Posts tagged ‘interactive’

Lessons Learned, Part 4

LigiaSix months ago, I graduated from TCU and jumped right into this internship; I didn’t know what to expect, and I definitely did not anticipate how much I would learn.

Working here at Zag is not like your typical internship. It’s a real job and everyday is a learning opportunity, and more importantly, a chance to get better at what you do.

Here are a few of the many things I have learned at Zag:

Control your stress, don’t let it control you. As a designer, some days the stress can be overwhelming.  You have to meet a deadline by a certain time, and your design ideas don’t seem to work. These days, stress can start to control you. Once that happens, you’re not focused anymore and your work suffers. So even on those high-pressure days, take a moment to step away and take a deep breath. Give yourself a pep talk or take a short walk. I’ve learned that just 5 minutes is enough to calm down and get back to work.

Inspiration is everywhere. Sometimes, your mind is exhausted and it’s hard to come up with ideas and/or designs. You feel like you hit a wall and a project suddenly starts to seem impossible. I have learned that ideas and designs don’t always spontaneously appear — sometimes you have to look for them. Talk to people around the office; look at books; browse the Internet or just stare outside the window (my favorite). If you give it a little bit of time, one of those things will trigger a good idea instead of settling for a mediocre one that you forced out of yourself.

Lastly, I’ve learned that it’s okay to ask for help. Here at Zag we are very lucky to have GCG and Site Smart Interactive employees as resources. Their opinions and guidance have been crucial to our success, because we are all very young, and most importantly, we are all still learning about this business. I’m the kind of person that when I run into a problem, especially in web design, I want to figure it out by myself no matter how long it takes so that I can truly learn how to fix it. Unfortunately, I don’t always have the time to do that, so instead of spending over an hour figuring out a code, I can just walk down the hall and ask someone from Site Smart Interactive in a matter of minutes.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to see what my fellow designer Rolando has to say!

11/13/2009 at 2:15 AM Leave a comment

Web design made easy

LigiaI recently attended a seminar called “Web site Design Made Easy” taught by Smat Webdesign and was inspired to share some of the things I learned, as well as some tips of my own.

As an up-and-coming Web designer, you have to know the good, the bad and the ugly of the field.

Let’s start with the bad: Murphy’s Law is the reality of web design. The law states that if something can go wrong, then it will. From experience, when you first start in Web design, you’ll find that about 97 percent of the time, nothing will work the first time around. Now here’s the good news: Web design is all about practice, patience and most importantly, learning from mistakes.

Before you run and scream at the sight of HTML code, relax, grab some coffee and start by reading the tips below.

  1. Plan out your Web site on paper. What will be its purpose? Who will your audience be? Write down the pages you will include (i.e. About, History, Products, Contact, etc.).
  2. Once you have an idea of what the content will be, start to plan the layout and look of your site. I highly recommend to research, research, research! Go online to different Web sites so you can see what you like and what you don’t. Inspiration is the key ingredient to web design.
  3. Draw a rough sketch of each page and try your best to be as detailed as possible. It isn’t necessarily how your Web site has to look in the end, but it will serve as a guide. This step is crucial because it will save you time later.
  4. Now you’re ready to get on the computer and work your heart out. There are countless resources that will guide you through HTML and CSS – I’ve listed some of my favorites below. Start with HTML, which will be the basic structure of your Web site. Learn what the basic tags are, what they do and how they will look on a browser. Then move on to CSS, which will control the design of your Web site.  After you have a basic knowledge of what to do, it’s all about trial and error.

Here are some useful resources to get you started:


The last piece of advice I can give you is don’t be afraid to start! Begin with the most basic designs and you’ll see that, as long as you keep using your resources, you will keep learning and most importantly, improving.

You can’t expect to build a beautiful Web site overnight. It’s going to take time, research and dedication.

Good luck!

07/17/2009 at 10:55 PM Leave a comment

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