Where the design community meets.
Joined over 10 years ago via an invitation from Nicholas C.
Generally I'd ignore this conversation thread bc it is full of non-analytical complaints, but... I have something positive to add here.
Recently, I was looking at home-stay travel accommodation alternatives to Airbnb. I was surprised to find that a handful of competing sites had copied Airbnb's landing page design pretty closely.
At first I thought that was a little funny, but then I recognized that by copying Airbnb's design, these sites were more usable. Airbnb's design is improving the quality of design in its space - and that's fantastic.
Great post - you're not selling the wordpress customization, you're getting to know your client's needs and providing an integrated solution.
Would be great to see a screenshot to be able to speak more precisely to the element at hand, but my general philosophy on this is to first use color to show levels of depth (darker colors move easily look farther away than lighter ones), and then to use a shadow or other 3-d effect when that isn't possible (you can't change the colors of the elements).
In addition to a shadow, you can do a single-pixel semi-transparent line. That feels a little more "flat."
It looks like you do have self-initiated projects. Well done and keep it up.
Seth Godin has a pretty nice blog post on this subject:
While it would be dis-advantageous to DN to discuss this topic every day (or any single topic for that matter), I appreciate that you came here looking to become a better designer. That means the site is doing a good job.
Every experienced designer was once a young designer who most-likely received help or advice. Don't feel too bad - most of us have been there.
It's excellent practice to eliminate superfluous parts or sequences from your product.
Another general rule at play here: don't make any assumptions.
This is one of the reasons we need to be able to down vote a post
I entirely agree
Perhaps it's obvious but I should have added that once you are comfortable modifying files you start writing your own!
I started by becoming familiar with the syntax - this was before the CodeAcademy movement, so I just read through some intro to HTML & CSS sites like W3 school (not sure I'd recommend that to everyone - but it worked for me).
Once I understood some core stuff - what DOM elements are, how to style them, the difference between IDs and classes and how to denote them - then I started viewing source on my favorite websites. That way, I wasn't building overwhelmed by building from scratch - I could change something that already had structure and design.
I started with the simpler, one-page products under the assumption that there would be less going on under the hood. Many times that was true - viewing source on a minimalist Tumblr blog is a great place to start, for instance. Try modifying an element's classes and see how that affects the display - the page will hold your modifications locally, but when you reload the page the original site design will be restored so you can make changes and then hit refresh to try something else. This works great for smaller experiments, but once you feel comfortable you'll want to move on to modifying files stored on your machine.
To be able to experiment a whole lot within the restrictive environment of view source, I downloaded a couple of file packages from free web design site tutorials and experimented with making major modifications to the files - what if this layout had three columns? What if the header had a logo on the left and navigational elements on the right? I was becoming familiar with a proper way to do things, and seeing how my changes either broke the page or successfully made it display as I wanted.
The stuff I was making at that point looked REALLY SHITTY and it wasn't super interactive, but it was fun and I knew that I would get a lot better if I stuck with it - as with everything else in life, you'll get better with practice.
Looking back, something that kept me really engaged was regularly adding new challenges - like learning about webkit animations & styles (like drop-shadow), using jQuery UI elements, building responsive sites, and Google web fonts - and assigning myself projects. I am a huge advocate for learning new skills through projects - if there's something you really want to make then you'll be motivated to get through the tough parts. I'd suggest designing yourself a website or making a website for a friend - it's small enough that you won't be overwhelmed, but big enough that it will feel like an accomplishment.
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