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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Qualifications for Web Design?

    I am finally going to do some web design training and am starting with a Dreamweaver course. What qualifications are expected of a professional web designer please?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Pflugerville, TX
    There are many, many ways to answer this question, and it's possible to go into a great deal of depth related to it, but perhaps the best way to start is by addressing exactly what you brought up in your post, because it lends itself to a very important answer.

    and am starting with a Dreamweaver course
    Qualification #1: Learn the skills necessary to do everything that Dreamweaver is meant to do, only learn how to do it better.

    Dreamweaver (and it's kin) can be useful tools in some ways, and detrimental tools in other ways. Done right, the last thing you learn is Dreamweaver, and the first thing you learn is how to create HTML and CSS markup properly without such tools.

    All too often, we see people come out of classes on Dreamweaver (or Expression Web, etc.) believing they have learned the skills necessary to operate at a semi-professional or professional level. It's not their fault that they believe this, but in nearly all cases, the skill deficiencies this causes those people can severely limit or even destroy one's design career aspirations.

    Most companies will not accept people who use tools like Dreamweaver unless they are experts in the markup those tools produce. Then those tools are meaningful!

    Hope that makes sense
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  3. #3
    Honestly, I would suggest you do not start out with Dreamweaver. You will spend more time actually learning the program itself than learning web design. I suggest you pick up a decent editor that won't hold your hand through everything. If you are on a Mac I would suggest using Espresso.

    When you speak of web design do you mean you want to learn how to code and work with html/css or do you just want to learn how to make actual web designs using Photosphop, Fireworks, Illustrator etc. etc. ?
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Albuquerque, NM
    With the other people who have replied, getting down to the actualy hand coding for HTML then going to start learning Dreamweaver.
    Anthony H. Webmaster of 3Dx Hosting
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  5. #5
    Well, I have definitely looked over that page but where do I find the "feature highlights" section in WHMCS?
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by cakvala View Post
    With the other people who have replied, getting down to the actualy hand coding for HTML then going to start learning Dreamweaver.
    Ok great!

    If you are starting off with html I have three suggestions:

    1. Just go ahead and start with html5. Html5 doctor is a great resource for finding out what each element does. Find some simple html5 template and analyze the code. Look at what does what and then change things up and see what happens.

    2. Start off by learning W3C valid code. Learn to code properly. If you don't use valid code you will have quite a few browser problems, e.g. your site will look good on Safari but not Firefox.

    3. Jump into css asap. Learn as much css as possible. Look into pseudo classes and media queries.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Francisco
    Quote Originally Posted by anothercreativename View Post
    When you speak of web design do you mean you want to learn how to code and work with html/css or do you just want to learn how to make actual web designs using Photosphop, Fireworks, Illustrator etc. etc. ?
    Good point. The direction this thread is taking is one that defines web design as front-end development when that's only half the equation.

    A web designer has to know design and be able to create mockups in Photoshop, Fireworks, or program of your choice. Knowing how to use an imaging program is also half the equation on the design side. Design is not about pretty graphics. Design is about being goal oriented and methodically and strategically creating graphic elements to solve a problem. Design is about understanding user experience and user interaction and create something that is logical and easy to use. All this comes through experience.
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  8. #8
    Below are basic qualifications for professional web designer :

    Use through with HTML/XHTML and PHP language
    Knowledge of MS Access data base
    Ability to use Photoshop very well
    Understanding of Css, Javascript for layout design
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    You should start with the very basics by learning the code itself and writing it your self. Each designer is different, the code is done up differently with every designer / coder you meet. You develop your unique styles as you go along and should really try to explore that.
    If you're the smartest person in the room then you're in the wrong room
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  10. #10
    I agree with the "hold off" on DreamWeaver comments. I own several licenses with owning CS5 and CS5.5, but amazingly NotePad++ with additional plugins installed is my editor of choice. Notepad++ is open source and free.

    It has been asked already, but where do you plan to start? Visual graphic editing, code manipulation/creation, CSS markup?

    I know this borderlines programming/scripting, but take a look into Python and Ruby/Rails. This is a good field to get in because it is complex, but a fresh mind would absorb these complexities easier than latter. There is also a pretty high demand right now in this area and along with high demand comes actual money and able to make money out of the gate.

    Photoshop honestly can do anything, well short of everything, but you can say it everything visually. I started learning Photoshop about 5 years ago when it got to a point you could not ignore it. I was mainly against its propitiatory stance but I can say it had its learning curve which really was not that had. Although open source may have caught up, there is just no replacing Photshop. Really the name "Photoshop" does it no justice. I design and create all my webdesign/templates in Photoshop and rarely call up Fireworks or Illustration. The other one I used a lot more now is ExtendedScript Toolkit within CS5.5.

