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Web Design and Development: What is Frontend Design?

July 17, 2013 General 0 Comments

What Is Frontend DesignWant to be a frontend designer?

If you do not know what a frontend designer does, then it may be hard for you to answer this question. Below we outline what a frontend designer is responsible for – and what courses you should enroll in at Harrington College of Design to improve your frontend design skills.

What is the frontend?

The frontend refers to the part of the website that you can see and interact with – also known as the user interface. This means that as a frontend designer, you may be responsible for selecting colors, fonts, images and the general layout of the Web page. You may also be responsible for developing informational, organizational and navigation structures on the page.

Josh Longwriter and editor for the Treehouse Blog, notes that the frontend usually consists of two parts: the design and the frontend development. While the distinction between these two parts is somewhat blurry, design typically refers to frontend designers working with Photoshop and Fireworks while frontend development refers to designers working with HTML, CSS, Javascript, jQuery and Flash.

Designers Brian Lucid and Rachel Nabors believe a frontend designer should be able to:

  • Design a website or edit a pre-existing site’s design
  • Understand, critique, and improve basic interaction models and wireframes
  • Collect and analyze data to evaluate the success of your design
  • Create pixel-perfect page structures using frontend markup code
  • Apply visual styles using various layout technologies
  • Use interactive technologies to structure online interactions
  • Experiment with typography and dynamic interactions
  • Understand why a code or product behaves the way it does
  • Keep track of emerging technology trends and understand their impact on Web design
  • Be sensitive to what users want and need from a website – and use the appropriate concepts to create the right structure
  • Create a design that allows for the most up-to-date user experience possible

Today, many frontend designers are also responsible for creating mobile versions of websites. This may require some knowledge of backend design as well.

What courses do I need?

Harrington College of Design offers you a unique opportunity to pursue your specific interests. After enrolling as a Web Design and Development student, you may want to talk to your advisor about these courses:

  • Web Design Fundamentals
  • Programming Methods
  • Content Management, Design & Strategy
  • User Experience Design
  • App Design and Development
  • Advanced Interactive Mobile Applications
  • Online Advertising and Marketing

These courses may allow you to develop the necessary skillset for frontend design. For more recommendations on courses for frontend design, talk to your Web Design and Development program advisor.

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