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Jennifer Kyrnin

Is knowing HTML important for Web designers?

By July 31, 2008

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I was reading a blog post on Disassociated.com and they said that they've worked with art directors on a design team who don't even know what HTML stands for - let alone how to do it. On the other hand, Tony Patton on Builder.au says that it's not possible. He points out that HTML is very easy to learn, and I completely agree. While I do think that it's possible to create nice looking pages without knowing HTML, if you want to be a truly proficient Web designer and developer, then you need to learn HTML and learn CSS.
Comments
August 1, 2008 at 3:10 am
(1) Riann says:

I am astonished how many applicants there are who say they are web designers but can’t write a line of html. All they say is “I only work as designer and someone else has got to do the coding”. We never take any of those. Aside from that we are not a huge enterprise and everyone has to do everything (even water the plants and clean the office ;) ) I don’t think it’s possible to design an good page if you don’t know how it works in html. Especially with barrier-free websites.
I for my part would die of boredom if I was reduced to only designing pages without writing any code and make them “come to life”.

August 1, 2008 at 3:57 pm
(2) Gary says:

Architects who lack construction knowledge very often design things that are near impossible to build or to costly. This is a pitfall for engineers too that is seen too often in the manufacturing sector.

Moving from print to web design was a big change for me. Learning what works, what doesn’t, and why made a huge difference in how I attacked the design process and led to better results.

Someone without HTML knowledge may be able to design something, but the process will be miserable for the client, there will be battles with the code writers, staying on budget will be difficult, and the results may not be what was promised.

August 1, 2008 at 5:28 pm
(3) decibel.places says:

I have long since realized that I am a “developer” not a “designer”

I think designers really need a strong basis in design, typography, color theory – all that artsy stuff

Sure, a little code knowledge is helpful, but I would not say it is necessary.

I work with a designer who tells me “make the abuse page work like Flickr” or “make the menu look like Maxim” and it is my job to take the design elements she provides and make them sing

Give me a PSD I can give you XHTML and CSS, with PHP or JavaScript for the interactive elements – that is my job. I don’t whine, “It’s too difficult!” – but I might suggest some alternate approaches when appropriate.

I have helped a different designer on a simple web page – that she built with no less than 4 frames, and she used Flash text when a Gif or Jpeg would have done perfectly well… Oy vey!

The page looks perfectly fine, after some adjustments (she had trouble with frames scrollbars) – but it is an example of a web page from hell!

The point is that she has just enough code knowledge to create a monster!

If she had given me the design, I would have sliced it efficiently, and kept it all in one document, at the very least!

August 6, 2008 at 6:56 pm
(4) Wardell says:

Without knowing at least HTML I don’t think a person can justly call their self a web designer. Designing the graphics without having a clue of how to assemble the most basic web page wouldn’t make them a web designer it would make them a graphic designer, and if they didn’t know as much as HTML I would assume they didn’t know how to appropriately create web graphics as well.

September 18, 2009 at 8:44 am
(5) Chris says:

For a novice designer trying to bring a webpage to fruition for a business, HTML Coding knowledge is not all that important. It’s time consuming, and while it may seem ‘simple’, I see it just as simple to use Publisher, or Expression Web to make a damn good looking page, and let the program write the HTML for me. I agree that people should not apply as ‘web designers’ without knowing how to write the code to support it. I spent a lot of time ‘designing’ our company’s webpage, and the biggest hurdle thus far is getting our ISP to open the private hub on our own Internal server! I respect the guys and gals who can read and write code, but it’s not for me.

February 9, 2010 at 12:46 am
(6) Gerry says:

If you have to rely on Publisher or some other WYSIWYG editor to do all your coding, you are limiting yourself do only being able to do what that coding can do, and thus only being able to create simple sites that can really only serve as an online brochure. Learning HTML is simple if you would take a few minutes. Anyone who does not have a minimum of a good understanding of HTML and CSS simply is not a web designer.

April 7, 2010 at 10:25 am
(7) gratis webseite erstellen says:

These really helped me to build my homepage, I can really appreciated if people take some time and write a usefull tutorial.

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