Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hungry for a Feed?

I've just been reading through some of my RSS feeds that sit in my Outlook and came across a competition from Bittbox that are offering free textures provided by Colourburned.

I couldn't help but notice a very useful article that I found there! I just wanted to share this page with you as it will surely come in handy to all designers out there.

Needless to say I now have quite a healthy list of rss feeds! Both in Outlook and in Bloglines! :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Progress in More Ways than One

In my last post I spoke about some of the recent websites I have been checking out to grasp on a better understanding of some of the early web design basics in areas of design, production, business, languages, roles within a company and quite a bit more. These articles (podcasts) have helped me understand web in...(I hate to say it) 'layman' terms which has been great considering my web jargon knowledge percentage was well below the threshold! Now it's time for some brain growth! So it's time to progress into web even more...

I've received some good feedback on my last post so I thought I'd share other juicy Web Design sites! One site that I highly recommend subscribing to via rss is .Net many feeds. .Net is UK's leading magazine for web designers and developers. I happened to be browsing their mag at a newsagent in Sydney's QVB and took note of their website (since I didn't buy the mag...shame on me). I think I made a good investment though because their website is even better than their magazine! It's packed full of very useful resources from leading experts and creatives.

I recently downloaded one of their latest features on Flash - the Art of Parallax Scrolling! This article shows how you can create a scrolling Flash effect with the illusion of a 3D depth which is very exciting. You can also download the working files and tutorial pdf on how to create it!

.Net also have a very good podcast section on their site which has loads of episodes on Web Design. If you have any questions on web design or client management you'll more than likely find your answers here.

If you can't get enough of those podcasts then they've also included a list of 40 of their top picks for technical podcasts which you can find here.

Web Designer is another magazine I browsed through and took note of. Their website is more focused on their magazine however there are some helpful tutorial files on web design which can be accessed here.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Emmersing myself in everything to do with the web - where to begin?!

It's been a while since I've talked about design and where I've been career-wise in the last couple of months. My career has now turned from Graphic Design to Web Design as I've recently started working as a Junior Graphic Designer at Switch IT in Sydney, Australia. Having come from a Graphic Design background and having limited knowledge of Web Design and developments before accepting this position has proved to be a HUGE learning curve for me in all aspects of web design, business, project managing and learning to identify the roles that everyone plays within the company.

It's good to know that I'm not the only one who has felt the crunch of how difficult it is for a graphic designer to move into web design.

Volkher Hofmann who was the first to comment on Boagworld's article entitled Holier-than-thou standardites hit the nail on the head with this statement:
"There are a huge number of people out there that are trying hard but cannot muster the energy to really (!) get things right (right = the way people think it should really be done). To be honest, I constantly have a bad conscience about what I've put out there, and I don't think it should be like that."

Learning does take time and without initial proper training in place, progress is bound to be limited. So with this in mind I've taken up some additional reading and have begun to look more closely into further training.

It hasn't been an easy 3 months for me but I'm prepared to take on the new challenges in developing my skills within web design, even if it does mean a few couple of late nighters/earlier starts searching on the web. My 'wake up call' was brought about by a few blunders which were made on my part which I have now learnt from by setting up additional procedures and new processes that will allow me to avoid any future errors. Mistakes in business happen for all sorts of reasons and in this case procedures seemed to be the main problem at fault.

Thanks to the APEC long weekend however I've managed to take the extra time I have to read up on a few different aspects of web design, advice, and training. I know that I have a lot to learn but as long as I continue to read up on the web it won't take me that long to catch up. It's been difficult finding out where to even begin in learning everything there is to know on web design! Graphic Designers entering web design for the very first time will probably know how I feel particularly when they're not accustomed to working with understanding, building and integrating web-based solutions for clients.

My realisation of this has come just in time after noticing projects at work are increasingly getting difficult and therefore more time consuming. In an industry such as web design that is continuously growing and changing, there will always be mutiple pathways in finding solutions to questions. The trick I think is to find the best one for purpose, process efficiency and for web-standards.

A good place I feel I've started looking is at getting further web training followed by some online advice from industry experts on projects, clients and best web practices. I'm about to under go further CSS online training through lynda.com which people subscribe to in order to access online training videos. The only problem I find with this online training is that the movies can't be retrieved off the web or subscribed to via an RSS feed or iTunes.