    I will add you do not need Photoshop. Yes, after learning it I can say it is easier, but I had been working with other open source options prior that functioned in the same way PS. Gimp was one and I believe it is still around today, but back then you also had OpenPhoto and a couple other. I am sure if you type in your interests at SourceFordge, you will find what is latest and greatest. So there is ways to get the tools needed at no cost or dirt cheap, but once you gain clients or employment, they all want Adobe made material. Good luck.
    Last edited by VaporCreations; 03-06-2012 at 05:50 AM.
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  11. #11


    You should start with the very basics by learning the code itself and writing it your self.
    One added note. Starting off writing your own code could be great for some, but a death sentence for others that may find confusion on where to begin or start. Outside of basics and some advanced script/text which training will require, the real world demands more than this, for the most part.

    My best advice is to tear into, and apart, properly licensed open source projects. The best way to learn is using a live subject and reverse engineering how the subject works from the inside out. Starting out with a finished Picasso as a subject, verses a blank canvas is a very good way to learn. This is a big reason why open source is "open source" and namely being free to help educate. Well, I believe originally it was meant for this purpose. Today open source seems to be the way the corporate world reduces spending and the need for in-house development, but that is another story. The GNU home page is a great place to start learning and a place where you do not need a debit card or Paypal account to do so.
    Last edited by VaporCreations; 03-06-2012 at 06:17 AM.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Kepler 62f
    Web design is about UX, aesthetics, communication -- not code. The reason so many sites look/function like crap is because the people doing it lack skills in communication. If you're the "computer person" (IT, programming, etc), creating sites is not for you. Having actual marketing skills helps, too (meaning multiple college courses, possibly a minor/major in it).
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  13. #13
    You don't need a degree to be a perfect web designer. All you need is practice in the following areas:

    1. HTML & CSS
    2. Adobe Photoshop
    3. JQuery (its very essentail)
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by rishisab View Post
    You don't need a degree to be a perfect web designer. All you need is practice in the following areas:

    1. HTML & CSS
    2. Adobe Photoshop
    3. JQuery (its very essentail)
    It is also better to have good knowledge of Javascript
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Upstate New York
    I wouldn't worry so much about qualifications, as getting a "portfolio" of example sites you've done. Especially if you expect using freelance sites like Guru or Elance, prospective customers will want to get an idea of the types of sites you can design.
    The portfolio helps differentiate you from every other "Web Designer" on the planet :-)
    John Rasri
    Private Label Live Chat Provider For Resellers
    White Label/Brand-able live chat software solutions
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  16. #16
    Web designers need to be creative and come up with new and innovative stuffs. So I would suggest you to get your basics right and practice alot. Hard work is the key to success in any profession.
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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida

    Scrap Dreamweaver and start with the basics.

    -Learn xHTML and CSS and get a firm grasp of the language.
    -Move to learning more about CSS3 & HTML5 (you don't have to master that right away).
    -Become a master at Photoshop. Knowledge will only get you so far with the program -- the rest requires imagination.
    -Learn how to utilize jQuery / JS (or learn it. This should also be with xHTML / CSS).

    -Then learn more about HTML5, CSS3, Fireworks (learn it alongside PS so you can slice PSDs).

    Believe me, if I had known about WHT back in 6th or 7th grade, I'd be a lot better at web design / development than I am now. Soooooo much better.

    I'm also taking Web Design II and it is utter garbage. You don't learn code, just how to click buttons in DW (which I don't even use or care to use, honestly). Some garbage examples of what Adobe's book teaches you (we're using the 2011 / 2012 version of the DW guide: www in the url is the machine name. A site must have www. Because subdomains don't exist. Table based layouts are professional. What is a wrapper? It doesn't exist either.

    Sorry if the message is so scrambled, I'm just kind of in a hurry like always!
    Independent Web Developer

    Florida State Seminoles >>------>
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  18. #18
    That's a very broad question, actually, and pretty tough to answer. It's like you asked what qualifications there are for an engineer without even specifying whether you are talking of a mechanical engineer, sound engineer, civil engineer, electronics engineer, or any other type.
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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Glasgow, UK
    IMHO, as has been touched upon earlier in this thread, one of the first things to become proficient in, is communication. Not necessarily in a marketing perspective, but in understanding what a customer expects from a website and explaining how you can meet those requirements.

    A good grounding in customer service skills also helps. You'd be surprised at how long you'll spend updating a client, talking things through with them, helping them understand your design decisions and even troubleshooting problems with them. Knowing how to keep communication professional, helpful and efficient is truly a key skill in this industry.

    From a technical perspective, it's entirely dependant on what you're wanting to do. Many people choose either front-end design (Photoshop) or coding (in your case, Dreamweaver), rather than trying to specialise in both. Think carefully about where your skill set lies and go from there.
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  20. #20
    For me the best is to build it first using Photoshop (which will be use for personal reference and customers reference ofcourse)

    Then the images will be export base on the arrangement on the template.

    NEVER USE PHOTOSHOP CUT - This is inappropriate and must never be use. This will never get you hired and in worst case, get you fired.

    Start with a base HTML template, drop in a CSS framework and CSS reset.

    And then work on the grids, define how many grids is your template is. After that design repeatable content.
    Finish up, cleanup the css and check on multiple browsers.

    This is my workflow.
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  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Basically you'll need to learn Photoshop and illustrator ..

    If you want to code your designs, you'll need to learn HTML and CSS ! then may be jQuery and CSS3.
    The Wordpress developer Modem Router

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