Review of Web Design Foundations Course

My name is Jimmy Edmondson, I’m 24 and have a background in Graphic Design. I graduated 2 years ago from a course which taught me an introduction to Web Design. Over the past two years I’ve worked as a professional Graphic Designer with the CMS system WordPress a lot, heavily editing themes and learning about HTML and CSS as needed. I decided to take this course to brush up my skills, ensuring that I work in the correct way and have a thorough and up-to-date understanding of the world of web design. This course did not disappoint!

Chris Mills has lead the course brilliantly and is the exact right person for the job with masses of experience (developing for the likes of Opera and authoring books on web standards) and understanding of the subject matter. He managed to answer every question we could throw at him. There were maybe one or two points that were discussed but not resolved in the available time but a solution to that was Chris willingly handing out his contact details to everyone who would want further help in the future. He also recommended resources for us to use throughout the activities/workshops. As well as leaving us with thorough, easily explained printed guides of what we had covered on the courses which I am sure I’ll refer back to over the coming months.

‘Introduction to the Web and Web Design’
As someone who already knew quite a lot about Web Design I found the first introductory course a bit slow and not essential for the development of my education. However the way Chris talks about the elemental aspects of web design were very interesting and helped reassure my understanding of the subject matter. Things like the differences and connections of document types, mark up languages (HTML, CSS, Javascript etc) and their individual roles and many more points were explained thoroughly. All in all a great introduction that I wish I was given when I first started.

‘HMTL Basics’
Encompassing a wide range of basic HTML topics this was a fantastic introduction which cleared up a lot of questions for me. The exercises and topics included structuring code documents, links, lists, DIV’s & Span’s, images, tables, forms and what not to do. We even began to cover some basic aspects of CSS. We looked at examples of code which had been supplied by Chris on a handy pen drive (that you get to keep!) and dived in to edit bits as well as starting our own simple websites from scratch. By the end we had created everything from the list above and with continuing practice it would be easy to retain that information.

‘CSS Basics’
As a designer this was the session I was most excited about and was most relevant to my needs. The course covered; anatomy of stylesheets, resolving conflicts, using colour, alignment of information, styling text, links, lists and tables, floating and positioning and finally images. On form with the other courses this course was carried out at a steady pace with plenty time to address any problems/individual enquiries. All information was delivered in a clear and concise manner and we produced so fun and interesting small websites along the way.

‘Advanced CSS and HTML topics’
After attending the first three courses I booked on to this last programme and I was intrigued to learn about the possibilities of web design in the near future and how we can begin to incorporate them today. The course covers; an introduction to HTML5, HTML5 forms, HTML5 video, styling with HTML5 and CSS3, custom video controls, web fonts, responsive web design, animation/transforms/transitions and creating graceful fallbacks for these until all browsers are ready for them. This was the most exciting course for me and after taking part in the other courses I felt like I had a good understanding to build upon. Working as a Graphic Designer/Web Designer this course helped to cover many of the requests our clients come to us with nowadays. Things like responsive design for a variety of screen sizes and the fall backs for current browsers. As a keen typographer I learnt quite a lot about using websafe fonts and I have been introduced to new developments with typography on the web that I didn’t know existed. All in all a great course.

Written by  Jimmy Edmondson

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