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Need to up-skill – but which skills?!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Universities & Training Forum:' started by FionaPenguin, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. FionaPenguin

    FionaPenguin New Member

    Hi, I'm new on here and would like some advice, please?

    I've been in an in-house design position in a College marketing dep for the last 7 years. It is mostly print based with the occasional web banner thrown in. I've been thinking of moving on but I realise my skills are in need of an update in order to get anywhere.

    I am proficient in InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Quark.

    I have no experience of web design though (other than banners). What would be the best to learn - Dreamweaver, coding or something else????
    I also want to learn some animation software but again what is going to look best on my CV? Is it worth learning Flash or should I be looking at Edge (or something else)?

  2. Crepston

    Crepston Member

    I would start with HTML+CSS, then web design (designing website layouts in Illustrator or Photoshop).
    I'm not familiar with animation, wouldn't After Effects be good for that?
    You want to take a huge leap, remember how long it took you to learn AI + PS and gain all the knowledge and experience you have. I think it's better and more rewarding to be very good at one thing than to be goodish at many things. There are so many freelancers out there who claim to know everything, from branding to coding and marketing, but when you check out their portfolios...
    FionaPenguin likes this.
  3. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    No, flash is dead on the web. If you want to have a crack at something then try CSS/HTML coding.
    FionaPenguin likes this.

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    Google Web Designer is a pretty good alternative to Flash. It's free and does the same sort of thing.
    FionaPenguin and Corrosive like this.
  5. FionaPenguin

    FionaPenguin New Member

    Thanks all, you've pretty much confirmed what I suspected! So, any tips on how I can get enthusiastic about coding?
  6. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    Blimey, that's a tough one... and I'm a coder! You might even find the whole thing either dry or frustrating to be honest but I came at it from the angle that I would love to be a designer but am just not that good at it so I settle for turning more creative people's designs into lightweight and accessible code. I will say that the one place 'traditional' designers tend to struggle with coding is that you can't 'place' website elements (well not without causing issues) or 'drag and drop' a decent web page. You have to get stuck in to understanding page flow and the CSS Box Model to really code tight pages.

    Hope that helps.
  7. Edge

    Edge Active Member

    The most popular code editor at the moment is sublime text. For years I've been using Dreamweaver CS3 as a code editor as I was too lazy to change. I just upgraded to Adobe Creative cloud which costs me £22 a month vat inc so not much. So I open up Dreamweaver CC and it's like WTF? It looks shit with all this new flat minimal trendy crap and I found out about 1 thing that has usefully changed over 3 versions so my message is if you want to code get Sublime. </rant>

    I think there is a big, big market for designers who can do front end coding - it's hugely expanded over the last few years with a much wider skillset required. It used to be CSS/HTML period. Now its HTML5/CSS3, JQuery, Responsive Design, Apps for Mobiles, Apps for tablets etc. Video tutorials from Treehouse are excellent (but you have to pay).

    I'm recruiting for a designer now and I won't take on anyone who can't do front end coding.
    Corrosive likes this.
  8. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    I agree Sublime Text is awesome, though I've recently been playing around with Brackets.

    Getting my coding up to today's standards is something of a priority for me at the moment. I'm likely going to be switching to web/digital design as my main source of income eventually, and being able to code up at least some of my designs myself is definitely an attractive prospect. I know a few great developers who are constantly busy and it's hard to get them on board for projects. I also know a few 'average' developers who are lazy and unmotivated, so being able to just do everything myself would, in theory, be a big weight off my shoulders.
  9. Kev Clarke

    Kev Clarke Member

    Hi FionaPenguin,

    This sounds similar to my plans, i am really interested in learning to build designs into fully working sites, maybe even look into the development of apps further down the line.

    If anyone knows of any good tutorials/books out there to start with learning web design or any course for beginners in and around London that would be even better.

    How are you getting on with this FionaPenguin?
  10. Robert Broley

    Robert Broley New Member

  11. joliecarter

    joliecarter New Member

    I think its better to go for CSS/HTML coding because nowadays its the best tool everyone's using.

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