Where are you guys learning CSS?

I’ve been coding for a while now but all my sites just look terrible. When I look at other people’s projects and portfolios I’m just amazed. I understand CSS selectors, flex-box, grid, colors, etc but for some reason everything I make is just horrific. I really don’t want to really on a framework like bootstrap because if I get a job that doesn’t use that I’ll be screwed.

I know my lack of CSS skills is hurting me because if I was an employer and saw those projects I’d run away as fast as possible. So the question is what are you guys doing to level up your CSS skills. Every time I see a course on CSS it’s like 100 lessons on how to change padding and color but that doesn’t help me.

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Free udemy lessons , css crash courses on youtube, and alot of experimenting with everything you learn.
What worked for me is i watched a 1 hour video tutorial on css, i would spend the next 6 hours experimenting with what i learned so that i take full advantage of everything that i could learn and implement in many different ways, and of course research help like alot.

W3Schools has tons and tons of explanations and there are guides all over that help you understand the little things something as simple as adding an anchor link, but combine all those simple things together, with time you’ll see that your knowledge is increased greatly and your websites look much better

Hey Mike,

so there is a big difference between:

  • concepts: what you want to build => design
  • implementation: how you build it => CSS

I think that you know enough CSS, because you know how selectors, flexbox etc. work.
So you know the How.

Now you have to learn the concepts behind good design, the What.

I think a mixture of reading about the concepts and seeing them live in action helps a lot.

Reading: https://uxengineer.com/principles-of-design/unity/

Seeing: https://www.youtube.com/c/SteveSchoger/videos


Thank you so much for the response and the awesome resources. I took a look at the first link and wow! There’s way more to it than I thought. I think this will definitely help a lot.

You can also just reverse-engineer (steal) stuff you like. Use devtools to look at the fonts and other things they’re doing that look cool and just grab them for yourself. Get the eye-dropper extension for chrome so you can get the values for colors you like.

You can basically clone a site you like, change the colors, text, delete/add/modify the layout, and use it as a template for what you’re doing. This is also cool because as you fiddle around, you learn new techniques and approaches from the original coder.
Being able to do this is an intermediate step between the basic stuff that looks bad and being a full-fledged designer-unicorn who can just come up with beautiful things on the fly.

If you change it enough, it won’t be a copy any more, but at least partly yours–and you’ll have learned a lot in the process.

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I had the same experience when I was doing the Front End certification in FCC. I was trying to practice on a side but everything simply looked awful.

When I finished my projects, they all looked bad. I decided to do them again before starting JavaScript and I actually improved from the first time.

There are a lot of things from the design side that I simply don’t know. I’m not a designer myself. But as much as you practice, organically, your design ideas will be better.

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It’s a skill that needs to be learned. It takes just as much effort and dedication as learning about code, or anything else for that matter. In the end, not everyone will be a designer. There are some personality traits that seem to make some people more talented at visual work. Just like it is the case with math, music, social skills, etc.

UX is even harder, I can’t tell you how many times I have had an application or website in my hands and think to myself, do the people that build this actually use it? Why is this so bad? Why would they not do this, why did they do that? Then I make something myself and totally forget to fully take the user’s point of view into account. It’s the “can’t see the forest for the trees” kind of thing.

Thanks for the reply. I agree that not everyone is a born designer. I know for a fact that I’m not. I do however believe that it’s every developer’s job to put out professional and quality work. I’m just trying to up my game a bit to make my sites look better.

Which you totally should. I didn’t mean to imply you shouldn’t try to make things look as good as you can.

A good design also makes it a lot more fun to code if you ask me. Doing everything “right” but having the end result look bad can be pretty demotivating.

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