), were accepted and deployed.
I liked the way that code and gui were separated into two departments within multimedia business models- 12 years ago. As a web designer, you must be able to pick the client's brain and broadcast the knowledge of his trade effectively, creatively, dramaticly and professionally. Then there's all the alternative methods of web presentations that must be addressed (mentioned above)... Pickin brains is the fun fun part. You learn and achive success by your translation of the data into a pleasing media format. I found myself again, now, after a long break from the complexities referred to above, with the website design hat back on again. No one was using CSS 12 years ago (I didn't have time to learn it, I had to learn ASP and other technologies). Today I remain independent- minus the office politics. I miss the team- player segregatiion of engineers and graphic designers. Life was easier then, with less stress. Dependence on the code side of my brain has atrophied some. My expertise in Flash had made me more valuable because of it's code related goodies and the incredible animations / presentations. I was called a guru (another religious connotation) NOT. Years later, after trying on different hats of networking, surveillance cameras, T-shirt design and printing, and a few website designs- here I am again asking myself if I have the mental stamina to do the code. To make it fun is the first task. I've not found the right way to do that yet. I went out and got 3 jobs and then got back aboard. To complete my first shopping cart project on time, I had to revert to some of the old school tactics.(draw ap div) ....then I had to go back and redo it. This code is a killer. Specialize in one thing...code may not be it for me. The importance looms.