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  • Well rounded web dev ability

    Ok. This relates to another column.

    What are the least amount of abilities you were consider necessary for a well-rounded web designer.

    If I said this was my list, what would you say?

    Graphic Design

    What would you say isn't well rounded about that?

    PS: What is CGI? Perl? And can someone explain the union of XML and HTML to make XHTML, and what XML is by itself?

    Thanks......I am trying to understand the facets of design and where languages overlap and where they don't
    Last edited by MysteryMan; Feb 21, 2004, 02:55 PM.

  • #2
    I think that if you are good at design and know HTML and CSS that you are ready to charge for websites. Next level up is PHP and then MySQL.

    As far as I know PHP will do anthing that CGI / Perl does. Javascript and XML are nice to know but you don't need it.

    The list below should help:

    •Design and buisness skills
    •HTML and CSS

    Leonard Whistler
    Leonard Whistler


    • #3

      Doesn't xhtml replace html?

      I thought it was a superior form, or is it more of an upgrade to many aspects?


      • #4
        To be honest I don't know. I think it actually HTML 5, but they call it XHTML 1.0. Like PhotoShop CS is really PhotoShop 8.

        I recommend the Visual QuickPro Guide series of books from Peachpit Press: XHTML and CSS is a good one to buy.

        Leonard Whistler
        Leonard Whistler


        • #5
          from w3c.org...

          The Extensible HyperText Markup Language (XHTML™) is a family of current and future document types and modules that reproduce, subset, and extend HTML, reformulated in XML. XHTML Family document types are all XML-based, and ultimately are designed to work in conjunction with XML-based user agents. XHTML is the successor of HTML, and a series of specifications has been developed for XHTML.
          XHTML is basically the migration of HTML to XML. As far as charging for websites, I'd say that simply knowing the languages isn't enough. Actually being able to put that knowledge into good design should be the primary goal. Just my opinion...

          drums | web


          • #6
            To be a good web designer, it is your design skills which must come first. If you have no idea about balance, harmony, contrast, etc, you ain't got a freakin chance of making something nice, no matter how many specs it validates to.
            That said, I have only been focusing on the web since August last year, having never touched HTML before that. Having studied design most of my life (I majored in Art at uni for a while, put on my first exhibit at 17..) my focus has been to gain a firm understanding and working knowledge of
            • XHTML
            • CSS
            • Semantics
            • Accessibility

            before touching anything else. I have absolutely no javascript skills, nor do I intend to learn for the mean-time. I study ColdFusionMX at school, and I'm doing a little PHP on the side, but really only focusing on the core fundementals I mentioned earlier.
            I believe this approach will give me a base onto which I can continue to learn new things without having to go back and un-learn old ways. (Like all you poor buggers who have been using table layouts for years! lol).

            So far, I've been very happy with this approach, as usually I know why I should/shouldn't do something a certain way before I single keystroke is made.


            I take no responsibility for the above nonsense.

            Left Justified


            • #7
              Sounds good guys.

              It's mostly as I expected, glad to see I was relatively close

              Sounds mostly like - aside from artistics aspects and aesthetics - the focus is firstly on

              graphic design (must see something pleasing)


              and then as further functionality is required, to learn


              which gives you a strong ability.............


              • #8
                rmedek: XHTML1.0 and even XHTML1.1 are just HTML4.01 reformulated in XML. XHTML2 is the would-have-been HTML5.

                MysteryMan: Don't lose focus of what's important, avoid looking at the technologies as separate things. XHTML, CSS and JavaScript are all together part of the client side part of web design, and are to a high degree inseparable. Graphic design, visual design and typography are all part of the client side front end. Accessiblity and usability are also a part of it.

                The key when it comes to client side front end is sensibility. The users don't care HOW you achieve something, they care WHAT you achieve. The users want a fast loading, visually pleasing, easily navigated, easily searched, informative content and functionality rich front end to interact with, one that is easy to browse, read and use. However, some of those users are bound to have some form of colour blindness (5-10% of the male population) and even a higher portion are bound to have otherwise poor vision. Also, there are questions such as: You aren't going to advertise me to death or throw popups at me, are you? How about if I disable images because of my crappy modem, will the page still work and be legible?

