Is website design not for me?

So I started here about a month and a half ago. To start off I want to highlight what I have really enjoyed about my experience.

I came here after spending a while trying to break into CS in general and not getting much headway. From what little I knew, I thought that programming would be a great thing to learn but I had no idea what exactly I wanted to build so it was hard to find a language and learning resource. I found Free Code Camp and It was great, I slogged through the HTML&CSS portions but one I got to the Basic Javascript portion I was hooked. I love doing the algorithms. I could sit at my computer for hours just solving the problems in the algorithm section. I even jumped ahead to the back end section because I had heard a ton about node.js, I had a blast there too, I did all of the Node School tutorials. It was all so rewarding. Seeing everything pass after hours of refining my algorithm was amazingly rewarding, but even then I would usually feel compelled to find new ways to optimize it.

Now to the things I don’t enjoy. I don’t enjoy working with HTML or CSS and I am not good at designing a webpage. I don’t just mean I design bad pages, I don’t even know where to start. I understand the mechanics of it, I know what to do to get certain results, but when I sit down and try to think of how I want to design a certain page or app I just blank. I can’t think of anything and quite frankly I don’t think I really care. I want it to look good, but I don’t even know where to start.

So my question is, Is website design for me? Should I take this as a lesson and start learning how to program in some other context? Or is there some resource I can seek out to understand front-end design a little better?

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A couple things:

Web design and web development are two different things and not all web developers are good at designing. The difference is, you could take a design provided by someone else and simply code it up. This would solve your “I don’t know where to start” issue; you would be given exactly how it needs to look.

The other thing is,it sounds like you just don’t have any project ideas. That doesn’t mean you can’t be a developer though - a gain, the majority of programmers are actually working for companies on the design provided to them so that’s not really an issue if you work for an employer, unless they specifically expect you to do the designing.

I’m not in your boat though, I have project ideas that I want to build… For me, it’s just getting my skills up enough to do them properly. But I suppose you don’t really need to have project ideas as long as you enjoy coding.

Read this post for more information.


Ignore the hype. Take your time.

Probably not.

A resounding “yes”. Take your time and ignore the hype.

There’s plenty, but it sounds like you’d be more happy exploring other parts of the vast universe of software development and computer science for now. JavaScript is only the most visible part of that universe, currently. Take your time and learn computer science in depth. Ignore the hype. See how your new and improved problem-solving skills transfer to different areas outside of CS. Ignore the hype. Take your time.

Start with getting a workable interface, then make an attractive one. Or don’t make an attractive one. Think about them as separate things and you’ll be able to work much more quickly and effectively. You can brainstorm ideas by drawing them on paper, or using a mockup tool like Balsamiq.

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Perhaps you just lean more toward back-end web development. Go learn Ruby or Python or PHP or really dig in deeper to Node.

Take a look at the database level and see if SQL/Mongo/MySQL/etc. are your thing. Maybe you’ll find you prefer that even more.

Not everyone needs to do HTML/CSS. Honestly, I’m not that crazy about it either, but I really enjoy Javascript. I find that I can sit and work on the functionality of a web app for hours, but writing CSS is a chore that must be done. As little and as quickly as possible for something to look passable. For most of the front end projects in FCC, you can get away with 40-50 lines of CSS so that you can move on.

If you enjoy some aspects of coding and have a passion for them, then of course you should find a path that lets you use those skills. The most successful web sites are collaborative projects. There’s not just one person thinking up all of the designs and algorithms. People work together, and if design is not your thing, then maybe the parts that involve algorithms are - which is fortunate because it seems to be something that many struggle with and don’t enjoy that much.

Since I take most of your advice as The Coding Gospel, you can expect my Angular practice projects to be rocking Roboto :slight_smile:

I’m a software developer with experience in java, python and angularjs. I’ve built web applications from scratch and I’ve experience in handling almost every aspect of web development all by my own. I face a similar problem. I always had someone to handle the design of my web application in all the apps that I’ve built. I do not know whether it is right to just skip UI design or not, but I would like to say that it worked for me. Some people have a natural talent in designing stuffs. It is not that I cannot understand the working of the html or css, but I’m just not that good in choosing the appropriate colours or icons or art works required for the development.

Now, majority of my development is in angularjs and I am confident that I can ask for some help from a designer and work on it without ‘breaking things’. I think, it is fair enough. I completely agree that UI is really really important and I have tried my hands on it, but when I see UI designers design the web applications with a very little time with the best looking interface, I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time in doing the same thing. I think it is better to do what I do best, which obviously is not ‘UI design’, but UI development.

Yet, I believe that there are things to improve. I’m not a designer, I agreed, but I should be able to create applications from ideas or prototypes. If someone asks me to develop a website by showing a picture of a website, as a developer, I should be able to do that. If you are planning to handle front-end, I think you should be able to do that too.


Hi, I’m new here and your question caught my eye, because I have my problem the other way around - love design, but get baffled with the JS. In my opinion, in the web industry someone who has a good eye for design and can develop amazingly is a real special person. Design also taps into a creative side and before I code, I’ve got an idea in my head of what the page will look like and the elements I need to put it together. I also make prototypes in photoshop or even doodle some wireframes on paper. That’s just because I’m better with design than development. With that being said, there is a place for everyone under the sun. You don’t need to know it all. Besides, these days web designers are buying up themes in Themeforest (putting my hand up guiltily) and also there are free HTML templates everywhere, not to mention that Bootstrap already takes care of a lot of design problems. Also there is no harm in looking at other websites for layout ideas. I would suggest you pick a skill you’ve got a passion for, and be the best you can be at it.

Wish you all the best!