I’ve been building websites since 1994 and teaching web design and development since 2002 … give or take 6 months. In that time, I’ve been able to figure out the best way to both learn and teach web design:
The key is to NOT get distracted with the unimportant techniques and technology. That means being able to figure out what you really need to learn, and to cut out what isn’t so important.
… That’s where an experienced teacher and actual web developer can guide you.
Web Design is a big subject that is always evolving!
Over the years, web design has evolved considerably. The process of building websites in 2015 is very different from how we did it in the early 2000’s, let alone the 1990’s! Despite these big changes, there is a consistency in web design that has carried through to today; being able to identify these patterns (and techniques) will help you keep your skills future-proof to a large extent.
… Yes, you should always count on having to learn new techniques and technology, but you can make the process much, much easier when you have a great foundation.
I was recently asked by my dentist if I had any information for his daughter, who wanted to get into the gaming industry, on the artistic side of things.
So I consulted the nerd-herd and then came back with what you will read below. Though KillerSites is hardly a gaming blog, I figured I would repost here anyway because my dentist told me that this was by far the most information he and daughter had seen on the subject.
Anyway, here you go …
Gaming is a more stable environment than Film or Television. More often than not film and TV animators travel to work in different companies around the world. As for Gaming even when the economy is tanking people still love to get away from life and sink into a game world.
[ Film and TV / Games ]
Position available for art students include:
Proficiency in Photoshop/Illustrator
[ 3D Software ]
The 3D Software I would recommend using is Maya.
Free Educational version
[ Schools ]
Alot of home grown 3d gaming talent have pass thought the doors of the NAD Center. They have teachers that currently work in the industry and can become a great reference for job opening in the indusrty.
[ Traditional Animation ]
Traditional Key Frame Animation, frames drawn every frame by hand, is very important to take to become a great animator.
This on a book that most animators have on their shelves at home.
Animators Survival Kit by Richard Williams
Here is a pdf of the Book
[ DEMO ]
A Great DEMO, is the most important as it shows what you can do. Some artistes, animators, modelers etc. I know are self taught so school was not involved. A great DEMO can often speak louder than a certificate form a school. It is what you can do with what you know and not what you know.
Hope this helps. Need any other direction let me know
From Luke – a director at a leading gaming company:
I think Sean covered it pretty well from a technical point of view! Additional info that I can say about gaming is the following:
There are many options she can take:
Some companies name the titles differently but more or less do the same things.
I would suggest starting to become active in various gaming industry forums and websites. Look for forums that companies offer, for instance at EA we have the following LinkeIn forum that people can follow: InsideEA: (Electronic Arts) People, Games & Careers. Other companies have their own similar forums. Also check out game company’s websites in their career sections. They offer lots of info and recommendations. Our’s is Jobs.ea.com.
Follow up on all the industry trade shows(E3, PAX, GamesCom, ComicCon, GDC(Game Developers Conference)) and media(IGN,GamesSpot, etc…)…
A lot of what helped me get into the industry is doing research on all the above info…kinda like the Wook does! 😉
Gaming is a constantly evolving industry so people need to stay well aware of tech and changes going on. Best way is to read a lot of gaming news and info!
Strong evidence is showing that Facebook is a good place to pour your money into … IF you want to dump cash into a black hole of no return!!
Advertising on Facebook is revealing itself to be extremely sucky in a few ways:
Most Facebook friends are likely fake. Especially if you promote to get them.
Facebook is cutting off access to these friends – now it’s at about 15% and it is said to be heading towards 1% as a matter of company policy. This is called ‘organic reach’ … and the organism is dying fast.
There are accusations (that seem credible) that Facebook is padding the numbers, in terms of traffic it claims to be sending advertisers way. Facebook does NOT allow you to have outside audits of their traffic flows – that should tell you something!!
A huge number of Facebook profiles are fake – a huge number!
Here a few comments I picked up on the Web:
Facebook has already slashed the organic reach. It’s not coming, it’s here. I run the page for my company and at best 10 out 757 people are seeing what I post. Sometimes only 2-3 people see it. I’ve also heard from pages I personally follow (that aren’t big brands) that they’ve seen this trend for over a year now.
We all have seen crushing decrease on the number of engagements over the course of last 3-4 months. And this has caused us to go and look elsewhere.
The organic algorithm is not currently this low, so if in fact they are reducing it to 1-2%, that is news. Currently ablout 8-20% of my fans organically see my posts.
That is false, I have a local sports conference page on which I post highly viral content, the recent changes have taken likes and shares on posts from 1,000 to 2,000 on a viral post down to 250 to 500 sometimes even less. People liked the posts and responded as their friends and family responded but now they flat out aren’t getting the chance to see them.
