Web design students that are just starting out in a college or at a trade school often look to senior web designers and developers for advice on all things related to web design. One of the best places to find help from those that know the inside business happening in web design are online forums. Forums are spots on the web where designers of all facets like to discuss what is happening in their industry and pose questions to other forum members.
For students at web design schools, forums can be a gold mine of information. Many senior level web designers enjoy helping web design students who are serious about their trade. When posting to forums and talking to web designers, students should follow basic forum etiquette rules and be respectful of the time that designers take to respond to questions. One of the fastest ways to be denied help on a forum is to be rude or condescending – especially when asking for advice!
General Forum Rules
Search the forum for your question before you start a new thread. If you are a web design student asking a question that has already been answered in another thread on that forum, you’ll likely get pointed to the other thread by a moderator anyway.
Be respectful and appreciate that the people who will respond to you will have different opinions. Just like most students choose to go into a web design school for their own reasons, web designers have their own opinions about the best way to accomplish a task or get ahead. Multiple opinions is a good thing – that’s one of the ways a forum is so insightful.
Don’t disappear. If you ask a question and web designers take the time to respond, it is appropriate to respond and let them know you’ve read their post – even if you can’t use their advice or no one could help.
Two Great Forums for Web Design Students
As an example, in a Beginners Web Design thread, poster th88 wrote: “Although the split code/design view in Dreamweaver is very useful, along with a lot of other things in DW as well (file access, server synching etc.). I think what’s important here is to emphasise designing from the inside out (that is, create and edit code to change presentation, not the other way round).”
This forum is based out of the United Kingdom, but the web designers here are practicing universal web design skills and can offer great advice to web design students in any location. A favorite recent post in a student’s thread asks about internship and portfolio building opportunities. Under “Frustrated Web Design Student”, forum user mafste8765 asks for advice and gets some pretty useful information about building a portfolio and working through web design school. Read the advice this user got here.
There are many forums out there. Don’t be afraid to shop around. To make sure you are visiting a site that attracts serious web designers that offer good advice, just read through some of the existing threads. Do they seem to know their stuff? If so, search for your question and if it’s not there already – feel free to ask.