Web Page Designers - I have a software question

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by jamess, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. jamess

    jamess Silver Supporting Member

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    My teenage son is interested in web page design and was told that the Adobe Design and Web Premium CS6 suite, along with HTML was a good choice in software. The Adobe suite includes Fireworks, Photoshop, Flash and Dreamweaver.

    What do you think of this choice? Anything else you'd recommend?

    Thanks.
     
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  2. dingdongbell070

    dingdongbell070 Member

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    Tell him to start learning HTML and CSS. You don't need any expensive software to get started with that and its the building blocks of all web pages. If he gets really into it and wants to continue going forward then it might be worth looking into getting some of the adobe products.
     
  3. BeBop

    BeBop Member

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    Well, unfortunately, Adobe pretty much has a monopoly on the higher end design tools. So, yes, if you want to use the industry standard then you will want to use their suite of products (which will be good for your son in the long run.)

    That said - HTML is not a program. It is the basic "language" of the web. In all honesty, you can design an entire site using nothing more than Notepad.

    Photoshop is for manipulating images. Fireworks is also for this, to a degree, but more for making animated gifs.

    Dreamweaver is a visual layout tool for web sites and can speed up the process of coding a site. However, it has many quirks and you REALLY need to know how to actually code for it be completely useful.

    Flash is something else entirely. You use it to build interactive tools that can be embedded in a site, and it is reliant on a plug-in to be activated.

    I highly recommend that your son get a good, basic working knowledge of HTML first. Once he can actually do a basic page design using just Notepad he will be MUCH better equipped to go further - especially into HTML 5 (he will have a better understanding of how it works.)

    Also, there are other aspects to web design/implementation that involve actual programming - Java, Ruby on Rails, PHP, Coldfusion, etc. He may find those fields interesting as well.
     
  4. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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    Ditto. Just do it with HTML and CSS to start. My business website is currently running on Wordpress, and I hate it. My personal website (www.ballofshame.com) was done just with HTML, CSS and PHP. I used PHP to make updates much simpler because of the specific nature of what I was doing. Updating took me minutes.

    I'm in the process of redoing my business site...one of these days...when I get around to it. That's going back to basics too.

    The website builders almost universally suck. What's useful is an HTML editor.
     
  5. The Funk

    The Funk Member

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    Design is not necessarily building web pages.

    Visual design for the web is done nearly exclusively in photoshop and illustrator.

    UX design is done in a variety of tools, but nearly everyone is fluent with photoshop, illustrator, Axure, and Visio, though thats by no means an exhaustive list.

    Flash is a fun tool that is dead as a platform. Fireworks is dead too.

    Dreamweaver is an ok development app. Its not the big guns, but it works. You can develop things in notepad. The big guns for web development would be something like Visual Studio, but this is hardly necessary at an intro level.

    If he's interested in building pages, or even as background info for designing, HTML5 and CSS3 are the current standards for front end coding. He should learn those as well as photoshop and illustrator. Javascript and its derivatives are important as well.

    If he likes the coding aspect, theres a bunch of different directions to go in, and it is always evolving.
     
  6. jamess

    jamess Silver Supporting Member

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    Excellent information, guys. I knew I could count on TGP.

    Thanks!
     
  7. BeBop

    BeBop Member

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    I want to expound on this a bit - The Funk is spot on with this, there is a BIG difference between designing a page and actually coding and implementing that design.

    There are 2 basic parts to web development - the front end (the actual appearance and user interface of the site) and the back end (the coding and the programming that allows the site to talk to a database, if needed.)

    Some folks excel at the design aesthetic and some excel at the back end development. That is not to say you cannot be good at both, but this is usually why you work as a team on sites.

    I know a bunch of excellent back end developers that don't know the first thing about design (and admit as much.) I am the opposite - I am a designer first, HTML/CSS second, and actual programming a distant third. However, I have a very good understanding of back end implementation, which I always keep in mind when I start a new site project.

    Ask your son what part he may be more inclined towards. That can go a long way to help him determine where he should start his education.
     
  8. CyberFerret

    CyberFerret Member

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    I used to use a whole suite of tools from Adobe, Macromedia etc. to design web pages and web apps.

    But for the past few years, I have been doing all the coding just in a simple editor (Sublime Text), like most others, because it is just so easy. If you are using a framework such as Bootstrap etc., it is actually FAR easier to assemble a site in an editor than any sort of 'visual design' tool.

    For graphic components, I still use an ancient version of Fireworks, which is now no longer offered or supported by Adobe, but I know my way around the software and it does what I need it to do.
     
  9. GuiltySpark

    GuiltySpark Supporting Member

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    The good news about Adobe products is that now instead of a massive up front investment, you can pay a monthly fee and access their entire suite.
     
