Number 1, no one should ever do what I did: Fail advanced web and have to take it with Portfolio. The ultimate NO, NO!!
Before taking Intro to Web, I loved the internet. I click a button, the button works, I go to the page I want to go to. Well, I learned that it’s not that easy. There is a lot of HTML and CSS involved. Enough to make you want to pull out your hair.
The first thing I wish would have done was practice more. Yeah, Blake goes over the concepts in class, but it really didn’t make a difference because I wouldn’t go home and practice. The information was basically going in one ear and out the other. I understood everything that was happening while in class, but two days later I was a lost soul.
I also should have read the book like I was assigned to do. I think reading the chapters before class would have helped me understand what Blake was talking about. I would skim the images and think I had mastered the content. It’s very important to understand the information presented during the lecture. If you fail to understand it, then you’ll be behind for the next lecture. These web design classes are very fast paced and require a lot of time and effort on your part. Me working 40 hours a week didn’t help either. In round two of advanced web, I cut my hours down in an effort to concentrate more on class.
For the new web design students, I recommend you listen to Blake and not brush off any information or advice he is trying to present to you. You don’t know it all. Attention to detail is a must. Who would have thought that a semi-colon would make an entire website fall apart?
I also suggest that the new web design students look at the mark up of well designed sites. Looking at the mark up can help in future website design projects. You can view the mark up using fire bug. Fire bug will become your best friend for the next year. I also recommend using the W3C HTML Validator and W3C CSS Validator. This will prevent a lot of headaches. These validators will point out mistakes for you.
Taking advanced web for a second time wasn’t all that bad. In fact it made me semi-hate web. Since I was already fresh with the topics, I knew what I needed to work on in order to pass this time around. I be damn if I take it for a third time! Even if the new students realize that web design is not for them, they should still really consider taking it seriously. During the AIGA review, one of the reviewers told me she would really like to see more web design in my portfolio because everything is going digital.