Q&A: Question for professional web designers?

Question by Yankee1234: Question for professional web designers?
I have a question for anyone working as a professional web designer, what kind of school or classes did you take or did you learned it by teaching yourself ?. Because I cannot find a professional web design course or school anywhere in my area. I know already how to apply html, css, xhtml….should I just take classes for photoshop, Illustrated and flash. How did you became a professional web designer? Thank you in advance.

Best answer:

Answer by Adam
You will want to know all adobe programs inside and out – especially Photoshop. Not so much illustrator, but it can be particularly useful in producing “skins” for web interfaces.

The best way I found to get started as an independent web designer is to simply have connections to people that need websites. you NEED a portfolio to get any worthwhile clients – a good place to start building it is clients – doing low cost / free sites for people on there.

Also don’t neglect JavaScript and PHP. You’ll learn fast that HTML is very very limited, and knowing JavaScript can save you tons of time in coding things like Navigation bars or menus – or even galleries. However, there’s tons of scripts out there that you could use to get by, but a basic understanding of it is always helpful.

If you have a client who has a need that requires database transactions, i would invest in learning something like Joomla or Drupal, and learning how to use those CMS’s to serve as the foundations for your projects.

Flash is a great program to know, and if you know it really well and have alot of talent for using it, you can make alot of money off of it – since you can generally wow a client with fancy flash animations. But these days, alot of the FLASH functionality can be duplicated using AJAX/Javascript.

These days a lot of employers are placing an emphasis on Heuristics (which is usability) as it pertains to web design – especially .NET applications. There’s a whole science behind it, and if you want my opinion it might be worthwhile to read some books on the subject or find a place that teaches a course on it. A book i found particularly interesting was http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Humane_Interface

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