Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm mostly a developer and have been offered a job as webmaster. It's likely that I'll be asked to make some cosmetic changes to a website every now and then.

Has anyone made this transition? If so, how did things go? Also, are there any good online sources to get up to speed on how things are done today?

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by gnat, Bart van Ingen Schenau, MichaelT, GlenH7, Kilian Foth Dec 2 '13 at 9:09

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking career or education advice are off topic on Programmers. They are only meaningful to the asker and do not generate lasting value for the broader programming community. Furthermore, in most cases, any answer is going to be a subjective opinion that may not take into account all the nuances of a (your) particular circumstance." – gnat, Bart van Ingen Schenau, Community, GlenH7, Kilian Foth
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Thanks for the edit Anna. I sometimes get the spelling mixed up between "developer" in English and "développeur" in French. – James Poulson Mar 13 '11 at 14:00
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Pick up The Non-Designers Design Book and The Non-Designer's Web Book by Robin Williams. It's a great place to start.

share|improve this answer

I think it's very important for a developer to get atleast a basic knowledge of design principles.

  1. Search on google for "design web 2.0" - the first link there is very good.
  2. Download a tool called "colorcop" (if you're on windows). It's a life saver.
  3. Know how to use the main programs in Adobe creative suite. Especially Adobe Fireworks, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop. Know the difference between a vector and a bitmap and when to use either one (this is key).
  4. Use to learn 3.
share|improve this answer
+1 for lynda . If you work on flash even though you might be a programmer you are expected to know and do( at times or always depending on where you work) every thing a graphic design artist/animator does. – Aditya P Mar 13 '11 at 3:09

I will recommend Principles of Beautiful Web Design. It's a design book for non-designers. The Author covers the golden ratio, color schemes, the importance of fonts, composition, etc.

As for design software, a little training/knowledge goes a LONG way with Photoshop/Illustrator. Follow a few basic tutorials, then search for specific tutorials as you need them.

share|improve this answer

Believe me I was a pure programmer. I believed i had no aesthetic skills. Until one fine day I decided to start my own freelance business. Initially I had planned to do the programming myself and outsource the design to someone I knew. It was bad, real bad. The designer kept me waiting for the design and I would have to keep my client waiting. Until one night an elderly person advised me to do the designing myself. I told him but I don't design. He insisted. He asked me to go home pray to Allah and start designing. That night I came back home, prayed to Allah and yeah I made my first website design. I mailed the design to my client late night guess what? Next morning he accepted the design! Thats how I got into designing. I did know about basic editing, cropping etc. in Photoshop. But yeah Allah helped me. So its not impossible.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.