My Journey as a UI Designer and HTML/CSS Developer

Journey as UI Designer & HTML Developer

I am basically a Mechanical Engineering graduate. During the curriculum, we got exposure in programming languages like Pascal, C and C++. After graduation I did a diploma course on Application Development in Ecommerce, where I acquired skills in html and other languages.

Since my mother was an artist, I inherited a bit of artistic skills. In the mean time I developed my skills in design.

In 2003, I joined Turtle Technologies (UK) Pvt Ltd, Auroville, Tamil Nadu as a Web Designer. There I got exposure in Photoshop and other design tools, and CSS. At that time a web designer was supposed to do the design for websites, design brochures, visiting cards, do flash animations, html/css development etc. Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator were major browsers at that time. Taming Netscape Navigator was a difficult task then. Html tables were used for layout purposes. Div based designs were just emerging. DreamWeaver and FrontPage were the major html editors.

In 2005 when I joined as a Web Designer, my primary job was to do landing page design in Photoshop and create various banners (gif, jpg and flash) for different campaigns. Html, javascript etc. were handled by separate teams. In the coming years I learned div based designs and implemented the same. The transition from table based design to div based design was a difficult one then. Flash was frequently used to create animated banners and web pages.

Html5, css3 and JQuery played a major role in making the next generation websites powerful and more interactive. Web Design was renamed as ‘UI Design’ and included design for Mobile and Tab. With the emergence of Smartphones, people began to understand the importance of good user interface. People became more concerned with the user experience.

Now companies have become more specific. You either concentrate on complete UI/UX design or UI development. This, I feel is a major change.

Responsive designs gave another dimension to the HTML development process. Many frameworks like Bootstrap, Foundation, etc. were developed to make the development process streamlined. Advanced features in CSS gave the websites a rich and interactive feel. Repositories like git and versioning like svn contributed much to the team environment. There are many tools like JIRA and Confluence which help in collaborating with other teams and improve productivity.

Web will continue to emerge in the coming years. It has become a challenge for both designers and developers to update themselves and keep the momentum going.