Some other web resources that I have found extremely useful are:

Simple Internet Glossary
An explanation of the common terms and acronyms used on the Internet. Web lingo and computer jargon explained in simple terms.

Graphic Designers can't begin to learn about the web without understanding web terminology and lingo. This was discovered when I knew nothing about a topic discussed at work called AJAX.

Veerle's Blog
Veerle is a graphic/web designer living in Belgium. Her personal journal is an online source for topics ranging from XHTML/CSS to graphic design tips.

A List Apart
A List Apart Magazine explores the design, development, and meaning of web content, with a special focus on web standards and best practices.

Boagworld
Advice on managing and building websites.

This is a fantastic online resource that comes from a different angle on web design; i.e. how to run a web design project rather than just talking about the technical aspects of web design.

If anyone would like to share other valuable web resources, particularly from a Graphic Designer turned Web Designer point of view, I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Rich Mobile experiences with Flash Lite2

A while back I participated in an online tutorial demonstration on how Flash Lite2 can be used to create effective mobile experiences.
What was covered:
1. A background in Flash Lite
  • Flash Lite/Flash for PocketPC/Flash for browser

  • 2. Flash Lite2
  • What-examples
  • Why-new features
  • How-process


  • The one hour tutorial was recorded and can be streamed here. Many Adobe resources including ones made from Flash Lite2 can be found at http://www.adobe.com/exchange

    Wednesday, June 14, 2006

    Learning Flash 8 Actionscript

    I've just finished attending an online session for the introduction of using Flash 8 Actionscript. It was delivered by Brian Chau (Programme Engineer from Adobe) through Macromedia Breeze.

    The tutorial covered:
    1.Event Driven Programming
    *System events and user events
    2.Understanding Flash Object model
    *visual and non-visual objects
    3.Demystifying Object-Oriented Programming
    *what, why and how

    For anyone who is interested in seeing the tutorial go to this link: http://mmse.breezecentral.com/p67512593/

    The next session, Deliver Rich Mobile Experience with FlashLite 2 is on the 22nd of June at 12noon (ESTD in Sydney) and it's free for anyone to attend. Go to this link to find out more.

    Wednesday, May 31, 2006

    Semi-Permanent06

    Semi-Permanent is a bunch of projects all joined together. It's a collective from all areas of 'design', including graphic design, film making, visual effects, motion graphics, animation, street art, illustration, photography, fine art and more.

    There is a conference happening on the 7th and 8th of July 2006, which is going to be held at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour, Sydney. They've extended their early ticket deadline to: 14th June! I hope I can go. There are many guest speakers who will be at this conference.
    If you'd like to know more click here

    Creating Dynamic Web Page with XSLT and Dreamweaver 8

    I've just finished attending an online tutorial of creating a dynamic webpage with XSLT using Dreamweaver 8 (1hr), this session was delivered and recorded using Macromedia Breeze. It was quite informative and I have learnt quite a lot, particularly how InDesign CS2 can be used to create an XML file easily! We need to get InDesign CS2 at work! If anyone is interested in looking at the session it is available at this link http://mmse.breezecentral.com/p83744480
    Having missed the tutorial on creating a website using CSS, I hoped that it was recorded but unfortunately it wasn't. The next free session is on June 15th and is on learning Flash 8 actionscript. For anyone interested you can go here http://www.adobe.com/au/events to check out all the sessions coming up.

    Sunday, May 07, 2006

    Interactive Bathroom Planner


    I went into the local Reece Bathroom showroom this morning to pick up their Autumn Sale Catalogue because my dad will be renovating our bathroom. Whilst I was there I also picked up a flyer that directed me to the Reece online Bathroom Planner. I've just had a play with the Macromedia Flash based planner and it's very comprehensive. It lists the products available at Reece and where it can be placed in the dimensions of your bathroom (perfectly to scale mind you). I'm wondering if it is linked to the Flash file as part of a database system? Any thoughts on this would be great.
    This is a great tool for tradesmen and renovators to design and plan their bathroom without having to go to the drawing board. I'm sure my dad is going to love this tool!
    To have a play of this planner go to http://www.reece.com.au/bathrooms/planner and click on the bathroom planner button at the top right hand corner.