Building your designs shouldn’t be about compromise
I’m Steve McKinney, I write this blog about designing websites. My main aim is to teach you how to implement your designs as you intend. With this I cover a mixture of how to design visually appealing websites and build them with maintainable CSS.
What drives my writing is hearing things like “you can’t expect your designs to look the same as they do in design app” and while that’s not completely wrong, it’s a free ride to forgive things like spacing inconsistencies, not adding visual flourishes and avoiding refinements for responsive breakpoints.
Who is this for?
You’re likely to be a developer wanting to improve their visual design skills, or getting started as a designer. Either way you’re someone who understands the value of not only good design, but the requirement of making it visually appealing too. Through sharing what I know and continue to learn, I hope to meet this need.
It started with writing weekly
I made the decision to start writing this blog consistently in January 2015. Every week, for two years, a blog post went out. I started out writing on anything I was interested in as long as it was related to websites.
It became clear to me over those two years, there is a lack of content focusing on how to design things which look good.
You want to learn visual design
The reason why it’s difficult to find content; is not for a lack of demand, it’s challenging to teach visual design. The theory only goes so far.
You’re told about colour theory, hierarchy, typography, grids, etc. but you find it challenging to apply it. You want to design something and feel like you’re making progress. You know theory is important, but applying it is the challenge.
Focusing on designing beautiful websites
I knew focusing on visual design would be a good start. I begun narrowing down to only designing with Illustrator and launched a redesign of the website. Things improved steadily, but I felt limited and ignoring a part of making websites.
The thing being coding, at least the HTML and CSS part. Understanding how to build websites is part of my unique advantage.
A new goal to be able to work with in depth content
So in the last few months of posting weekly, I thought about the focus of the website and taking a break. The realisation of posting weekly, with limited time, meant I couldn’t do certain posts. I wanted to change.
My vision for this website is to; teach in depth ‘web’ related design topics. Help you understand why and develop your own rationale. Using Illustrator and CSS as the core tools.
A mixture of practical tutorials and tips
All tutorials are taught using Illustrator and aim to make no assumptions. Meaning I will provide rationale behind my decision making, point out where things are or provide references. Each tutorial does fall at an intermediate level.
The aim is to help improve workflow efficiency and build up visual design skill. Code adds additional justification and is usually the best way to communicate extra details.
I’m certainly still figuring things out, but with a vision in mind I can work towards my goal.