Masatoshi Nishiguchi

Web design is fun to learn

I was taking this wonderful Web Design course (Professor: Rachid Mrad) at University of District of Columbia in the Spring 2016 semester, and today was the last class. Mr. Mrad kindly invited us students to dinner. It was so much fun. I really enjoyed my whole time in this course. I was so fortunate to have an awesome professor and hard-working “graphic designer” classmates. Me surrounded by graphic designers was the important part to me, because I was primarily a web developer and was avoiding the designing process since I first started learning HTML.

Because I had already studied a lot of basic HTML, CSS and JS previously, my intention of taking this class was to review the basics and solidify those skills. It was very exciting about having Mr. Rachid as a professor because he was an experienced Web Designer/Developer/Project Manager who had graphic design background and works for a large organization’s web applications. This guy is amazing; he offered tons of useful techniques in every single class. After all, I had no time for relaxing at all.

The biggest takeaway from this class for me was that now I understand I should appreciate awesome jobs designers do and I can enjoy designing myself! Previously as a programmer, I underestimated the importance of the designing process and my own potential as a designer. For my past personal projects, I was typically focused on my logic and did not put any effort into designing, just using Bootstrap styles.

Every time I saw my classmates’ websites, I was very impressed by all the ideas and uniqueness although most of them were absolute beginners in HTML/CSS. One time I told Mr. Mrad how designers are amazing to me, and he said “It is a matter of experience.” After having gone through a bunch of tough web designing tasks he required me, I understand now. I am not intimidated by basic web designing any more!

Last but not least, I realized the importance of carefully planning typography and layout ahead of time. Once I know my goal for designing, I can just focus on making it happen.

In conclusion, although I am a web developer, now I am conscious of good presentation and user experience as well as underlying logic for applications. I really appreciate Mr. Mrad’s mentoring. I could not have made this advancement without him. Also many thanks to my “graphic designer” classmates for inspirations.