What would you recommend?
I'm a 50-year old video guy, running my own small company for the last 20 years. I've done a pretty good job of keeping up with technology in the video world - I was an early adopter of Non-linear editing, and the first kid on my block with HDV. But when it comes to the web, I'm way behind. I've started down the path of creating a website for my company at least 10 times in the last five years, always getting sidetracked.
While I know that there are a ton of qualified, creative people and companies that I could hire to create a site, I've always felt that we should do it ourselves. For better or worse, I feel it should be a living example of our creativity and technological expertise. I also believe that the process of doing it myself will be valuable as more and more of our productions end up being distributed via the internet. Currently, we encode a lot of video for use on the web, but we're not involved in getting it there ourselves. I
[Larry Melton] "I also realize that as a web design community, many of you are probably shaking your heads the same way I do when a corporate client tells me that he's going to use his camcorder to make his own training video."
ahh you read my mind... :-)
but seriously, i guess there are a few things i'd note...
1. the difference in medium between video and web is a lot larger than you might think, and the ability to design for the web is not necessarily something that one can learn from a book. the primary difference is a change in thought process during design. the web is an interactive environment, which means your designs have to be able to allow the user to not only watch them (as with video) but also interact with them. this falls under the bigger category of usability, and it is a very tricky thing. in terms of teaching this, it's something that i don't really believe can be learned from reading. you can certainly get a lot of information on web usability from a few minutes of browsing (http://www.google.com/search?q=%22web+usability%22), but it ultimately takes a lot of practice and thought to pull it off successfully.
so all this said (and i don't want this to be a lecture, but rather just a discussion of what's underneath the web design iceberg), what are your training options? i guess that depends on how you learn. i tend to think that a lot of computer books out there are way over-priced and it's quite the crapshoot to find one that teaches you in the way you like to learn. i almost always prefer more hands-on web learning via searching as it's typically free and you can pick and choose sites that present information in a way that you can best understand.
not to say that all books are useless, though. o'reilly generally produces a nice quality set of books, and they have everything from overall views (see "web design in a nutshell" from the first page below) to very specific books on languages and concepts in development. here's some relevant links:
and if you prefer more hands-on learning, you really can't go wrong with total training:
a bit more money, but the medium is often a much preferred learning environment for folks...
so in general, i guess i'd say that your comment about shaking your head is the most accurate summary. you can learn web design, but don't expect that you can pick up the more advanced concepts by just reading a book or watching a video. i've been doing web development and software engineering for 10+ years now, and i learn new stuff each day that expands my horizons in ways that i didn't think were possible any more. but don't let my ramble intimidate you - go for it and i hope the above resources are of use to you! :-)
Thanks for taking the time to provide a thoughtful response. I appreciate it. Does it help at all that I also see words backwards, Sitruc? I named my daughter Hannah because it's a palindrome. Then we adopted a little girl from Ukraine named Natasha, despite her backwards name....ah satan. Anyway, if reading words backward will help me learn Dreamweaver, then it shouldn't be too hard!
Curtis couldn't have spelled it out any more clearly. Web production (at least, high-end, good looking and functional) web production is a completely different mind-set, tool-set, workflow-set, set-set than video production is. With video, you only have NTSC or PAL to deal with. With the web, you have a complex compatibility matrix to follow (from different browsers on different platforms on different versions) and it can be a daunting task for the new designer. Even DVD production, which is user-interactive based, kind of like the web, is still much more simplistic than web production since DVD authoring involves a strict compatibility set that works across DVD players. More often than not, the web is a crap shoot.
The two worlds are truly different, but not an impossible task if you're commited to spending quality time on it on a regular basis.
Marco Solorio | OneRiver Media
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|Re: What would you recommend?|
by dubiousmike on Jan 2, 2007 at 12:53:08 am
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