Topic: The Elements of an Awesome Front-End Designer?

Hey Godbit gang of hooligans,

I'm in that nasty, nasty process of job hunting and generally looking at my long term career goals and such. As such, I've been looking over my skillset and deciding what I need to focus in on in particular, as I'm tired of being a jack of all trades (although enjoy being able to fill a number of roles).

My skills have put me pretty solidly in the camp of a front-end design guy (I'm talking web standards, XHTML & CSS, accesability, semantic coding, grid systems, web typography, etc) with a smattering of informal learning in information architecture, usability, and user interface design (still confused how you actually go about learning that stuff, but I'm applying it logically to how I work).

I want to hear from some of you more experienced front end guys what you consider to be the key elements to being an awesome font-end designer and developer. I suspect I need to learn PHP and some Javascript framework (I'm thinking jQuery) pronto, but to be honest, I have little desire to be a coder / programmer. I like dealing with the xhtml and css stuff because it directly plays out how my Photoshop mockups look like on the page (yeah, I know PHP does, too...).

Any help you can throw this new guy would be greatly appreciated!

Last edited by Will Phillips (2008-08-21 13:34:12)

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Re: The Elements of an Awesome Front-End Designer?

For me, I was kinda in the same boat. Getting familiar with designing in a rails application and using SVN has become my porkbarrel. It's really not difficult and I'm finding a lot of work down that vein.

That'll cost you a coffee.


"Bear 270, young man. Bear two, seven, zero, over." - Musings of a flight simulator guru, me.

Re: The Elements of an Awesome Front-End Designer?

I wouldn't stop at jQuery... it doesn't hurt to know that or at least some other js library, but you should be able to work your way through javascript in general. Definitely have some server-side scripting knowledge and basic database/mysql knowledge too. The title "front-end designer" or "UI Designer" can be a little misleading sometimes because you really need to have some development skills and knowledge of how the front end interfaces with the server in order to make things work... it kind of requires you to be a jack of all trades.

Daniel Marino |