Web design for beginners
April 24, 2009 5:57 PM   Subscribe

What is the best online web design course I can find?

I am interested in learning web design, but have no idea where to start. I learn better with a bit of accountability (ie if I pay for something and have assignments to complete, I'm more likely to succeed, sad but true) but could make a go of anything that was fairly structured. I just don't know where to start.

What would you suggest to a reasonably intelligent, internet-savvy beginner to web design? Ideally I would like to make myself employable in this field, but where to even begin?
posted by different to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
I have found the O'Reilly Head First series helpful, especially Head First HTML and CSS and Head First Web Design.
posted by archaic at 6:16 PM on April 24, 2009

Opera's Web Standards Curriculum. I wish it had existed when I was learning this stuff. This is definitely the best single resource I've found for someone starting this stuff completely from scratch.
posted by ewingpatriarch at 7:10 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Haven't seen either of the resources already mentioned, but I've found htmldog in combination with the indespensible Firebug extension to the Firefox browser an excellent way to begin reverse engineering sites I admire.

This - and I suspect the previous two responses - assume, of course, that you already have an 'eye' for design. An ability to code without an understanding of how colour, form, negative space, typography, etc combine to create good design makes you a developer.
posted by puffmoike at 4:45 AM on April 25, 2009

I found the fifth edition of this to be excellent, and I have no reason to believe that the sixth is worse.
posted by djgh at 5:41 AM on April 25, 2009

In case you are lacking the "eye" for design, Robin William's The Non-Designer's Design Book: Design and Typographic Principles for the Visual Novice is absolutely essential. It doesn't teach a thing about web anything, but it will fundamentally alter the way you look at design.

I found her The Non-Designer's Web Book to be much less edifying, but it has since had two revisions since I read it, so it may have been improved.
posted by fydfyd at 5:48 AM on April 25, 2009

These suggestions are based on your desire to pay.

Some of my designer friends say good things about the web development courses at LVS Online.

If tutorials work for you, Lynda.com has some good stuff.

I also recommend reading "Don't Make Me Think" by Steve Krug.
posted by belladonna at 5:58 AM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

I've wanted to say this on a number of previous occasions -- I think critical mass has been reached -- do you really want to learn web design?

Because lots of these helpful people are showing you how to learn web development.

So, do you want to learn how to develop, ie. write the code that makes web pages, or do you want to learn how to design, i.e. make choices about layout, images, fonts, colours etc. for web pages?

It's possible you want to learn both of course.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 3:56 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

http://www.w3schools.com/ has some good tutorials and a lot of great reference information.
posted by nalyd at 7:53 PM on April 25, 2009

I'm also interested in getting into web design, but I do not have the training. There is a great program if you live in the Bay area. It's called the Bay Area Video Coalition www.bavc.org. If you are collecting unemployment and have a little tech background you pay $175 and get 256 hours of classes. The only catch is you have to find a job after with a company that pays into the state unemployment plan when you're done.

posted by Metachel at 9:27 AM on April 30, 2009

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