What if I tell you that you can have it all? You can be a good designer (figuring out the problems and coming op with fitting solutions, communicating with your client etc.). If you’re really serious, I strongly suggest taking an online graphic/web design course from a university. Many will let you do this either for free, or for a fee but without having to apply for admission since you’re not taking a full degree program. Classes like this are really important to help you get the fundamentals of design, which are tough to get from just short online tutorials.
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Dribbble : Social network/showcase for designers. Great for inspiration, so long as you don’t get caught up in the feedback loops there. Because of their exclusivity people perceive them as elitist but bear in mind that’s their attempt at quality control. They market themselves to people looking for the best of the best in the design field. There are lots of good things about dribble. Take their jobs section. You don’t have to be a member to look at that, and it connects you with some pretty serious players in the business. There are a lot of great designers who post on there, but there are way more who are students or junior level. There is zero correlation between having an account and being a good designer.
Much of the stuff getting posted on Dribbble is taken out of context of how you would actually see it in a working design.
Behance : . Behance along with actual work in the form of raw code and group stuff, could get you job offers with Microsoft, Adobe and Texas Instruments among other companies. In fields like graphic design with such a low entry barrier, We see enough terrible design on a daily basis. That being said, granted there are much more good designers than on a site like Behance rather than on Dribble.
A List Apart : Long-running web magazine discussing design, development, web standards and content strategies. There are few, if any, sources that are better when it comes to the subject of web design.
Designer News : A great aggregator of design links and discussions. This could be an almost daily read for you.
Jeffrey Zeldman : Founder of A List Apart and the guy that started the web standards movement on the mid 90’s. It is easily one of the most influential people in interactive design.
Colossal : Chicago-based design mag for the web. It is usually a great resource for some visual inspiration.
The Great Discontent : Really solid interviews with creative people, like Jeffrey Zeldman. (http://thegreatdiscontent.com/jeffrey-zeldman)
Medium: This Could Be Better : “Questionable design decisions, questioned.”
Really you just need to start building a site. When you find you have hit a wall start searching for ways to solve that particular problem. No class is going to teach/prepare you for everything nor will they give you all of the possible ways to solve the problem.
DesignersList : A great way to learn design is to just mimic websites you like. If you can copy them, you’ll kinda learn their thought process along the way and hopefully pick up WHY they chose to do what they did in the design. Get photoshop and just learn as you go! Follow design blogs and immerse yourself into the world.
Once you’ve got a feel for how the markup works, we would recommend avoiding frameworks until you really understand the language and general flow of a webapp. It’s a recipe for confusion otherwise since they all seek to abstract the details of the request/response cycle.
UpLabs : Copy what you love and eventually once you have seen and done a lot of things you’ll be able to develop your own style using established principles which have already proven to work. And always remember: A great interface design is not finished when there’s nothing left to add, but when there’s nothing left to remove.
Travis Neilson : Travis Neilson’s YouTube Show, his Podcast “Trav And Los” and Mackenzie Child on YouTube.
Edward Tufte : Edward Tufte’s “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information” http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/books_vdqi
There is an entire world of knowledge in this book. If you can’t see that, and lots of people can’t, consider a different career. If you can, you are on the right path and have a good chance at success.
Mackenzie Child : Search for Mackenzie Child on youtube. He’s currently doing one design per day to lead up to the release of a design course. Apart from that he also goes into the design process in the earlier videos of his Rails tutorials. He’s recently put them up for free on his Youtube as well.
Stack Exchange : If you’re speaking of technical, “how do I do this thing” type questions, then you should create an account over at StackExchange and ask away.
Always do your homework first, though. The sites are strictly moderated by their respective community, and poorly-worded or off-topic questions will be closed. Take the time to read the site description for each site and read some existing questions to figure out where your particular question makes most sense. If you put a bit of effort into learning the system you can get a lot out of Stack Exchange, but if you just run in and start asking poorly-researched questions you’ll quickly get frustrated.
Ink : As you get further along, you should check out Ink – http://ink.sapo.pt/
It is a mini framework on which you can easily build responsive interfaces.
Hackdesign : It gives you the core fundamentals of fonts and even some really cool snippets for responsive templates. http://hackdesign.org/
Designer Tool Box : http://designerstoolbox.com/ LOVE this site, it has various die lines for packaging and envelopes, has information on envelope enclosure sizes, loren ipsum generator and photoshop files of browser windows that are customizable.
CSS Typeset : http://csstypeset.com/ Automated css text editing. Make your text pretty without any coding knowledge!