A couple months ago, Frank Chimero, a great designer that I’d admired for a long time, wrote about the pain to re-learn many things in the web to keep yourself updated to the latest practices and trends. That post hit right on me as he expressed all my recent frustrations and everything I wanted to said but better.
First, let me start from the beginning. You see, I started learning about this web thing when I was in college studying graphic design and in all those years we end up having one little intro course of this newer area of design called “Web Design”. It was super basic, open Dreamweaver and throw stuff in it, creating table base layouts and while the class was very outdated. It opened my eyes.
I got hooked on the idea of creating something and everyone in the world could see, that power of no geographic barriers.
I was just starting so I went and look for books and more information to know more about the subject, the more a read the more I knew how much I needed to learn and that was exciting for me. I didn’t find good books in my city, they were outdated but I end up finding that one of the best ways to learn about something is going to the source. So blogs, web books and websites source code where my best resources. I got super into web standards, clean and semantic markup and innovative CSS techniques.
In the web, you never stop learning but after some time I reached a level that I felt comfortable to make any project or figure it out if it needed something I haven’t done before.
Then social media appeared, and little by little less small business will reach out to small agencies or freelancers (like me at the time), for a new website. They were happy with they’re facebook pages and Instagram accounts, so I started to focus more on branding projects.
So back in 2014 when I slowly move away from web design and development for a couple of years, I had no idea how much things would change.
In those years I also focused on my fighting career, and stopped writing code and reading about the constant changes in the web community.
Years later went I came back, it was harder than I thought. The focus was on digital products, they were a huge demand of designers, nobody used the term web designer anymore. Back then you’ll see the term UX design from time to time but now everyone is a UI/UX designer or product designer, and a big percentage of them don’t know much about code, even when their work lives on digital platforms.
That is a subject of another article, now where I had the most trouble adapting was with the new Front-end development practices.
Nowadays I’ve been making things that I learned you should never do, the cleaner the markup the better. No extra classes when you know your way on selectors and semantically structures. Now is all about components and scalability, while it took me some time to adapt and shift my way of thinking, I now see the advantages in most of the newer practices.
I still look some div soups that I just can’t accept but now I feel better adding one or multiple classes to all elements, I guess I’m always going to try separate content and presentation but the flexibility that you can get, shown in an article by Dan Mall really sold me. So for a moment, I was like when I first started, devouring books and articles to learn and re-learn stuff but this time it was faster to pick it up but harder to change previously accepted ways and do thing differently. At the end of the day like I said…
In the web, you never stop learning.Background photo by NASA