After stumbling around learning code for the last year and a half I realised that something was wrong. I could finally put together a website, but the site resembled something that had been put into an empty tyre and rolled down a hill. Soon enough I understood, to become an effective website developer you must have decent knowledge of both relevant coding languages and basic design principles.
Truth be told, this realisation came along just after building a web page of my own, proudly showing it off to my friends and family, their expressions told truth, even if they wouldn’t, it was ugly. Eventually one of them was nice enough to pull me aside and ask if I had had any graphic design experience, after telling him no, he suggested I go and get some.
He was right, if my main goal was to sell my services to customers, then I had to learn how to sell theirs too.
Because I’m not really confident enough to show off my stuff just yet, I’ve had a look around and thanks to the website http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/ I’ve included a couple of screenshots of websites that probably could do with a makeover or two… or five.
Pretty bad huh?
So I’ve spent the last month or two going through a bunch of design books, (gumtree, ebay and the good sammies are fantastic places to find cheap reads) and picked up my game. Now I have an understanding of how principles such as balance, contrast and repetition are applied, through proper use of design theory I can (hopefully) effectively communicate the message that I am attempting to convey.
Some of the books that I have gone through so far that have helped are:
- Graphic Design Rules – S.Adams, P.Dawson, J.Foster, T.Seddon
- The Complete Graphic Designer – R.Hembree
- The Non-Designers Design Book – R.Wiliams
They were all useful in different ways and I would recommend them all, I’ll probably get into specific reviews a little down the road.
Now to properly utilise this knowledge and build a website that doesn’t look like day old pizza!