Learn Web Design - Intro
Web design doesn't have to be the intimidating monster of a task dreaded by designers near and far. It is a somewhat different animal, but it is a tamable animal all the same.
My goal with this how-to Learn Web Design course is to teach beginners web design. I plan to teach my kids web design in the coming years, so I am also writing this so they can understand the basic concepts, then grow and expand past the basics, and hopefully become savvy designers who don't fear the web. I've often asked myself, "What if they don't want to be designers?" My answer and philosophy is that I firmly believe everyone should know the web because it is a communication tool—it's not just for designers anymore.
Think about all the communication skills we are taught throughout school and life. To me, web design is just like learning to write a book report or a theme paper, or a senior thesis. We all benefit from everyone knowing how to communicate and express their thoughts, ideas, philosophies, and feelings. I use my web site to deliver free help, knowledge, training and ideas to millions of people—what's not to like about that?
How many of us sit down each morning at our job and write a book report? Or begin research for a theme paper? Not many I'd assume. But… how many of us sit down each day at our jobs and have to formulate a cohesive, clear, and focused chain of ideas or thoughts and communicate them to other people? Every single one of us I'd bet. These skills were learned early on, by writing book reports and research papers, and hopefully, going forward, designing web pages and visual communication materials.
An introduction to Web Design
I like to explain web design to beginners with the following analogy…
HTML (construction crew)
HTML does the heavy lifting and puts the building blocks into place. These building blocks are called divs (short for page divisions). They are rectangles that stack and sit next to each other on a web page.
Their only problem is they aren't very smart, meaning they don't know how large they are supposed to be, or how they are supposed to look and behave (color, type style, borders, background colors, hover and click status, etc.)
Divs need the help of an architect (CSS) to tell them how big they will be, and how they will be laid out on each web page (stacked three high, or set into columns three wide, etc.).
Divs also need the help of an interior decorator (CSS). The decorator decides how the divs will look. They pick colors, typefaces, border styles, corner shapes, roll-over effects, etc.