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Tips/resources before I jump in headfirst!

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April Hill
Tips/resources before I jump in headfirst!
on Jul 5, 2009 at 5:19:03 pm

Hi all,

I've been amazed at the helpfulness of the FCP forum, so thought I'd reach out to the web design forum before I take my next creative leap!

I am a video editor who taught myself the basics of Photoshop and Dreamweaver to create my first two websites, and now would like to completely retool them to make them more user-friendly, slick, uptodate, etc. Not necessarily looking for the easiest path to take, but the one that makes the most sense. I think I made a lot of dumb/inefficient decisions the first time around, so just looking to curtail that. Don't know HTML too well but would like to learn more.

So I guess my questions are -
1. Are there any resources (websites, tutorials, etc.) that you'd recommend I check out before embarking on this undertaking?
2. My plan is use Photoshop and Dreamweaver again. Any red-flags for that plan, or other suggestions?
3. I love the 'handcrafted' website look (brown paper, post-its, staples, scotch tape, push pins, corkboards, handwriting, doodles, etc.), and wondering if there are any websites you like that demonstrate this look, or websites that have handcrafted freebies?
4. I used the slice method the first time around and have heard from some that that's not the most efficient way of creating web pages. Recommendations for other paths to take?
5. Websites you like that display a range of website designs, just to get ideas from?

Thanks a million!

Cheers,
April

MAC OSX 10.5.6
1.8 GHz Power PC iMAC G5
768 MB DDR SDRAM

MAC OSX 10.5.2
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo MacBookPro
2 GB MHz DDR2 SDRAM

LaCie d2 Extreme 160GB 7200 RPM 8MB Buffer
LaCie Big Disk 380GB
FCP 6.0.5


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Curtis Thompson
Re: Tips/resources before I jump in headfirst!
on Jul 5, 2009 at 7:20:49 pm

hello...

[April Hill] "1. Are there any resources (websites, tutorials, etc.) that you'd recommend I check out before embarking on this undertaking? "

hard to say w/o knowing your level of experience w/ photoshop and dreamweaver. total training is very good, but it might be too basic? wrt design tutorials - think of web design like video editing. you can learn every control, shortcut, tool, etc. in fcp, but if you don't have the skill to do video editing, the knowledge is not very useful. web design isn't much different. it's something that you just have to practice at to get good at.

[April Hill] "2. My plan is use Photoshop and Dreamweaver again. Any red-flags for that plan, or other suggestions? "

if you aren't comfortable getting into actual html, css and js scripting, then nope. that's what you should use.

[April Hill] "3. I love the 'handcrafted' website look (brown paper, post-its, staples, scotch tape, push pins, corkboards, handwriting, doodles, etc.), and wondering if there are any websites you like that demonstrate this look, or websites that have handcrafted freebies? "

i've seen a lot over the years but i can't recall any currently that do that look. see answer to #5 though for a resource. as for "handcrafted freebees" - try doing it yourself with a scanner - you can get great results by scanning a paper clip, a post-it note, etc - or try istockphoto.com for reasonably priced clip art.

[April Hill] "4. I used the slice method the first time around and have heard from some that that's not the most efficient way of creating web pages. Recommendations for other paths to take? "

somebody else might have to take this one - i don't use dreamweaver for design.... :-/

[April Hill] "5. Websites you like that display a range of website designs, just to get ideas from? "

a few:

http://www.coolhomepages.com/
http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/
http://www.csselite.com/
http://www.unmatchedstyle.com/

hope that helps...

sitruc


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April Hill
Re: Tips/resources before I jump in headfirst!
on Jul 5, 2009 at 8:09:19 pm

Most helpful, thanks!

One of your links has many 'handcrafted' sites, like http://www.starcom.ie/, which has given me some great ideas. Appreciate it!

MAC OSX 10.5.6
1.8 GHz Power PC iMAC G5
768 MB DDR SDRAM

MAC OSX 10.5.2
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo MacBookPro
2 GB MHz DDR2 SDRAM

LaCie d2 Extreme 160GB 7200 RPM 8MB Buffer
LaCie Big Disk 380GB
FCP 6.0.5


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Mike Smith
Re: Tips/resources before I jump in headfirst!
on Jul 6, 2009 at 11:25:05 am

Worth a look is the resource http://www.useit.com/alertbox/ - strong on research into how users interacts with screens, and to how things work on the web. http://www.uie.com/articles/three_hund_million_button/ is good in this area too ....

Also interesting are http://www.alistapart.com/ and http://www.wpdfd.com/

Of course you might want to check your sites are standards compliant, at http://validator.w3.org/ and http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/

Further on, if you get into html and css (recommended), then http://www.csszengarden.com/ is worthwhile. And the archives at http://ago.tanfa.co.uk/ have some fun and useful bits and pieces.


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April Hill
Re: Tips/resources before I jump in headfirst!
on Jul 8, 2009 at 4:14:32 pm

Wow, Mike, thanks!! Amazing resources, much appreciated --

MAC OSX 10.5.6
1.8 GHz Power PC iMAC G5
768 MB DDR SDRAM

MAC OSX 10.5.2
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo MacBookPro
2 GB MHz DDR2 SDRAM

LaCie d2 Extreme 160GB 7200 RPM 8MB Buffer
LaCie Big Disk 380GB
FCP 6.0.5


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