So you wanna learn some web skills? Think you got what it takes? Good, because all it REALLY takes is patience, and practice. Let’s get started.
Be Social. Use Social Media or fall behind.
This is really step 0.5. If you aren’t following the experts in your field, start there. By following designers, developers, firms, and organizations, you can stay on the cutting edge of what’s happening, what’s hated, what’s hot… basically what the movers and shakers of the web world are up to.
Here’s a list to follow to get you started. (mostly resources, downloads, articles)
Here’s a list of Behance’s “creatives to watch.” (mostly designers’ personal twitters)
Use Resources. Don’t re-invent the wheel if you don’t have to.
There are hundreds of thousands of free, open-source resources available on the internet for you to download, learn from, and make your own. Google is a good first bet for any web-design question, but after a while you get the hang of where to look. For starters, bookmark the following tools/resources I use on the regular:
- http://subtlepatterns.com/ (think solid color backgrounds are boring??)
- http://thenounproject.com/ (for all your symbol & icon needs)
- http://www.gridlover.net/ (a tool for generating the CSS for beautiful typographic hierarchy)
- http://www.colorzilla.com/gradient-editor/ (the VERY best cross-browser CSS gradient generator, I literally use this every single day)
- http://css3.bradshawenterprises.com/ (how to use the BEST of CSS3 animations, effects, and so much more)
- http://ui-cloud.com/ (search and download from thousands of premade UI kits)
- http://jquer.in/ (advanced, a huge database of jquery plugins you can use to do all sorts of awesome things)
Keep Learning. Weather you’re gaining knowledge or practicing skills, keep leveling up. Resting on your laurels is a wicked bad mistake, yo.
Read blogs for breakfast, and image galleries for dessert. Knowledge is power. Keep your mind sharp and your subconscious swimming with beautiful and original work.
News & Opinions:
- https://svbtle.com/ (some of the highest-quality tech-related content on the internet)
- http://www.quora.com(Q&A for the tech-savvy and design-minded)
- http://www.quora.com/iOS-Applications/What-are-great-resources-for-discovering-new-iPhone-and-iPad-apps-with-unique-innovative-and-or-beautiful-design (start with this one… you’ll see what I mean)
- Developer and Firm Blogs (The people who build the technologies we all use are people, too. They have feelings, opinions, etc… Read them and learn.)
Typography & Art:
- http://pttrns.com/ (ios app inspiration)
- http://www.behance.net/search?field=132 (or enter any search term)
- http://dribbble.com/search?q=user+interface (or enter any search term)
- http://littlebigdetails.com/ (strictly UI)
It can be intimidating, especially when you’re aware of the vast amount of knowledge and skill you don’t possess. But if you keep calm, utilize your resources, pay attention to trendsetters, keep your finger to the pulse of the scene, never stop learning, and don’t give up — I can guarantee you’ll be a pro in no-time.
Now that we’ve gone over that — let’s make some stuff. To start, open these tabs:
Thanks for following along, I hope this was as much fun for you as it was for me! ♥