Software is the web designer’s best friend. With the right software you can create amazing images and details for web pages, and you can make coding the site itself much faster and with fewer errors. Here are 18 software applications we think web designers will really love. Some of them are even free!

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What happens when older Web designers retire or move on? Younger Web designers take their places. This list of the 50 best Web design blogs you aren’t reading yet include a vast range of inspirational articles, artwork and themes created by students, young business owners and global entrepreneurs. The list, which begins in May 2009, is separated by year and each link is listed by the month created in order. [click to continue…]

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to learn web design is via open courseware classes. You can get some top notch instruction from universities all for free just by using their open courseware classes. Some of the most respected universities like the University of California at Berkeley, The University of Washington and MIT offer classes on web design and development. These classes cover the same material that you would learn in one of these university classrooms; yet you pay no tuition and can study in your own home at your own pace. Take a look at these 20 classes on web design; all of them are free!

  1. Introduction to Computers: A basic computer course from UC Berkeley. Perfect for the beginner. Take this class before you take any others.
  2. Introduction to Web Design: This class from Indiana University will take you from basic HTML to CSS and Multimedia design.
  3. Basic HTML: This class from the University of Washington delves into basic HTML structure and the basic tags found in all HTML design.
  4. Web Design II: Learn about designing specifically for the web from this course you can download from iTunes. You’ll use applications like Dreamweaver and Fireworks. This class comes from Miami Dade College.
  5. Computer Graphics: This class from MIT will help you learn visual design and how to use computer graphics on your websites.
  6. Web Design: This class from the University of British Columbia will help you with layout for your web designs.
  7. Illustration I and II: This class from Miami Dade College will help you use Adobe Illustrator to enhance your web designs. You can download this class from iTunes.
  8. Software Engineering for Web Applications: This course from ADU teaches the basics of designing a dynamic website. Subjects covered include database back ends, Cookies, scripting languages, SQL and HTML.
  9. Creating Interactive Multimedia: This course from the University of Southern Queensland helps students develop skills for creating simple examples of interactive multimedia suitable for delivery within a web browser.
  10. Introduction to Flash MX: This course from Sofia offers an introduction to the Macromedia Flash multimedia authoring environment.
  11. Introduction to Multimedia Programming: This course from Monash University covers information design, navigation and programming.
  12. Advanced Internet and Web Services: This course from the University of Washington explores more advanced internet services such as search engines and spider architecture.
  13. Web Page Authoring: This course is offered by Sofia, and offers a hands on introduction to HTML.
  14. Color Theory 101: This course, offered by Planet Photoshop, teaches students about the proper use of color in their web designs. Using color creatively is one of the easiest ways to make your website design come alive.
  15. Designing the User Interface: This class, offered by the Open University, focuses on user interface design. You’ll learn how text, color movement and sound are used to create pleasing and functional user interfaces.
  16. People Centered Design: This class from the Open University focuses on creating designs that are functional and easy for people to use.
  17. Design: A course on basic user interface design from the Open University.
  18. Internet and Copyright Law: An introduction to copyright law as it applies to information published on the internet. This class is a must before you begin publishing a website.
  19. An Introduction to E-commerce and Distributed Applications: This course from the Open University helps you understand E-Commerce applications and how they work.
  20. Accessibility in Interaction Design: This course from the Open University explores making your website accessible to everyone; including those with disabilities. Accessibility is a big item in web design right now.

There is a lot you can learn about web design from these free online classes. Before you know it, you’ll be designing and publishing your own websites or creating websites for clients. Over time, you’re also sure to find more open courseware classes for when you need a refresher course, or when you’re ready to upgrade your web design skills even further.

10 Killer Online Tools for Web Designers

by Clay on June 11, 2010

Web design has never been easier. Sure, knowing HTML helps, but with these 10 killer online tools for Web designers, anyone can get in on the fun – and take a few shortcuts.

  1. Pixlr looks a lot like Photoshop, and even more like CorelPainter, and it’s free. The whole thing runs off of a browser, and while it can’t do everything the pricey programs can do, it’s pretty amazing for a free program. It has layers, brushes, and cloning in an easy-to-use layout.
  2. Google Analytics, the most popular free analytics tool, has custom views, adsense integration, and everything you need to keep track of who’s looking, from where, at what, and for how long.
  3. CSS Type Set lets you copy and paste text into one side, modify font, color and size, and spits out the CSS on the other side for use on your website. It’s simple and easy.
  4. Kuler is a web app that lets you look through color palettes created by other people or create your own using a color wheel, harmony rules and color sliders. When you need colors quick, nothing is cooler than Kuler.
  5. Adobe BrowserLab makes it possible to test your new websites in multiple browsers and operating systems. You can ensure that your web site will look good anywhere, on any computer, with any web browser, and it’s a one stop shop.
  6. Pingdom Tools lets you run load time tests on your web sites. It basically copies how your page is loaded in a web browser and times the process, even telling you the order in which objects load.
  7. Are My Sites Up? Is a simple program that tells you if and when your sites go down. The program checks up to five sites at least 25 times a day and notifies you by email if they go down, and sends the HTML status error code of why they went down.
  8. Picreflect is a fun little application that lets you see the reflection of any image, resize the image, make the image transparent or rotate it.
  9. CSS Creator generates basic CSS layouts with fluid or fixed width floated columns (up to 3), headers and footers. Values can be put in pixels, ems or percentages. Pick which structural elements you want for your site (header, footer, columns), sizes, and background color.
  10. Firebug is a web development tool that runs out of Firefox. It allows you to inspect HTML and modify style and layout, analyze network usage and performance, and is 100% free and open source.New toys and tools pop up every day to make web design easier and more accessible. Whether you’re a web master or total newb, these tools will help you create your vision online.

