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Become a Modern Web Designer with Tuts+ Courses

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Becoming a web designer is not an easy feat, particularly when there is so much to learn with new techniques and technologies coming and going at a lightning pace. If you’ve just decided to get into the industry, then you’re going to need to know what to learn first and what to learn next. So let’s take a look at how we can accomplish that by making sure we get you started out on the right path.

The modern-day web designer’s role is somewhat varied. One day you may be designing web page mock-ups in your chosen design application, and the next day coding HTML/CSS in your favorite text editor. You could also be involved with the UX design strategy or even an SEO campaign. Like I said, it varies and is also dependent upon your clients. For example, if you are going to be working for yourself, then you’re going to be taking on many different roles. But if you are working for a large web agency, then chances are there will be a whole team involved in each project doing specific roles.

So here is a learning pathway that I would like to suggest to anyone who is new to the web design industry and needs to understand what the prerequisites are so they can get that first “junior” position. Alternatively, this pathway could help someone who is looking at learning a new skill to advance their career.

If you want to stay current and become “effective” in your career, then you need to know what skills to learn now and what skills are good to know for the future. In other words, you need to stay ahead of the game, identify new trends and find ways of learning without affecting your current skill set.

If learning jQuery is your target, would you also learn core Javascript? If learning Photoshop is something you need to learn, would you also learn Fireworks? If you’re new to the industry then it is so easy to get confused as to what you need to learn first and what you need to learn next, but when you get that formula right, you will without a doubt become more employable and effective in your career.

HTML5

This goes without saying, as it’s imperative that we start with the language that all websites are built with. And because HTML5 is the most current version, it would only make sense to start with that.


  • Decoding HTML5 (eBook)

    In Decoding HTML5, Jeffrey Way dives straight in and delivers something that the every day designer or developer can immediately pick up and understand!


  • HTML5 Fundamentals

    In step by step fashion, we’re going to dig into this new technology, including the various new HTML tags, feature detection, and working with a couple of the new JavaScript APIs.

CSS3

Without Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), we would read some boring, messy and no doubt confusing websites. So once we have mastered the structure of our web pages (using HTML), it’s time to move on to the presentation. As you may already know, CSS3 is the most current version and offers some very cool features.


  • Mastering CSS3 (eBook)

    This eBook “Mastering CSS3” features recent CSS3 techniques, a detailed overview of advanced CSS3 pseudo-classes, CSS3 Flexbox, CSS animations and 3D transforms and modern techniques for constructing page layouts, among others.


  • CSS3 Essentials

    In this course, we’ll cover the essentials of what you absolutely must know about CSS3.

Photoshop

Like it or not, Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard as it offers a lot of great tools for creating stylish and very effective graphic elements for websites. As a result, it is a skill that most employers are looking for, so to ignore Photoshop would be like putting yourself at the bottom of the pile.


  • Photoshop Techniques for Web Designers

    Geared especially for new web designers, Ben Gribbin teaches important techniques and workflow tips that are vital to any web professional working in Photoshop.

jQuery

Once you have a good handle on the first three (HTML, CSS, Photoshop), then it’s time to move on to what is known as the “behavior” of web pages. jQuery is a cross-browser JavaScript library and gives you so much control of the behavior of your web pages. It’s fun, fairly easy to learn and is the last prerequisite of any entry-level web designer.


  • Mastering jQuery (eBook)

    This eBook contains just the orientation you need to optimize your forthcoming jQuery projects!


  • 30 Days to Learn jQuery

    In this course, Jeffrey Way will bring you up to speed with jQuery. You will learn the fundamentals and then on to more advanced techniques, such as effects, plugin development and AJAX.

Responsive Web Design

Almost every new client these days wants a mobile version of their website. Responsive Web design(RWD) is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and an intelligent use of CSS media queries. So in this section of our guide, we will take a look at some of the best courses on Tuts+ Premium that will bring you up to speed with RWD.


  • Responsive Web Design for Beginners

    Want to get into this relatively new field and learn the basics? Then watch and learn as Ian Yates teaches you the fundamentals of responsive web design.


  • Responsive Web Design with Foundation

    In this course, Craig Campbell walks you through Foundation and how you can use it for your RWD workflow. Is this framework for you? Let’s find out.


  • Responsive Design (eBook)

    This eBook, “Responsive Design” provides an overview on responsive Web design, showing many situations and techniques in which this approach can be applied to mobile devices.

Stay Focused

Before you dive in headfirst into all of these topics, I’d advise that you stay focused on each subject until you get comfortable with it and try not to get involved with anything else. For example, when I started learning jQuery, I found myself learning core Javascript and then that led to learning C# … wait. What? I still don’t know what the hell happened there, but I know I wasted weeks trying to learn something I didn’t need to. So if you want to become a web designer, then stick to this pathway, never stop learning, and practice, practice and practice more!

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