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Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 | Written by:

How to Learn Efficiently Web Design Without a Teacher

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Not very long time ago we have just passed from web 1.0 to the amazing world of web 2.0. Social interactions and a better design were/are the main ingredients of this age but appeared voices that announced a new change, web 3.0.

Which are the features of it…well…nobody knows exactly but the new features are somehow easily to predict. Surely, responsive design will be a term very used in the near future and, quite probable, it ‘s the base of this new era.

These modifications are very useful for the common users of Internet but the websites and online applications creators must push to the limits theirs skills to merely come with the best solutions. Under these circumstances is no wonder that many specialists never stop learning, willing or not the Internet is evolving and any web designer must keep the rhythm. Paradoxically, many very talented web designers never attending barely a single course of web design, they simply learned from others using various methods. Yep, even you may become one of them if you try harder…making websites is something very practically, the theoretical aspect being important but not capital. Here I propose a plan to learn web design without any teacher; clearly, it isn’t impossible but the effort is really amazing to be one of the best specialists. The resources to learn are multiple but I preferred to present here only three of them, the most common. Anyway, no matter how many resources someone consult or how many years of self preparation passed, nothing can replace the practice- it is the real fuel of getting more experienced and appreciated by people.

1. Books

We are living in the age of high-speed computers and network interactions but, the old book will remain an eternal help for everyone. A compromise solution, the e-book, is situated at the intersection between the old format and the new technologies and it seems that is the most appreciated by people.

The advantages of the books are important and any designer must establish a library containing the fundaments of design. Books allow a considerable space to present in-depth problems therefore these are recommended for major issues and explanations of the basic problems. My intention isn’t to promote unfairly some books but according to my humble opinion, the collection of Smashing Magazine shouldn’t be missed by anyone.

Here is a small collection of books that are also invaluable for any web designer; it will be great to know that you already read these and I appreciate any new proposal from you.

The Principles of Beautiful Web Design

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This book is really mandatory, but in the same time it’s very nice to read; the language used is lacking any technical terms and everything is presented into a very familiar and logical way. No matter by the price, for everyone still needing basic acknowledgement it’s golden.

Smashing eBooks

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Here are many good books and it’s recommended to buy all of them but, in the unwanted case you don’t want to invest, there is a free book containing some of the best posts of the blog.

The WordPress Anthology

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WordPress is a new entity that simply brings a new revolution in online environment and the web designers must know in detail what this new magnificent product is.

Responsive Web Design

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The exponential growing of mobile devices creates another revolution, the Internet isn’t the exclusive territory of desktops or laptops, nowadays it is in the “clouds” accessible for everyone. Under these circumstances, the art of making websites is suffering important modifications and this book is capital in understanding the new directions in web design.

Podcasts

Many people don’t appreciate the value of podcasts because even don’t tried to listen to some. It is simple and in the same time efficient: some experts created a video explaining/debating some issues. It is both advantageous for listeners and creators: the first ones get in touch with some of the best in the industry while the last ones don’t lose too much time.

A web designer that wants to be updated to the latest news must check some of the podcasts and subscribe to the most important for him. Here are some that are consulted by me; personally I highly appreciate the tips and the problems debated.

Think Vitamin

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Think Vitamin is a famous name is web design field and this is a good guaranty that also the podcasts from here are qualitative.

Revision3

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Here are tons of videos about everything; I included it for the Pixel Perfect archive that is really useful. Warning: all the videos are very interesting and you could waste many hours by watching these (believe me, I have lost many working hours).

Rookie Designer

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It is another resource for podcasts, it’s more targeted for the beginners but the discussions are very interesting and full of useful advices, check it!

Blogs

The web design blogosphere is amazing and daily are published articles and tutorials that are very useful for any web designer. The plateau is very varied, from beginners’ tips and explanations over some basic aspects to expert tutorials needing hours of great work. These resources are mandatory for everyone because here are presented the latest news and it’s very handy to interact with bloggers and designers ready to help anyone in need.

The blogs below are just a few from a large offer; don’t be afraid and customize your list of blogs to check daily or as often as possible.

Web Designer Depot

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It is a serious blog that presents a large array of topics and the quality of the information provided is superior to the huge majority of blogs in this domain.

1st Web Designer

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It is another quite visited blog by and none should miss it. 1stwebdesigner is an old name but the posts are actual and well written.

One Xtra Pixel

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The same as the previous blogs, it offers a complex perspective over the work of a designer: inspirational showcases, useful tutorials, and complex in depth articles.

Hongkiat

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If you want a nice mixture of relaxing posts and very complex articles presenting common issues then Hongkiat is the best place. I felt in love with this blog due to the originality of the posts and the familiar style.

I hope that I convinced you about the possibility of self-perfection and following the above resources to start in this never-ending journey of being better and better.


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About Dino Angelov

Dino Angelov writes photoshop tutorials for Graphisutra and is constantly looking for free psds for PSDHunter.

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