                As for the server side, the users won't be interested in anything back end. How you do things there will not at all affect them. The server side front end, the security and privacy related issues, however, they are going to be interested in. Will you keep this data to yourself? Will my password be safe? There's no chance of me getting a virus if I enable Flash/Java/JavaScript/ActiveX or use Alexa/GoogleBar/whatever on your site, is there? How about if I disable cookies?

                That's the perspective I think you should start with. Then you take the step and and ask: So, what will I need to do this? How about different browsers? How about Mac or Linux users? What server side language should I use? What database system?
                liorean <[[email protected]]>
                Articles: RegEx evolt wsabstract , Named Arguments
                Useful Threads: JavaScript Docs & Refs, FAQ - HTML & CSS Docs, FAQ - XML Doc & Refs
                Moz: JavaScript DOM Interfaces MSDN: JScript DHTML KDE: KJS KHTML Opera: Standards


                • #9

                  I agree.

                  But you had a premise that I am attempting to learn these things. I am not. I have 1% interest in learning any programming or coding.

                  I am asking basic questions to have a basic understanding, but I am not planning on learning anything such as PHP etc... in my life - because I don't need to; I already have multiple successfull careers.........

                  Thanks for the info though, I am more so making sure what I understand is true.....

                  I work on the business end, not the technical end


                  • #10
                    Well said liorean.

                    I'll just want to throw two points into the discussion concerning the skillset of a web designer.

                    a) Information Architecture
                    A good web designer has the knowledge and ability to analyze and design content. To define a navigation model for the site and to invent categories, subcategories and put that into a coherent and holistic concept. From my point of view, this is a crucial skill. Remember how often you visited a site that was aesthetically pleasing and threw no errors at you, but you couldn't *find* the info/products/whatever you where searching for. This is related to usability, but on a larger scale. IAs like to call this increasing the "findability" of a site.

                    b) Forms
                    (X)HTML, CSS, graphics - all fine and good. But what part of a site is the most important from a business viewpoint? The part where your user is going to get in contact with you, where he communicates with you as a site owner, whether it's the checkout form of a shopping cart or the login form for a forum. It's about *forms*. Every good web designer should be capable of designing, laying out and coding forms!
                    Does that seem too obvious or trivial? Well, let me tell you that I had the pleasure to work with quite a few designers and interns who had *no* idea how to make a usable form. Of course, as time went by they eventually learned. But some had even studied multimedia and had ultragood Photoshop skills etc., yet they didn't know the difference between radio and checkbox buttons, nor did they know the limitations of the HTML form elements that we can use. Sure I sound a little crazy, but that's just something I observed during the last years. I guess forms are often regarded as boring, mundane, not very artistic and the HTML tags a little arcane, but nevertheless... forms can get quite complicated, so it pays off to know how to work with them.

                    About the breadth of languages/areas mentioned - I think it's too wide. A web designer should focus on design, client-side coding and information architecture, that's enough IMHO. Yeah I know, "specialization is for insects", but my experience tells me that there are very few people who are good at everything. Someone who has superb CSS and graphics skills does probably not produce the finest PHP or JSP code. No one would expect an application developer to come up with some layout previews for the frontpage of website, right? Likewise, I wouldn't expect a web designer to produce a fully normalized database scheme.
                    De gustibus non est disputandum.


                    • #11
                      Very good point mordred.
                      To quote a fellow CF member (can't remember who, so own up if it's you)
                      "This is architecture here. We're building the web. You can build the coolest looking house in the world, but if you build it with toothpicks and styrofoam, it will fall down" This can also be applied to what mordred was saying about content structure and navigation...

                      (Can the original writer of that quote please tell me your name, as I wish to use it in a pro-standards article I'm writing, and I want to give credit where it is due.)

                      I take no responsibility for the above nonsense.

                      Left Justified


                      • #12
                        Original quote comes from <http://codingforum.net/showthread.ph...884#post169961>, a post made by kansel.
                        liorean <[[email protected]]>
                        Articles: RegEx evolt wsabstract , Named Arguments
                        Useful Threads: JavaScript Docs & Refs, FAQ - HTML & CSS Docs, FAQ - XML Doc & Refs
                        Moz: JavaScript DOM Interfaces MSDN: JScript DHTML KDE: KJS KHTML Opera: Standards