Just so we all understand the racket: Facebook sells you Page Like ads so you can acquire an audience. After you acquire an audience, they want you to pay a second, third, fourth (etc.) time to reach the audience that you’ve already paid (at least in part) to acquire. Facebook is a business, for sure, and needs to make money in order to keep shareholders happy, but its business ethics are questionable at best.
One day you wake up and decide that you want to start a tech company but you don’t have the cash. So you figure that the easy way to get rich, is to go get some of that juicy VC (venture capital) money. Easy enough … right?
Here are a few facts you should ponder before you decide to jump into this pool:
You have about a 20% chance of making money when starting any new business.
With VC backers, your chances are even less! Learn why below …
VC guys are looking for flipability of startups and NOT viability.
VC guys will very often flip your butt out the door when they decide to. Yes, firing founders is not uncommon!
When you make a deal with VC guys, you are making a Faustian bargain – a deal with the devil.
I am not saying that all VC guys are evil but they are typically motivated by selling out or going public. They don’t make money if you create a nice business that makes $500k/year. Nope, they want the multi billion dollar flip or an IPO, so that they can dump all their shares onto the public.
In a nutshell:
The business of finance and venture capital is one filled with sharks and quick-cash money junkies. Creating long term sustainable value is not the game.
Tech Start-up Mania
We now have a new mini-mania in tech startups. I think too many people watch SharkTank or have watched the movie The Social Network – everyone thinks they can build the next huge tech company. The reality is that Facebook, Instagram and other high-flyers that you hear about, are the lottery ticket winners. The vast majority of companies fail. These are all the startups you’ve never heard about …
VC money = loss of control
One thing you have to be aware of, is that once you bring in outside money, you will lose control – they are the boss.
For me, this has always been unacceptable because I went into business primarily for independence. You will work harder and longer when you own a business but the trade-off is that you will have freedom to get up when you want, to work on WHAT you want – you will have intellectual and mental freedom.
With lots of hard work and a pinch of luck, you may have a few bucks too!
Is our complete collection of video training courses – we have well over a 1500 videos on web design and web programming subjects. Not just a bunch of tips and tricks either, we have complete training so that you can learn to become a web designer or programmer from scratch. This is a subscription based service where you need to log in to view the videos.
Is a collection of INTERACTIVE training videos where you watch a video (videos run 3-10 minutes each) and then are quizzed on it. Sometimes the quiz questions are code challenges (where you actually write code,) and other times it is good old multiple choice.
As you progress through the courses, your progress is scored and tracked just like a video game. As you do more courses, you scores add up and soon you have a profile where you can show that you’ve actually done the training! You can make that profile public or private, it is your choice.
The courses quizzes are half the learning value – code challenges make you think about what you just saw on video and writing out the code reinforces the information even more so. Try out the free courses:
I just wanted to mention that we are close to launching our brand new KillerVideoStore.com web site. After much work on both the front end and the back end, we are finally close to having something ready for primetime.
The new video store is different in a few ways:
Whole new layout.
The KillerVideoStore becomes an information hub … soon with hundreds of free videos.
The store will have its’ own blog where I will be talking about the latest web trends and putting the spotlight on various videos in our courses.
The store will now be offering much more comprehensive training packages that will include our streaming video library and our interactive training at KillersitesUniversity.com
In web design, you have many competing options available to you where many times, there is no clear cut winner.
… But there are some things, that you simply should not do in most cases.
1. Flash based websites – donâ€™t build them!
The Flash nerds who read this are not going to be happy. A lot of people hate change, especially when something new comes along that replaces what they are used to. For Flash, this thing is HTML5 and CSS3 … these two widely adopted technologies replaces Flash for animation, easy page layout and many other things.
So why is Flash to be avoided?
A pure Flash based website has always been a bad idea. Today though, it is a disaster because iPad, iPhone and generally speaking, most other mobile web browsers cannot and will not be able to properly view Flash or in the case of iPhones and iPads, even see it at all!
Why should you care that people on smartphones canâ€™t see your Flash site? Because, as much as 50% of the Webâ€™s traffic is from mobile devices.
Beyond that, Flash is terrible in terms of search engines (this means terrible SEO) and you also have the added overhead of having to buy the Flash program to edit the Flash files. Whereas with HTML5 and CSS3, all you have to do is open the pages up in a simple text editor to make changes.
First, let us remember the top 3 rules of websites:
… and since most of a websiteâ€™s content is text, great web writing skills are super fantastically important! The irony these days, is that writing is often only considered as an afterthought.
By the way, thatâ€™s why social media websites like Facebook are typically doomed to eventually fail, because user-generated-content is usually crappy content, and the weight of that sea of useless material, typically crushes in on itself – like it did with Friendster and MySpace.