New toys and tools pop up every day to make web design easier and more accessible. Whether you’re a web master or total newb, these tools will help you create your vision online.

Web designers are the professional who takes care of feel and look of the World Wide Web pages for a client’s website and as well under took graphic design assignments for advertisers, newspapers, magazines, publishers and for other purposes.  He does variety of tasks and jobs in its daily routine and exercises. For his client whether a website owner or a print assignment he designs a graphic template giving words to company’s ideas and thoughts. He takes part into initial designing of a web site while having meeting with clients for layout and organization of a Website on ideas like types of colors, images, photos, illustrations, videos, etc and other overall aspects of graphic designing.

During his work schedule for a web design, a Web designer produces a basic concept of a web page and designs it by putting producer’s idea into it. After the scheduling of basic designs, a web designer collects the text documents and images that would stand on the each of the pages on a website in converted form. A web designer should be an expert in HTML that is computer language that is very necessary to know as to design a website. He more, should be conversant with the most latest HTML extensions which make it having the latest HTML extensions to add intuitive features into website like animations and interactive surveys.

Existence of a website remains futile unless it is not connected to clickable e-mail contacts or uploaded to a server. Therefore, a good designer should have the working knowledge of FTP (file transfer protocol) and other scripting languages as to carry out the necessary improvisations as required by a designed website. More he should be capable of hosting a website on any server and to be viewed by any type of browsers.

As far as educational qualifications of a web designer are concerned he should have sound background in fine arts, graphic design, or in publishing adjoined with combined courses in computer sciences and hands-on computer experience. More he should have four year college degree, two year associate degree. There are many designers who are competent only in HTML and they keep on upgrading themselves on various other skills. They should have knowledge in computer graphics packages like Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Paint Shop Pro as well as should have understanding of Flash, XML based applications and programming.

For the openings at the position of a web designer one can gauge them from the classified advertisements that keeps on arriving at various daily newspapers, magazines and on internet itself. It has been seen that a web designer start his career as a graphic designer at advertising companies or publishing houses. And after certain exposure they grow up as a competent designer. As for an accounted salary of a web designer it calculates around to $59, 894 per year.

A software application makes it easier to accomplish a task with lesser amount of time and with relatively better quality proportion, however, most of the times they are relatively, costly and it becomes comparatively hard for one to purchase them. In such a condition, one can opt for free software applications with a better quality results.  Below is provided list of free and useful open source alternatives for web designers as to provide better voice and quality to their creative content.

Jahshaka: It provides a web designer quality and capability of movie editing and effects around open source environment. With the help of this application one can develop skills of movie editing and effects in open source environment. With the help of this application you can create and edit effects in open source environment.

CinePaint: It is used in retouching feature films and in pro photography. It creates high fidelity image file formats like as DPX, 16 bit TIFF and OpenEXR and conventional format as well like JPEG and PNG. It also provides flipbook for movie playback of image construction in RAM. It supports 8-bit, 16-bit and 32 bit color channels, HDR and CMS.

Amaya: It is a Web Editor tool to create and update documents straight on the Web. It is well integrated with the editing and remote access features in a uniform environment. It is constructed based upon the original thought of the Web as a space for collaborating and strictly is not merely one- way publishing medium.

Open Office Draw: It is provided with tools which makes it easier to draw quick sketches to complex plans. Draw has tools kit to prepare graphic and diagrams with a maximum page size of 300cm by 300cm. It is a powerful tool for technical and general posters.

Blender: It is a free open source 3D content creation suite accommodating with all major operating systems. Its tool kit includes for modeling, polygon tools, multi-resolution mesh sculpting, metal balls, NURBS, vector fonts and curves, UV mapping, shaders and texturing. More it has ik and fk animation tools with a good number of features to obtain desired result and output.

