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SharkBait

Better myself in web design

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Hi,

What are some good resources for bettering myself with webdesign. Mainly the graphic side.

I know there are thousands of sites out there that will show me little photoshop 'tricks' etc but I am looking more for the general layouts and hints/tips etc when designing webpages.

I'm goodat doing backends, I'm not a front-end person. Just trying to learn more and make sites I create a bit... nicer looking ;)

Thanks

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Theres a good Photoshop tutorial site at psworkshop.net, I check it out every so often for ideas, but I feel a lot of the stuff there is getting a bit dated, sites are starting to look a lot cleaner these days with the 'less is more' attitude to design...

Sometimes I even check out those sites that sell web templates for ideas on new designs.

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There are a few things in the pinned "Resources" tab in Website Critique that you may find useful.

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there's not much you have to learn for layout specific graphic tips.

first of all, you have to establish a style. depending on what look you like, develop a style and stick to it. don't mix too much into one layout.

in general, learn about "colour theory" and know the difference between print and web graphics in terms of resolution (DPI, not screen resolution), colour ranges of monitors (RGB) as opposed to that of printers (CMYK), learn about the different graphic formats for the web (GIF, PNG 8 and PNG 24, JPG) and what browsers support them to what extent (eg: IE6 and lower doesn't support partial transparency for PNG's) and when which format is appropriate.

i'm sure you already know about things like "image tiling", etc.

you can get all this from google as long as you know what keywords to use.

if you have something specific to web design, let me know.

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this may possibly be unrelated, but i thought it might be useful for you: here's a website i go to when i'm trying to figure out a good color scheme for a website:

[a href=\"http://www.behr.com/behrx/workbook/index.jsp\" target=\"_blank\"]http://www.behr.com/behrx/workbook/index.jsp[/a]

IMO it's a really useful tool :)

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Look around. Look at billboards. Look at print ads in high-end magazines. See how typography and white space are used. Print ads are expensive so they usually have 'real' artists working on them who know what makes a successful 'look' that can capture the attention. Billboard have to get their message across clearly and quickly. Good ads and billboards usually use 'white space' effectively.

Read and learn about accessibility and how accessibility is part of 'good' design. Learn a bit of color theory and psychology - why do 'guys' like green and black? why do women like blues? when is red good and when is it bad?

Read and learn how people actually use web sites - how they scan pages (top to bottom, left to right, a mixture of both, headlines first, etc.) That will tell you more about effective layout than 90% of web designers know.

And use pencil and paper for your layout concepts before you open up your html editor or graphic editor to create a layout.

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I'm not too good at web design either. To tell ya the truth i really haven't designed much on my own, but i occasionally check out this site to learn those photoshop tricks you were talking about. Glossy buttons, etc. They also have site layout tutorials and tons of other stuff.

[a href=\"http://www.good-tutorials.com\" target=\"_blank\"]http://www.good-tutorials.com[/a]

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i would like to also throw out a small, humble piece of advice.

you should really sit down and ask yourself if you really want to be a scripter [i]and[/i] a designer. what I mean is this: when I am working a project with other people, i have my own opinions about how something should look/might look better, etc..., same as anybody else, but you have to ask yourself, at what point are you spreading yourself too thin? It's okay to be the jack of all trades for tiny little projects, but if/when you get into massively massive projects, there's a reason why there is usually a team of people working on it, from coders to designers to content writers to whoever else.

Building a website is much like any other job, in that, you don't have 5 jobs and 5 people doing all 5 jobs. You have 5 jobs and 5 people each doing 1 job that they specialize in. Again, if you are just working on some small personal project, then by all means, be an army of one. But if you are aiming for something big, and I think you are, cuz if i recall, you are working on a mmog, you may want to consider recruiting someone who specializes in design, so that you can focus on your code.

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