Web Design and Development: Tips and Tools for Newbies

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Web development and design are two great skills that open lots of doors and provide you with lots of opportunities. Being a pro in these two worlds, you will be able to create new apps and build beautiful websites.

Are you at the very beginning of your learning, and you don’t know what to do? Here you have the most useful and resourceful tools and tips to learn and follow.

Pimp Out Photoshop

This is probably the first thing you should do when deciding to hit web design. Photoshop is the essential tool you can use for lots of things. It will take some time to discover all the opportunities Photoshop has.
The basic version has lots of options and tools, but you can enhance the initial program by adding new shapes and fonts, brushes and actions. What are these and how can they help you?
Actions are sort of macros sets that allow for automatizing some simple tasks you are using Photoshop for – you can find actions online, or you can create new ones yourself.

Brushes give you a broader choice of effects and allow you emulate real painting or paint with unusual shapes, styles, and unique objects.

Shapes can be used for vector images that are needed for creating buttons and elements for the websites or apps.

Download Free Resources

If you are fond of complicated tasks and long hours of work, you might skip this tip. But for the newbie in design creating literally from scratch can be quite a challenge. But why should you waste too much time and effort when the Internet is full of materials you can use? We are not talking about stealing (for now) – there are lots of designs to use for the project.

If you can use Photoshop (if not – go back to the first tip and master this essential tool), free PSD templates you can find online will save you couple hours of tedious work. Look for backgrounds, icons and great images for the fillers at specialized websites.

Build Up Your Font Library

People might have different opinions about design and development, but one thing remains indisputable – the font may totally make or break even the best project. What if you cannot tell Liberation from Libertine or Serif from Sans-Serif?

Get yourself a proper font collection for the reference. There are several ones available for free, and they even allow for creating your own font for the project.

Use a Framework

Frameworks will save you time and energy and make development much easier. While you may want to start from scratch and have the unique project, lots of things were already created – from small ideas to bigger concepts that already became standard. Frameworks take a huge part of coding and allow you to take advantage of all the best projects out there.

There is no universal framework – you should use the one depending on your project and skills. Among the most popular ones, you will find Blueprint, Zend, Ruby on Rails and Django. There is no such notion as a framework for the design, but be sure to check 960 Grid and The Grid System to save some time as well.

The Bottom Line

Here you have it – some basic yet essential tools and tips! If you are at the beginning of your design and development path, these tools are easy to use and master. There are plenty of other resources to check for the guidance both for newbies and experienced professionals. Try to look closer at What the Fond, Behance, UI Toolkit, Wirify and Paste HTML for a little more help in web design and development.

You may never know where you will see a new idea or get the inspiration for the next project – just keep your eyes open and be sure to save all the references.