Coding 101 Series: What Is Coding?
If you are into the aesthetics of user interface design, Web design might be your niche. But you may ask, how do I get started as Web designer?While developers control the back end on the server and other apps, Web designers control the look and feel of a website. Without proper web design, people who attempt to use your Web pages end up with errors, poorly formatted text, and graphics that don’t fit. This primarily works integrally with Web Development as well. Those with disabilities use technologies that read pages or magnify them and such assistive technologies need good design to work properly.
What do Web Designers do?
A Web designer works primarily maintaining the Hypertext Markup Language, or HTML, files that go into the page. They also use script in their pages to make them dynamic, such as forms that take information or collect user data, and pages that change as you use them. In order to apply themes, Web designers use Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, to control the look of the document.
Beyond the responsibility to have good content that is visually pleasing, there is also a need to have a Web experience that reaches the widest viewer base possible. It can be necessary to include script in your page, but it is bad form to create a page that has no alternate version for browsers that don’t take script. There are still lightweight Web browsers for Linux/Unix that are text only that operate in a command terminal, and plenty of people running out of date browsers.
While you do not have to support the earliest versions of Netscape and Internet Explorer from the 1990s, it is a good idea to determine the least current versions of browsers as well as mobile browsers that frequently visit your site and either support them or give them a message to upgrade.
Unlike a static document, a Web document is a fluid thing. As you re-size the window, while images may not re-size, text will reformat itself to fit within the browser window. This is important to keep in mind as you design forms and other parts of your website that do not flow. Webpages are reactive. A person may visit the same site on both a desktop with a large monitor and a tablet or Netbook with smaller screen and less resolution.
Offering automatic mobile detection and mobile friendly sites is a way to deal with the smallest screens on smartphones and tablets. It is also a good practice to view your site in multiple older screen resolutions to see how the content is laid out on the screen as the window size grows smaller or the text size grows bigger.
While the Americans with Disabilities Act may not be enforced on the Web, it is a good idea to make sure that your site is accessible. There are users who may take use of a tool you create to allow increasing the font size on your site, as well as people who will use features such as large fonts and magnification to read your site. Also, your text needs to flow, because screen readers and Braille keyboards do the best when the important text on each page is presented in a straightforward manner and the page sounds better if you design your layout so the page information reads top to bottom.
Learning Web Design
Beyond that, you can learn to code HTML and other technologies at online sites; here, you will learn the differences between static and dynamic design, the reactive nature of websites, and how to write an accessible website.
A Web designer is a critical component to any Web site regardless of whether it’s a blog or a company’s corporate homepage. You control the aesthetics and the overall face of the idea, individual, or organization that the site is about. The decisions on how the user interface appears to the end users will come directly from your work. It’s a great coding niche for those with a flair in design. Learn more at our tutorials or check our links for more information on learning to code for the Web.