Forum: Ruby on Rails Must one be a web page designer to make use of RoR?

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Steve A. (Guest)
on 2006-03-03 17:02
Hey guys,

I'm new to the world of web site development.  Although I'm in the
process of learning RoR, I'm not a graphics artist nor a web developer
or web site designer.  With that being said, does anyone have any
suggestions for tools to use to create the actual interface for a web
app based on a RoR framework?  Obviously the default output of RoR is
fine for development, but now that I need to create a *real* user
interface - ie. beautiful layout, pretty graphics, intelligently flowing
navigation, etc. - I'm stuck.  I guess I could hire someone part-time
just to create the actual UI, but then that would not make me a
"complete" web app developer.  I have no natural talent for drawing,
graphics, etc.

What's a person in my situation to do?  I'm relatively new to
programming, and (almost) everything in RoR makes sense to me - but I
feel like my inability to draw and create graphics is holding me back
from being a complete RoR developer.

Any suggestions?
Guido S. (Guest)
on 2006-03-03 17:06
(Received via mailing list)
www.openwebdesign.org ...

-- G.
Peter De Berdt (Guest)
on 2006-03-03 17:12
(Received via mailing list)
On 03 Mar 2006, at 16:02, Steve Armstrong wrote:

> navigation, etc. - I'm stuck.  I guess I could hire someone part-time
> just to create the actual UI, but then that would not make me a
> "complete" web app developer.  I have no natural talent for drawing,
> graphics, etc.
>
> What's a person in my situation to do?  I'm relatively new to
> programming, and (almost) everything in RoR makes sense to me - but I
> feel like my inability to draw and create graphics is holding me back
> from being a complete RoR developer.
>
> Any suggestions?

Well, to be honest, you have the choice of either
- learn webdesign yourself: look around at how other people do it,
get a feel with it and then go out and by the CSS Mastery book
(http://www.cssmastery.com/), it's really good. From my personal
experience, I have always found hand coded CSS to be a lot better
than what a WYSIWYG editor calls a CSS layout.
- get an open source template and expand on that, but I haven't found
any that are really in the league of a professional design, they're a
good starting point, but that's about it
- hire someone to make you an initial design, then do the CSS work
yourself based on his/her design
- just let someone else do it, which is probably going to save you a
lot of money as your application grows, if you're not a designer,
you're going to waste tons of time on simple things.

I think a lot of people on this list will agree with me when I say a
real cool web app always consists of a good programmer together with
a good designer, it's hard to have both at the same time (but that
doesn't mean the programmer can't have a bit of a design talent or
the other way around).

Best regards

Peter De Berdt
Alain R. (Guest)
on 2006-03-03 18:34
(Received via mailing list)
Steve,

You must absolutely learn CSS, and have a basic toolbox alongside your
Rails editor.

I'd recommend :
*  "Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML"
    http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/hfhtmlcss/

*  Firefox  + the Web D. plugin

https://addons.mozilla.org/extensions/moreinfo.php...
The Web D. plugin helps you look into a page css, change it and
see the change live, etc...


Alain
Steve A. (Guest)
on 2006-03-05 02:11
Guys,

I bought the Head First book today.  Looks like I've got some reading
(and learning) to do.  Thanks for the advice.  I'm on my way...
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