Don’t Drown In Digital

Published:  December 6, 2013
Don’t Drown In Digital

The digital wave appeared to wash across the creative industries so fast that those that weren’t early adopters or determined tech investigators found that it was not long before many felt out of their depth.

“The rules and formulas that print designers rely on aren’t necessarily directly transferable to digital, or web design,” explained D3R designer, Aimee Jay, who moved from print to web in 2006. “As the digital discipline becomes broader, I’m sure many feel it becomes less and less accessible.”

Perhaps daunted by the jargon, the challenge of learning code, or the shift in mindset and knowledge when it comes to designing something useful, functional and beautiful, print designers working in print studios also lacked a guide—a disadvantage compared to those working in multi-skilled studios who may pick up tips from a colleague.

Apart from self- education, the only option left to many was attending a course. Upon hearing of Shillington College’s short web course, desktop asked a recent attendee, Davin Lim, about his experience.

Shillington College describes its course as ‘demystifying’ the web, by giving designers a foundation in HTML and CSS coding. Can you tell us what the course involved?

The course did involve a lot of basic coding, with a very basic introduction to JavaScript and HTML5. A lot of the time we were given handouts, which included step-by-step guides to achieving tasks, and mini projects in which we would have to replicate a web page that was presented by a lecturer.

Did you need to have a basic level of proficiency in design and design software?

You do need to have a basic level of proficiency in design, and having basic skills in operating a Mac is very important.

Who was doing the course with you?

There were a lot of different people doing the course. There were graphic designers and students of graphic design, as well as people with no design skills who just wanted to learn the basics of coding. There were also those who were currently studying web design.

What did you get out of the course?

I learned a lot, but one point really stands out: Even though the basics were taught very thoroughly, and the handouts were very helpful, I found it very hard to pick up coding again once I stopped. So what I got out of this course was that, in order to grasp a better understanding on what web design is, one must be constantly coding or furthering oneself in web design.

Has the course changed your perception of the digital world?

It has certainly opened my eyes to the digital world, allowing me to see in web terms and not only through print eyes!

The Shillington College Web Course is one week full-time, with 3 intakes a year. You can also attend three weeks part-time, with one intake a year only.

Illustration by Jeannie Phan

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