Web Designer’s Resource Guide

Website Design is a broad field with many niches. There are designers for major corporations, small startups, freelancers, marketing companies, and the list goes on. All these options can be overwhelming for the website design student unsure which portion of the industry to which they are well suited. Regardless of what portion of the industry you are interested in, there are myriad resources at your fingertips on every facet of the industry. Tips, tricks, articles, tutorials, free tools and more that have applications across the industry. This resource guide lists some of the best general resources, layout design, inspiration and tutorial resources, blogs and conferences available to those already in or studying to enter this expansive industry. Many of these sites also offer insight into various aspects of the industry which can be invaluable to students unfamiliar with the web design industry’s landscape.

General Resources

Elementiks: This site catalogues many useful, powerful and free tools for web designers. Many of these are strong alternatives to some of the more expensive professional design tools.

For Web Designers: This website lists many strong design resources for web designers including CSS, Font, Flash, Graphic Sources, Photoshop Tutorials, Stock Photos and much more.

Web Design List: An exhaustive general resource guide for cascading style sheets. This site also lists several web design magazines that any designer might find useful.

W3: The World Wide Web Consortium website is the primary resource for internet standards and any news regarding changes happening in the website design field as a whole.

Web Design Layout and Tutorial Sites

Web Designer Depot: A fantastic resource for designers of all levels, Web Designer Depot understands that content is king on the internet and shares information on creating quality content and creating a quality home for that content with tutorials on any number of technologies.

WPDFD: With articles on everything from minimalism in web design to the importance of understanding the personality of punctuation, this website is geared toward helping designers understand the ins and outs of creating an attractive sight.

Web Resources Depot: Web Resources Depot is a resource website updated daily with new featured resources focused on keeping readers up to date on developments in the field.

Smashing Magazine: The goal of this online magazine is to deliver quality content to web designers, keeping them up to date on cutting edge trends and techniques as they rise to prominence in the field.

A List Apart: This web magazine is updated roughly twice per month with new articles covering many aspects of the website design industry from dealing with the increased pixel capacity of many computers and its effect on aesthetics to how to test websites on video game console browsers.

Site Inspire: Site Inspire features unique and high quality web designs from real world websites with the goal of inspiring new designers to think beautiful with interesting, functional and gorgeous design.

UX Movement: The UX Movement is devoted to improving user experience by communicating with designers the best practices in user interface design.

Search Engine Land This website covers everything from the greater search engine market to using search engines for marketing, and search engine optimization techniques to ensure that your website is noticed by the people it targets.

Adobe Browser Lab: This is a fantastic Adobe tool that will allow designers to test their designs on every browser and operating system. The tool is completely free and even comes with diagnostic tools to help pinpoint problems.

I Love Typography: A site devoted solely to educating designers on typography, its importance in the field and the myriad of factors to consider when making certain design choices for a website.

CSS Play: This website has had a torrid love affair with cascading stylesheets for seven years now. The creator of this site is focused on educating people on just how powerful CSS can be and how to unlock its full potential.

HTML Dog: HTML Dog is a fantastic website for designers just dipping their feet into html and css; the site is also a fantastic reference tool for any designer but the real value here is in the beginner and intermediate tutorials in both html and css.

Tutorial 9: Tutorial 9 is a site where members can share links to various tutorials, guides and articles about web design from around the internet. Members earn points as they share information and help other members. Members in good standing will often have at their fingertips the eager help of a broad web design community.

One Extra Pixel: One Extra Pixel is one of the foremost online web design magazines. With many articles on every aspect of web design and a devotion to providing readers with the most cutting edge, useful information available.

Web Design Blogs

Design Bombs: A blog showcasing some very sleek designs, everything from complete website designs to blog site designs. The actual blog portion of the site also has articles about various elements, tools, widgets and more.

Design Ledger: This is a blog that covers everything from freelancing advice to inspirational design showcases and tutorials.

Design Instruct: This blog’s focus is on tutorials and instructional articles on website design. The site also features a “freebies” section with some quality, free, niche resources.

UX Booth: The most beautifully designed website means nothing if the user experience doesn’t measure up. Nothing drives users away from a site more often than a poor user experience and this blog’s goal is to help designers avoid many UX blunders.

The Web Design Blog: This blog is the whole package with a design inspiration showcase, tutorials, articles and tips, downloads, app reviews, and interviews and stories all focused on helping budding and experienced designers alike.

Just Creative: Often web designers must play the part of graphic designer as well especially when freelancing. This blog is a graphic design centered blog, high quality and perfect for those web designers that do their own graphic design whether out of enjoyment or necessity.

Six Revisions: Another blog with many helpful articles for designers and developers. The blog is frequently updated with many notable tips, tutorials and resources for the professional developer.

Line 25: Line25 is a blog that prides itself on being a drawing board for website design. The blog features tips, tricks, tutorials, and roundups that feature cutting edge design.

Specky Boy: Specky Boy is the personal freelance web design blog of Paul Andrew. Starting as just a basic blog Specky Boy eventually evolved into a design resource powerhouse that still has the personalized attributes of a blog but offers so much more.

HONGKIAT.COM: Hongkiat.com’s blog section has great articles with a personal perspective. Hongkiat itself is a web design, inspiration and technology site.

Design Mag: Design Mag is a freelancing web design blog with articles on every topic from textures to what to do when your client asks you to do something stupid.

Design Shack: Complete with design galleries, articles, tips and freebies, this design blog takes the reader through everything from small time to major corporate designs, what goes right, what goes wrong and everything in between.

Web Design and Technology Conferences

How Interactive Conference: This interactive design conference is focused on helping designers of all stripes take their skills to the next level. Whether you want to perfect your abilities or branch into emerging markets, this conference may be the boost you need to take your career to the next level.

Future of Web Design Conference: This is a forward looking world class conference series constructed around the goal of keeping attendees ahead of the curve when it comes to website design.

An Event Apart: The makers of the website A List Apart present the An Event Apart conference series; an exceptionally intense two day conference for web design professionals, particularly standards based designers.

Web Design Conferences: A meta-list for web design conferences designed to aid designers find conferences of interest to them far and wide.

New Adventures Conference: This UK conference is a single track conference with eight talks from prominent industry names and up and coming designers both. The conference also features networking events including bowling, a massive party and a five-per-side football (soccer to attendees from the US) tournament.

Warm Gun Conference: Designers from some of the major names in the industry such as Youtube and Twitter will be in attendence at Warm Gun which is the first conference specifically on the topic of measurable design.

User Interface 17 Conference: One of the leading User Experience Design conferences in the world, this event tends to sell out quickly and the prices are steep but worth the investment for the many attendees.

Interaction13 Conference: The focus of this conference is on the social design portion of websites. Namely, how one might design websites or apps that allow users to interact with each other in intuitive ways.

LEWEB Conference: The LEWEB (Leadership Web) conference brings together designers and entrepreneurs with the leaders and influencers that guide the direction of the internet for a conference filled with dialogue, brainstorming, discussion and networking.