Monday, September 22, 2014

Web Design – I Just Find You Interesting

As a kid, I used to draw computer screens and keyboards on white bond papers, pasted them on a plastic file case while positioned as an opened laptop, then mimicked a computer user – typing on the keyboard, clicking on buttons and opening files on my paper and plastic computer toy. I draw several and different computer screens that I’ll flipped when I click on a certain button on the screen and it was so much fun!

Way back then, I dreamed of owning a computer and being so knowledgeable about it. I remembered I really liked anime characters who were tech-savvy and who dealt with the computers and machines in their stories. I pictured myself like them. But computers were big and bulky and common people like me didn’t have the means to buy one.

That might be the reason why when the technology of the computer and the Internet became available in our town (and in my reach); I displayed so much interest in it. I tried to go to computer shops, rented a unit, and explored. Computer room in our high school has been established during my final year and I studied so much to be familiar with its interface. Like when I was a kid, I continue to draw computer screens but this time, the screens are not just boxes and letters. There were more details and variety of buttons, mimicking the actual computer interface. The words became more technical and specific; this little game of mine became much real.

I remembered it was the time when I was getting to know Google, and it was extremely difficult to understand how to search and there were so many options in Microsoft Word that I it took me so long to change the font color or to justify the paragraph. Sooner, I became really familiar with it. I learned computer games (Solitaire for offline, Gunbound for online) as well. I signed up for Yahoo! Mail and Friendster accounts as well.

That’s where it started. I created a blog in Friendster. I write random stuff there. I learned how to customize the design of the profile page using some codes. I was pretty good at experimenting with the codes, actually! After so many years, I just realized that even during that time, I already knew CSS! Thanks, Friendster!

I also signed up for a Bravehost (now Bravenet) account. They offered free web hosting under their domain and you can also customize the content, layout, colors and elements of your web page. But after few years I’ve already deleted my account since there were a lot of changes happening in the web, and Bravenet no longer offered the free hosting like before. But it was a pleasure creating a web page under their domain. That’s where I mainly learned elements of a website. Thanks, Bravenet!

Meanwhile, Yahoo! Mail has become my online storage up to my college days, especially when I still can’t afford to buy lots of floppy disks. I changed to GMail when I graduated and looked for a job. I signed up for Photobucket as well for my image uploads. There were some websites as well but I really can’t cite them all here but they all contributed to my World Wide Web exploration. It has been a fantastic journey.

By then, Friendster said bye bye and Facebook said hello. I saved everything I can from my Friendster blog and imported those articles to Blogger, the blogging platform of Google. It’s free and it’s awesome, and up to now I still use my blogs here. I also took my blogging knowledge to another platform and explored Wordpress. It was much complex than Blogger, but it both has pros and cons and now I do have blogs hosted in Wordpress as well.

The thing is, I graduated in college and decided to pursue a job as graphic designer. I was actually in the middle of the hiring process as a print artist when the recruitment officer told me that they were no longer hiring print artists and they were about to hire me as a web designer. OK. Web designer. I told them I have no knowledge whatsoever about HTML and CSS. They told me it’s okay because there’d be a training. I said yes. I got hired. I was nervous. I didn’t know a thing about this HTML and CSS and my school didn’t even teach these things during college! But when the training week came, I listened in awe as our trainer describes the elements of a website. How to customize and design the webpage. The codes of the website. Then I told myself, hey, these things were the stuff that I explored in my webpages, in my Friendster account, in my blogs! I actually knew them! So the codes from Friendster were called CSS and HTML was the codes you placed for the elements like embedding the image on the header of the website. It was cool! I really have a feeling that I’m going to love this job. I actually do!

In my whole life, I never saw myself in the field of web design – until I got hired as a web designer. But it was amazing to realize that I have studied so much about it without me really knowing. Maybe it was God’s way of preparing me for this task. Today, I maintained a few personal blogs – one for my favourite online game, an info blog, a personal blog, my artwork / portfolio blogsite, a local business blogsite for my mom, and a few blogs under experimentation. What can I say? When you are interested at something, you don’t stop learning about it. The World Wide Web has a very, very wide span and network. There are still a lot, really lot, of stuff to discover in it.


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