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Oscar Pelly

How to start as a web designer? (More specific than it seems)

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Hey there, (NOTE: Sorry If I put this in the wrong section, I was a little disorientated)

So, this isn't exactly about art/design, as I already know about that. I already know how to build a website, say, on Photoshop and make it look good, UI/UX design etc.

But I want to start designing as a business. And the problem I've hit, is what can I do with that knowledge? Do I just export a PSD file to my client, and leave the html up to them?My coding isn't brilliant, but is there any tool that will let you design a website and export it to static html? I know this isn't particularly about design, but I'm a bit stuck at this point, on how to "make" and export the website to a client.

 

Thank you,

Oscar

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You will have to learn html and css at a minimum and probs js and php as well. Designing without understanding the materials and tools is bonkers.

Edited by TimW

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4 hours ago, TimW said:

You will have to learn html and css at a minimum and probs js and php as well. Designing without understanding the materials and tools is bonkers.

I work with some fantastic designers who do not know HTML or CSS.  What is key is collaboration between a designer and a developer - not doing design up-front and being thrown over the fence but the design evolves as it is implemented in the browser.

Also why would PHP be necessary?  I have not written a line of that in years.   Even for websites that use PHP for their backend you have frontend developers who don't need much knowledge of it, most teams have a split between design/frontend/backend.  Occasionally you'll find some full-stack developers, however 90% of these full-stack developers I have worked with have had massive holes at various points of the stack because there is simply too much to learn to be able to do all those roles - at least for a marginally complex web application.
Those that can have many years of experience and are genuine exceptions.

There are no real tools that you can rely on to take a design to code - how can a static photoshop design be translated into a fluid UI that works across all screens?  No automated system could do this - which bits are static? which are fluid?  All it can see is pixels.  So you either pair with a developer or learn development.
My advice would be: Rather than go it alone try to get your design ability to a standard where you are employable at an agency, build up some industry experience then decide if you want to freelance.

Edited by rbrtsmith

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5 hours ago, rbrtsmith said:


There are no real tools that you can rely on to take a design to code - how can a static photoshop design be translated into a fluid UI that works across all screens?  No automated system could do this - which bits are static? which are fluid?  All it can see is pixels.  So you either pair with a developer or learn development.
My advice would be: Rather than go it alone try to get your design ability to a standard where you are employable at an agency, build up some industry experience then decide if you want to freelance.

Hey, Thank you, that was very helpful!

 

Say, if I was to freelance, would that involve just "exporting" the websites as like psd or svg etc, and still not have to have massive experience with html?

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Welcome mate. As @rbrtsmith puts it you'll need to collaborate to survive and raise your design to a high standard if you want to stick to just design.

On 4/14/2018 at 8:37 PM, Oscar Pelly said:

Say, if I was to freelance, would that involve just "exporting" the websites as like psd or svg etc, and still not have to have massive experience with html?

I'm your polar opposite; design is not my strong point, I'm generally back-end developer. I would expect from a designer a series of designs; general design mobile / desktop and a reference sheet of fonts, colour palettes etc. As an example one of our talent mods @teodora is a great designer, see her work on dribbble.  As a developer I'd want to be given something like this design, colours all shown with layout, fonts etc so it makes life easier for the front end and back end teams.

I would suggest however learning some html and css, mainly to see whats possible like css animation, shapes etc; you don't need to be full stack or even code, but it'll give you ideas for your designs which will translate beautifully to front end.

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Thanks @BrowserBugs :)

To the OP:

Some great advice so far, and I'd like to add that you'd need to choose a role that best suits you. That could be anything:

- a UI / graphic designer who creates various assets, style reference sheets and layouts for developers or a design company (which means someone else takes care of coding and project management)

- a UI / graphic designer who offers their clients the full service (everything from branding to web development) and manages the project/s but outsources both the front and back end development to a hired party

- a UI / graphic designer / front-end developer who does all of the above + the front-end development and outsources the back end work

and so on.

If you're a freelancer, especially if you're a beginner it's very important to have someone to rely on for the bits you can't do yourself.

Industry experience varies greatly. There's more change to get knowledge and extend your skills in a particular field if you get hired by an agency, and if you're working directly with clients you'll get to develop a broader skill set and hone your business management abilities. All experience, of course, is incredibly useful.

Perhaps you should try a few roles before deciding which one is right for you.

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