Friday 27 December 2013

"Designing" for the web...

Design skills are fundamental too..

So it's been a little while since my last post and looking at the date of the last one, it coincides with the time I took up my latest web course and have unfortunately been unable to focus on my own stuff for a while, which is a shame :(

I thought however, seems I have a little break I would write and update you on what I have been up to.

My latest web course has been a little different to the last couple that I have done. Where previously I've been learning some fundamental technicalities of the web like coding, file structures/format and a bit about getting sites up and running on the web etc, this time round I have had to use my brain in a whole different way.

The focus this time has been on the "Design Process" as a whole. From dealing with a client and understanding there business, there customers and there needs, to planning, designing and implementing this into a web site that is effective and functional but also has elements of your own creativeness!    

I must admit I initially wanted to get into web design as I liked design and like to be creative.  I've since got so sucked into coding and completely fallen in love with it to be honest (I have a bit of an addictive personality) that I hadn't really taken into consideration that there was an actual process involved in web design...and the fact that a lot of it is actually about understanding peoples needs, planning and good design..oops!

It's been a good exercise for me to be able to think about web design in the broader sense which I guess we all need to do and to get my brain out of "code mode" and back into "design mode" for a while.  It's also been a lot trickier than I had thought to be honest, coming up with ideas/new ideas and then trying to make them into a reality. My site currently looks OK..could be better..could be worse too I guess..we all have to start somewhere ;)

It does sound a bit silly really to say that "Web Design" is about the "Design"...but it actually really is!

So anyway, break time is over and I best get on trying to get my little project finished, so I will be off for now...wish me luck!

In a bit,


Sunday 22 September 2013

So what's this HTML5 stuff?

Making Mark Up simpler...eventually!

HTML5 is basically the new version of HTML.  It's been making ground for a couple of years now but is not yet a proper web standard nor are all web browsers supporting all parts of it.  Going forwards there will be no old or new versions of HTML, it will purely become a living standard that is updated as it grows.  A lot of people have already jumped on the bandwagon using the new version...and quite frankly I can see why!! 

It's basically been designed to simplify mark up, bringing element names in line with there uses and incorporating the need to use different codes into one, including getting rid of the need to use third party plug ins like flash player for videos etc.

However because of the lack of support for it at the moment people are having to use workarounds like incorporating javascripts/HTML5 Shiv to re-write HTML5 as CSS so people can view it in old browsers and having to use multiple file types for video so again they are shown in all browser types etc.  So really it's already kind of defeating the object of simplicity at the moment, but where there is a will there is a way, and soon this stuff is going to become widely used and loved!

So any way HTML is still majorly used so I'm not feeling so bad that I've been learning this stuff for a couple of years and missed the fact that HTML5 was going on.  It helps a lot to know HTML before you get started with HTML5, and hey perhaps once I/we have all got our heads around the new version then maybe it will be being widely supported and we wont have to bother ourselves with these pesky workarounds.

It may not be fully supported today, maybe not tomorrow either, but soon...and for the rest of our lives! ;)

In a bit,

Tuesday 23 July 2013

CSS Content complete!!

Well I've had a little blue box sitting on my pages saying "CSS" for sometime now doing nothing...but today that has changed!!

Finally I have managed to finish my content and get it linked up to all my other pages...phew!

CSS really is my new found love and to be honest quite a fundamental part of web design these day's, so I've been working hard to try and put something as simple as possible together to help other web novices get there heads around the basics.

Check out my new CSS link here

So next I will be tweaking some other bit's of content, adding some useful links and throwing in a few images, so I be back soon with another update!

In a bit,

Sunday 14 July 2013

The "Most Important" place to go on the web to learn HTML!

If you are starting out in Web Design then my advice is to start by learning a bit of HTML.

The fundamental place to go on the web for this is the site run by the guys who set the standards for the World Wide Web - W3Schools!

It's Free and gives all the basic info to get you started and includes all other aspects of web info and coding knowledge you will ever need to know!

Once you have a basic understanding of HTML, everything else fit's into place and makes sense from there on in!

Go to and get learning today!

In a bit,

Friday 5 July 2013

Tweaking, Testing and adding more content! Nearly there!!

Well my ambition to help other people overcoming the initial hurdles of web design is nearly there!

Since my last post I've been creating content like there is no tomorrow and re-writing it again. 

I've also uploaded five pages and have been testing it in browsers to see how it looks.  I have found that the new versions of browsers like I.E 9 & 10 love my CSS however the older versions...not so much!  I.E 8 shows my CSS but does not like my curved lines and I.E 6-7 throws up all sorts of problems so have presented myself with a many people are actually using older browsers anyway and should I really be going out of my way to fix these problems?

So next on the list is to finish creating my content, adding some images to try and really make things as "Simple" as possible, adding some extra page links to useful resources and I also fancy creating a Twitter account to go along side my site so it reaches as many users as possible!  Social Media is a real key aspect to many businesses these day's and I'd really like to help as many people as possible!

Why not check out my progress on my site so far -

In a bit :)

Wednesday 8 May 2013

Using Multimedia in Web Design is not that "Simple"

So having spent a lot of time today tippedy tapping, reading through resources and playing around with code in my html doc I have come to realise that using sounds and videos in your web content is not as simple as I had thought.

Web browsers firstly can be drastically different when using multimedia and what works lovely in Internet Explorer does not seem to work in Chrome or Firefox for example. 

Secondly I have been forced to learn a bit about "Plug ins".  Basically ye old HTML is fabulous for using text, images and links for example, but when it comes to using more fancy interactive stuff like videos in your web pages you may need some extra software called a Plug in to be able to view it.   For example you can download and install Adode Flash player for use on sites with videos or games.

I understand that the web industry is doing some work on updating the age old Plug ins and are doing some work to integrate this sort of software into web browsers.  Plug ins can be a security risk also as they work independently from your browser and are often out of date so do not contain the latest security fixes. 

So given what I have learned today I may put my Multimedia content on hold just for now. 

In a bit :)

Making some real progress!

Well it's raining outside and I have the week off from my 9-5 job so thought I take the opportunity to update my blog and let you know how it's been going seems it's been a while.

Since my last post I have been playing around in the background trying to create the template for my web pages in CSS and although it's been frustrating at times and I have felt like giving up, I have persevered and now find myself at a point where I am starting to see some real results and feel pretty satisfied at what I have learned and created. 

So now I have created the template to keep the design of my web pages consistent, I have been spending most of my time creating the contents to go in it.  It's not been easy!

I have always been taught that a good site is all about it's contents and seems I am trying to help other novices get started in the world of web design I am desperately trying to relay the information I have gathered in the simplest terms possible for potential users.  I have spent days writing stuff up, confusing myself and then deleting and re-writing stuff again, but think I am finally starting to make some real progress.

Well my website wont write its self so off I go tippedy tapping away...

In a bit :)