I have held back for far too long in my self-learning of web design. Whilst I established my ability at coding HTML and CSS as early as 2002, I’ve not spent a lot of time since then expanding my knowledge. But now that I want to re-design my website to bring into the latest arena, I’m keen to spend time learning newer scripts, like jQuery!
But after reading Andy Budd’s article entitled “What’s in a name: The duality of user experience“, I’m concerned that maybe some of us, including myself, are over-believing our abilities:
… we have this strange dichotomy that the term ‘webdesign’ can be used to describe both a novice and an expert, a neophyte and a master. This is where the Dunning-Kruger effect comes in.
If you’re not familiar with this concept it’s the observation that ‘novices suffer from the illusion of superiority and tend to rate their skills much higher than experts’ because they don’t fully understand the breadth of the field they need to master.
Or to use a much quoted aphorism, “they know what they know, but they don’t know what they don’t know”.
By comparison, experts tend to know more, but are also more conscious about what they don’t know, hence making them less sure about their expertise.
Despite recognising this limitation, I also find I am not constrained by the limitations that an educational-institution puts upon its students. Nor I am not restrained by a curriculum nor the pace that the tutors want to impose. I can stop to concentrate on one aspect, or I can jump between modules, subjects, scripts, interests as I please.
With that in mind, I’m leaping forward to purchase this web-design book to add to my collection.
But this one I would actually read. Over the last ten years I have purchase a great many books that I glanced through for specific information, or only read part thereof. If I had this one, I’d pore over it, reading it diligently and learning all that I could. I see this soon being in my post-box waiting for me to collect!
Extra: CSS3 FlexBox
Whilst Andy is correct in saying that some web-designers over-estimate their abilities, there’s no harm done if they remain on the journey to expand their mind and knowledge. Stopping or limiting one’s training in the skills required is where the industry is hurt most.
PostScript: I found a related site at AListApart, one of my favourite haunts for inspiration, code and layout-design. I have tried many teachings from AListApart, incorporated them into my own designs, plus attempted to expand on a few. ButFluidGrids has actually helped me in another way tonight: I have adapted my font-sizing for header-elements uponezcreate.com.au so they are sized appropriately. Weird juncture, yet that’s how my crazy mind works. I find inspiration in the oddest places.