  10. neoprimitive

    neoprimitive Member

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    I'm a graphic designer/web designer/UI frontend designer. Im not a developer, bit I know a bit of it, but not to the level of fun on developers.
    Photoshop and Illustrator are all he really needs from Adobe. he needs to learn HTML/HTML5, CSS/CSS3, and how to integrate JavaScript and Ajax. et him a host and have him start messing around with WordPress.
    some sites of value that will help him:
    www.codepen.io (a sandbox live editor preview)
    w3schools
    WordPress.org
    to name just a few.
    there are many apps that will get him by without Dreamweaver. Dreamweaver is good, but learning to do it all by hand is much more valuable. I use notepad++ and Komposer which are both free.
    gimp and inkscape will fill the roles of Photoshop and illustrator, but they arent as intuitive and arent industry standards when it comes to getting jobs.
     
  11. Sunshine86

    Sunshine86 Member

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    Does he wish to design or build?

    Codecademy would be a good starting point for one interested in learning the basics of web development—they offer free courses in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Python, Ruby, and PHP. Learn the basics, get a text editor, and start coding.
     
  12. jcmark611

    jcmark611 Member

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    I'm currently enrolled in a web design class at a four year school and we use Dreamweaver.
     
  13. sizzlemeister

    sizzlemeister Member

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    For the graphic elements, Fireworks is a must. I would say if you could have only one program for developing the graphic elements, then Fireworks is it, because that's precisely what it's intended for. It combines the pertinent functionality of Illustrator and Photoshop in a specialized manner for web graphics.

    You could pretty much skip Illustrator for now. Photoshop can get you by, but, again, it's not optimized for web development.

    The folks suggesting learning HTML in Wordpad mean well, I'm sure, and had books thrown at them in the hall by the nuns when they spoke too loud between classes, but it would help significantly if you had a WYSIWYG editor like Dreamweaver so you can see, as you type, what your code is doing. It will help speed along understanding of the process.
     
  14. 66Park

    66Park Member

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    Yup to all of that. Dreamweaver and Fireworks are where it's at for me.
     
  15. AlexL

    AlexL Member

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    I'm working on a pretty large project right now. I'm using Adobe Fireworks for the graphics design portion, and a script-language aware text editor called TextWrangler (for Mac, not sure if it is available for Windows).

    I've used Dreamweaver before - honestly, I find it just as easy if not easier to use a text editor to create the pages. You have a much better grasp of what's you're doing.

    DreamWeaver does have some advantages when managing sites with many pages and files, however. For example, if you change the name of a page, it will fix all references to that page across the whole site automatically. That's a pretty big time saver.

    - E.
     
  16. Fantom1

    Fantom1 Member

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    This is something of a loaded question. "Web Page Design" has become in the last 5-7 years something very complex with many more parts than coding.

    Tell him to learn UX/UI + graphic design, then a minor in CSS and HTML instead. These pay better, are less tedious, and are the future that won't change regardless of the ways of implementing them. Regardless of what code is used to create a website, it will always need to be UX/UI+GD aesthetically good. He will need to have a good sense of aesthetics and psychology though.
     
  17. catpeople

    catpeople Senior Member

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    No self respecting professional web designer or developer uses Dreamweaver.

    You can use Notepad, but shouldn't, because it messes up line terminators. It doesn't have syntax highlighting, which is pretty much necessary for serious development.

    If he uses Windows, you can use Sublime Text or Notepad++.

    On a Mac, Sublime Text is very popular.

    If he uses a real professional OS, he can use vim or emacs.

    All three OS families support Komodo Edit, which is excellent and free.

    Source: I've been doing this as a senior engineer up to executive for 10+ years at companies you've heard about.
     
  18. BeBop

    BeBop Member

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    Not even remotely true.

    Dreamweaver is just a tool, like Notepad++ or anything else. Whatever tool (or combination of tools) you feel most comfortable with is the one you should use.
     
  19. micycle

    micycle Member

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    I agree with those who suggested he get a firm grip on HTML and CSS. I was a freelance web designer for over a year and the majority of the work I did involved those 2.

    This book is phenomenal for someone just diving in: http://www.amazon.com/HTML-CSS-Design-Build-Websites/dp/1118008189 I bought it to brush up on both when I started freelancing (it had been a few years) and was surprised at how well written it was.
     
  20. Nurk2

    Nurk2 "Ignore Everybody" ~Hugh MacLeod

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    All free. He can start today. Right now, even.

    Kompozer - for website.
    Paint.net - photo editing.
    Reaper - mixing and mastering (but bought the license because, in fairness, I use it a lot).
    Core FTP LE - wound up not using it so much, because the FTP functionality in Kompozer was sufficient.

    my website
     

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