Monday, June 11, 2007

Learning to design

I started blogging around middle of 2004. Initially I used custom templates offered by Blogger. Then, I found blogskins which offer literally thousands of custom-made Blogger templates. I started to browse looking for cool templates and bits by bits, I learned a bit about HTML.

I learned how to make font bold, italic, underline, cross the text, subscript and superscript. I learned HTMl by knowing the basics. I played around with colours and borders. Initially, HTML seems something unfamiliar to me. It is totally different from anything that I have learned so far. Please note that I do not have any prior knowledge on neither programming nor web design. It was a difficult journey but I persevere.

Early in 2006, I started to use different internet browser following my friends recommendation. Previously, I used Internet Explorer 6 [IE6] as my only internet browser since it is the default browser in Windows. The new browser was Mozilla Firefox. It has cool features and amazing collection of extensions.

After few weeks using Firefox, I noticed that many websites look different under Firefox and IE6. In fact, my own blog at that time look totally different under different browsers. I investigated and found out that there are differences on how internet browsers interpret every websites. One of the major reasons lies in one of the programming language called Cascading Style Sheet [CSS]. IE6 does not follow web standards established by World Wide Web Consortium and thus, many websites break-down when viewed using IE6.

Triggered by that knowledge, I started to learn CSS. CSS is based on HTML and since I have learned much about HTML, the journey now is a bit easier. It took me months and years to learn those two languages. In the same period, I also discovered the differences of internet browsers under different operating systems, namely Windows XP and Mac OS.

With the amount of knowledge I have on CSS and HTML, alhamdulillah, I have gained the basic ability to understand the code behind web design. There are three basic things you need to know about web design.
  1. HTML
  2. CSS
  3. ability to create/use elegant image/graphics ;). You need to know a bit about image-editing software for example Paint [the most basic], GIMP, or Adobe Photoshop. There are alternative methods if you don't want to spend time to learn about image-editing. You can always use other people pictures in your layout or opt for not using any image at all in your blog design :).
My journey in web-design is still in the beginning and there are many things that I am interested to learn more. If you are interested to learn about design, start with the basics first :)


moshimoshi said...

i think the first two i wouldn't have problem learning. the third one, however, is a different story. while technically i would know to do many thing if i were to learn, but to produce an aesthetically pleasing product would be tricky, to say the least :D

hafiz238 said...

true. the third requirement is quite subjective and difficult. This requires a lot of practice and observing how other people achieved this aspect. It is something like painting or learning about photography :)