Imgv: It is one of the best featured rich and unique Image Viewer and is released as free software with full source code. It is a portable and can run on Windows, Linux, BSD, OSX and other operating systems.  It is provided with features to view images, a file browser, slideshows, zooming, rotating, on the fly. It also has featured to present views of histograms, full screen support, wallpaper setting and many other features.

Inkscape: It is an open source vector graphics editor, with features of Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X employable on W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file formats. It provide supports for many advanced features of SVG like markers, clones, alpha blending,  etc. With its help it becomes very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, tracing bitmaps and doing s lot more activities.

Gimpshop: This application based upon and over Gimp is capable of changing all menus, dialogs, etc in order to make them and being appearing as similar to Photoshop. With this application it becomes soothing and accommodated for designers who are familiar with Photoshop. However, it has not all the features of Photoshop in it.

Xara LX: For Linux, it is a powerful, general purpose graphics program for Unix platforms including Linux, FreeBSD and (in development) OS-X. It provides some of the best powerful graphics tools available. It has a clean, un-cluttered user interface.

Avidemux: It is a free video editor with features for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. It supports many file types involving like AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF employing a number of codes. These tasks can also be freely automated using projects, job queue and powerful scripting capabilities.

Web Designing is emerging as one of the most effective area of career and job prospect for aspirants who wish to enter into the field of creativity and creation. Below are illustrated some of the best websites, which are suitable for learning web designing online for free.

W3Schools: This is one of the best websites on teaching web designing and other aspects related to it. It deals in all the most important aspects and areas related to web designing and web development. Here, you would get information about all the relevant segments to web designing like HTML, CSS, XML, JAVASCRIPT, ASP, PHP, SQL, and other.

ENTHEOS: It is a five year old Web Design company that offers professional and affordable web solutions of the highest level of quality. Apart from tutorials in web designing it also offers ready made Website Templates including Flash website templates, CSS & HTML templates, Flash intros, logos and corporate identities, e-commerce website templates, wordpress blog themes and cms templates.  Its customized services include logo design, stationery design, website design, template customization and dynamic website development.

2Createawebsite: This website is developed by Lisa Irby, who is an air hostess, founder and a webmaster.  She developed this website to fulfill the need of an effective website for teaching website development.  At the website one can learn process of web designing from scratch till its finish. She provides getting started guide to persons who buy domains and hosting from her reseller store.

Tutorialized: This website provides samples; customize services, and tutorials on various aspects of web designing and development.   Here tutorials are provided for  web designing in technologies like Fireworks, flash, gimp, Illustrator, photoshop,  3DS Max, Auto Cad, Blender 3D, Cinema 4d, Light wave 3D and Maya.

HTML Goodies: This website with various aspects of web designing was started with the launch of Netscape 1.0 one of the popular web browser of the times.  At the website one would learn about all the best aspects and other important criteria for web designing and practical learning on technologies related to web designing.

Baycon Group: It provides free tutorials on a number of lists importantly on computer related topics including web designing, web development and web programming in depth, comprehensive manner absolutely free without charging any amount.

Brantford Educational Services: It provides free html tutorials in web page design. At the pages below there are provided 21 free HTML lessons designed to teach a person about the code and creation of website with the help of those codes.

Web Design Colleges

by admin on November 23, 2009

Web designing is a dynamic and innovative career that requires the graduates to come up with websites that will enable the client reap maximum profits by using the site in their marketing activities. The web design course is at times integrated with business programs to enable students understand the importance of well-designed websites to the client. The students learn on how to use web-based materials such as graphics and presentations to come up with a functional site.

The course is offered at diploma, associate and bachelor’s degree levels. Some colleges use the classroom-based mode of teaching while others have embraced the online module.

Westwood College
Westwood College offers a Bachelor of Science degree in web design. The graduates from this college are equipped with skills that prepare them to advance in knowledge of XML, WFL, HTML and development of industry-compliant web design projects. Similarly they also learn on how to build e-commerce websites for various businesses.

The Art Institute of Pittsburg
The Art Institute of Pittsburg offers online diploma courses Web Design alongside other programs such as graphic design and media design. The students learn how to integrate elements such as audio, text, images and animations in order to come up with creative web content.

Devry College of Media Arts & Technology
Devry College of Media Arts & Technology is renowned for its associate degree program in Web Design. Students acquire skills on how to use industry-standard equipment and software when developing a client’s web site.

International Academy of Design & Technology
The International Academy of Design & Technology offers associate and bachelor’s degree courses in Web Design using the online study module. The college ensures that graduates come out of school having gain some hands-on experience that is very important in the job market.

Rasmussen College
Rasmussen College is ranked as one of the best in job placement statistics. Students from this institution get training that is career-oriented to prepare them for employment. The program is offered as an associate degree course.

Kaplan University
offers a flexible study mode through the online module where students are allowed to study at their own pace. They offer a bachelor’s degree in Web Design where students learn of the skills they need to advance their career.